From March 10 – 13, Cornell University will celebrate its new baroque pipe organ with a series of concerts and lectures that explore music and culture in 18th-century Berlin, as well as the background and history associated with the Arp Schnitger organ on which Cornell’s new instrument is modeled.
The concert festival and conference is entitled “Keyboard Culture in 18th-Century Berlin and the German Sense of History.” Registration for the conference is being handled by the Westfield Center; the registration form and conference details can be found at westfield.org/berlin.
The conference features talks by distinguished musicologists, including keynote-speaker Laurenz Lütteken (Zurich), and performances of 17th- and 18th-century music for the organ, fortepiano, and other keyboards.
The keynote concert will feature Harald Vogel, professor of organ at the University of the Arts Bremen and founder of the North German Organ Academy, performing music by Sweelinck, Buxtehude, Bruhns, and the Bachs on Saturday, March 12 at 5:30 p.m., at Anabel Taylor Chapel. The concert will be repeated Sunday, March 13 at 8 p.m.
On Thursday, March 10, Jacques van Oortmerssen, professor of Organ at the Amsterdam Conservatory, performs an all-J. S. Bach program, at 8:30 p.m., at Anabel Taylor Chapel.
On Friday, March 11, 12:30 p.m., Jean Ferrard, professor at the Royal Conservatory, Brussels, and Annette Richards, Cornell professor of music, present works from 18th-century Berlin. Later, at 6:30 p.m., and again at 8:30 p.m., Steven Zohn, baroque flute, professor of music at Temple University, and Kristen Dubenion-Smith, mezzo-soprano, join David Yearsley, Cornell professor of music, to offer music of Telemann, C.P.E. Bach, Graun and a premiere by graduate student composer Zachary Wadsworth.
Saturday afternoon’s official inaugural program will also feature the premiere of a new composition for baroque organ and other media by Kevin Ernste, Cornell professor of music, performed by Annette Richards.
All festival events are free and open to the public, but concerts require tickets. Please call the music department (607-255-4097) to reserve.
The festival is co-sponsored by the Institute for German Cultural Studies at Cornell, the Westfield Center for Historical Keyboard Studies and the Department of Music, with funding from the Mellon Foundation, the Cornell Council for the Arts, Cornell’s Society for the Humanities and the University Lectures Committee.