Since its founding in 2009, Juilliard415, the School’s principal period-instrument ensemble, has made significant contributions to musical life in New York and beyond by bringing the major figures in the field of early music to lead performances of both rare and canonical works of the 17th and 18th centuries. The ensemble, which takes its name from the pitch commonly accepted for the performance of Baroque music (A=415), performs a wide range of repertoire in a number of different guises, with as few as four or five players for intimate chamber music programs, to as many as 30 for major cornerstones of the repertoire.
Among the many distinguished guests who have led Juilliard415 are such renowned musicians as William Christie, Ton Koopman, Harry Bicket, Nicholas McGegan, Christopher Hogwood, and Monica Huggett. In April 2011, the ensemble made its Carnegie Hall debut accompanying David Daniels and Dorothea Röschmann in a program of Handel arias, a concert that was cited as one of the 10 best of the season by the New York Times. A performance in 2012 of Handel’s Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno under the baton of William Christie earned this same distinction.
Touring is an important component of Juilliard415’s profile. The ensemble has performed along the East Coast, with notable presentations by the Virginia Arts Festival, the Tropical Baroque Music Festival in Miami, and the Juilliard in Aiken festival in South Carolina. With its frequent musical collaborator, Yale University’s Institute of Sacred Music, Juilliard415 has toured extensively in Italy, Japan, Singapore, and Burma under the direction of Masaaki Suzuki. In the 2014-15 season, Yale and Juilliard will team up again for performances of Beethoven, Haydn, and Zelenka in New York, Boston, New Haven, and throughout the United Kingdom. Members of Juilliard415 have twice been featured as in-studio guests on WQXR-FM, New York Public Radio and its performance of Bach’s St. John Passion with the Yale Institute of Sacred Music was broadcast by the station in April 2014.
Highlights of the 2013-14 season included return engagements at the Metropolitan Museum and the Music Before 1800 series; a fully-staged production of Handel’s Radamisto; tours of Charpentier’s Actéon with William Christie; a concert of incidental music for Shakespeare in collaboration with Juilliard Drama and conducted by Jordi Savall; and the rare opportunity to hear both Bach Passions in successive months.
During the summer of 2014, members of Juilliard415 return to Germany for a second collaboration with the Leopold-Mozart-Zentrum for concerts in Augsburg and Munich and to William Christie’s summer festival Rencontres musicales en Vendée in France, where they have appeared together with members of Les Arts Florissants since the festival’s founding three years ago. The ensemble also gives two concerts at the Utrecht Early Music Festival in The Netherlands, where Juilliard has the honor of being the first-ever conservatory-in-residence.
The 2014-2015 season in New York brings return visits from William Christie for Handel’s La resurrezione, Robert Mealy in a program of Italian Baroque music, Monica Huggett in an all-Beethoven program, and Jordi Savall leading a concert entitled “In the Charm of Nature.” Significant debuts include Kristian Bezuidenhout leading the orchestra from the fortepiano in music by Mozart, and the eminent British violinist Rachel Podger performing with the ensemble in an all-Vivaldi program. The season will come to a close when Juilliard415 teams up with London’s Royal Academy of Music and Masaaki Suzuki for an all-Bach program that will be performed in New York, Boston, Leipzig, and London.