Grand Prize and Audience Prize Winners
—2014 Early Music America Baroque Performance Competition

Rebels and Rivalries

Photo: Paulo Santos

Admit it. Everybody loves a good scandal, and one of celebrity’s prices is having your life held up not just for scrutiny, but often for gossip, ridicule, and the schadenfreude of lesser mortals. But why should we settle for the backbiting, wretched excesses, or even the violent deaths of today’s rock and hip-hop stars when we can go back a few centuries and revel in the shame of our true culture heroes, Bach, Telemann, and Leclair?

That’s the question asked by Infusion Baroque. Like Spinal Tap’s Intravenus de Milo, Infusion’s program takes a new perspective on the old and infuses some wit into a repertory we often conceive a bit too reverently. Their program juxtaposes works by superstars of the late baroque with scandalous tales of their personal lives, featuring rebellious children, national rivalries, sibling rivalries, face-offs between dueling virtuosi, and even some extra-musical dueling that landed one famous musician in the slammer.

The cast of castigated characters includes Jean-Marie Leclair, Francesco Geminiani, Georg Philipp Telemann, and no fewer than three members of the Bach family, as well as a few less familiar names who were equally renowned competitors in their day.

Winners of the Grand Prize and Audience Prize at the 2014 Early Music America Baroque Performance Competition, Montreal-based ensemble Infusion Baroque is drawing a new audience to early music with their innovative programming and performances, described as “dynamic and alive.” Don’t miss this breath of spring air bringing fresh energy to the music we love.

INFUSION BAROQUE: Alexa Raine-Wright, traverso & recorder; Sallynee Amawat, violinCamille Paquette-Roy, cello; Rona Nadler, harpsichord

First Presbyterian Church (NEW VENUE!)
1140 Cowper Street at Lincoln, Palo Alto

St. John’s Presbyterian Church
2727 College Avenue, Berkeley

St. Mark’s Lutheran Church
1111 O’Farrell at Gough, San Francisco

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San Francisco Early Music Society