Philharmonia Baroque: An 18th-century jazz band?

Posted on: August 11, 2014

“The choreographer Mark Morris calls the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra ‘the car that parks itself,’ ” writes Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim in Tuesday’s (8/5) New York Times. Philharmonia Baroque “pulls into Lincoln Center to perform two early Handel operas at the Mostly Mozart Festival: the English masque ‘Acis and Galatea,’ fully choreographed with singers sharing the stage with dancers from the Mark Morris Dance Group, and a concert version of ‘Teseo,’ a flamboyant castrato vehicle in which the composer merged elements of Italian and French Baroque style. At the steering wheel: Nicholas McGegan, the British conductor and Baroque music expert who has led this period-instrument ensemble for 29 years and, in the process, turned it into the pre-eminent early-music group on the West Coast. Actually, eminence isn’t quite what Mr. McGegan is after. ‘I like to think of Philharmonia Baroque as being the best 18th-century jazz band in the States,’ he said in a telephone interview from his home in Berkeley, Calif. The orchestra makes its home in the Bay Area, performing regular concert series in San Francisco, Berkeley and Palo Alto.” At Lincoln Center, Philharmonia Baroque performed Acis and Galatea August 7-9, and performs Teseo in concert on Aug. 17.

Posted August 11, 2014