Hope this finds you safe, well, and enjoying the promises of spring! It's been a little while since we were last in touch, in which time we have been hard at work developing musical experiences for you to enjoy as 2021 progresses. Despite ongoing pandemic challenges postponing our Winter Musicale, and planning difficulties caused by the lack of state guidelines for public performances, the Festival organization is very much still here.
However, we sincerely regret that it will not be possible to host live public concerts for you in June this year, much as we'd hoped to do so. The late arrival of state-wide permissions, tiering unknowns, and therefore the impossibility of securing venues and performers, printed communications and ticketing, means that our timeline for producing an in-person June Festival is simply not viable. In addition, the new guidelines just announced only pertain to outdoor venues, which are not well-suited to period instrument performance, and our research into amplification and outdoor staging was cost-prohibitive. We are not alone in this challenge: most professional arts organizations in urban areas of California are planning virtual-only public performances through the fall, if not beyond.
What we do have coming up, though, is a joyful virtual Spring Soirée (more on that below) and what promises to be a wonderful online experience this June. Here's Elizabeth Blumenstock with a special message:
Save the date: Our Winter Musicale is now a virtual Spring Soirée!Sunday, April 25, 6PM, YouTube Premiere streaming
Elizabeth will be joined by Stephen Schultz on Baroque flute for the evening's performances. In aid of the Baroque Music Festival, Corona del Mar's 2021 Festival Musicians' Fund.
Introducing: Matthew Dirst, Harpsichord & Organ
"A Bach Keyboard Extravaganza" streaming June 2021 Matthew Dirst is the first American musician to win major international prizes in both organ and harpsichord. Widely admired for his stylish playing and conducting, Dirst recently recorded his own reconstructions of several organ concertos by J. S. Bach. A review in Choir & Organ enthusiastically recommends his “lively and imaginative CD” from Loft Recordings. Early Music America celebrated his solo recording of harpsichord works by François and Armand-Louis Couperin as a “stylish, tasteful, and technically commanding performance…expressive and brilliant playing.” As Artistic Director of Ars Lyrica Houston, Dirst leads a period-instrument ensemble with several acclaimed recordings, one of which—the world premiere recording of Johann Adolph Hasse’s Marc Antonio e Cleopatra—was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2011 for Best Opera.
Stay safe, stay well, and stay tuned for more news soon about April's Spring Soirée and June's keyboard experience.
Wayne Norman, President, Board of Directors & Zen Edwards, Executive Director Baroque Music Festival, Corona del Mar