Musical Time Travel with ARTEK

March 12, 2014

A time machine is coming to Harvey Mudd College to transport music lovers back to the 17th century, courtesy of acclaimed New York City-based early music ensemble ARTEK (The Art of the Early Keyboard Inc.).

Directed by Gwendolyn Toth P15—who is also a soloist on the harpsichord and organ—ARTEK will bring to Claremont a cadre of international vocal and instrumental early-music superstars. On March 25, musicians will play rarely performed German compositions of the 17th-century, including vocal cantatas of Johan Rosenmuller and pieces by Scheidemann and Mielczewski. The program will also feature mezzo-soprano Barbara Hollingshead in songs written in the mid-1600s by German Duchess Elisabeth Sophie von Mecklenburg, one of the very few female composers to work or publish in that era.

ARTEK—in collaboration with historic wind players from France—will stop at Harvey Mudd as part of its spring tour. Toth’s reason for choosing the College as a performance site was based on more than the opportunity to perform in its new, acoustically state-of-the-art recital hall. Toth is also a proud parent of Harvey Mudd student Linnea Shin ’15, a soprano who shares her family’s love of music (Toth’s husband—and Shin’s father—is harpsichordist Dongsok Shin). Linnea Shin, active in the music departments of both Mudd and Scripps, will take the stage with ARTEK as a special guest performer.

Concert goers will be treated to, “a rare opportunity to hear unusual and wonderful music on original period instruments,” said Bill Alves, professor of music and chair, Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Arts at Harvey Mudd. Jean-Pierre Canihac will play the cornetto (a rare wind instrument popular from about 1500-1650 consisting of of a conical wooden pipe covered in leather with finger holes and a tiny horn mouthpiece) and Danielle Lassalle will be on the sakbut, a predecessor of the trombone. Period strings will also be featured. ARTEK’s Daniel Swenburg will play the theorbo, which he describes as a “lute on steroids,” and Enrico Gatti will play baroque violin. Toth refers to the Biber Sonata that Gatti will perform as, “amazing [and] definitely not to be missed.”

ARTEK’s performance is part of the inaugural concert series “Music at Harvey Mudd” and will take place March 25 at 8 p.m. in the Drinkward Recital Hall. The event is free and open to the public. No tickets or reservations are required. Street parking is available along Foothill Blvd. For more information, call 909.621.8022.