FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 23, 2022
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Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra embarks on a jam-packed summer of European and East Coast touring featuring seven unique concerts ranging from Baroque to Modern with star countertenor Tim Mead and works by composers Tarik O’Regan and Errollyn Wallen.
The Orchestra will perform at the UK’s Ryedale Festival in Yorkshire July 25-31; London’s St. Martin in the Fields August 2; Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw August 3; and Yale’s Norfolk Chamber Music Festival August 18.
SAN FRANCISCO—Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale (PBO) is gearing up for a summer of international touring through the United Kingdom, Netherlands, and the US East Coast, including programming, artists, ideas and venues that reflect PBO’s versatility and unique place among orchestras.
Philharmonia kicks off the tour with its debut at Northern England’s acclaimed Ryedale Festival on July 25-31 with five programs that range from recitals to orchestral works, to large choral works, including a pair of new compositions by two of Britain’s most sought after composers PBO Composer in Residence Tarik O’Regan and Errollyn Wallen.
The National Youth Chamber Choir of Great Britain joins forces with Philharmonia for Handel’s Dixit Dominus in the first of these programs. The unique and massive work from 22 year old Handel was written during his tour to Italy in 1707, reflecting his mastery of counterpoint from his previous work in North Germany.
British soprano Rowan Pierce returns to PBO for a recital of English Baroque masterpieces—some beloved and some seldom performed. Pierce captivated full audiences with the Orchestra in PBO’s 2021 summer tour at Caramoor in Katonah NY and the Naumburg Orchestral Concerts in central park, NYC.
The third program at Ryedale is a special harpsichord recital by Music Director Richard Egarr titled A Byrde in the Hande. The program extends his celebrated 2018 album with Linn Records titled “One Byrde in Hande,” charting the extraordinary breadth of William Byrd’s work. The album appeared on Gramophone’s 2018 shortlist, with New York Classical Review commenting, ”The music exploded with character under Egarr’s hands…His playing was fluid and assured.”
Philharmonia continues with a private orchestral concert of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons—a well-known work made fresh and brilliant by the inimitable violinist Rachel Podger, returning to Philharmonia after a recent appearance in the organization’s 2022 gala.
Rounding out PBO’s appearance at the festival is a brand new program titled The Garden of Good & Evil. Full of contrast, contradiction, confrontation and a rich sense of internal connections, it weaves together the colors and drama of Handel’s characters—sacred, secular, heroic and hideous. The program will feature the stunning and arresting voice of countertenor Tim Mead in arias in combination with two of Handel’s Opus 6 concerti grossi, as the Orchestra will bring to light the dual sides of Handel’s expressive palette. The program is paired with a new work called Ancestor, composed jointly by PBO Composer in Residence Tarik O’Regan and his good friend and colleague composer Errollyn Wallen MBE, who have come together to create a collaborative music drama for Tim and PBO. Using the program’s themes of contradiction, duality, and interdependence as catalysts, each composer will set text that the other has adapted from original sources researched by countertenor Reginald Mobley that explore the creation myth.
Following the Ryedale Festival, PBO brings The Garden of Good & Evil to London’s St. Martin in the Fields on August 2. The perfectly “mixed” program highlights PBO at its best—virtuosic interpretations of the old with reflections from the new that speak to the past, present and future.
On August 3 the Orchestra travels to Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw for a performance with star violinist Rachel Podger with works by Handel, Corelli and Vivaldi in the magnificent concert hall, led by Music Director Richard Egarr.
August 18 marks Philharmonia’s seventh appearance with Yale’s Norfolk Chamber Music Festival in Connecticut—the first with Richard Egarr at the helm. The program ties together the summer tour with countertenor Tim Mead returning to perform Handel arias alongside new works by Errollyn Wallen and Tarik O’Regan.
With this tour, Philharmonia brings to the forefront of its programming the creation and presentation of both old and new music, a hallmark of the ensemble’s versatility.