March 4, 2011

Renaissance Music and Culture at the Williams Center March 9


Philadelphia’s esteemed Renaissance wind band Piffaro joins with early music string ensemble King’s Noyse and singer Ellen Hargis for a performance at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 9, in the Williams Center for the Arts.

The concert will be a rare and insightful exploration of the music and cultural life of Ferrara, one of the great centers of the courtly arts in Renaissance Italy. Enjoy the sumptuous sound of winds and strings together in this program of madrigals, dances, fantasias, and accompanied song. Discover the musical charms of composers Cipriano de Rore and Carlo Gesualdo, and the many others who helped usher in a new age in musical style.

Piffaro excels with “musical agility and expansive freedom” (The Philadelphia Inquirer), violinist David Douglass leads the strings of King’s Noyse with “eloquence and expressiveness,” and Hargis sings with “dignity, grace, and vocal subtlety” (The New York Times).

A pre-performance talk, “Musical Practices in the Court of Ferrara,” will be presented by Anthony Newcomb, Terrill Professor Emeritus of Music, University of California, Berkeley; Anthony Cummings, professor of music; and Robert Wiemken, artistic director of Piffaro at 7 p.m. in room 108 of the Williams Center.

Tickets for the performance are free for Lafayette students, $6 for students at LVAIC schools, $5 for faculty and staff, and $18 for the public. They can be obtained by calling the Williams Center box office at (610) 330-5009. The final performance in the 2010-11 Chamber Music series will be the Venice Baroque Orchestra on April 16.

Events are part of the Theodore Roethke Humanities Festival 2011: The Renaissance Spirit.

The 2010–2011 Performance Series at Lafayette College is supported in part by gifts from Friends of the Williams Center for the Arts; by provisions of the Josephine Chidsey Williams Endowment, the J. Mahlon and Grace Buck Fund, the Croasdale Fund, the Dr. Aaron O. Litwak ’42 Fund, the Class of ’73 Fund, the Alan and Wendy Pesky Artist-in-Residence Program, the James Bradley Fund, and the Ed Brunswick Jazz Fund; and by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, and National Dance Project/New England Foundation for the Arts. Special thanks to the F.M. Kirby Foundation for its sustaining support.

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