UNT’s early music program ranks as one of the largest in the country and has more than 250 period instruments representing the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. In June, the program was extremely well represented at the prestigious Boston Early Music Festival, the foremost gathering of its kind in North America.
The Baroque Orchestra and Collegium Singers presented a concert of rarely heard music, including two pieces by Agostini Steffani edited from the original manuscripts by faculty members Christoph Hammer and Paul Leenhouts.
UNT won a College-Level Early Music Ensemble grant from Early Music America to give a special performance at the festival and sent four participating students — tied for the most from any institution — as part of a select Festival Ensemble of young performers chosen from all over North America.
In addition, a program of 17th-century Italian music was presented by music faculty including:
- Keith Collins
- Christoph Hammer
- Jennifer Lane
- Paul Leenhouts
- Kathryn Montoya
- Cynthia Roberts
- Allen Whear
Hammer, associate professor of music, was invited to give a lecture and recital on the “competitions” between Mozart and another two keyboard virtuosi on fortepiano. Hammer also was the editor for Steffani’s Niobe, the opera performed at the festival.
Roberts, a baroque violin teacher, was the concertmaster/leader of the festival orchestra, which presented five performances of the opera and several other concerts. Montoya, who teaches both baroque oboe and recorder, also played in the festival orchestra. Leenhouts and Sparks took part in a roundtable discussion sponsored by Early Music America on the future of early music in colleges and universities.