Press Release

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The Vivaldi Project's Institute for Early Music on Modern Instruments, now in it's fourth season, offers
professional string players and advanced students the opportunity to study historical performance practices
using their own modern instruments. The goal of the Institute directors, violinist Elizabeth Field and cellist
Stephanie Vial, is to make the study of early music more widely available to performers who are not able, or
who do not necessarily wish to work with period instruments. In today’s performance world, a player who can
travel easily from the language of the 17th and 18th century to that of the late 19th will be far ahead of the
game, both as a performer and a teacher. Without compromising the capabilities of modern string instruments,
the focus of EMMI is to help players find ways to add to their expressive palette, to look for greater resonance
in their instruments through sophisticated bowing techniques, and to explore ideas about phrasing,
articulation, and intonation. Learning to read the notation of baroque and classical music is a key ingredient
in this study, along with the understanding that ultimately it is the player, not an historical instrument or any
set of rules, who must bring this extraordinary music to life.

Elizabeth Field and Stephanie Vial, as active performers and teachers on both period and modern instruments,
and through their strong scholarly backgrounds, are uniquely qualified to teach the study of performance
practice to today's players on today's instruments. As a violin and cello team, they have been working
together for over a decade, inspiring players with the drama, passion, and exuberance of 17th­ and 18th­
century musical expressions, from talented young Curtis students to seasoned professional orchestral and
freelance players.

The EMMI course is extremely flexible and can be adapted according to need from one or two week­long
programs to one­ or two­day workshops, and may include various combinations of the following:

• the preparation and performance of a chamber orchestra concert
• seminars on performance practices
• technique clinics (both general and instrument specific)
• baroque dance classes and demonstrations, introducing some of the basic step patterns and
  arm movements which are key to interpreting instrumental baroque dance forms
• solo repertoire classes
• chamber music classes, with a particular emphasis on continuo playing for lower strings
• individual instruction
• performance by The Vivaldi Project, a premiere period instrument ensemble directed by
  Elizabeth Field and Stephanie Vial

 


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