Season Preview: Music City Baroque, rejoicing greatly

frenchbaroqueMusic City Baroque has just announced its 2013-14 season, and good tidings abound in the ensemble’s lineup. Nashville’s premier period-instrument group will be bringing back its ever-popular “Messiah Sing-In” at Christ Church Cathedral. A new guest director will also make her debut.

Allison Edberg, a highly regarded Baroque violinist, will lead Music City Baroque at its opening concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13 at the Blair School of Music’s Turner Recital Hall, 2400 Blakemore Ave.

Not surprisingly, she’ll open the concert with the music of an Italian composer whose name is all but synonymous with Baroque violin, Antonio Vivaldi and his Concerto Grosso for two violins and cello in D minor. Vivaldi’s Concerto for Viola D’Amore and Italian composer Evaristo Felice Dall’Abaco’s Concerto Grosso in A minor will round out the concert’s first half.

The rest of Edberg’s October concert will feature the music of France’s preeminent Baroque composers. She’ll lead the ensemble in Francois Couperin’s Sixième Concert from Les goûts réunis and Jean-Baptiste Lully’s Orchestral Suite from Bourgeois gentilhomme. Tickets are $10 at the door ($5 students and seniors).

Music City Baroque has been in a bit of holding pattern since the end of the 2011-12 season, when its founding director Murray Somerville retired. The group spent last season presenting low-key concerts under guest directors. It did not perform its holiday “Messiah.”

Although the group continues its search for a permanent director – it’s a good bet that Edberg is a candidate – the return of “Messiah” suggests that Music City Baroque is beginning to get its groove back. The group’s “Messiah Sing-in” is 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2 at the usual place, Christ Church Cathedral, 900 Broadway.

Music City Baroque will present two spring concerts. On March 16, 2014, the group will perform Baroque chamber music at Woodmont Christian Church, 3601 Hillsboro Pike. And on April 27, 2014, the group will perform choral music at St. George’s Episcopal Church, 47 Harding Pike.

For more information about Music City Baroque, click here.

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About John Pitcher

John Pitcher is the chief classical music, jazz and dance critic as well as co-founder of ArtsNash. He has been a classical music critic for the Washington Post, the Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle, National Public Radio’s Performance Today (NPR), ArtNowNashville.com and the Nashville Scene. His writings about music and the arts have also appeared in Symphony Magazine, American Record Guide and Stagebill Magazine, among other publications. Pitcher earned his master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where he studied arts writing with Judith Crist and Phyllis Garland. His work has received the New York State Associated Press award for outstanding classical music criticism.