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September 12, 2011

Colonial Williamsburg’s Early Music Festival Showcases Popular Colonial Music and Today’s Musicians Who Perform It

Hear the sounds of 18th-century music created on instruments prevalent in colonial Virginia during Colonial Williamsburg’s Early Music Festival, Sept. 27-30, in the Historic Area and in the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg. The festival showcases Colonial Williamsburg musicians as well as special guest performers.

Events include:

  • Tuesday Afternoon of Music, 1:30-5 p.m., Sept. 27, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. The opening event of the Early Music Festival begins at 1:30 p.m. with “Introducing Colonial Williamsburg’s Collection of Antique Musical Instruments.” John Watson, Colonial Williamsburg conservator of instruments and mechanical arts and associate curator of musical instruments, explores the musical instruments in Colonial Williamsburg’s collection and the considerations behind the decisions to stabilize, conserve or restore and use the Foundation’s antique musical instruments. At 3:30 p.m. during “A Keyboard Revolution,” Watson, vocalist Jane Hanson, and keyboardist Michael Monaco explore the grand change in keyboard music throughout the 18th and early 19th century, and feature the museum’s original 1762 Kirckman harpsichord, a 1806 Broadwood pianoforte, an historic reproductions of the museum’s 1766 Zumpe square piano forte and a circa 1740s Zopfe spinet. Guests can meet the presenters and enjoy refreshments during the break. Tickets are $24.95 for guests without a Colonial Williamsburg admission pass that includes museum admission or $15 for guests who have purchased a Colonial Williamsburg admission pass that includes museum admission.
  • Palace Concert – From the Collection, 7:30 p.m., Sept. 27, Governor’s Palace. The Governor’s Musick, Colonial Williamsburg’s resident performing ensemble, plays music using original instruments from Colonial Williamsburg’s collection. Guests enjoy the rare opportunity to hear historic musical instruments as they come “out of the vault” for this special series. Instruments featured will include a rare 16th-century Italian viola, and an 18th-century English violin and violoncello, and a 1758 Kirckman harpsichord. Reservations are required. Tickets are $15 for all seats.
  • Wednesday Afternoon of Music, 1:30-5 p.m., Sept. 28, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. At 1:30 p.m. during “Viols & Violins: A Gut Reaction,” guests learn about the viol family of instruments. At 3:30 p.m. during “Catches, Rounds and Glees,” guests join in these “part songs” from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. Guests can meet the presenters and enjoy refreshments during the break. Tickets are $24.95 for guests without a Colonial Williamsburg admission pass that includes museum admission or $15 for guests who have purchased a Colonial Williamsburg admission pass that includes museum admission.
  • A Menagerie of Dance, 7 and 8:30 p.m., Sept. 28, Governor’s Palace. Guests enjoy a demonstration of popular and theatrical dance in the historic Governor’s Palace ballroom accompanied by live music played on period musical instruments. Tickets are $15 for all seats.
  • Thursday Afternoon of Music, 1:30-5 p.m., Sept. 29, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Guests enjoy two programs. At 1:30 p.m., “Unbecoming Her Sex” examines the trials and tribulations of being professional female instrumentalists. At 3:30 p.m., “Explore the Mandolin in 18th-century America” presents the unique sounds of the mandolin family of instruments and their role in 18th-century music. Guests can meet the presenters and enjoy refreshments during the break. Tickets are $24.95 for guests without a Colonial Williamsburg admission pass that includes museum admission or $15 for guests who have purchased a Colonial Williamsburg admission pass that includes museum admission.
  • Concert by the Wren Masters – Three Pillars of the Baroque, 7:30 p.m., Sept. 29, Wren Chapel. Guests enjoy a concert of early music in the historic Wren Building Chapel at the College of William & Mary. The college’s music faculty ensemble, the Wren Masters, play music from the baroque period on violin, viola de gamba and organ. All seats $15.
  • Friday Afternoon of Music, 1:30-5 p.m., Sept. 30, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. The final afternoon of the Early Music Festival includes a detailed exploration of the baroque oboe and its music at 1:30 p.m. during “The Sprightly Hautboy.” At 3:30 p.m., guests also can discover the differences between the 18th-century English and German flute during “Changing Winds: The 18th-century Flute Family.” Guests can meet the presenters and enjoy refreshments during the break. Tickets are $24.95 for guests without a Colonial Williamsburg admission pass that includes museum admission or $15 for guests who have purchased a Colonial Williamsburg admission pass that includes museum admission.
  • Palace Concert Featuring Debra Nagy and the Governor’s Musick, 7:30 p.m., Governor’s Palace. Renowned baroque musician Debra Nagy from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, performs on oboe during a special concert at the Governor’s Palace. Guests can meet the musicians during a reception immediately following the program. Tickets are $24.95.

    Programs and exhibitions at The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum are supported by the DeWitt Wallace Endowment Fund.

    Colonial Williamsburg’s music programs are funded in part by the Marianne and Randall Tobias Music Endowment Program and the Lynne R. Murphy Memorial Endowment Fund.

    For more information or reservations, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit www.history.org.

    The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. This town-sized living history museum tells the inspirational stories of our journey to become Americans through programs in the Historic Area and through the award-winning Revolutionary City program. Explore The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and discover the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum featuring the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670 – 1830 and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, comprising more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Colonial Williamsburg Hotels feature conference spaces and recreation activities from spa and fine dining to world-class golf. Colonial Williamsburg is committed to expanding its thought-provoking programming through education outreach on-site and online. Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the preservation, research and educational programs of the Foundation. Philanthropic support by individuals, corporations, and foundations benefits the educational mission of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

    Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at www.history.org.

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121



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