Press Release: Tradition Made New in March 3 concert

American Baroque Orchestra and Trebles of St. Paul’s
perform new variations on “La Folia” & music of Pergolesi

New Haven, CT | The American Baroque Orchestra offers a fresh hearing of Baroque music in its winter concert on Saturday, March 3, 2012. The historically-informed performance is directed by Mark Bailey and will feature the ethereal young voices of the Trebles of St. John’s Choir. The concert takes place at 7:30 pm at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (611 Old Post Road, Fairfield, CT).

The American Baroque Orchestra (ABO), a first-rate period instrumental ensemble, has been active in New Haven and beyond for several years and was officially established last year. This concert will feature new variations on the ancient tune called “La Folia” as well as two pieces by the Baroque composer Giovanni Battista Pergolesi.

“La Folia” is centuries old, and countless composers such as Vivaldi, Corelli, and Marais have written variations on it. Virtuoso violinist Joan Plana, the concertmaster of ABO, will add his own variations to the canon, interspersed with those by Italian baroque master Geminiani, so as to refresh and honor the genius of the era.

Pergolesi, though he died before his time at age 26, made his mark as a composer of both vocal and instrumental music. His lush, intricate Stabat Mater is his best-known choral work. Mark Bailey, the artistic director of ABO, called it his “crowning achievement.” The performance of Stabat Mater will feature two solo singers, soprano Kathryn Aaron and award-winning mezzo-soprano Judith Malafronte, as well as the Trebles of St. John’s Choir. The church will be illuminated by candlelight, which Bailey hailed as “a beautiful visual effect to accompany such riveting music.”

Pergolesi’s Violin Concerto in B-flat major is a rare treat for audiences. Though much less known than the Stabat Mater, the concerto is full of youthful vitality and flair. Joan Plana will both lead this piece and perform the expressive solo part.

The full choir of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church will also perform a selection of stunning choral works from the Italian baroque era to round out the evening.

The concert begins at 7:30 pm at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (611 Old Post Road, Fairfield, Connecticut). Ample parking is available in lots and on the streets surrounding the church. The church, which is handicapped-accessible, is located on the Town Hall Green, adjacent to the Fairfield Town Hall.

Advance tickets are $18 general admission, $35 for preferred patron seating, and are available at At the door, general admission tickets are $20, and student tickets are available on a pay-as-you-can basis.

For more information, visit

About the Performers

The American Baroque Orchestra (ABO) is a first-rate period instrumental ensemble filled with extraordinary talent. Under the direction of Mark Bailey, its superior musicians perform great musical works with energy, depth, ingenuity, and historical insight. By enlivening education about baroque performance, ABO fulfills its mission to build vibrant and meaningful connections between listeners and musical repertoire. The genesis of the ensemble dates to the 2004–2005 season, and ABO enjoyed its first official season in 2010–2011. The ensemble displays an innovative respect for music and its history though discovery, collaboration, and education.

Mark Bailey, the artistic director of American Baroque Orchestra, extensively leads and performs music of the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries, with particular focus on Slavic instrumental and vocal repertoire. He has been artistic director of the Yale Russian Chorus since 1995 and frequently guest-conducts ensembles such as Cappella Romana and Pro Coro Canada, which will soon release “The Heart of Kiev,” a recording of choral works by baroque and classical Slavic composers under Mr. Bailey’s direction. He frequently lectures on the topic of Slavic music and period performance practice at major colleges and universities, as well as at venues such as Lincoln Center. His transcriptions and arrangements of Slavic baroque music are performed extensively, most recently by Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra in their season opener. Mr. Bailey also plays baroque viola and coaches singers and instrumentalists in period style, technique, and ornamentation.

Baroque violinist Joan Plana, praised for his “finger-knotting virtuosity” (Yorkshire Post, England), is a founding member of the baroque ensemble Concitato as well as an inaugural member of the new historical performance program at the Juilliard School. Joan plays regularly with several baroque groups such as Apollo’s Fire (Cleveland), L’Academie (Boston), Baroque Band (Chicago), and Juilliard415. As a recitalist and chamber musician, Joan has performed concerts all over Europe, Canada and the US. He has recorded for radio and TV stations including the BBC, RAI, TVE, TV3, WQXR, WCLV and WFMT. In 2008, Joan received an Early Music Certificate from Case Western University and the Cleveland Institute of Music. While attending the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, he received the Jeanne Lamon Scholarship Award. He also participated in the Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin and the International Baroque Institute at Longy. Joan has taught baroque violin masterclasses and workshops at Baldwin-Wallace College and Sarah Lawrence College. »

The St. Paul’s Choir at St. Paul’s Episcopal in Fairfield, Connecticut, is an outstanding 45-voice ensemble of children and adults modeled after the great cathedral choirs of England. The choir has been directed by John Abdenour since 2000. The St. Paul’s Choir successfully completed its fourth tour England this past summer, singing services in the cathedrals in Worcester, Gloucester, and Hereford.

For Calendar Editors

American Baroque Orchestra (Mark Bailey, artistic director), presents Pergolesi’s Violin Concerto in B-flat major, new variations on “La Folia,” and Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater.

When: Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 7:30 pm
Where: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 611 Old Post Road, Fairfield, CT
Tickets: $35 (Patron Seating), $18 (General), available at or at the door.

Press Contact
Mara Hazzard-Wallingford,

About Chris Wallingford

Technical Consultant
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