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Baroque and Beyond Festival Goes Hybrid

A student wearing a mask plays a piano at one of Hoff-Barthelson’s student recitals
A student performs at one of Hoff-Barthelson’s student recitals (photo credit: Steven Schnur)

From March 5-14, Hoff-Barthelson Music School (HBMS) will celebrate the music of the Baroque period. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the school’s Baroque and Beyond festival will offer a series of student recitals online this year via Zoom, as well as in person at the school’s location in Scarsdale. The festival has been part of the School’s “Festivals in Style” program for about 40 years and introduces students to specific periods of music. The hybrid presentation aims to accommodate all audiences. 

Participating students were asked to audition for a panel of the School’s faculty in order to perform during the festival. According to Kathryn Jones, Associate Dean at HBMS, the festival is a valuable learning opportunity that inspires stronger performances. 

Jones explains: “Our Baroque and Beyond festival provides students with the opportunity to become acquainted with the audition process. It’s a true character-building experience.” 

Student soloists and ensembles will perform works by a wide range of composers. Most will be Germanic composers, including Bach, Telemann and Handel. 

The festival will kick off with an online flute performance of Bach’s energetic Sonata in E minor (March 5). Other festival highlights include Tambourin by French composer Francois Joseph Gossec (March 6) and the First movement (Vivace) of ‘Sonata in A major‘ by Bach (March 13). Baroque and Beyond will culminate on March 14 with a concert that showcases viola and violin instruments in Handel’s Concerto in B minor, as well as Bach’s solo violin composition Sonata 1 in G minor, Adagio and Partita No 1 in B minor, Sarabande and Double.

In-person recitals will be reserved for the students’ parents to ensure safety measures, however, all performances will be live-streamed via Zoom for anyone to view.

A version of this article first appeared in the March issue of ArtsNews, ArtsWestchester’s monthly publication. ArtsNews is distributed throughout Westchester County. A digital copy is also available at artsw.org/artsnews.

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