Today, classical music is a very broad and general term for a wide range of music composed from the Renaissance to the present day. It is music which has remained alive with performances through the centuries; through publication, recording, and broadcasting; and through fresh interpretation.
What did classical music actually sound like at the time of its composition and what do we know about the performance of music when it was originally written and performed hundreds of years before the advent of audio recordings? The speaker, Giulio d’Alessio, who is the artistic director of the Baroque orchestra il Pomo d’Oro, has dedicated his career to researching, studying, rediscovering, and interpreting classical music. Giulio explores music that was previously lost, unknown, or unfamiliar to global audiences and his act of recreation gives a fresh and contemporary take on this genre.
In this Tai Kwun Conversation, in advance of il Pomo d’Oro’s arrival in Hong Kong for concerts in the Prison Yard Festival, Giulio d’Alessio shares his insights, discoveries, and passion for music of the Baroque period and his approach to performing it for contemporary audiences through a combination of historical research, instrument restoration, and interpretive flair.
The event will be conducted in English, with simultaneous interpretation from English to Cantonese onsite.
Giulio D'Alessio studied baroque music at the conservatories of Lyon and Geneva where he obtained the « Diplome de Soliste ». He continued to study with Sigiswald Kuijken at the Conservatory of Brussels, where he received a Master degree in Baroque Violin. He joined Kuijken's Petit Bande, for which he played for many years as well as Il Complesso Barocco, of which orchestra he quickly became manager. He plays the violin, viola, mandolin, viola da gamba, viola d'amore, and the violoncello da spalla, without, however, ever achieving technical and musical brilliance in any of them. His solo performances were greeted with critical silence, whether he played with "La Petite Bande", the "Scarlatti Orchestra of Naples", or the "Salzburg Soloist Chamber Orchestra". This silence led to his decision to dedicate himself to other activities. Thus in 2007, along with Ewald Demeyere, he founded the Bach Concentus orchestra, aimed at the rediscovery of the repertory of the Bach family. He also directed the staging of Handel's Lotario and Rodelinda at the Teatro Arriaga in Bilbao and created the scenes for the theater presentation, "Monologue for Editor," written by Flavio Pagano for the "Festival of the Vesuvian Villas." These varied and entirely schizophrenic activities have led him to approach the world of contemporary art and have led to a collaboration with the writer Flavio Pagano, leading to the creation of impressive, however useless, works of interactive art which soon will see the light of day. From 2011 he is the artistic director of Inspiratum ( Antwerpen). In 2011 he founded with Gesine Lübben, the orchestra Il Pomo d’Oro. Since 2005, he has lived in Venice, where he devotes himself to the raising of his children and to row in the Venetian style.
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Tai Kwun Conversations: Authenticity vs Interpretation in music of the 17th and 18th centuries. Giulio d’Alessio in dialogue with Timothy Calnin