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philharmonia baroque orchestra and rowan pierce

Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra

Richard Egarr, conductor and harpsichord
Rowan Pierce, soprano

Sunday July 18, 2021 @ 4:00 pm

$40, $59, $76, $92

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Sunday July 18, 2021 @ 4:00 pm

Performing a program of English works from the 17th century, we are excited to welcome back the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, one of America’s leading period-instrument ensembles. Using authentic instruments and stylistic conventions, the ensemble is now under the musical direction of Richard Egarr, who leads the group from the harpsichord. Joining them is British soprano and rising star Rowan Pierce.


Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
Richard Egarr, conductor and harpsichord
Rowan Pierce, soprano


Gibbons: Fantasy in A Minor
Blow: “Welcome, Welcome Every Guest” from Amphion Angelicus
Blow: “Peaceful is he and most secure”
Blow: “Lovely Selina”
Locke: Curtain Tune from The Tempest
Purcell: “The Blessed Virgin’s Expostulation”
Purcell: “Music for a while”
Purcell: “Bess of Bedlam”
Purcell: Chaconne from King Arthur
Purcell: Selections from The Fairy Queen

Learn About the Artists

Richard Egarr, conductor

Richard Egarr brings a joyful sense of adventure and a keen, enquiring mind to all his music-making, whether conducting, directing from the keyboard, giving recitals, playing chamber-music, and indeed talking about music at every opportunity.  Music Director of the Academy of Ancient Music (AAM), Principal Guest of the Residentie Orkest in The Hague, and Artistic Partner of the St Paul Chamber, Egarr begins as Music Director of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale in the 20/21 season, finishing with AAM in Summer 2021 after 15 years at the helm.  He was Associate Artist with the Scottish Chamber 2011-2017, and has conducted many symphony orchestras such as London Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw and Philadelphia Orchestra.  This season Egarr conducts repertoire ranging from Bach through Mozart, Dussek, Beethoven and Brahms to Rossini and Elgar, guesting with orchestras such as the St Louis Symphony, Luxembourg Philharmonic and City of Birmingham Symphony.

Early in his tenure with AAM Egarr established the Choir of the AAM; operas and particularly Handel’s oratorios lie at the heart of his repertoire. He made his Glyndebourne debut in 2007 conducting a staged version of St Matthew Passion. With AAM at the Barbican he has conducted Monteverdi and Purcell cycles, La Finta Giardiniera and (in 2019) Nozze di Figaro – the latter also at the Grange Festival.

He regularly gives solo harpsichord recitals at the Wigmore Hall and Carnegie Hall, and his extensive discography on Harmonia Mundi includes solo keyboard works by Bach, Handel, Mozart and Couperin, and latterly discs for Linn Records of Byrd and Sweelinck.   His long list of recordings with the Academy of Ancient Music includes seven Handel discs (2007 Gramophone Award, 2009 MIDEM and Edison awards), and JS Bach’s St. John and St. Matthew Passions. In 2019 AAM Records released a new edition under Richard’s supervision of Handel’s rarely performed Brockes Passion, to widespread praise.

Egarr trained as a choirboy at York Minster, at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, and as organ scholar at Clare College Cambridge. He taught for many years at the Amsterdam Conservatoire and is currently Visiting Professor at the Juilliard School.

Rowan Pierce, soprano

Yorkshire born soprano Rowan Pierce was awarded the President’s Award by HRH Prince of Wales at the Royal College of Music in 2017. She won both the Song Prize and First Prize at the inaugural Grange Festival International Singing Competition in 2017, the first Schubert Society Singer Prize in 2014 and the Van Someren Godfery Prize at the Royal Conservatory of Music. She was a Britten Pears young artist, a Rising Star of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and a Harewood Artist at English National Opera.

Pierce has appeared in concert throughout Europe and South America. She performs regularly with ensembles including the Academy of Ancient Music, Gabrieli Consort,Scottish Chamber Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and Royal Northern Sinfonia.

Pierce made her BBC Proms debut at the Royal Albert Hall in 2017 with the OAE and returned in 2019 for Handel Jephtha with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. She made her Wigmore Hall debut with the London Handel Players and returned with Florilegium in the 2019-20 season.

Other recent highlights include performances with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Freiburg Baroque, Gabrieli Consort, La Nuova Musica, Polyphony, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Early Opera Company, and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Visits to the U.S. in 2019 included appearances at Lincoln Center  and the Kennedy Center.

On the opera stage, Pierce has performed Drusilla in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, Susanna in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, Miss Wordsworth in Britten’s Albert Herring, and Princess in Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges, among many other major roles.  In 2019 Pierce made her debut at the Buxton Festival in the role of Papiria in Lucio Papirio Dittatore by Caldara with La Serenissima;  she also performed the roles of Quivera and Orazia in The Indian Queen with Opéra de Lille under Emmanuelle Haïm.  Also in 2019, she appeared in the Edinburgh International Festival with the English Concert as Amore in Gluck’s Orfeo.

Her future engagements include various roles in performances of both Purcell’s King Arthur and the Fairy Queen with the Gabrieli Consort and also with Ensemble Alia Mens in France as well as concerts with Philharmonia Baroque and her Glyndebourne debut performing Oberto in Alcina (postponed from 2020).  

Although Pierce has been much acclaimed for her interpretation of Baroque and Early Music, she has also been applauded for her performances of a wider repertoire including English song and Lieder by composers such as Mahler, Richard Strauss, Vaughan Williams, and Britten. She has also premiered works by composers including Iain Bell, Julian Philps, and Alex Woolf.

Her discography includes Purcell’s  The Cares of Lovers with Richard Egarr and William Carter (Linn Records), 2019 BBC Music Magazine Opera Award winner Acis and Galatea with the Early Opera Company / Christian Curnyn (Chandos), An English Coronation and King Arthur (BBC Music Magazine Opera Award nominee 2020) with the Gabrieli Consort / McCreesh (Signum), Vaughan Williams Symphony No 7 ‘Antartica’ with the RLPO / Manze (Onyx). Future plans include a disc of Schubert songs with Roderick Williams and Christopher Glynn.

Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale

Under the musical direction of Richard Egarr in his second season as Music Director, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale (PBO) is recognized as “America’s leading historically informed ensemble” (The New York Times). Considered the most versatile ensemble of its kind, and performing on period instruments, PBO presents repertoire ranging from early Baroque to late Romantic, as well as new works and major operatic productions. The ensemble engages audiences through its signature Bay Area series, national and international tours, recordings, commissions, and education programs. Having celebrated its 40th anniversary last year, PBO was founded by Laurette Goldberg and led by Music Director Laureate Nicholas McGegan for the past 35 years. Philharmonia is the largest ensemble of its kind in the United States.

PBO’s musicians are leaders in historical performance and serve on the faculties of The Juilliard School, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Harvard, and Stanford. It welcomes eminent guest artists including mezzo-sopranos Susan Graham and Anne Sofie von Otter, countertenors Anthony Roth Costanzo and Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, violoncellist Steven Isserlis, and maestros Jonathan Cohen and Jeannette Sorrell. PBO enjoys longstanding artistic collaborations with The Juilliard School, the Mark Morris Dance Group, and the American Modern Opera Company (AMOC), and appears regularly at Disney Hall, Lincoln Center, Norfolk Chamber Festival, and Tanglewood. In collaboration with Cal Performances in 2017, PBO produced a fully-staged period opera, Rameau’s Le Temple de la Gloire, and produced a fully- staged, reimagined production of Handel’s Aci, Galatea e Polifemo directed by Christopher Alden and featuring countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, bass-baritone Davóne Tines, and soprano Lauren Snouffer in eight sold out performances in January 2020. Aci was named Best Operatic Performance in the Bay Area by San Francisco Classical Voice in 2020. PBO also co- produced Aci with National Sawdust in Brooklyn, Cath Brittan, and Anthony Roth Costanzo in 2017.

Among the most recorded orchestras in the world, PBO boasts a discography of nearly 50 recordings, including a coveted archival performance of mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson in  Berlioz’s Les Nuits D’été, and a GRAMMY®-nominated recording of Haydn symphonies. The orchestra released the world premiere recording of the original version of Rameau’s Le Temple de la Gloire with the unedited libretto by Voltaire in 2018. In 2020, PBO released three groundbreaking recordings: a full collection of commissioned works by Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw, a selection of arias sung by rising star contralto Avery Amereau, and Handel’s Saul with countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen.

Philharmonia Baroque was the first orchestra in the San Francisco Bay Area to commission Caroline Shaw. Shaw wrote four works for Anne Sofie von Otter and the orchestra, including a major choral work. The first work premiered at LA’s Disney Hall; the last at Lincoln Center.

The award-winning Philharmonia Chorale is critically acclaimed for its brilliant sound, robust energy, and sensitive delivery of the text. Formed in 1995, the Chorale provides a vocal complement whose fluency in the stylistic language of the baroque period matched that of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. Founded by John Butt, a baroque keyboardist and one of the world’s leading Bach scholars, the Chorale was led by Lamott from 1997 to 2020. In 2019, Handel’s Saul was named Best of the Bay’s “Best Choral Performance” by San Francisco Classical Voice.

Philharmonia is the only major orchestra in the United States with a permanent initiative dedicated to Jews & Music. The organization launched one of the most successful alternative concert series in the country, SESSIONS, in 2015 with fully sold out performances, and launched In the Office in 2019 in partnership with the advertising agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.

During the pandemic, the organization has presented more than 100 virtual programs, including the popular Live from Amsterdam with Music Director Richard Egarr, and What’s New and HIP with Tarik O’Regan and Richard Egarr, focused on notions surrounding new music.

All artists and dates are subject to change and cancellation without notice as we work closely with local health experts and officials. Please note that all performances at Caramoor are in compliance with current New York State Regulations. Read our latest Health & Safety updates.