Long Beach Baroque Chamber Orchestra’s Counterpoint Brings New Life To 18th-Century Compositions – Orange County Register

Long Beach’s nine-piece Baroque chamber orchestra Kontrapunktus returns with five performances of “BACH & HANDEL: Soli Deo gloria,” a series of early 18th-century musical compositions written “solely for the praise of God” by two master composers of the Baroque period.

The classical music ensemble will perform at Grace First Presbyterian Church in Long Beach on Friday, January 13 for the third concert of its winter concert season.

Kontrapunktus (Latin for “counterpoint,” a structure in music composition) was formed in Long Beach in 2015 and began recruiting musicians for live performances in 2017 under the direction of Executive Director Raymond Jacobs.

The non-profit orchestra performs a “unique repertoire of Baroque music intended to inspire people from all walks of life through its exemplary execution and sublime artistry,” according to the Kontrapunktus website.

“You don’t have to be a classical music lover to enjoy our performance, which is what makes our concerts so unique,” said Jacobs. “You really just have to appreciate music and be willing to be carried away by the emotional power of our performances.”

Conducted by concertmaster Hannah White and featuring soloist Aubree Oliverson, “BACH & HANDEL: Soli Deo Gloria” will include works by contemporary German composers Georg Friedrich Handel and Johann Sebastian Bach, who are arguably two of the most influential composers in Western music of counterpoint.

Each production aims to breathe new life into the 18th-century masterpieces and transform them into contemporary baroque treasures, according to the press release.

“Our technical ability combined with our artistry as a chamber orchestra is engaging and magnificent on so many different levels,” said Jacobs. “This fact distinguishes counterpoint from other classical groups, large or small.”

Numbers Kontrapunktus will perform include Handel’s ‘Trio Sonata in G Minor, HWV 1041’ and Bach’s ‘Violin Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, BWV 1041’ – a piece Jacobs says will delight audiences.

“We want to bring something fresh to the table – by taking the music and making it our own with a touch of baroque musical taste,” said Hannah White, 23-year-old, celebrated first-place winner of the Sphinx competition and concertmaster.

At the age of 7, White began playing the violin and developed a passion for performance. At the age of nine, White performed with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and has since become a featured performer on stages around the world.

A Carnegie Hall Outstanding Artist, White performed twice to sold-out audiences. Since then she has performed with the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, the Madison Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra Noir, among others.

She graduated from the Colburn Conservatory and continues her studies with the renowned teacher Robert Lipsett, with whom she is currently studying at the Colburn Conservatory of Music.

White joined Kontrapunktus in May 2022, this will be her second season with the ensemble.

Jacobs said he “took a risk” in naming her concertmaster — who is essentially the leader of an orchestra or chamber group — but her talent and the way she brought the group together more as a family than one Music unit, gave her right choice.

“She is the soul of Kontrapunktus,” he said.

White looks forward to audiences hearing each and every composition by the orchestra, particularly Handel’s “Admeto Overture,” for which Osheen Manukyan, cellist and co-artistic director, created a special arrangement to make it work for the group, she said .

“I’m enjoying it the most and looking forward to performing with the group again,” White said, “because everyone is pushing each other and the energy is good and it’s fun.”

She also hopes that visitors will take away from the Kontrapunktus performances what they need to improve their day.

“I think music is so personal,” White said, “I hope that audiences have their own personal needs that this music that we bring to them can help them with.”

Tickets for the Long Beach performance at Grace First Presbyterian Church on Friday, January 13 are available on Eventbrite or kontrapunktus.com.

General admission tickets start at $24.95 and are discounted to $19.95 for seniors, veterans and students.

Kontrapunktus will also perform at the Laguna Presbyterian Church in Laguna Beach on Saturday, January 14th and at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Pasadena on Sunday, January 15th.

https://www.ocregister.com/2023/01/07/long-beach-baroque-chamber-orchestra-kontrapunktus-brings-new-life-to-18th-century-compositions/ Long Beach Baroque Chamber Orchestra’s Counterpoint Brings New Life To 18th-Century Compositions – Orange County Register

Dais Johnston

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