Members of the Handel and Haydn Society

Young Woman Playing a Violin, Orazio Gentileschi (1563– 1639). The Detroit Institute of Arts.

Viva Virtuosa
April 7, 2019 | Sunday 3:00 p.m.
Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2331 E. Adams St., Tucson, Arizona

Called “the Devil’s instrument,” the violin had humble beginnings in the hands of street musicians, but its capacity for dazzling virtuosity was quickly recognized. That virtuosity flourishes in Aisslinn Nosky and Susanna Ogata, two of the most sought-after baroque violinists in the United States. Their performance of solo and trio sonatas of the 17th and early 18th century by Biber, Schmelzer, and Vivaldi infuses this challenging repertoire with excitement and passion. They are joined by fellow Handel and Haydn Society musicians Guy Fishman, cello, and Ian Watson, harpsichord.

Aisslinn Nosky, concertmaster, has been praised for her “sheer virtuosity, dexterity, and communication” by The Boston Globe. Susanna Ogata, assistant concertmaster, has been commended in glowing reviews for her “fluent authority” (Fanfare). Ian Watson, associate conductor and principal keyboardist, commended for his “virtuosic panache and brilliantly articulated playing” (The Times, London), has performed and conducted throughout the world, including for Queen Elizabeth II. Guy Fishman, principal cellist, produced a recording of Vivaldi cello concerti that was selected as one of the Top 10 Releases of 2017 by WRTI (Philadelphia). The Handel and Haydn Society itself was founded in 1815 and is the nation’s oldest arts organization. In 1980, then-music director Christopher Hogwood transformed it into a period instrument ensemble, and it has become a global leader in historically-informed performance. Now led by Harry Christophers, the Society hosts an enviable number of the world’s greatest guest conductors and soloists and extends its artistic reach through tours and recordings.