Early Music Now
Press Release

Early Music Now Celebrates National Chamber Music Month and World Voice Day, Early!

Milwaukee’s premier presenter of Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque music from around the world concludes its 27th season by joining in a national celebration of chamber music, and a world-wide celebration of the human voice.

By - Mar 28th, 2014 03:45 pm

Milwaukee’s premier presenter of Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque music from around the world concludes its 27th season by joining in a national celebration of chamber music, and a world-wide celebration of the human voice.

The New York-based Four Nations Ensemble will be joined by guest soprano Dominique Labelle in an exploration of “The Paris of Leclair & Rameau” at 5:00 on Saturday, April 12, at UWM’s Zelazo Center – 2419 E Kenwood Blvd. Artistic Director and harpsichordist Andrew Appel will lead violinist Tatyana Chulochnikova, flutist Colin St-Martin, and cellist Loretta O’Sullivan in a program of French Baroque music by Jean-Marie Leclair, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Michel Lambert, and Louis-Nicolas Clerambault, including one of the most famous cantatas of the period, Clerambault’s Medée, for voice and instruments.

In addition to the monumental French cantata, Medée, Ms. Labelle’s April 12th performance will include two airs de cour by Michel Lambert (1610-1696) – examples of a predominant form of secular vocal composition in this period; and Rameau’s Air gracieux en rondeau – Heureux oiseaux.

The instrumentalists of Four Nations commemorate the 25th anniversary of the death of Jean-Marie Leclair with his Sonata for violin & continuo in D major, Opus 9 #3 (1734). A master whose instrumental virtuosity and sensitive musical rhetoric set him apart as possibly the greatest French violin composer, Leclair, like his contemporary Jean Philippe Rameau, brings us variety and sensuality reminiscent of the Royal Opera. The concert also includes Rameau’s Pieces de Clavecin (1724) and Georg Philipp Telemann’s Deuxieme Suite.

By happy coincidence, Andrew Appel is also Board President of Chamber Music America, which is sponsoring the third annual National Chamber Music Month in May, celebrating the many styles of small ensemble music performed and presented in the U.S. today. (chamber-music.org). Early Music Now is getting the jump on this celebration with this April 12th concert, and with a professional development opportunity for local chamber musicians titled “A Conversation with Andrew Appel – Organizing and Promoting House Concerts”  on Thursday, April 10th at St. John’s on the Lake.

The April 12th concert also anticipates the celebration of World Voice Day, but only by a few days. Since 1999, April 16th has been devoted to the celebration of the enormous importance of the voice in our daily lives, as a tool of communication, the arts, and as an application of a variety of sciences. The celebration extends around the globe, including concerts, symposia, open houses at voice clinics and voice education institutes. (world-voice-day.org). Early Music Now’s participation in the celebration includes a vocal masterclass led by internationally-renown soprano Dominique Labelle on Friday, April 11th at the Wisconsin Woman’s Club.

Performance and education are balanced missions for the Four Nations Ensemble who have played concerts in major halls and festivals as well as on Early Music series around the United States and South America. Whether working with the finest of early music interpreters, leading modern orchestras into areas of stylistic playing on modern instruments, coaching young professionals or introducing public school teachers and their students to great music and teaching them to see this music as a window into history, the Four Nations Ensemble has played a varied and important role in American chamber music over the last three decades.

While in Milwaukee, the ensemble will conduct a residency for students in the string orchestras and French classes in the high schools of the West Allis–West Milwaukee School District, and also provide coaching for students in the String Academy of Wisconsin at UWM.

Ms. Labelle’s masterclass will take place at the Wisconsin Woman’s Club, 813 East Kilbourn Avenue, on Friday, April 11th from 3:00-5:00. Six singers from Milwaukee and Chicago will be coached in repertoire of Purcell, Handel, Gluck, Mozart, and Rameau. This class is open to the public free of charge.  This masterclass is presented with support from SOS, Supporters of Opera Singers, Inc., a Milwaukee nonprofit arts organization aimed at promoting and supporting young opera singers.

Mr. Appel’s professional development session focusing on “Organizing and Promoting House Concerts” is intended for instrumental ensembles seeking to increase their performance outreach. This event is scheduled for St. John’s on the Lake, 1840 North Prospect Avenue, on Thursday, April 10th from 4:00-5:30. There is no charge, however advance reservation is requested.


Saturday, April 12 – 5:00 Concert at UWM Helene Zelazo Center for the Arts. 4:00 brief artist lecture. 4:20 reception. Concert Tickets are $25-$40 for adults and seniors, $10-$20 for students, and are available online at EarlyMusicNow.org, by phone at 414.225.3113, or from Early Music Now at 759 N Milwaukee St – Ste 420, Milwaukee, WI 53202.  A 20% discount is available for groups of ten or more for phone orders only.

Friday, April 11 – 3:00-5:00 Dominique Labelle’s Vocal Masterclass at the Wisconsin Woman’s Club, 813 East Kilbourn Avenue. Free and open to the general public.

Thursday, April 10 – 4:00-5:30 A conversation with Andrew Appel’s about “Organizing and Promoting House Concerts” at St. John’s on the Lake, 1840 North Prospect Avenue. Free, but space is limited. Advance reservations are requested at 414.225.3113 info@earlymusicnow.org.

This engagement is supported by the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest, which is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts with additional contributions from the Wisconsin Arts Board.

Early Music Now is an Affiliate Member of the United Performing Arts Fund.

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