The London Handel Players, from London, England, come to Pomona College to offer a recital of Baroque music on period instruments by great composers of the period including François Couperin, Pieter Hellendaal, George Frideric Handel, Johann Joachim Quantz, Francesco Geminiani, Domenico Scarlatti and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach in Bridges Hall of Music (150 E. Fourth St., Claremont) at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 28. The recital is free and open to the public.
Since making their debut at Handel’s parish church, St. George’s Hanover Square, the London Handel Players have thrilled audiences across the world with their performances and recordings. The New York Times hailed their premiere at New York’s Frick Museum as performing with “consummate skill and musicianship.” They appear regularly at Wigmore Hall (London) and at numerous leading early music festivals in the UK, Europe and North America, and have made appearances at Carnegie Hall (New York). Active in the studios, the ensemble has recorded four Handel CDs on the Somm label, a double CD of the complete Sonatas from Op. 1 by Geminiani and most recently a CD of Bach Flute Sonatas and Arias. They can also be frequently heard performing on BBC Radio 3.
The acclaimed members of the ensemble performing in Bridges Hall of Music are Adrian Butterfield, baroque violin; Rachel Brown, baroque flute and recorder; Katherine Sharman, baroque cello; and Silas Wollston, harpsichord. Their program, To Play Before the King, brings together selections specifically chosen as they were composed for revered kings from the Baroque period, including Louis XIV of France, George I of England and Frederick the Great of Prussia, among others.
Violinist, director, conductor and teacher Adrian Butterfield specializes in performing music from 1600-1900 on period instruments. He is musical director of the Tilford Bach Society, associate director of the London Handel Festival and regularly directs the London Handel Orchestra and Players as well as works as a guest soloist and director in Europe and North America with modern and period ensembles. He started playing the violin at the age of four, was a chorister at St. Paul’s Cathedral, and he went on to study as a postgraduate at the Royal College of Music. His world premiere recordings of Leclair’s first two books of violin sonatas have been widely acclaimed.
Recognized as one of the leading exponents of historical flutes, Rachel Brown is in world-wide demand as a soloist, orchestral player and teacher. As principal flute and recorder player with the Academy of Ancient Music, the Hanover Band, the Brandenburg Consort, Collegium Musicum 90, Ex Cathedra and Arcangelo, she has recorded extensively and performed throughout Europe, North and South America, Japan, China and Australia. Performing with the London Handel Players at the Göttingen Handel Festival Göttinger Tageblatt wrote “What was at once captured was the pure, silky smooth and wonderfully expressive flute sound of Rachel Brown. It is not impossible that even Orpheus, in his time, considered whoever plays the flute like this, might almost soften stones.”
Katherine Sharman, originally from New Zealand, won an Arts Council scholarship to study in the UK and Europe and traveled to London to study with Tanya Prochazka and Steven Isserlis, and to Europe for further lessons with Anner Bylsma and Jaap ter Linden, among others. Sharman now enjoys a busy career performing as continuo player and chamber musician with a wide variety of groups. As continuo cellist she has performed with many orchestras including the London Handel Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Gabrieli Consort and Players, the Kings Consort and the Academy of Ancient Music. She has also been involved in diverse chamber music projects, such as duos with fortepianist Geoffrey Govier, string quartets with the Adderbury Ensemble and world-music projects with crossover group Orbestra. Sharman also plays modern cello, bass violin, bass viol and bass guitar.
Recognized as a leading early music specialist, Silas Wollston has combined performance and scholarship in a varied career. A longstanding member of the English Baroque Soloists and The Bach Players, he performs on harpsichord and organ with early music orchestras and ensembles, as well as in duo partnerships and as a soloist. A former chorister, he studied the organ with John Scott before taking up an organ scholarship at Trinity College, Cambridge. He then went on to study harpsichord and early piano at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Conservatoire Royale in Brussels. Wollston also has extensive experience as a choral director and an academic lecturer. As director of music at Queens’ College, Cambridge, between 2011 and 2015, he greatly enhanced the profile and reputation of the choir, issuing recordings with Orchid Classics. He is a council member of the Handel Institute, and his research interests include 17th-century violin-band music.
Read more about the London Handel Players.
Couperin (for Louis XIV):..................... Concerts Royaux, Deuxième Concert in D Major
Hellendaal (for George III):................. Cello Sonata in G Major, Op. 5, No. 8
Handel (for George I):.......................... Arias from Giulio Cesare, HWV 17
Quantz (for Frederick the Great):............ Flute Sonata in E-Flat, No. 348 QV 1:54
Geminiani (for George I):.................... Violin Sonata Op. 1, No. 4 in D Major
Scarlatti (for Ferdinand VI):.................. Harpsichord sonatas:
Allegretto in F Major, K.541
Andante moderato in F Minor, K.466
Prestissimo in B-flat Major, K.545
C.P.E. Bach (for Frederick the Great):..... Trio Sonata in C Major, H.571 Wq.147