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Four Workshops in October, 2020

At Home With
Elizabeth Blumenstock
Baroque Violin Workshop

Join this world-renowned musician to explore the fascinating history and meaningful practice of Baroque style!

About the Event

Session One: Expression in Baroque string playing
We will talk about the different means of expression used by string players in modern and baroque style, the role of vibrato and dynamic use of the bow, the respective properties of modern and Baroque bows, and will discuss ways of using modern setup to achieve a more baroque sound.  I will play some demos in both styles, and we will actually practice some fundamental baroque bow exercises during this class.

Session Two: Rhetorical Music – what is it and why does it matter? Is it fun? Yes!
A brief history of the rhetorical style, emphasizing both rhetoric as embedded in music by the composer, and as a part of the performer’s attitude and delivery.  I will play examples of both aspects of rhetoric.  We will review the fundamental bow exercises towards the end of the class.

Session Three: What does the music mean? How can you tell what is important?
Exploring the dual roles of musical intuition and musical analysis, and why both are important in arriving at a gratifying and communicative understanding of what you are trying to “say” when you perform a piece.  I will introduce you to my seven Imaginary Friends: Melody Queen, Harmony Girl, Rhythm Boy, the Phrase-meister, the Actor, the Pace-maker, and their boss, the Great Goddess of Affect, and will play bits of music which demonstrate their roles.  We will again review the fundamental bow exercises towards the end of the class.

Session Four: Putting it all together – applying the concepts discussed
As far as our time permits, we will work through short sections of each of the pieces you submitted, showing how rhetoric, bowing, and the Imaginary Friends all coordinate to produce an animated and expressive performance.

About the Mentor

Widely admired as a Baroque vionist of expressive eloquence and technical sparkle, Elizabeth Blumenstock is a longtime concertmaster, soloist and leader with the Bay Area’s Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and American Bach Soloists, concertmaster of the International Handel Festival in Goettingen, Germany, and artistic director of the Baroque Music Festival Corona del Mar.

Her love of chamber music has involved her in many accomplished and interesting smaller ensembles oved the years, including the Galax Quartet, which performs both early music and commissioned contemporary works, Voices of Music, Musica Pacifica, Live Oak Baroque, Severall Friends, and Ars Lyrica Chamber Players. Festival performances include the Boston and Berkeley Early Music Festivals, the Carmel Bach Festival, the Oulunsalo Soi festival in Finland, and the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, among many others. She has recorded over 100 CDs for Harmonia Mundi, Dorian/Sono Luminus, Virgin Veritas, Koch, Naxos, Reference Recordings and others.

An enthusiastic teacher, Blumenstock teaches at the Juilliard Historical Performance Department, the San Francisco Conservatory, the American Bach Soloists’ summer Festival and Academy, the International Baroque Institute at Longy, and the Valley of the Moon Music Festival in Sonoma, California.  She plays a violin built by Andrea Guarneri in 1660 in Cremona, which is on generous loan to her from the Philharmonia Baroque Period Instrument Trust.

Learn more about Elizabeth on our blog.

Workshop Materials

Workshop Videos

Session One

Session Two

Session Three

Session Four

Music Scores for Download

    Selections from participants for discussion

    Biblography for those who want to learn more

    Articles from 20th/21st century authors

    Historical treatises

    STUDY VIDEOS FOR SESSION TWO: Rhetorical composition techniques in action

    Bach Magnificat

    Vivaldi Four Seasons

    Purcell: Dido’s Lament


    Back to the Future

    Korn, “Blind”

    Handel Theodora – Lorraine Hunt



    Paganini for Faces