From Darkness into Light: Music in the Aftermath of War

This program pays homage to the effects of the Thirty Years War on composition and culture in seventeenth-century Germany. The program illuminates the music of lesser-known wartime and postwar composers: the refugees Heinrich Grimm and Andreas Hammerschmidt; the British immigrant William Brade and his close multi-instrumentalist colleague Johann Schop; the controversial Johann Rosenmüller; Johann Vierdanck, star musician of the Dresden court; and Johann Rudolph Ahle, whose style directly influenced Bach and the subsequent high Baroque. All of these composers are intimately connected: driven from city to city by sickness and war, brought together by extraordinary musical abilities, their music creates a bright path that leads us through and beyond a period of impenetrable darkness.

EXILE: Tales of Diaspora

Our EXILE series is a collection of programs which explore the music of displaced peoples in early modern Europe. The series traces the paths of populations forced into diaspora during the Renaissance and early Baroque periods, specifically refugees of war, plague, and famine; victims of cultural and political shifts; and underrepresented musicians. Our first EXILE concerts highlight the paths of Jewish music as it shifted and melded with traditions in England, Spain, Germany, Italy, and Poland. We explore the mutual influences of Italian, German, and eastern European music and Jewish culture, highlighting Jewish musicians (Rossi), the non-Jewish composers they influenced (Vierdanck), and composers who inspired innovations in Jewish composition (Monteverdi). The purpose of this program is to highlight the mutual influences of the early modern European Jewish experience – to break down preconceptions of Jewish music and culture and explore the implications of diaspora on Jewish artistic legacy.