The Festival

Pacific Baroque Festival 2017 will recognize the 250th anniversary of the death of Georg Philipp Telemann, one of the most prolific and best-loved composers of 18th Century Europe. Over his life, Telemann, a great and witty musician, wrote a wealth of innovative music for the church, court, opera house, concert hall and private home.  His output is telemanlikely unsurpassed in quantity as well as quality – he composed over 3000 works, including more than one thousand sacred cantatas (12 complete cantata cycles for the liturgical year), 44 Passions, oratorios, funeral and wedding services, chamber music, about 40 operas, and over 600 overtures. To celebrate his music, Pacific Baroque Festival 2017 will enlighten its audiences with the brilliance of this somewhat neglected composer who in his time was considered as the leading German composer of the baroque era.

Over four days, the Festival audience will discover that Telemann was a master of many styles and was always aware of the latest musical developments beyond the German states. He readily absorbed the fashionable French and Italian styles and demonstrated incredible ingenuity and inventiveness. Telemann was undoubtedly one of the most active composers of his time, and the amount of music he was expected to compose every week was daunting. George Frideric Handel is reported to have said that Telemann could write a church piece of eight parts with the same ease as another would write a letter.

“There is no other composer in the first half of the eighteenth century that has enriched the musical life with such a variety of styles, techniques and experiments” – Hille Perl, 2016.

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