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2013 Capitol Hill Chamber Music Festival
14th annual period instrument chamber music festival on July 17 & 19
The 2013 Capitol Hill Chamber Music Festival presents two performances on the cutting edge of exploration in the field of early music, examining two little-known areas of musical repertoire: the Italian four-part canzonas of 1582-1628 on July 17 and a premiere of an exciting manuscript documenting the music performed in little evening concerts
for Louis XIV on July 19. Both at St. Mark's Episcopal Church on 3rd and A Streets on Capitol Hill at 7:30 PM.

1 • ITALIAN 4-PART CANZONAS of 1582-1628 •

one-eyed renaissance flutist.jpg  Wednesday, July 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Jeffrey Cohan ~ renaissance tenor and bass transverse flutes
       Risa Browder ~ violin
       Leslie Nero ~ viola
       Joseph Gascho ~ harpsichord
A Washington first: an in-depth exploration of the rarely-heard Italian four-part canzona, which blossomed in print from 1582 to 1628 concurrently both with intense development among violin makers and players in Milan and the surrounding region, and the emerging "baroque" style and a new concept of chordal accompaniment, which was resisted during these decades by some composers who chose to intensify the dynamic interaction of independent instrumental voices in the earlier manner, but ever with more violinistic flair. Stylistically diverse canzonas by Florentio Maschera, Floriano Canale, Giovanni Domenico Rognoni Taeggio, Antonio Troilo, Giovanni Antonio Cangiasi, Giulio Cesare Ardemanio, Giovanni Domenico Rivolta and Nicoló Corradini will be set into perspective with examples of the instrumental versions published in Italy of the four-part French and Flemish chansons that inspired them, contrasting English instrumental music of the period by Peter Philips, John Ward and William Byrd, and works by Girolamo Frescobaldi and Giovanni Paulo Cima in the new style with continuo.


Louis XIV  Friday, July 19 at 7:30 p.m.
Jeffrey Cohan ~ baroque flute
       Risa Browder ~ violin
       Leslie Nero ~ viola
       John Moran ~ viola da gamba
A Washington premiere! This exciting and completely unknown manuscript of 770 pages was meticulously prepared in 1714 by André Danican Philidor, the king's music librarian, "for the little concerts given for His Majesty (Louis XIV) in the evenings". Discovered some years ago by Jeffrey Cohan in Paris and finally viewed again and brought back last spring, "Little Evening Concerts for Louis XIV" recreates the regular evening performances given by the illustrious members of Louis' Musique de la Chambre. This incomparable new source of information revealing the specific repertoire for these concerts and Louis XIV's preferred chamber music in his last years is to be explored, almost surely for the first time ever on the east coast and in one of the first performances anywhere since the death of Louis XIV in 1715, at the very low pitch of Louis' court on the three-piece one-keyed baroque flute and other instruments with which the king was familiar.

Now in its 14th year, the Capitol Hill Chamber Music Festival has since 2000 presented chamber music by familiar as well as little-known composers from the Renaissance through the present on Capitol Hill in period instrument performances which intend to shed new light upon early performance practice as well as contemporary works. Unpublished works from the Library of Congress are given particular attention, and many have received their modern day premieres during these concerts, in addition to premieres of works by Slovenian composers. The Capitol Hill Chamber Music Festival is a nonprofit corporation in the District of Columbia.

The programs will take place at 7:30 p.m., at St. Mark's Episcopal Church at 3rd & A Streets, SE in Washington, DC, just behind the Library of Congress on Capitol Hill.

The suggested donation (a free will offering) will be $20 or $25. Students 18 years of age and under are free. Tickets are available at . For further information please call St. Mark's at(202) 543-0053 or email

Critical Acclaim for CHCMF

"A brilliant performance ... eloquently played ... close to the essence of chamber music." Joseph McLellan, The Washington Post, June 26, 2000

"A virtuoso at conveying myriad colors" ... "The audience clearly was entranced ... flutist Jeffrey Cohan captivated young and old.” Cecelia Porter, The Washington Post, July 14, 2001

"Baroque flutist Jeffrey Cohan and harpsichordist George Shangrow give new meaning to the intimacy implicit in the genre of chamber music... They have forged not only an exquisitely subtle collaboration but also a common scholarly interpretation of how Bach would have had the music performed.

"They responded intuitively to each other's rhythmic elasticity and echoed each other's elaborate ornamentations with what sounded like spontaneous inspiration... Almost as impressive was the silent attentiveness that their musicmaking commanded.

"Bach may have been composing for a soft instrument with a very limited dynamic range, but the music he produced was exuberant, joyous and lyrical. It was these qualities that Cohan and Shangrow communicated..." Joan Reinthaler, The Washington Post, July 16, 2002

"Jeffrey Cohan has made Slovenian music a focal point of this year's Capitol Hill Chamber Music Festival. The Capitol Hill Chamber Music Festival got off to an exhilarating start Wednesday night at St. Mark's Church. Marking the festival's sixth year, artistic director and flutist Jeffrey Cohan assembled a trio of concerts that brought to public attention some largely unknown works -- including two world premieres -- by active composers from Slovenia. From piece to piece, Cohan's artistry was evident as he breathed life into his instrument, seeming to find no limit to its sonic possibilities, ways of articulating phrases and modes of expressing composers' personal styles -- as in Brina Jez's beautifully moody "Three Little Pieces." Chappell gave a brilliant account of Kopac's Preludes for solo piano, and Cain's sweetness of timbre and vocal power suited compositions by Brina Jez and Kopac." Cecelia Porter, The Washington Post, August 5, 2005

Praise for CHCMF

For Frederick the Great, a Concert of the Same Quality WASHINGTON POST Monday, July 2012
The second of two concerts in this year’s Capitol Hill Chamber Music Festival, held at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church Sunday night, was devoted to music from the Prussian court of Frederick the Great. The theme is a timely one since Germany celebrates this year the 300th birthday of the Prussian king who, besides being a brilliant military strategist, was also a passionate musician. Fittingly, the festival’s artistic director, Jeffrey Cohan, played a baroque flute that is a replica of an instrument made for Frederick by his teacher, Johann Joachim Quantz, now in the collections of the Library of Congress.
Cohan is a wonderful player who exploits all the richly expressive potential of the baroque wooden flute with ease and subtlety. With his partners, harpsichordist Joseph Gascho and cellist Gozde Yasar, Cohan played sonatas by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Georg Benda and Quantz — all musicians employed by Frederick’s at his Potsdam palace, Sanssouci — as well as a sonata by the monarch himself.
Late in his life, Johann Sebastian Bach visited Emanuel, the most famous of his several composer sons, in Potsdam. “Old Bach” was given a warm welcome at court, and Frederick asked Bach if he could improvise on a theme he had composed. Bach complied, evidently to the king’s satisfaction. But later, Bach used Frederick’s theme as the basis for one of his late masterpieces, “The Musical Offering.” Selections from this sublime work, along with a Bach violin sonata adapted for flute, were the culmination of a thoughtfully conceived and most enjoyable evening. --
Patrick Rucker

At St. Mark's,Good Things Come in Trios
WASHINGTON POST Thursday, July 2, 2009
It's probably fanciful imagining a large audience turning up to hear obscure chamber music at the height of summer vacation season. But the mere 29 heads I counted at St. Mark's Episcopal Church for Tuesday's Capitol Hill Chamber Music Festival recital seemed an especially pathetic showing for such a stylishly played evening. St. Mark's, one of Washington's more strikingly beautiful and acoustically friendly churches, added just the right bloom to the gentle buzz of the festival's period instruments. Tuesday's program -- commemorating the 200th anniversary of the deaths of Haydn and his little-known contemporary, Carl Wilhelm Glösch, and the 250th birthday of François Devienne -- was predictable for a festival whose artistic director, Jeffrey Cohan, is a specialist in baroque and classical flute: All five pieces played were 18th-century trios for flute, violin and cello. If such flute, flute and more flute programming produced an inevitable sameness of tone, these lesser trios by the great Haydn, and great trios by the lesser Glösch, Devienne and their contemporary Franz Anton Hoffmeister met in a middle ground of high competence (the dark-hued Devienne D Minor Trio marginally more memorable than the other scores), and all were played with lived-in ease and affection. -- Joe Banno

  About the Performers

Artistic Director and flutist JEFFREY COHAN has performed as soloist in 25 countries, most recently Ukraine, Slovenia and Germany, on all transverse flutes from the Renaissance through the present, and has won the Erwin Bodky Award (Boston) and the top prize in the Flanders Festival International Concours Musica Antiqua (Brugge, Belgium), two of the most important prizes for period instrument performance in America and Europe. He has premiered many concerti and other works by Slovenian and American composers. He also directs the Black Hawk Chamber Music Festival in Illinois and Iowa and the Salish Sea Early Music Festival. He can “play many superstar flutists one might name under the table” according to the New York Times, and is “The Flute Master” according to the Boston Globe.

Conductor and harpsichordist JOSEPH GASCHO has won numerous grants and prizes, including first prize in the 2002 Jurow International Harpsichord Competition, and the Pomeroy Prize from the University of Maryland. Recent performing highlights include a world premiere recording of a newly discovered aria by J.S. Bach for National Public Radio, a production of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas in Aix-en-Provence, France, conducting Vivaldi’s Gloria at the Magnolia Baroque Festival, and performing his own transcriptions of works by Bach and Charpentier. He recently conducted Vivaldi’s Eurilla e Alcindo at the University of Maryland, and Handel’s Tamerlano with Opera Vivente. He also coaches chamber music and coordinates accompanying and performs at the Amherst Early Music Festival, and has performed at Oberlin’s Baroque Performance Institute and the International Baroque Institute at Longy. He is pursuing a D.M.A. at the University of Maryland, where he also teaches basso continuo and performance practice. He also teaches at George Washington University.

Risa Browder received her professional training at Oberlin Conservatory. After graduating from Oberlin and completing graduate studies at the Royal College of Music in London and the Schola Cantorum in Basel, Ms. Browder began her professional career in Europe with Academy of Ancient Music, English Concert, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Purcell Quartet, and London Baroque, among others. Ms. Browder’s interest in historical performance on violin, viola, and viola d’amore ranging from the 17th century to the Romantic era, has led her to perform as a soloist with the Folger Consort, Washington Bach Consort (concertmaster), Capriole, Boston Bach, Smithsonian Chamber Players, and Rebel. Ms. Browder is co-director of Modern Musick, a period-instrument chamber orchestra which debuted in 2001 to high acclaim in Washington, DC. Recording credits include Dorian, Chandos, Deutsche Grammophon, Virgin Classics, and EMI. She also enjoys teaching and is on the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory where she teaches baroque violin and viola and together with her husband, John Moran, directs the Baltimore Baroque Band.

A native Washingtonian, Leslie Nero spent many years in Ontario and Quebec performing in modern orchestras before returning to the D.C. area, where she is currently an active freelance musician on both modern and baroque violin and viola. In recent years she has performed locally with Opera Lafayette, Modern Musick, Folger Consort, the Handel Choir of Baltimore, The Bach Sinfonia and the Washington Bach Consort, and has participated in summer early-music festivals in Oberlin, Vancouver, Seattle, Boston, Toronto, and Albuquerque. In addition to her performing career, Ms. Nero teaches beginning strings for the Alexandria City Public Schools.

John Moran is a musician and musicologist who specializes in historically informed performance of music from the 17th through the 20th centuries on the cello and viola da gamba. He studied both at the Oberlin Conservatory, baroque cello at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel, Switzerland, and musicology at King's College London. He has performed and recorded with numerous groups in Europe, including Les Musiciens du Louvre, The Consort of Musicke, English Baroque Soloists. Since 1994 he has lived in the Washington, DC area. He is a regular member of REBEL, a New York based baroque ensemble and the music director of Modern Musick, a Washington period-instrument ensemble. He has also appeared with Opera Lafayette, the Washington Bach Consort, the Folger Consort, the Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra and Chamber Players. He teaches viola da gamba and baroque cello at the Peabody Conservatory, where he is also co-director of the Baltimore Baroque Band. He is a contributor to the revised New Grove Dictionary of Music (2001), reviews books on musical topics for various journals, and is writing a historical monograph on the cello for Yale University Press. He is married to the violinist Risa Browder.

Capitol Hill Chamber Music Festivals have been funded in part by the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, an agency supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

— on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC
  For further information please call St. Mark's Church at (202) 543-0053

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