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Musica Angelica presents “Virtuoso Strings” in Santa Monica

Although, today, Johann Pachelbel may be best known for the Canon in D – or “Pachelbel’s canon†– the German Baroque composer wrote much more than that. In fact, while the Canon is the only canon Pachelbel wrote, his large body of sacred and secular music was not only enormously popular with audiences throughout his lifetime but has led scholars to deem him one of the most significant composers of the Baroque era. Music lovers in Southern California will have a chance to hear one of Pachelbel’s works – Partie a 5 – when Musica Angelica presents “Virtuoso Strings†on Sunday, May 31, at 4 p.m. at Santa Monica First Presbyterian Church.

Also on the program are the Sonata from Fidicinium Sacro-profanum and the Partita from Mensa Sonora by Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber; Sonata a 5 by Johann Rosenmüller; and the Fantasia, Pavan and Trio Sonata by Henry Purcell.

Members of Musica Angelica – hailed by KUSC FM Classical Radio as a “world class baroque orchestra†– taking part in this chamber series performance include violinists Janet Strauss and Neli Nikolaeva; violists Suzanna-Giordano Gignac and Adriana Zoppo; cellist Leif Woodward; Ian Pritchard, on harpsichord; and luteist Daniel Zuluaga.

“We’ve had a wonderful season, where we’ve invited renowned artists from around the world – from the Tölzer Knabenchor boys choir in Germany to Dutch recorder virtuoso Marion Verbruggen – to perform with us,†says Laura Spino, General Manager. “But it seems only fitting to end our season showcasing some of our own members, our ‘virtuoso strings’.â€

Tickets for “Virtuoso Strings†are available online – at www.MusicaAngelica.org — or by calling 310.458.4504 for $39/person for general seating. Santa Monica First Presbyterian Church is located at 1220 Second Street in Santa Monica, California.

ABOUT MUSICA ANGELICA:
Since its founding in 1993, Musica Angelica has presented an annual season of orchestral and chamber concerts in venues throughout Los Angeles County. The ensemble presents not only well-known masterworks but rarely heard compositions that showcase leading Baroque musicians from around the world.

Today, under conductor and Music Director Martin Haselböck, Musica Angelica is Southern California’s leading Baroque ensemble, garnering acclaim both nationwide and abroad.

“Musica Angelica soars in a Baroque gem…a triumph…Haselböck’s leadership was nuanced and inspiring,†wrote the Los Angeles Times in a recent review. In addition, KUSC FM Classical Radio hailed Musica Angelica as a “world class Baroque orchestra†while Angeleno Magazine christened the group “LA’s premiere Baroque music ensemble.†Added esteemed music critic Alan Rich, “ [Musica Angelica is] a serious and important early-music ensemble, the best of its kind in these parts.â€

After embarking upon its first international tour in 2007 – performing Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Weiner Akademie of Vienna – Musica Angelica was applauded by El Universal of Mexico City for presenting “a Passion as God and Bach commanded.†Italy’s Dolomiten concurred: “Haselböck conducted with intense spirit and soul…Martin Haselböck is a superb conductor. The festival concert…was a triumph.â€

In March 2009, Musica Angelica collaborated with the Long Beach Opera in the U.S. premiere of Vivaldi’s Motezuma. The work had been lost for 269 years until it was rediscovered in 2002. The baroque orchestra also collaborated with celebrated actor and Academy Award nominee John Malkovich in 2008 to present “Seduction and Despair.†The multi-media world premiere, directed by and starring Malkovich, played to two nearly sold out houses and attracted media attention throughout the United States and Europe. “Seduction and Despair†originated after Malkovich met Haselböck at a dinner at the Austrian Consulate in Los Angeles. Ultimately, the two agreed to work together on a project that would bridge and reflect both Southern California’s and Austria’s cultures. Austrian writer and director Michael Sturminger wrote the libretto.

Currently Musica Angelic has a contract for four recordings on the New Classical Adventure (NCA) label in Germany. The first recording – Handel’s Acis and Galatea – was released in 2007.

Based in Santa Monica, California, Musica Angelica collaborates with leading performing arts institutions throughout Southern California, including Los Angeles Opera, Long Beach Opera, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Norton Simon Museum, and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Guest conductors have included Rinaldo Alessandrini, Giovanni Antonini, Harry Bicket, Paul Goodwin, and Jory Vinikour, among others. The ensemble was co-founded by Michael Eagan, widely considered one of the foremost lute players in the country, and gambist Mark Chatfield. Eagan passed away in 2004; Chatfield, in 1998.

For more information or a brochure listing schedules for Musica Angelica’s 5-concert Orchestral Series or its Chamber Series, call 310.458.4504 or visit www.MusicaAngelica.org.

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