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Boston Baroque Presents Its Fifth Annual Free Community Concert at the Strand Theatre in Dorchester

November 29, 2017

Press Contact: Stephanie Janes, (617) 419-0445,
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For immediate release) Boston Baroque, in partnership with the City of Boston Mayor’s Office of Arts & Culture, will present a free community concert at the Strand Theatre (543 Columbia Rd, Boston, MA 02125) on Saturday, December 30 at 2pm. The Grammy-nominated ensemble, led by conductor Martin Pearlman, will perform Handel’s re-discovered Gloria sung by soprano Mary Wilson, Handel’s Water Music Suite in F and Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 1.

Tickets are free but must be reserved in advance online at, by calling 617-987-8600 x1, or by email at Tickets are also available at the Uphams Corner Branch of the Boston Public Library (500 Columbia Rd., Dorchester), at the Strand Theatre Box Office on the day of the concert, or at any Boston Public Library branch in Dorchester. 

This free concert is made possible through generous support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the City of Boston, Boston Cultural Council, Free For All Concert Fund, Boston Public Library, Fields Corner Main Street, Greater Ashmont Main Street, Uphams Corner Main Street, Shelter Music Boston, Hyde Square Task Force, the Paul and Edith Babson Foundation, and Music Performance Trust Fund.

About the Program:

Re-discovered in 2001, Handel’s Gloria sat unidentified for over a century in the library of London’s Royal Academy of Music. Bound in a volume with other Handel arias, music scholars agree that the piece seems to be from Handel’s early years in Rome when he was a young man of just 22 years-old. Soprano Mary Wilson, a thrilling interpreter of Baroque music, will join Boston Baroque to perform the Gloria.

The piece, scored for coloratura soprano and strings, is exceptionally florid, with seven movements to delight listeners. The Times (London) extolled the greatness of the piece, saying, “the way the tempo doubles at “cum sancto spirito” is incredibly exhilarating in a peculiarly Handelian way. Just as exhilarating is the gentle counterpoint in the brief duet passage for soprano and solo violin, the sort of effect that has Handelians clutching their sides with hedonistic, near-guilty pleasure.”

Handel’s Water Music was written for King George I of Great Britain and had its first performance in a splashy river cruise on the River Thames in 1717. It is a collection of three suites that are perfect examples of Baroque orchestration, and Boston Baroque will perform the Water Music Suite in F, known as “the horn suite.” Handel was one of the first composers to use horns in full orchestral parts, using them to create color and flamboyance. According to reports, the King loved the piece so much that he had the musicians play it three times before coming back to shore.

Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 is the first of six concertos written while Bach was working for the Prince of Anhalt-Cöthen, commissioned by the Margrave of Brandenburg, whom Bach met while in Berlin to purchase a harpsichord in 1719. The concerto combines elements of older baroque styles, including an overture followed by dance movements, with the then-newer style of alternating between soloist and orchestra – a style that Vivaldi popularized. This concerto also heavily highlights the horn, giving Boston Baroque an opportunity to showcase its outstanding musicians.

Martin Pearlman, Conductor and Music Director:

Hailed for his “fresh, buoyant interpretations” and his “vivid realizations teeming with life,” Pearlman has been

acclaimed for 40 years in the orchestral, choral, and operatic repertoire from Monteverdi to Beethoven.

Founder, music director and conductor of the orchestra and chorus of the three-time Grammy-nominated Boston

Baroque, the first period-instrument orchestra in North America and widely regarded as being “Some of the finest American interpreters of music of this era,” according to Fanfare Magazine, Pearlman leads Boston Baroque in an annual subscription concert series in Greater Boston, tours in the United States and Europe and has produced twenty-two major recordings for Telarc Records. In 2012, the orchestra became the first American orchestra to record with the UK audiophile label, Linn Records and their release of The Creation received great critical acclaim. Boston Baroque recordings are heard by millions in thirty countries worldwide.

Mr. Pearlman is also the only conductor from the period-instrument field to have performed live on the internationally televised Grammy Awards show. Highlights of his work include the complete Monteverdi opera cycle, with his own new performing editions of L’incoronazione di Poppea and Il ritorno d’Ulisse, the American premiere of Rameau’s Zoroastre, the Boston premiere of Rameau’s Pigmalion, the New England premieres of Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride and Alceste and an exploration of the Beethoven symphonies on period instruments called “revelatory” by the Boston Globe.

Mary Wilson, soprano:

Soprano Mary Wilson is acknowledged as one of today’s most exciting artists, with Opera News heralding her first solo recording, Mary Wilson Sings Handel, as one of their “Best of the Year.” Cultivating a wide-ranging career singing chamber music, oratorio and operatic repertoire, her “bright soprano seems to know no terrors, wrapping itself seductively around every phrase” (Dallas Morning News). Receiving consistent critical acclaim from coast to coast, “she proves why many in the opera world are heralding her as an emerging star. She is simply amazing, with a voice that induces goose bumps and a stage presence that is mesmerizing. She literally stole the spotlight…” (Arizona Daily Star). In consistent high demand on the concert stage, Ms. Wilson was named an Emerging Artist by Symphony Magazine in the publication’s first ever presentation of promising classical soloists.

An exciting interpreter of Baroque repertoire, “with a crystal clear and agile soprano voice perfectly suited to

Handel’s music” (Early Music America), she has appeared with American Bach Soloists, Philharmonia Baroque, Musica Angelica, Boston Baroque, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Grand Rapids Bach Festival, Bach Society of St. Louis, Baltimore Handel Choir, Florida Bach Festival, Colorado Bach Festival, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Casals Festival, and the Carmel Bach Festival. On the opera stage, she is especially noted for her portrayals of Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, Susannah in Le Nozze di Figaro, and Gilda in Rigoletto. She has created leading roles in North American and world premiere performances of Dove’s Flight, Glass’ Galileo Galilei, and Petitgirard’s Joseph Merrick dit L’Elephant Man. A national finalist of the 1999 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, she has appeared most recently with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Minnesota Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Dayton Opera, Arizona Opera, Tulsa Opera, Opera Memphis, Southwest Opera, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Goodman Theatre.



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