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What is HIP?

Sixty years ago, a revolution began when a group of musicians rebelled against “mainstream” classical music and sparked the historically-informed performance (HIP) movement. They wanted to play on original instruments, in the performance style the composers intended, and give their audience an authentic experience. These rebels put Baroque music on the map, and today, more students than ever are choosing HIP. Here are a few of those bright stars.

PBO SESSIONS: Jewish Songlines – An Exploration of Music and Heritage

In February 2018, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale presented PBO SESSIONS: Jewish Songlines – An Exploration of Music and Heritage at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco as part of PBO’s Jews & Music initiative. GRAMMY®-nominated cellist Steven Isserlis and PBO conductor Nicholas McGegan discussed the impact of Jewish composers from the 18th to the 20th centuries with music by Bach, Ignaz Moscheles and Ravel. The program was moderated by Francesco Spagnolo, scholar and curator of the Magnes Collection at UC Berkeley.

Rameau: Le Temple de la Gloire (The Making of a Modern Day Premiere)

In April 2017, conductor Nicholas McGegan and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale partnered with Cal Performances, Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles, and New York Baroque Dance Company to produce the modern-day premiere of Rameau’s original version of his opera, “Le Temple de la Gloire,” with libretto by Voltaire. The original manuscript lives at the Jean Hargrove Music Library at U.C. Berkeley. It had not been performed since its original debut in 1745. This video provides an overview of the project.

Scarlatti’s La Gloria di Primavera

Nicholas McGegan and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale presented the U.S. Premiere of Alessandro Scarlatti’s lost serenata “The Glory of Spring” in October 2015. The work was written for a new born prince who died in infancy causing the work to languish for nearly two centuries — that is until Nic and the orchestra revived it for modern audiences. Learn more about “The Glory of Spring” in the following video.

Time Travel Through Music

What if you could travel back in time to see and discover what life was like 300 years ago? Philharmonia’s new 35-minute video, Time Travel Through Music, shows how historically-informed performance can do just that. Join Nicholas McGegan and his musicians as they take you on a lively exploration of Early Music in a way that only Philharmonia can.

We started this project as part of Philharmonia’s education program in schools around the Bay Area. We are now making it available educators, students, and the general public free of charge.

In four short, richly informative and entertaining segments, you will learn about the history behind PBO’s music, see and hear our “period” instruments, find out about our rehearsal process, and discover how the audience contributes to our performances.

  • Segment 1: Music in Motion: Always Changing [6’ 10”]
  • Segment 2: Period Instruments: the “Original” Sound [13’ 30”]
  • Segment 3: Working Together: Rehearsals [9’ 20”]
  • Segment 4: Add the Audience: Performance [5’ 20”]

Click on the following link to download Supporting Materials for Time Travel Through Music

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Elizabeth Blumenstock on the Baroque Violin

Violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock talks about her Guarneri violin which dates from 1660.

Bill Skeen on the Baroque Cello

Curious what makes a modern cello different from the instruments used in the time of Bach, Vivaldi, and Handel? Cellist Bill Skeen shows off his cello (which dates from 1680) and discusses some of the key differences – from size to dynamic range, construction, and more.

Nicholas McGegan on Handel’s Messiah

Music Director Nicholas McGegan talks about conducting Handel’s most famous work.

“Sound, Fame” from Purcell’s Dioclesian

An excerpt from Purcell’s The Prophetess; or, the History of Dioclesian