Unlike most groups SFCV has reported on, Voices of Music was one of the few organizations that did not awake to the power of online engagement because of the pandemic. Because of their online video channel and the enthusiasm they’ve raised there, they regularly walk away with sheaves of SFCV’s Audience Choice Awards. And during the lockdown, Voices of Music were putting out a good amount of streaming content. But now it’s back to business and the just announced live season picks up where they left off.
In a slightly shortened season, the group starts off with their usual holiday concert of concertos (Dec. 17–19), this time featuring 2020 Avery Fisher Career Grant winner Rachell Ellen Wong on violin in the Bach Concerto in A Minor, BWV 1041. The violinist star power continues in the Feb. 18–20 set with the great Elizabeth Blumenstock joined by Augusta McKay Lodge, whose career is in overdrive, thanks to three solo albums on Naxos (two released in the last year) and a number of appearances with top period-instrument orchestras. Lodge has played several times with Voices of Music, and this concert, “Musica Transalpina,” is centered around Italian music and musicians that brought the virtuosic Italian violin style to England, a preference that, once established in the 17th century, never really left the British Isles. Composers in the concert include Marco Uccellini, Biagio Marini, Arcangelo Corelli, Nicola Matteis, and, of course, Henry Purcell and Georg Friedrich Handel, who were fluent in the style.
Lodge returns the next month (March 25–27) to end the season with two of the most celebrated musical transplants to London in the 18th century, Handel and Francesco Geminiani, who, of course, knew each other and played together in public once.
The venues for the concerts are: First Congregational Church in Palo Alto, the St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in San Francisco, and Berkeley’s First Congregational Church. All ushers and musical personnel will be masked. Proof of vaccination and photo ID will be required of all concert attendees and the audience is required to wear masks throughout the performance.