A Baroque chamber orchestra, in the modern era, is tasked with taking music all but relegated to a museum and breathing new life into it. This is what the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, which makes its home in Atlanta, Georgia, can do. While the musicians draw on years of academic research and scholarship to restore the music to its original, authentic style, they never lose sight of how much fun it is, what a joyful and spiritual experience playing it should be.
It swings. It grooves. It rocks. No, it gigues.
This is immediately obvious when Artistic Director Julie Andrijeski strikes up the ensemble. The orchestra comes to life with irrepressible vitality and joie de vivre. The musicians move, meaningfully. In the audience, heads bob. Toes tap (softly). Handel, Corelli, Bach, Scarlatti, Vivaldi: whether it’s instrumental suites and concertos, vocal and choral cantatas, or the occasional solo or smaller-ensemble chamber works, the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra distinguishes itself by making the music breathe, dance, soar.
“They played… with the fervor of a hot-jazz band” -Arts Critic ATL
Julie Andrijeski (violin) is a performer, scholar, and teacher of early music and dance. In addition to her Artistic Directorship of the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, she is Co-Director of the New York-based early music ensemble Quicksilver, Principal Player with Apollo’s Fire (with whom she won a Grammy in 2018) and Les Délices, and frequently performs with diverse early music groups across the nation and abroad. As a faculty member in the Music Department at Case Western Reserve University, she teaches early music performance practices and directs the Baroque Music and Dance Ensembles. Additionally, she is Teacher of Baroque Violin at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Special teaching engagements include a bi-annual residency at the Juilliard School and invitations to lead workshops at learning institutions, most recently the Oberlin Conservatory, Peabody Conservatory, Indiana University, and the University of Michigan. A native of Boise, Idaho, Andrijeski holds a doctoral degree in Early Music from CWRU, and violin performance degrees from Northwestern University (M.M.) and the University of Denver (B.M.). Her recordings can be found on Acis Productions, Dorian Recordings, Avie, Koch, Centaur, and Musica Omnia as well as on independent labels. In 2016 she was awarded a Creative Workforce Fellowship from Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Arts and Culture and the Thomas Binkley Award from Early Music America in recognition for her outstanding achievement in performance and scholarship as an ensemble director.
JENNA GOULD, CHAIR
JODI-ANN WRAY, VICE-CHAIR
TED NOBLE, TREASURER
MELISSA BREWER, BOARD SECRETARY AND OPERATIONS MANAGER
JULIE ANDRIJESKI, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AND CONCERTMASTER
EVAN FEW, ARTISTIC ADMINISTRATOR and ASSOCIATE CONCERTMASTER
as of May 1, 2021
Atlanta native Evan Few has established himself as a leader in his generation of historical performance specialists, having studied and performed repertoire ranging from Monteverdi to Gershwin on period instruments. An assertive, collaborative instrumentalist, he appears on stages across the globe with some of its most esteemed ensembles, including Anima Eterna Brugge, Bach Collegium Japan, and the Taverner Consort. Evan is a core member of Apollo’s Fire and the Carmel Bach Festival; co-concertmaster and Artistic Administrator of the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra; frequent collaborator with Chatham Baroque and Four Nations Ensemble; and co-founder, most recently, of Filament.
Evan received his principal violin training at Oberlin College as a pupil of Marilyn McDonald, and pursued further studies in string quartet performance at Rice University and in baroque violin at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in Den Haag. He has participated in the making of numerous recordings available from Accent, CPO, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, and Zig-Zag Territoires. His violin was built for him in 2010 by Matthieu Besseling of Amsterdam; he plays with baroque bows by Luis Emilio Rodriguez Carrington (2011) and Thomas Pitt (2016).
Evan lives in Philadelphia and is a devoted home cook and yogi.
The Atlanta Baroque Orchestra is composed of top-notch artists adept not only at ensemble playing but also often emerging as soloists within the group. Much of the repertoire requires such talent from all of its members due to small performance forces (typically not more than sixteen musicians). In lieu of a conductor, the group performs as one organism, each player contributing to the whole that is suggestively steered by lead violinist Julie Andrijeski.
The Orchestra often supplements its strong base with the finest soloists specializing in Baroque historically-informed performance from all over the country.
In addition to its intimate yet powerful performing forces, the Orchestra’s venues are cozy compared to typical concert halls. This close proximity helps to break down the barrier between musicians and their audiences, creating a sense of cooperative interaction.
Members perform on instruments made in the Baroque era, about 1600-1750, restored to their original setups, or on authentic replicas. The string instruments are fitted with gut rather than steel strings and are played with bows of an earlier design that allow tones and articulations that differ from those suitable to “modern” instruments. Horns and trumpets have no valves. Flutes are made of wood. The harpsichord, lute, and a portable pipe organ stand in for the modern piano and guitar. The tuning is different. Most importantly, there is ample room for improvisation and a great deal more individual expression than that tolerated in the conventional symphony orchestra.
The first and longest-running professional Baroque chamber orchestra in the Southeastern United States, the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra has been performing continuously since 1998, and remains preeminent in the early music movement. Musicians also perform within a large network of other early music groups throughout the United States and elsewhere in the world.
Guest artists have included: violinists Stanley Ritchie, Monica Huggett, Sergiu Luca, and Dana Maiben; Paul O’Dette, lute; Aldo Abreu, recorder; sopranos Julianne Baird, Arietha Lockhart, and Judith Overcash; countertenor Stephen Rickards; the late oboist Matthew Peaceman; and Baroque dancers Paige Whitley-Bauguess and Thomas Baird.
The Orchestra was founded by director and lutenist Lyle Nordstrom, then on the faculty at Clayton State University, together with a core group of faculty from several university music schools from Atlanta and throughout surrounding states. August early music pioneer John Hsu was the second artistic director, from 2006 through 2008, and Atlanta’s Daniel Pyle served as Resident Director until Julie Andrijeski’s arrival in 2011.
Signatory achievements of the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra include the first performances in Atlanta on period instruments of:
In 2016 Atlanta Baroque Orchestra became Artists-in-Residence at the Cathedral of St. Philip. This partnership provides ABO with a glorious performance space and the opportunity to perform each season with the magnificent Cathedral choirs under the direction of Dr. Dale Adelmann.
The Atlanta Baroque Orchestra is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization as recognized by the State of Georgia and the United States of America. All donations are tax-deductible.