·· Thomas Dunford, Artistic Director and Lute
·· Rachell Ellen Wong, Violin
·· Augusta McKay Lodge, Violin
·· Manami Mizumoto, Viola
·· Bruno Philippe, Cello
·· Douglas Balliett, Double Bass
·· Tom Foster, Harpsichord and Organ
Lea Desandre, Mezzo-Soprano
"Vedrò con mio diletto" from Giustino
"Armatae face" from Juditha triumphans
VIVALDI Trio Sonata for Violin and Lute in C Major, RV 82
"Cum dederit" from Nisi Dominus
"Veni, veni, me sequere fida" from Juditha triumphans
Concerto in D Major for Lute, Strings, and Continuo, RV 93
"Gelido in ogni vena" from Farnace
"Gelosia" from Ottone in Villa
Concerto for Cello, Strings, and Continuo in G Minor, RV 416
VIVALDI "Onde chiare che sussurrate" from Ercole su'l Termodonte, RV 710
VIVALDI “Scenderò, volerò, griderò” from Ercole su ’l Termodonte, RV. 710
THOMAS DUNFORD/DOUGLAS BALLIETT "We are the Ocean"
Event DurationThe printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.
At a Glance
Although he is best known for his endlessly imaginative instrumental music, Vivaldi also produced a significant body of alluring vocal works, ranging from operas to small-scale religious pieces. Tonight’s program illustrates his prowess in several musical genres, both secular and sacred, that came to maturity in the Baroque era: opera, concerto, trio sonata, oratorio, and cantata. One of the most prolific and influential composers of his era, Vivaldi is a staple of modern concert programs. But the extraordinary popular appeal of his music is a fairly recent phenomenon. As early as 1720, Marcello pilloried Vivaldi’s operas in his satire Il teatro alla moda (The Fashionable Theater), and by the late 1700s most of his music had been consigned to obscurity. Not until the 1920s and ’30s, with the rediscovery of many of his manuscript scores, did interest in Vivaldi begin to pick up again. The introduction of long-playing recordings after World War II gave a further fillip to the “Vivaldi craze,” a development that one musicologist called “as momentous for lovers of Baroque music as that of the Dead Sea Scrolls for students of religion.”
Thomas Dunford, Artistic Director and Lute
Rachell Ellen Wong, Violin | Augusta McKay Lodge, Violin
Manami Mizumoto, Viola | Bruno Philippe, Cello
Douglas Balliett, Bass | Tom Foster, Harpsichord and Organ
Created in 2018 by lutenist Thomas Dunford, Jupiter was born out of the acquaintances and friendships between Mr. Dunford and other young and brilliant musicians of his generation: Lea Desandre, Jean Rondeau, Douglas Balliett, Bruno Philippe, Sophie Gent, Thibaut Garcia, and Peter Whelan. The great freedom, listening, improvisation, and energy of each allow them to perform with passion, strength, and emotion works from Vivaldi to Joaquín Rodrigo through Handel, Destouches, Couperin, and Mancini, and even original compositions by Mr. Dunford and Mr. Balliett.
Jupiter’s first disc, released in autumn 2019 for the Alpha label, was dedicated to Vivaldi and highlighted the different soloists of the ensemble with alternating extracts from operas and instrumental concertos. In September 2020, Jupiter recorded its second album, Amazone, with Lea Desandre for the Erato Warner Classics label. The following year, the ensemble premiered a new program dedicated to Handel’s English oratorios with Ms. Desandre and Iestyn Davies.
In the 2021–2022 season, Jupiter performs at the Philharmonie de Paris, Opéra de Bordeaux, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Philharmonie Berlin, Opéra de Rouen Normandie, and Palau de la Música. It also performs at festivals in Fénétrange, La Chaux-de-Fonds, and Auvers-sur-Oise.
Born in Paris in 1988, Thomas Dunford discovered lute at the age of nine thanks to his professor Claire Antonini. He continued his studies at the Conservatoire de Paris, where he won first prize in the class of Charles-Edouard Fantin, and then went on to study at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis with Hopkinson Smith. He also attended master classes with Rolf Lislevand, Julian Bream, Eugène Ferré, Paul O’Dette, Pascale Boquet, Benjamin Perrot, and Eduardo Egüez.
Between 2003 and 2005, Mr. Dunford made his debuts in the role of the lutenist in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night on the stage of the Comédie Française. Since then, he has performed in venues around the world, including at Carnegie Hall, The Frick Collection, Wigmore Hall, Kennedy Center, Vancouver Recital Society, Palau de la Música, Philharmonie de Paris, Philharmonie Berlin, Théâtre Auditorium de Poitiers, Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln, and BOZAR Brussels. He also has performed at the Festival de Saintes, Festival Radio France Occitanie Montpellier, Ambronay Baroque Festival, Leipzig Bachfest, Utrecht Early Music Festival, and La Folle Journée.
Mr. Dunford is regularly invited to play with and guest conduct ensembles and orchestras, including Les Arts Florissants, Academy of Ancient Music, Cappella Mediterranea, and Ensemble Pygmalion. He has also been conducting productions with Opera Lafayette in Washington, DC, since 2017.
French-Italian mezzo-soprano Lea Desandre was 20 years old when she was awarded a place in William Christie’s Le Jardin des Voix Academy. In 2017, she was named new artist of the year at the Victoires de la Musique Classique.
Since 2015, Ms. Desandre has won acclaimed in roles in various operas, including Les Huguenots, Il barbiere di Siviglia, La clemenza di Tito, Giulio Cesare, Dido and Aeneas, Orfeo, Erismena, and Alcyone. In 2018, she made her debut at the Salzburg Whitsun Festival in La Périchole with Marc Minkowski, and she returned that same summer as Amore and Valletto L’incoronazione di Poppea with William Christie. In 2019, she returned to Salzburg for performances of Caldara’s oratorio La morte d’Abel and the gala concert Farinelli and Friends with Cecilia Bartoli. In summer 2019, she was heard as Vénus in Orphée aux enfers with Enrique Mazzola and Barry Kosky. She made debuts in Così fan tutte with Joana Mallwitz and Christof Loy. She has also performed under the baton of Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Louis Langrée, Raphaël Pichon, Jordi Savall, Emmanuelle Haïm, and Leonardo García Alarcón.
In 2018, Ms. Desandre delighted audiences at the Paris Opéra Comique in a fully staged one-woman show, Et in Arcadia ego, with music by Rameau. Concert and recital appearances have taken her to Wigmore Hall, Musikverein Wien, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Philharmonie de Paris, Opéra National de Bordeaux, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Sydney Opera House, Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, and Shanghai Symphony Hall.
In 2018, Mr. Philippe was named “Instrumental Revelation” at the Victoires de la Musique Classique. Previously, he had won the third grand prize and the prize for best recital at the André Navarra International Cello Competition in 2011. In 2014, he won the Jean-Nicolas Firmenich Prize at the Verbier Festival and then the third prize and the audience prize at the prestigious ARD International Music Competition in Munich. He also received special prizes at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 2015 and the Grand Prix Emanuel Feuermann in Berlin in 2014. In 2015, he was named Révélations Classiques de l’Adami and in 2016, he won the Prix Fondation Safran pour la Musique. In 2017, he was a laureate of the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels.
Mr. Philippe has performed alongside many prestigious artists, including Tabea Zimmermann, Gidon Kremer, Christian Tetzlaff, David Kadouch, Renaud Capuçon, Jérôme Ducros, Tanguy de Williencourt, Antoine Tamestit, Sarah Nemtanu, Lise Berthaud, Timothy Ridout, Stephen Waarts, Kian Soltani, Christophe Coin, and Emmanuelle Bertrand. He has also performed with many of Europe’s best orchestras, including the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Orchestre Dijon Bourgogne, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Munich Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, and Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra.