Music of the Baroque to mark 50th anniversary with the festive and familiar

Thu Feb 20, 2020 at 8:30 pm

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Bach’s St. Matthew Passion will be performed in Music of the Baroque’s 50th anniversary season.

Music of the Baroque will mark its 50th anniversary season with Bach’s most epic sacred work, a Haydn oratorio and a rare commissioned world premiere.

“You’re only 50 once, and that’s why we are pulling out all the stops for this festive, celebratory, and deliberately populist season,” said MOB executive director Declan McGovern.

“Music of the Baroque has long been known for its interpretations of Bach and Handel’s major works. So, we are performing arguably the best known choral and instrumental works by both.”

“We have a golden opportunity, and we are embracing it with both hands,” he added.

Music of the Baroque will present an encore of last years’s “Baroque in the Park” September 9 at the Pritzker Pavilion. A commissioned fanfare by Stacy Garrop will receive its world premiere to mark MOB’s golden anniversary and lead off a program of selections previewing the forthcoming season.

The following week music director Jane Glover will open the 2020-21 season proper with Haydn’s oratorio The Creation September 13 and 14. Soloists are soprano Ying Fang, tenor Michael St. Peter and baritone Roderick Williams.

Glover will lead MOB’s first performances of Bach’s monumental St. Matthew Passion in over a decade on March 28-29, 2021. Soloists include James Gilchrist as the Evangelist, Yulia Van Doren, Elizabeth DeShong, Jonas Hacker, Tyler Duncan and Michael Sumuel. The concerts will be recorded as part of MOB’s Bach Box Legacy series of the composer’s four great choral works.

Elsewhere, as stated by McGovern, the season will once again hew towards the populist and familiar.

Nicholas Kraemer conducts performances of Handel’s Messiah November 29 and 20. Soloists are soprano Sherezade Panthaki, mezzo Allyson McHardy,  tenor Richard Croft and bass-baritone Matthew Brook.  MOB’s principal guest conductor will also be at the podium (or harpsichord) for Bach’s complete Brandenburg Concertos October 17 and 18. 

John Butt, music director of Scotland’s Dunedin Consort, will make his MOB podium debut February 28 and March 1 in a concertante program of Vivaldi, Bach and Corelli. And in the traditional all-Mozart opener to the new year, Glover will direct the Overture to Lucio Silla, the Symphony No. 40 and the Piano Concerto No. 21 with Gabriela Montero as soloist January 24 and 25. 

In addition to an encore of the Garrop commission, the season will close with celebratory favorites May 9-10 including  Handel’s Water Music (Suite No. 2), Concerto a due cori No. 1 and Music for the Royal Fireworks.

Andrew Megill will make his podum debut leading the Brass and Choral concerts December 17-20.

Subscriptions for Music of the Baroque’s 2020-21 season are now on sale. Single tickets will go on sale in July.; 312-551-1414.

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