If they were not already in Iowa City for the week, baroque music scholars, performers, and aficionados from around the nation had their eyes on Iowa City and the University of Iowa when the School of Music presented a free concert of Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers in Iowa City's St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
Not only was anticipation high for the performance itself—featuring nationally recognized vocal and instrumental soloists; the choral ensemble Kantorei; and an orchestra that includes period instruments such as the cornetto, sackbut, and lute—but the concert also kicked off the first-ever joint conference and festival of two international scholarly organizations, The American Handel Society (AHS) and the Society for Seventeenth-Century Music (SSCM), hosted by the UI Department of Classics and School of Music.
The four-day conference and festival included these events:
- Three unique concerts:
- Thursday, April 23: Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers, conducted by Timothy Stalter; pre-concert lecture by Jeffrey Kurtzman, professor of musicology at Washington University
- Friday, April 24: Recital of organ and flute music from the 17th and 18th centuries
- Saturday, April 25: Handel’s oratorio Judas Maccabaeus, performed by the Chamber Singers of Iowa City; pre-concert lecture by Jordan Smith, UI professor of religious studies
- The 2015 AHS Howard Serwer Memorial Lecture by Nicholas McGegan, conductor of San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra; 4:00 p.m., Saturday, April 25; Sheraton Iowa City Hotel; FREE and open to the public
- Four days of scholarly paper sessions and panels; Sheraton Iowa City Hotel; FREE without registration to all UI students, faculty, and staff with UI ID
Professor Robert Ketterer of the UI Department of Classics serves on the board of directors for AHS, and Professor Christine Getz of the School of Music is treasurer of SSCM. The two departments—both units of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences—collaborated to host the unprecedented weekend of music and scholarship. The conference received support from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Perry A. and Helen Judy Bond Fund for Interdisciplinary Interaction.