Chamber music is having a moment and Hill Center is on top of it.
Small musical ensembles can now be found performing in private homes, churches and other non-profit centers throughout the country much as they did in 19th-century Europe. Hill Center’s new series, Perfect Octave, will offer similar intimate performances as well as pre-concert lectures to put the music in historical context.
The series is curated by Andrew Jonathan Welch, a Washington pianist, conductor and composer. Director of Music Ministry at Dumbarton Church, he is completing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Maryland where he was recognized with the Robert McCoy award in collaborative piano. Andrew is a graduate of American University, where he earned the university’s prestigious Evelyn Swarthout Hayes Award. He performs as a pianist throughout Washington with a number of choral groups including the Washington Bach Consort and Georgetown Chorale.
Each season in Perfect Octave, Andrew will unpack a musical genre or piece through a lecture and a live performance, helping audiences to experience the music with a deeper understanding.
On December 19, Temps de Noel, featuring Eight Fold, a DC-based a capella group developed specifically for this series, will present a seasonal program centered around Francis Poulenc’s Quatre Motets Pour Le Temps de Noël. These works trace the scene of the nativity through four perspectives: the divine mystery, the shepherds, the magi and the proclamation of the birth. The program also includes favorites from traditional ceremonies of carols, as well as from the Great American Songbook. The audience will be invited to join in on several pieces. Andrew introduced this concert a week earlier with a discussion of the role of choral music in Christmas traditions throughout the world.
In anticipation of May’s concert performance, Andrew will discuss Vivaldi’s four violin concerti, commonly known as “The Four Seasons.” In addition to Vivaldi’s works, the pieces will be placed in a larger context of Italian works such as Monteverdi’s Madrigals, as well as other European works including the Brandenburg concerti of Johann Sebastian Bach.
Register for individual events in the series or buy a bundle! The spring bundle is $30 and includes the lecture, The Allusive Allure of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, and the concert, Tracing Italian Influence with Monteverdi, Bach and Vivaldi.