Juilliard415 with Robert Mealy
Sunday, December 5, 2021, 4 p.m.
Corpus Christi Church
Robert Mealy, director and violin
Baroque chamber orchestra
Wonders of Baroque Italy
Music Before 1800’s season opens with one of our audience’s most cherished ensembles, the baroque orchestra, Juilliard415. The distinguished violinist Robert Mealy leads, offering his skills as director and performer. The program contains music from 18th-century Italy by Corelli, Valentini, Vivaldi, Albinoni, and others. Seven varied concertos reveal the rich and conjunct timbres of winds and strings as well as the virtuosity of these emerging young artists.
“Juilliard415, the student orchestra of the school’s historical performance program, opened … the second half with the Brandenburg Concerto No. 3. The concerto was especially fine: you could see the joy in the performers’ faces and movements as much as you could hear it in the playing.”—New York Times
Please note: due to an illness unrelated to COVID-19, Rachel Podger is unable to travel from the United Kingdom for this concert. The featured artist is now Robert Mealy.
The virtual program becomes available on Sunday, December 12, 4 p.m. ET, followed by a live Q&A, and remains viewable until December 26.
Artist Bios and Program
Since its founding in 2009, Juilliard415, the school’s principal period-instrument ensemble, has made significant contributions to musical life in New York and beyond, bringing major figures in the field of early music to lead performances of both rare and canonical works by composers of the 17th and 18th centuries. The many distinguished guests who have led Juilliard415 include Harry Bicket, William Christie, Monica Huggett, Nicholas McGegan, Rachel Podger, and Jordi Savall. Juilliard415 tours extensively in the US and abroad, and has performed on five continents with notable appearances at the Boston Early Music Festival, Leipzig Bachfest, and Utrecht Early Music Festival where Juilliard was the first-ever conservatory in residence. Juilliard415 made its South American debut with concerts in Bolivia, a tour sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, and has twice toured to New Zealand.
With its frequent musical collaborator, the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, the ensemble has performed throughout Scandinavia, Italy, Japan, Southeast Asia, the UK, and India. In a concert with the Bach Collegium Japan conducted by Masaaki Suzuki, Juilliard415 played a historic period-instrument performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah at the Leipzig Gewandhaus in Germany. Previous seasons have been notable for side-by-side collaborations with Les Arts Florissants at the Philharmonie de Paris and with Philharmonia Baroque in San Francisco. Notable as well are concerts directed by such eminent musicians as Ton Koopman, Kristian Bezuidenhout, and the late Christopher Hogwood.
Juilliard415 has performed major oratorios and baroque operas every year since its founding, including a rare fully staged production of Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie during the 2017-18 season. During the 2018-19 season, the ensemble presented Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas at Opera Holland Park in London and the Royal Opera House of Versailles. The ensemble has also had the distinction of premiering new works for period instruments, most recently in The Seven Last Words Project, a Holy Week concert at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine for which the ensemble commissioned works from seven leading composers, including Nico Muhly, Caroline Shaw, and Tania León.
The ensemble looks forward to resuming its full slate of activity in 2021-22, including a collaboration with Philharmonia Baroque in California and concerts in New York, Boston, and the Netherlands with the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague. They also plan performances throughout Germany with the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. The season sees the return of Pablo Heras-Casado, Masaaki Suzuki, and William Christie. Robert Mealy often directs Juilliard415 as well.
Robert Mealy is one of America’s most prominent Baroque violinists. The New York Timescommented that “Mr. Mealy seems to foster excellence wherever he goes, whether as director of the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, concertmaster of the Trinity Baroque Orchestra in New York, or at The Juilliard School, as director of the historical performance program.” While still an undergraduate, he was asked to join the Canadian Baroque orchestra, Tafelmusik; after graduating, he began performing with Les Arts Florissants. Since then, he has recorded and toured with many ensembles, both here and in Europe, and has served as concertmaster for Masaaki Suzuki, Nicholas McGegan, Helmuth Rilling, Paul Agnew, and William Christie, among others. As a recitalist, he has appeared at Carnegie Hall, the Smithsonian Museum, and on concert series across America. A devoted chamber musician, he co-directs Quicksilver, whose début recording was hailed as “breakthrough CD of the year” by the Huffington Post. Mr. Mealy is Director of the distinguished Historical Performance Program at The Juilliard School; prior to that, he was on the faculty of the Yale School of Music. He taught at Harvard for over a decade, where he founded Harvard Baroque. In 2004, he received Early Music America’s Binkley Award for outstanding teaching and scholarship. He has recorded over eighty CDs of early music on most major labels. He still likes to practice.