Welcome . . .
. . . to our fourth season of Baroque Music Montana!
Fair to say for all, it’s been quite a year! I’m proud that BaMM was able to continue our passionate work without cancelling any projects, but instead reworked programs using our amazing local players. We’re grateful for collaborations with Intermountain Opera and The Bozeman Symphony, as well as Bozeman Arts-Live’s broadcast and recording of concerts, enabling us to create a usable record of our endeavors and contribute to the baroque canon through concert recordings.
Personally, this year has seen great loss. I’m grateful that our season is underwritten by dear friends Dennis & Anne Wentz, as well as the Lewallen Family in memory of my grandfather, who was known to say our concerts were real ‘button-poppers’ for him. Additional concerts are sponsored by Connie Cranston, who often drove great lengths from rural areas to see and support music, and we’re deeply honored to say leaves us a lasting legacy.
This season, we’ll burst forth with our most ambitious project yet, Amadeus: The Concert, at Gallatin High’s beautiful new auditorium, acoustically designed for strings. The program will open with a set by the advanced high school ensemble, Kamarata, a perfect warm-up to their Salzburg and Viennese tour. Featured soprano, Sarah Brailey—who I believe will heal this world with her singing—and I will coach the high school ensemble as well as some top young players invited to join our professional band. Repertoire explores the influences and music of revered Amadeus, beginning with an H.I.F. Biber opening, celebrating Salzburg composers (as well as the birthplace of my violin) with the sounds of trumpet, strings, and organ. Papa Haydn enters the stage with impetuous movements from his dramatic ‘funeral’ symphony. After with stunning arias by Giordano, Pergolesi, and Mozart, oboist Sandy Stimson treats us to the delightful oboe concerto of the world’s most champagne-esque composer. This program is a teaser for an exciting upcoming collaboration with Montana Shakespeare in the Parks.
Sonata Tramontana (“across the mountains,” or in Italy, the north wind of the alps) wafts in early November as lutenist John Lenti, returns for a concert tour with visits to new locations in Shelby, Big Sandy, and Lewistown, as well as returns to Quinn’s Hotsprings, outreach in Plains, and a Bozeman show at beautiful Old Main Gallery. Thanksgiving week, we’ll lay down Montana’s first period instrument recording at Reynolds Hall with Jeremiah Slovarp recording and famed baroque violinist Ingrid Matthews producing this program of seventeenth century German sonatas hand picked for the pairing of baroque violin and lute.
January centers around the incredible Sara Levy, who we credit with preserving many beloved pieces by the Bach family and others for our repertoire today, and affords us the exciting luxury of playing a brilliant Mendelssohn quartet, as well as the premiere of a contrapuntal work by young Bozeman female composer, Athena Carson, with a cast of musicians from London, NYC, and Vancouver.
The Baryton: Haydn Trios marks our first feature of an outside ensemble and their recording fresh on the presses, in April at the incredibly resonant and mountain-framing studio at the Yellowstone Theological Institute. The Valencia Baryton project joins us from Spain in works featuring the cello-like instrument Haydn wrote for more than any other instrument, with its many, many, many strings.
The Royal Consort brings not one but two suave viola da gambas, following BaMM’s debut at the Berkeley Early Music Festival—central event of our nation’s early music scene—with some of the festival’s most celebrated musicians in a program of English theater pieces and Couperin.
Our season closes with our annual Period Performance Workshop, bringing together a top-notch faculty from across the nation and, if the past year is any indication, participants from Indiana, Denver, the Bay area, and Seattle as well as far-flung musical Montanans of all abilities. Our faculty will tour with La Boheme, brilliant and unusual music from the capital of the Czech Republic.
We hope you’ll join us, and thank you for your support.
At Three Forks in May 2021, during Biking for Bach, part of the Bach Roads of Montana celebration.