Baroque concert Sunday features harpsichordist Charles Sherman

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By Nita Brown

Do you know what Baroque music is? To find out, come to the concert this Sunday at the Lancaster Cultural Arts Center at 2:30 p.m.
The North Carolina Baroque Orchestra Chamber Players will be performing “The Virtuoso Baroque,” featuring music by composers from the zenith of the Baroque musical period, around 1685. The program includes familiar names such as Bach, Vivaldi and Handel, as well as not-so-familiar composers Scarlatti and Stradella.
Nationally-known harpsichordist Charles Sherman organized the concert.
“I have known John Craig in Lancaster for many years. I put together a program for him about 12 years ago…. Last year, Mr. Craig approached me again, for this series, and I saw this as an opportunity to work with some other performers… who live in the region,” Sherman said.
Performing with him are cellist Barbara Krumdieck, a co-founder of the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra; violinist Janelle Davis, and soprano Kathryn Mueller. Program selections demonstrate the broad spectrum of Baroque music.
“Our program is centered on the great masters of the high Baroque [period],” Sherman said. For the program, “we’ve chosen a selection of pieces that highlight the virtuoso aspects of their work, giving all the instrumentalists and the singer opportunities to show their own artistry.”
The Baroque period spanned 1600 to 1750, and brought lasting changes to the world of music. A primary change was the development of the major/minor key system for musical notation. New styles introduced during the Baroque period that are now familiar musical forms include opera, fugue, sonata and concerto.
During the Baroque period, the modern orchestra began to take shape, with violins becoming the dominant instrument. However, Baroque performances during the period differed from today’s “standard” orchestra, and the harpsichord was the primary keyboard of the period.
Sherman is not only a widely acclaimed harpsichordist, he also holds a degree in musical history, and will be sharing interesting information about the music, composers and instruments during the performance.
The concert is at 2:30 Sunday, Oct. 28, at the Lancaster Cultural Arts Center, 307 W. Gay St. in downtown Lancaster. Admission is $15 advance and $20 at the door. Advance “will call” tickets are available through noon Friday at lccarts.net/tickets, or call (803) 285-7451.
Proceeds will help restore and improve the historic Cultural Arts Center. This is a Vivian Major Robinson Concert, sponsored by the Lancaster County Council of the Arts, the Lancaster County Society for Historical Preservation, and the Craig Farm Historical Preservation Foundation.