Monday, October 18, 2010

Early Music Holiday Gift Ideas...

I am often asked for musical gift suggestions this time of year.
Well, one thought is a gift of music lessons or the rental of an instrument to learn. Many people often lament not playing an instrument. Why not pick one up or take voice lessons? Catacoustic has rental viols that are available for this sort of thing and offers frequent workshops for the community. It really is never too late!
If your friend or family member plays early music, then sheet music is a great idea. The Von Heune Music shop or Boulder Early Music Shop offer a wide selection of sheet music for early music instruments or voices.
Also, recordings make a great gift! I have some great ideas for that:

1. If you were at our October concert and fell in love with Michael Maniaci's voice, you can take it home with you with his recently released recording of Mozart arias (Amazon listing:

2. If you liked the Catacoustic concert featuring the cornetto with Bruce Dicky and Kiri Tollaksen, I can strongly recommend Bruce's CD of solo virtuoso music - or any of his many recordings as a soloist or with his group, Concerto Palatino (Amazon listing:

3. Catacoustic's concert of music from Gainsborough's time included music of Abel and JC Bach, and this can be found in the lovely recording by Charivari Agreable (Amazon listing:

4. 17th-Century Italian Nuns' music is a specialty of Catacoutstic. Much of this music has been recorded by Capella Artemisia. I can recommend recordings by Musica Secreta of Vizzana (Amazon listing:
Bruce Dickey's wife, Candace Smith, directs a group in Italy (Capella Artemisia) that specializes in Italian Baroque nuns' music. They have numerous recordings available, as well.

Finally, you could purchase advance tickets for Catacoustic Consort concerts (two left this season - February 26 and April 2). Or, you could make a tax-deductible donation to Catacoustic in your friend's name!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Musicians, Colleagues, and Friends

I am fortunate to have Michael Maniaci (singer) and Daniel Swenberg(theorbo & guitar) with me for concerts this week. We are playing a concert and masterclass at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) today and a concert on my series tomorrow. What a treat to have a singer the caliber of Michael, who has spent the past few days making Daniel and me crack up with great stories and jokes! In addition to an amazing voice, he is a lot of fun to have around. I have also been fortunate to know Daniel, who has really invested so much in Catacoustic and the future of my music here in Cincinnati. He has become good friends with people he has met here and is playing a key role in Catacoustic having a resident theorbo, so we don't have to worry about instruments getting smashed or refused on airplanes. I am still scheming on a way for Catacoustic to its own resident theorbo PLAYER! In addition to the concerts and masterclass, Daniel is working with Elizabeth Motter, who will be playing the Catacoustic Baroque harp when it arrives later this fall. They are having intense lessons on continuo playing and style to prepare her for her journey of learning this harp and its beautiful repertory.
Catacoustic concerts are a lot of work, but when the chemistry of personnel works, it can be magical. I am so happy to have musicians here who also give back to me, the Catacoustic audience, and invest in a future for our music here!