Have you ever met someone for the first time and within a few minutes felt as though you had known them forever? And that you could talk for hours on end, and never run out of things to say? Or that you felt so comfortable with each other that you could talk about anything and everything? Such was the case with my houseguest for this weekend, viola da gambist Patricia (Patty) Halverson, who performed with the group Chatham Baroque last night at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu. The concert was the season finale for Early Music Hawaii.
Oh, Patty and I talked about the origin of the group, based in Pittsburgh, and why the name Chatham Baroque was the name they settled upon after calling themselves somewhat non-descript, like Pittsburgh Early Music, or something like that. You see, the city of Pittsburg was named after William Pitt (1708-1778), who was a British statesman during the Seven Years’ War (called the French and Indian War in the United States). He was named the 1st Earl of Chatham in 1766 at his elevation to the House of Lords.
Patty was one of the original founding members of Chatham Baroque in 1990—its other two members are Andrew Fouts, baroque violin, and Scott Pauley, archlute and baroque guitar. I already gave you Patty’s bio in an earlier post; here’s info on Andrew and Scott:
Andrew Fouts, baroque violin, joined Chatham Baroque in 2008. In performance with the ensemble he has been noted for his “mellifluous sound and sensitive style” (Washington Post) and “an extraordinary violinist” who exhibits “phenomenal control” (Indiana Herald-Times). In 2008, Andrew won first prize at the American Bach Soloists’ International Baroque Violin Competition. In addition to Chatham Baroque, Andrew has performed recently with the Four Nations Ensemble, Apollo’s Fire, Musica Pacifica, Philharmonia Baroque, and as soloist with American Bach Soloists.
Scott Pauley, archlute and baroque guitar, holds a doctoral degree in Early Music Performance Practice from Stanford University. Before settling in Pittsburgh in 1996 to join Chatham Baroque, he lived in London for five years, where he studied with Nigel North at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. There he performed with various early music ensembles, including the Brandenburg Consort, The Sixteen and Florilegium. He won prizes at the 1996 Early Music Festival Van Vlaanderen in Brugge and at the 1994 Van Wassenaer Competition in Amsterdam. In North America, Scott has performed with Tempesta di Mare, Musica Angelica, Opera Lafayette, The Folger Consort, The Four Nations Ensemble, the Toronto Consort and Hesperus, and has soloed with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He has performed in numerous Baroque opera productions as a continuo player, both in the USA and abroad. He performed in Carnegie Hall and at The Library of Congress in Washington, DC, with the acclaimed British ensemble, the English Concert.
What can I say about last night’s program?
Absolutely delightful! Well-deserved standing ovation! I was just blown away by the virtuosity of each player, and Andrew’s violin playing was just phenomenal! His intonation was absolutely perfect —not one note was out of tune.
And Patty proved to be an exceptional gamba player. I asked her if she had played the cello first, and she said no, in fact, she was a recorder player!
Scott’s archlute and baroque guitar playing was also rock solid. I appreciated the fact that each of them took the time to talk about their instruments. You can see by the picture that Patty’s gamba has a woman’s head on the end. You can enlarge the picture to the left by clicking on it, and you’ll see the woman’s head more clearly.
In case you want to see the program, you can click here.
By the way, as Patty and I talked into the late hours of the night, we found out that she frequently plays with Arthur Haas, harpsichordist and organist. Turns out that he taught harpsichord to my former student, Joey Fala, at Yale!