Ravalli County Museum & Bitterroot Baroque present Two Baroque Concerts


Alex Shaffer of Bitterroot Baroque talks to us about early music, its influence on contemporary music and why you should not miss this opportunity to attend a fantastic musical evening / afternoon.  


The Museum is excited to host the Baroque concert now in its second year. With two days of concerts - evening of March 7 and an afternoon matinee on March 8 what should audiences expect at these two concerts?   


We musicians are just as excited to bring this pair of Baroque concerts to the Museum. And I'm hoping that we've started a bit of a tradition that will continue.  Last year the audience got to hear some great instrumental music from the 18th century as well as the premier of a new work written especially for that concert. This year we wanted to try something a little different. We are including voice and bringing from Denver Amanda Balestrieri, a British-born soprano with a wealth of experience and training. She will offer a glimpse into what is a treasure trove of gorgeous vocal music from the Baroque era.  We expect to offer pieces in several traditions and three languages, including arias excerpted from Bach cantatas, songs in English by Henry Purcell, an early art song by H�ndel, and a complete short French cantata by Mont�claire based on mythology.  And of course there will be some pieces that showcase the instruments, as well.  Violinist Carrie Krause of Bozeman and cellist Sarah Stone are coming from New York where they are studying in Juilliard's Historical Performance Program, while Oberlin trained harpsichordist Mark Shuldiner is making his way from Chicago. This is quite a crew!
Indeed! Tell our audience, especially our young audience about the relevance of Baroque music - the origin of so many of our contemporary musical instruments lie in this form of early music.     

You're absolutely right.  Most of today's modern instruments  - flute, recorder, violin, cello, guitar, oboe, harpsichord, piano and organ -  came out of or were critically improved in the 18th century.  One of the hallmarks of our concerts is that we use "original instruments", either actual early instruments or reproductions, because they have a richer, warmer and more beautiful sound.  Later versions of these instruments extended their range, added keys for more complicated passage work and made them louder so that they could be heard in larger halls. But a certain tonal character was changed - lost - in the process. 
What makes the Museum a great setting for Baroque concert performances? 

The Museum is indeed a great venue for this kind of a concert, in large part                  because its patrons are a fantastic audience!  The Courtroom Gallery has good              acoustics because of its wood and plaster construction, and it holds an intimate              audience.  Since the concert last year sold out, we considered going                  for a bigger venue, but instead decided to do two performances of                the same material.  I really hope people don't feel any hesitation about                      coming to these concerts, just because it's so-called Baroque music.  The                        Museum setting naturally lends itself to an informal learning experience, and                the performers look forward to talking about the music, the instruments and                the context in which it was originally performed.  We will also provide written              texts and translations of all the songs.  But I don't think you actually need to                know ANYTHING about this music to enjoy it.  It's just beautiful to listen to!



Baroque Concerts 
Friday March 7 at 6pm
Saturday March 8 at 2 pm
You can purchase tickets at:
Ravalli County Museum
Chapter One Books, Music Box and Mountain Music
Thank you for being our event ticket vendors! 

For details : Log onto

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything
- Plato

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205 Bedford.Hamilton.Montana.59840
Call :406.363.3338 or log onto www.brvhsmuseum.org