About the Copenhagen Baroque Festival
September 6-10, 2023
This year marks the 5th year of Copenhagen Baroque Festival, and we are proud to present yet another beautiful bouquet of concert programs for our audiences. With the theme “State of Mind,” we wish to highlight the myriad emotions and insights that music can evoke.
It is our strong belief, that music can be a strong force in our lives; it can help open the gates into our deepest emotions, it can show how strong we are when working together and how our feelings can help us overcome the most amazing things when only we stay positive and remember to listen to them along the way. To meet each other through musical experience, such as this festival, is our contribution to the fight against a rapidly growing state of loneliness in today’s society.
The festival opens Wednesday September 6, with the concert “Minding her own business” at 7:30pm. This program highlights music composed for and inspired by the remarkable mezzo-soprano Faustina Bordoni (1697-1781), one of Italy’s most celebrated singers and the wife of composer Johann Adolph Hasse. Composers such as Handel, Vivaldi, and Hasse dedicated many of their main opera roles to her. With this concert, we showcase the profound influence Bordoni had on these composers, leading to some of the finest operas of that era. The acclaimed Italian soprano Francesca Lombardi Mazzulli will perform the selected arias dedicated to Bordoni, accompanied by the orchestra Arte dei Suonatori, whose deep, warm sound and heartfelt playing we eagerly anticipate.
The German flutist and composer Johann Joachim Quantz (1697-1773) described Faustian Bordoni with the following words: “… she had a very happy memory, in arbitrary changes and embellishments, and a clear and quick judgement in giving to words their full power and expression. […] in short, she was born for singing and for acting…”
Later that same evening, the concert “Solitude” at 9:30 pm features the renowned baritone Marc Mauillon, who recently performed in Concerto Copenhagen’s successful opera, Orpheus, at The Royal Opera. Mauillon will present a rare solo recital with repertoire ranging from medieval times to contemporary works. Don’t miss this exceptional opening day of the festival, featuring two unique concerts that offer different “states of mind.”
On the second day of the festival, September 7, we delve into the journey of becoming a professional musician with Michala Petri, one of Denmark’s most renowned recorder players. Join us at 4:30 pm for a talk and concert where you can learn more about the choices and mindset young musicians need, the required dedication and the rewarding experiences they encounter. There will be an inspiring talk from Michala Petri and the young talents of tomorrow, as well as a Q&A. The festival support these young talents with a “Talent academy” where they have the possibility of attending masterclasses and rehearsals with the festival musicians. We are proud to support the baroque musicians of tomorrow.
At 7 pm, the Roskilde Renaissance Band, a unique group of up to 60 young music school students with various instruments, will take the stage. Their performance, centered around storytelling, transports listeners back to the times of Vikings and the Renaissance era, spreading joy and contagious energy through their passion for playing together.
The late-night concert features the exceptional Israeli lute/theorbo player, Alon Sariel. In an intimate setting, Alon will interpret J. S. Bach’s solo repertoire, interspersed with his own compositions. This program invites you to immerse yourself in a pure and relaxing state of mind.
Friday, September 8, is dedicated to extraordinary choral music. At 4 pm, the Merton College Chapel Choir will perform works by Bach, Purcell, and Byrd, showcasing the power of voices coming together. At 8 pm, Christian IV’s Vokalensemble will present works by two danish composers, although 350 years apart; Mogens Pedersøn and Per Nørgård.
The fourth day of Copenhagen Baroque Festival continues with magnificent choral works. Fredensborg Slotskirkes Pigekor, in collaboration with Arte dei Suonatori, will perform Vivaldi’s “Gloria” and “Kyrie.” This collaboration exemplifies the festival mission to bring musicians together, fostering new collaborations both nationally and internationally.
Later in the evening, Rosenborg Castle will open its doors to our festival, hosting the concert “Fit for a King” in the Knights Hall. Arte dei Suonatori will create a majestic atmosphere, accompanied by horn soloist Steinar Nilsen-Granmo, as they perform Haydn’s concerto. The horn, closely associated with royal courts, resonates with the festive sound of kings, particularly during the reign of Christian IV and his court at Rosenborg Castle.
On Sunday, September 10, you can begin the day by attending a Musical Church Service at Trinity Church at 10:30 am. The church choir will perform J.S. Bach’s Cantata No. 17, creating a spiritually uplifting experience.
Finally, the festival will close with the concert “Curiosity” at 4 pm, featuring the accordion and clarinet. These modern instruments, skillfully played by Jonas Frølund and Bjarke Mogensen, offer a fresh interpretation of baroque music.
Welcome to this year’s Copenhagen Baroque Festival! We hope it will transport you through a myriad of emotional states. To each and every listener, we aspire for the music to resonate with you, touching your heart in precisely the way you need at that very moment.
Please enjoy the festival, and let us enjoy it together!