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Violinist Robert Mealy Leads Period-Instrument Ensemble Juilliard in “Terpsichore: A Baroque Dance Mix” With Works by Handel, Lully, Purcell, and Rameau

Mike Lawson • Uncategorized • March 24, 2016

Robert MealyNEW YORK  —    Violinist Robert Mealy, director of Juilliard Historical Performance, leads Juilliard’s period-instrument ensemble Juilliard in a program featuring Baroque dance entitled “Terpsichore: A Baroque Dance Mix,” on Tuesday, April 12, 2016, at 7:30pm in Alice Tully Hall. Joining Juilliard will be professional Baroque dancers: Caroline Copeland, Carlos Fittante, Alexis Silver, and Andrew Trego, in period choreography reconstructed by Caroline Copeland and Carlos Fittante, and students from Juilliard Dance: Alysia Johnson, Eoin Robinson, My’kal Stromile, and Peter Farrow, in modern choreography by Peter Farrow.

The program features a dance suite from Henry Purcell’s King Arthur (1691), a dance suite from Jean-Baptiste Lully’s Thesée (1675), a suite of Lully dances with period choreography, a suite from G.F. Handel’s Terpsichore, HWV 8b (1734), and a suite from Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Pigmalion(1748).

Tickets for $20 are available at events.juilliard.edu or at the Alice Tully Hall Box Office. Tickets are free for Juilliard students; non-Juilliard students with valid ID may purchase tickets for $10.

Juilliard’s full-scholarship Historical Performance program was established and endowed in 2009 by the generous support of Bruce and Suzie Kovner.

About the Program

In this exciting collaboration between Juilliard Historical Performance and Juilliard Dance, Director Robert Mealy will lead his Juilliard students in a program of Baroque dance music from England and France, including works by Handel, Lully, Purcell, and Rameau. The musicians will be joined by some special guests. For the Lully and Handel, an expert group of Baroque dancers from the Boston Early Music Festival will be performing the choreographies of the time, in Baroque costume. Those choreographies will be by Caroline Copeland and Carlos Fittante. For Rameau’s Pigmalion, an ensemble of dancers from Juilliard Dance will be performing new choreography by Juilliard student Peter Farrow (B.F.A., 2018).

Director Robert Mealy says of the program: “Baroque music is so much based on dance that I’ve always wanted to explore how this music could look in the hands of new choreographers. This project is a thrilling way to bring this music to life again, comparing and contrasting the virtuoso choreographed from the period to the wonderful new dances created by Peter Farrow of Juilliard Dance.”

About Robert Mealy

Robert Mealy is one of America’s most prominent Baroque violinists. He began exploring early music in high school, first with the Collegium of UC Berkeley and then at the Royal College of Music in London, where he studied harpsichord and Baroque violin. While still an undergraduate at Harvard College, he was asked to join the Canadian Baroque Orchestra, Tafelmusik. Since then, he has recorded more than 80 CDs of early music on most major labels, ranging from Hildegard of Bingen with Sequentia, to Renaissance consorts with the Boston Camerata, to Rameau operas with Les Arts Florissants. He is principal concertmaster for Trinity Wall Street in their Grammy-nominated recordings and weekly Bach cantata performances. In 2011, he was appointed Orchestral Director for the Boston Early Music Festival, where he has led the orchestra in festival productions and Grammy Award-winning recordings for nearly a decade. A devoted chamber musician, he co-directs the 17th-century ensemble Quicksilver. A keen scholar as well as a performer, Mr. Mealy is director of the Historical Performance Program at Juilliard. For over a decade he was a professor at the Yale School of Music, where he directed the postgraduate Yale Baroque Ensemble; prior to that, he taught at Harvard, where he founded the Harvard Baroque Chamber Orchestra. He teaches at many summer institutes, including the American Bach Soloists Academy and the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute. In2004, he received Early Music America’s Binkley Award for outstanding teaching and scholarship.

About Juilliard

Since its founding in 2009, Juilliard, the school’s principal period-instrument ensemble, has made significant contributions to musical life in New York and beyond, bringing major figures in the field of early music to lead performances of both rare and canonical works of the 17th and 18th centuries. Among the many distinguished guests who have led Juilliard are Masaaki Suzuki, Ton Koopman, Harry Bicket, Nicholas McGegan, the late Christopher Hogwood, and Monica Huggett. In 2011 the ensemble made its Carnegie Hall debut in a concert that was cited as one of the ten best of the season by The New York Times. A 2012 performance of Handel’s Il Trionfo del Tempo under the baton of William Christie earned this same distinction.

Juilliard tours extensively in the U.S. and abroad, with notable appearances at the Boston Early Music Festival, the Leipzig Bachfest, and the Utrecht Early Music Festival, where Juilliard was the first-ever conservatory-in-residence. With its frequent musical collaborator, the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, Juilliard has performed throughout Italy, Japan, Southeast Asia, and the United Kingdom.

Other recent milestones include a fully staged production of Handel’s Radamisto; a tour of Charpentier’s Actéon with William Christie; concerts in New York and Miami of incidental music to Shakespeare plays in collaboration with the Juilliard Drama Division, conducted by Jordi Savall; and the rare opportunity to hear both Bach Passions in successive months.

Members of Juilliard have been to Germany for concerts in Augsburg and Munich with the Leopold-Mozart-Zentrum, and they maintain a keynote presence at William Christie’s annual summer festival, Rencontres musicales en Vendée, where the ensemble has appeared since the festival’s founding in 2012.

The 2014-15 season brought return visits from William Christie for Handel’s La resurrezione, Robert Mealy in a program of virtuoso Italian Baroque music, Monica Huggett in an all-Beethoven program, and Jordi Savall directing a themed concert called Amid the Charms of Nature, as well as debuts from Kristian Bezuidenhout and British violinist Rachel Podger, and a historic collaboration among the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Program, Juilliard’s Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts, and Juilliard for performances of Gluck’s Iphigénie en Aulide, Jane Glover conducting.

During the 2015-16 season, Juilliard gives concerts in Vancouver and the Bay Area with Nicholas McGegan; in Portland, OR and New Haven with Yale Schola Cantorum, David Hill conducting; welcomes Lars Ulrik Mortensen for his Juilliard debut; collaborates with the Marcus Institute in a staged production of Cavalli’s La Calisto; expands its repertoire by playing Mendelssohn with Monica Huggett; features Juilliard dancers in a concert entitled “Terpsichore,” led by Robert Mealy; and celebrates the holidays with Bach’s Magnificat and Richard Egarr. Other esteemed guests include William Christie, Jordi Savall, and Masaaki Suzuki.  

 

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