This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the premier performance of the Coburn Conservatory’s Baroque Ensemble led by Ian Pritchard of Tesserae fame and it was an incredible performance of several Bach, Handel, and Vivaldi pieces by young, enthusiastic students. It made me realize how fortunate we are in Southern California to have such a dynamic and growing early music scene. As I look over the concert calendars that I have included in the OCRS newsletters of the last 6 years, I was reminded of the many groups and individuals who have contributed to this growth that now goes back several decades as well as the several new groups that have appeared recently. Jouyssance Early Music Ensemble bringing choral music to Los Angeles since 1968, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (1968): Baroque Conversations, built upon a tradition of joyous music-making performed by exceptional artists, the Corona del Mar Baroque Music Festival with Elizabeth Blumenstock presenting an astounding wealth and diversity of Baroque music in a wide variety of ways since 1981, Con Gioia with Preethi de Silva, Los Angeles Baroque Players, and the Harpsichord Center Artist Series with Tony Brasier bringing outstanding performances on period instruments, Musica Angelica bringing some of the best Baroque musicians from across the country and Europe since 1993, the USC Thornton School of Music’s Early Music program with Adam and Rotem Gilbert who, since 2005 who have done so much to bring world-wide recognition and a host of students to this genre as well as outstanding achievement in performance and scholarship in the field of early music education, Tesserae Baroque Ensemble of Los Angeles with Alexandra Opsahl and Ian Pritchard bringing intimate chamber music of the early 17th century to the splendor of large-scale Venetian polychoral music since 2010, and UCLA’s Early Music Ensemble dedicated to Western vocal and instrumental music from historical periods prior to 1800, More recently several groups have burst on the scene: Los Angeles Baroque—LA’s only community Baroque orchestra, founded by violinist Lindsey Strand-Polyak and cellist Alexa Haynes-Pilon in 2016, and most recently, Delirium Musicum, founded in 2018, (winners of the Beverly Hills National Auditions) with its exciting dynamic playing style
And these are just a few of the many groups and offerings available. As the 2017–2018 season draws to a close take a look at this month’s Concert Calendar for some exciting events and please support the early music scene here in Southern California with your attendance and donation to continue this wonderful tradition.