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Baroque Music Festival Returns to Corona del Mar with ‘All the Pleasures’ Theme June 16 – 23

Renowned Baroque violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock is artistic director of the Baroque Music Festival

Get ready to have a pleasurable experience when The Baroque Music Festival, Newport Beach’s only professional classical music performing organization, returns to Corona del Mar with a theme of “All the Pleasures: The Italian Influence in London and Beyond.”

According to information from the Baroque Music Festival, this year’s Festival focuses on music by a wide range of Baroque-era English composers, juxtaposed with pieces by their continental European predecessors and contemporaries.

Specialist musicians present five concerts over eight days at venues in Corona del Mar and Newport Beach.

Esteemed Baroque violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock directs the season, curating and leading all but one (the Monday recital) of the performances.

Blumenstock maintains a busy international schedule performing on the 17th-century Guarneri violin on loan by the Philharmonia Baroque Period Instrument Trust.

Baroque Music Festival artistic director and violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock

“The Guarneri violin is very much a 17th century style, with a highly arched belly, a carved back, not a flat smooth shaping instrument,” she said. “It’s very beautiful and possess a generally bright, clear, sweet sound, with a fair resonance, not as much as some, so it’s a little dependent on the environment. It’s designed to be played in churches.”

Many of the Baroque Music Festival concerts do indeed take place in local churches.

Blumenstock serves as a concertmaster and soloist of Baroque orchestras nationwide and in Germany, and was named artistic director of the Baroque Music Festival in 2011. Her carefully curated selections of Baroque masterpieces for the 2024 Festival is as eclectic and entertaining as ever, ranging from Italian violin duos to a grand Handel choral work.

Baroque Music Festival concert

Baroque Musical Festival Program

This year’s Festival is anchored by two Sunday afternoon concerts at St. Mark Presbyterian Church with the Festival Orchestra, joined for the Finale by the Festival Chorus.

For the opener, dubbed “London Fog, Italian Sunshine,” soloists from the ensemble bring out the southern sun—the influence of Italian music on London-based composers.

Chamber ensembles and soloists give three evening concerts between the larger-scale Sunday events.

Monday evening’s intimate “Time Stands Still: English Lute Songs” recital highlights the superb acoustics of St. Michael & All Angels Church in Corona del Mar.

South Coast Brass performs prior to every Baroque Music Festival concert

Then, the Festival presents two concerts within the lush rounds of Corona del Mar’s Sherman Library & Gardens, a beloved venue since the first series in 1981. This year, musicians gather there on Wednesday evening, June 19 for Nightingales in the Gardens (music for three violin soloists, and more) and Friday evening, June 21 for Galante in the Gardens (Bach, and late Baroque chamber music by Telemann and others).

The season will close with Handel & Purcell Choral Odes, showcasing each composer’s stunning vocal music, alongside instrumental selections. Countertenor Clifton Massey returns to the Festival along with debuting soloists Nola Richardson (soprano), Gregório Taniguchi (tenor), and Jesse Blumberg (baritone).

In addition to the ticketed concerts, audience members are invited to enjoy Baroque music performed al fresco by South Coast Brass, beginning 45 minutes before each concert. At all performances, audience members and musicians are encouraged to mingle for conversation and refreshment at complimentary “wine and waters” receptions.

Baroque Music Festival concert inside a church in Newport Beach

Ticket Information

Subscriptions: $325 for all five concerts. Price includes reservable premium seating at each concert and a private caterer post‐concert dinner following the Festival Finale on Sunday, June 23.

Single Tickets: Range from $45 to $55 for individual concerts, for open seating.

Students Go for Baroque Rush Tickets for Under-30s (age 12 and above): $10 on the day of performance only, cash only, with a valid student card and photo ID. Email for further information, and to inquire about group bookings and our open dress rehearsals for students.

Exclusively for NMUSD families: thanks to support from the City of Newport Beach, the adult accompanying any NMUSD student(s) age 12 or over is also eligible for the $10 rush ticket rate. Proof of enrollment at an NMUSD school is required to receive the discounted rate.

Festival subscriptions, single tickets, and full program and venue information are at or available by calling (949) 760‐7887 and leaving a message for a callback within 24 hours.

The Baroque Music Festival was founded in 1981 by Dr. Burton Karson, then Professor of Music at CSU Fullerton. The annual season of five June concerts is a high-quality musical experience and an accessible way to discover, or rediscover, the uplifting beauty and joy of Baroque-era music (written from around 1600 to 1750), right in the heart of the local community.

Over the past four decades, the Festival has evolved as an esteemed and popular cultural institution in Orange County. Performing primarily on period instruments in intimate settings, acclaimed instrumentalists and vocal soloists assemble each June in Corona del Mar and Newport Beach.

The post Baroque Music Festival Returns to Corona del Mar with ‘All the Pleasures’ Theme June 16 – 23 appeared first on Newport Beach News.

Source: Newport Beach Independent

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