Acclaimed international harpsichordist Gwendolyn Toth joins conductor Keith Clark and the Portland Philharmonia in Astoria Saturday, Feb. 12 for a performance of the six Brandenburg Concertos by Johann Sebastian Bach.
Toth is recognized as one of America's leading performers on early keyboard instruments. She has won prizes in the Magnum Opus Harpsichord competition and in American Guild of Organist competitions. She will be performing on a spectacular Flemish Harpsichord provided by Portland instrument manufacturer Byron Will. Known for its combination of richness, directness and nobleness of sound, the harpsichord alone will be a reason enough to attend the concert. Joining her under the direction of conductor Keith Clark will be some of the finest instrumentalists in the Pacific Northwest.
Gwendolyn Toth"We are ecstatic to be hosting a performance of this caliber," said Astoria Performing Arts President Larry Taylor. "The opportunity to hear all six Brandenburg Concertos in one concert is an event in itself. To hear them performed by these superb musicians in an intimate setting will be an especially rich experience."
A familiar face in Astoria, Clark and his orchestra have accumulated a stellar portfolio of performances in recent years. Two Beethoven symphonies, three major operas and numerous other concerts have placed Astoria in a rarifed category of travel destinations that combine high quality music in a non-urban setting.
Toth performs on a Flemish Harpsichord provided by Portland instrument maker Byron Will.The Brandenburg Concertos are considered pinnacles of baroque music, and are among the greatest instrumental showcases written. Each of the six concertos requires a different combination of instruments as well as highly skilled soloists. They are a highlight of one of the happiest and most productive periods in Bach's life.
Desserts and drinks will be available at intermission, supplied by Astoria pastry chef Pamela Gardner.
The performance will be at the Masonic Temple, 1572 Franklin Ave. The doors will open at 6:15 p.m. and the performance will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults and $7 for youth. Anyone younger than 18 accompanied by two adults receives free admission. Tickets may be purchased online at www.AstoriaPerformingArts.com or at the door.
This concert marks the beginning of the Classical Astoria concert series, which will occur on the second weekend of every month.