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Portrait of a Lady


Categories: Music

Dates: September 24, 2021

Run Time: 60 mins

Venue: St Clement's Church


Is baroque style about formal elegance? Or about emotion, atmosphere or drama? All of the above! We’ve been diving deep into rediscovered performance practices, and finding that music can be like impassioned and eloquent speech and can tell stories and paint pictures. Who is the lady in the picture and what story does she tell? Performed on eighteenth century instruments, the viola da gamba, harpsichord and theorbo will take on the role of this mysterious woman. And along with verbal narrative, we will unveil the life of the lady in the portrait. Music by Marais, Forqueray, D’anglebert, L. Couperin and Rameau.

Saraha Cunningham – viola da gamba

Adam Young – viola da gamba

Daniel Swenberg – theorbo

Leon Schelhase – harpsichord

Ravensong Concert Series presents SARAH CUNNINGHAM

Sarah Cunningham is recognized as one of the foremost viola da gambists worldwide. She trained at Harvard University, the Longy School of Music, and the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, Holland. She was co-founder, with Monica Huggett, of Trio Sonnerie, with whom she recorded most of the important chamber music for violin and viol, and toured on four continents between 1982 and 1997. She was invited by Sir James Galway to collaborate on his CDs of Bach's flute music, and toured with him in Europe and the USA. Her solo CDs were released on ASV and EMI/Virgin Classics, and she has appeared as recitalist from Helsinki to Vancouver. As concerto soloist she recorded works by Telemann with The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Monica Huggett. She has toured and recorded with John Eliot Gardiner, William Christie, Simon Rattle, Trevor Pinnock, Ton Koopman, Gustav Leonhardt, Roger Norrington; with viol consorts Les Filles de Sainte Colombe, Fretwork, Phantasm, Hesperion XX, Parthenia; medieval ensembles Sequentia and Virelai; and baroque chamber music with Camerata Kilkenny and others. She founded and directed the East Cork Early Music Festival in Ireland from 2003-2009.

She teaches in the recently established Historical Performance Department at the Juilliard School, was professor of viola da gamba in Bremen, Germany from 1990-2000, and has taught at numerous summer academies and master classes worldwide.

In recent years she has pursued interests in improvisation, dance, fiction and poetry writing, visual art, shamanic healing and ritual performance art. In 2007-8 she was the recipient with dancer Tara Brandel of a bursary grant from the Arts Council of Ireland to develop their improvisational work together. She has led improvisation workshops for the Viola da Gamba Society of America, and performed in solo and ensemble free improvisation projects, some with dance, in a variety of venues.

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