Many Keys Unlock 50 Years of Norfolk Chamber Consort

1 October, 2018, 7:30PM, Old Dominion University

Gerard Terborch (1617-1681), The Concert

The 50th-anniversary season of the Norfolk Chamber Consort will open at Old Dominion University’s Chandler Recital Hall on 1 October, 2018, at 7:30PM.

Along with guest artists James Kosnik and Kevin Kwan, the Invencia Piano Duo of Andrey Kasparov and Oksana Lutsyshyn will perform in works by François Couperin, Johann Sebastian and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, and Antonio Vivaldi.

Dr. Andrey Kasparov spoke recently with Jeff Maisey of Veer Magazine to discuss the upcoming concert, the history of the Norfolk Chamber Consort, and his joint role as Artistic Co-Director, an office he has shared with with fellow pianist Oksana Lutsyshyn since 2009. The first concert program of the 2018-2019 season will highlight the harpsichord as both a solo and as an ensemble instrument, expressive in groups of up to four harpsichords, or in solo accompaniment of string and wind instruments:

According to Dr. Allen Shaffer, the Norfolk Chamber Consort’s former Artistic Co-Director,… “the Norfolk Chamber Consort was founded in 1969 by Kay Gardner, who was a flutist with the Norfolk Symphony (now Virginia Symphony) and adjunct instructor of flute at Norfolk State College (now University).”

“… The new group’s earliest seasons were played at the Norfolk Theater Center on Freemason Street. The second floor featured a large room with a thrust stage like a theater-in-the-round. The piano was an old and occasionally out-of-tune spinet. Admission was $3.00.”

“… Clarinetist F. Gerard [“Gerry”] Errante joined the faculty at Norfolk State in 1970 and joined the group soon thereafter. The following year, Allen Shaffer, an organist and harpsichordist who specialized in Baroque music, also joined. Kay Gardner left the area in 1972, asking Shaffer to become director. He accepted, but on one condition: that Gerry Errante be a part of the leadership team.”

“They went on to lead the Norfolk Chamber Consort as co-directors for the next thirty-eight years…. Early venues for the Consort included the Unitarian Church on Yarmouth Street and the Chrysler Museum Theater. In the mid-1980s Walter Chrysler invited the Consort to become Artists in Residence at the [Chrysler] Museum, but Norfolk Chamber Consort leadership chose to remain independent. In 1991 Chandler Recital Hall at Old Dominion University was completed and the Consort moved in.”

“… Errante left the area in 2008 and pianist/ composer Andrey Kasparov became the Consort’s new director. Shaffer became artistic advisor (2008 – October, 2013). In 2009, Oksana Lutsyshyn joined Kasparov as Artistic Co-Director.”

Andrey Kasparov & Oksana Lutsyshyn (Photographer, Glen McClure)

Since Oksana and I became Artistic Co-Directors, we have striven to maintain the Consort’s themed, diverse and adventurous programming. In order to bring these creative ideas to fruition, we have sought to develop collaborative ties with other organizations and to recruit top performing talent in the area.

… The works [on the first concert of the 2018-2019 season, 1-2-3-4 Harpsichords,] were chosen to showcase the expressive capabilities of the harpsichord as a solo instrument as well as in combination with other harpsichords, strings and wind instruments.

… The historical aspects of the harpsichord are highly valuable to those seeking to experience the original environment, whether it be the general public, students, performers or scholars. But the harpsichord is also very much alive today as a concert instrument, which is absolutely indispensable for performing certain compositions written for it and that simply do not work on any other keyboard instrument.

Oksana and I would like to extend our utmost thanks to our dedicated board members, subscribers, fans, sponsors, advertisers, media outlets, and, of course, our enthusiastic audiences.

Click Here for the full interview or see the September, 2018, issue of Veer Magazine.

The first program of the Consort’s 50th-anniversary season will open with Andrey Kasparov at the keyboard in a performance of J.S. Bach’s Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue for solo harpsichord. Next on the bill, Dr. Kasparov will lead from the keyboard in François Couperin’s Concert Royal No. 4 in E Minor, for flute, harpsichord and cello continuo; with flutist Wayla Chambo and cellist Jeffrey Phelps. Before intermission, Invencia Piano Duo will present the Sonata in C Major for two claviers by C.P.E. Bach, Johann Sebastian’s most talented son, as rendered on two harpsichords.

Additional works for two and three harpsichords by C.P.E. and J.S. Bach, respectively, have been scheduled for the second half. Complemented by the artistry of past collaborators, James Kosnik and Kevin Kwan, the program will also feature solo keyboard concerti by J.S. Bach and François Couperin.

This concert event honors Vernon A. McCart, Norfolk’s resident aficionado of antique keyboard instruments. Recognized in Hampton Roads and beyond for his broad expertise in clavichords and fortepianos of the 18th and early 19th Centuries, he also constructed and later restored one of the four harpsichords to be featured in this recital.

The program will begin at 7:30PM, with a pre-concert discussion by Dr. Kasparov from 7:15PM.

A catered reception follows the performance, with food provided by friends of the Norfolk Chamber Consort.

Tickets at the door $25.00, Students $10.00.

E-mail for further details.

Click here for the Norfolk Chamber Consort’s 2018-2019 performance schedule.

© Norfolk Chamber Consort, Invencia Piano Duo, Veer Magazine

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