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Acclaimed Young British Conductor Jonathan Cohen Leads Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in “Something Old, Something New, Something Mad” from JS Bach and Handel to Vivaldi and Geminiani, Featuring Cellist Keiran Campbell as Soloist in CPE Bach’s Concerto for Violoncello in A major

And World Premiere Co-Commission from Philharmonia and Australian Baroque Orchestra by Australian Composer Paul Stanhope, November 10–14

SAN FRANCISCO—Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale (PBO) presents “Something Old, Something New, Something Mad,” led by conductor Jonathan Cohen, November 10–14. An important presence on the early music scene, Cohen returns for his second appearance with PBO after his first engagement with countertenor Iestyn Davies four years ago. The program showcases Cohen in his element with music of the Baroque, classical, and modern sounds that make up this eclectic program, and cellist Keiran Campbell as soloist in CPE Bach’s Concerto for Violoncello in A major. The program also includes PBO and Australian Baroque Orchestra’s first co-commission with a world premiere by composer Paul Stanhope, Giving Ground.

Cohen has quickly become an international star as associate conductor of William Christie’s Les Arts Florissants, Artistic Partner at The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Artistic Director of Les Violons du Roy in Quebec, and Founder and Artistic Director of Arcangelo in London. In 2018, Cohen recorded Anthony Roth Costanzo’s ARC with Les Violons du Roy for Hyperion Records, a compilation of arias by Handel and Philip Glass. 

The “something mad” of the program’s title comes from Geminiani’s Concerto Grosso in D minor, La folia, which translates as madness or folly; it is a dizzying whirlwind of a piece which takes inspiration from the 15th century Portuguese folk tune. Prior to the Geminiani, Australian composer Paul Stanhope offers his own distinctive interpretation on the La folia melody in his new work, more than a nod to the 15th century tune that’s often regarded as the world’s most popular melody and can be heard in everything from The Addams Family to the pop music of Ed Sheeran. The program is rounded by works by Handel, Vivaldi, Locatelli and JS Bach.

Cellist Keiran Campbell also makes a return to PBO for CPE Bach’s Concerto for Violoncello in A major, a work that shifts from playful to sad to hyperactive. Campbell has deep ties to PBO, having appeared as a soloist in the November 2018 concert set entitled Vivaldi the Teacher, and also the PBO SESSIONS event called The H.I.P. Revolution. A recent graduate from The Juilliard School’s Historical Performance program, he was also recently appointed Principal Cello of PBO’s Canadian counterpart, Tafelmusik.

With this program PBO not only juxtaposes works old and new—it simultaneously nurtures existing collaborations with artists while forging ahead with exciting new ones.

Listing information:

Something Old, Something New, Something Mad
Jonathan Cohen, Conductor
Keiran Campbell, Cello
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra

Wednesday, November 10, 7:30 p.m. | First United Methodist Church, Palo Alto
Friday, November 12, 8:00 p.m. | Herbst Theatre, San Francisco
Saturday, November 13, 8:00 p.m. | First Congregational Church, Berkeley
Sunday, November 14, 4:00 p.m. | First Congregational Church, Berkeley


LOCATELLI Concerto Grosso in E-flat major, Il pianto d’Arianna
JS BACH Contrapunctus Nos. 1 and 4 from The Art of Fugue
HANDEL Concerto Grosso in A minor, Op. 6, No. 4
MOZART Fugue in E-flat major, K.405 No. 2 (after Bach’s BWV 876)
VIVALDI Concerto for Strings in G minor, RV 156
JS BACH Contrapunctus No. 7 from The Art of Fugue
CPE BACH Concerto for Violoncello in A major, Wq.172
JS BACH Contrapunctus No. 9 from The Art of Fugue
Paul STANHOPE Giving Ground *world premiere*
GEMINIANI Concerto Grosso in D minor, H.143 “La Folia”

About Jonathan Cohen

Conductor Jonathan Cohen has forged a remarkable career as a conductor, cellist and keyboardist. Well known for his passion and commitment to chamber music Jonathan is equally at home in such diverse activities as baroque opera and the classical symphonic repertoire. He is Artistic Director of Arcangelo, Music Director of Les Violons du Roy, Artistic Director of Tetbury Festival and Artistic Partner of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

The 21-22 season sees Jonathan direct a number of baroque masterpieces: Messiah with Rotterdam Philharmonic and Les Violons du Roy and St. Matthew Passion with Arcangelo (BBC Proms) and with Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra. He returns to Glyndebourne Festival Opera for Alcina and to Budapest Festival Orchestra for a program of Scarlatti, Vivaldi and Handel. In the USA, he returns to conduct Handel and Haydn Society and Philharmonia Baroque. With Les Violons du Roy, he directs projects with Avi Avital and an all-Mozart programme with Sandrine Piau.

Jonathan founded Arcangelo in 2010, who strive to perform high quality and specially created projects. He has toured with them to exceptional halls and festivals including Wigmore Hall London, Philharmonie Berlin, Kölner Philharmonie, Vienna Musikverein, Salzburg Festival and Carnegie Hall New York. They made their Proms debut at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in 2016 and returned to the Proms in 2018 to present Theodora to a sold-out Royal Albert Hall. Their recent recordings of Magnificats by members of the Bach family and Charpentier’s Leçons de ténèbres, both attracted critical acclaim. Their latest release for Alpha Classics is Handel’s Brockes Passion.

About Keiran Campbell

Keiran Campbell was drawn to the cello after he stumbled across one in his grandmother’s basement and was baffled by its size.  Once he turned 8, he began taking lessons—on a much smaller cello—in his native Greensboro, North Carolina. After studying extensively with Leonid Zilper, former solo cellist of the Bolshoi Ballet, he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at The Juilliard School in New York, working with Darrett Adkins, Phoebe Carrai, and Timothy Eddy. Keiran also spent several springs in Cornwall, England, studying with Steven Isserlis, Ralph Kirshbaum, and David Waterman at the International Musicians Seminar in Prussia Cove. Now based in Toronto, ON, Keiran is Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra’s newest core member.

Described as “a delightful performer…playing with the ease of a pub fiddler,” (The WholeNote) and “an active, sparkling participant in the musical conversation” (Toronto Star), Keiran has performed with orchestras including The English Concert, Le Concert Des Nations, NY Baroque Incorporated, Philharmonia Baroque, The Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, Trinity Wall Street Baroque Orchestra, and Mercury Baroque. In addition to this, Keiran has explored a wide variety of styles and genres, such as performances of Mozart and klezmer music with clarinetist David Krakauer at Jazz at Lincoln Center, experimental hip hop with DJ Spooky at Carnegie Hall, performances as a soloist with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and Trinity Wall Street, and productions of period Bel canto opera and chamber music each summer at Teatro Nuovo.

As a chamber musician, Keiran has collaborated with members of the Juilliard Quartet and the Cleveland Quartet. He recently has performed alongside Enrico Onofri and Vittorio Ghielmi, and also performed under the direction of Jordi Savall in a tour of Europe and a recording of the Beethoven Symphonies with Le Concert Des Nations.

Keiran maintained a private teaching studio in New York City, and he recently gave masterclasses at UNC Chapel Hill, Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, Western University, and at Tafelmusik Winter Institute.

Keiran is also fascinated by instrument making, which he studies with the maker of his cello, Timothy Johnson.

Click here for PBO biography.

Click here for press images of Richard and the Orchestra.

Click here for guest artist materials.