Adam Gilbert –Performer, Educator, Visionary

We are thrilled that Adam Gilbert has joined our Baroque workshop faculty.  He is a performer and educator of extraordinary talent.  His vision of what will be offered at this year’s workshop is inspiring.

This is my first time at SFEMS baroque workshop, and I imagine we will have a great time exploring solo and ensemble AdamGilbertrepertory through performance, master class sessions, and yes, a bit of improvisation. My specialty is exploring relationships between the craft of improvisation and composition, and I believe that what we tend to think of as “elusive” creativity is really little more than a series of easy-to-learn craft and magic tricks.

Everybody is naturally musical, and there is a bag of technical magic tricks that foster creativity more than just telling someone how something should be played. The recorder can range sweet and simple to subtle and complex. As a teacher, I like to help players explore their place within that continuum and provide technical tools for expressing their own creativity.

Improvising and playing over ground bass chord progressions offers some of the most fertile ground for exploring the range of the instrument, from the simplest four-note melodies to the most extreme virtuosity, accommodating everyone from the timid to the brave. These progressions (chaconnes, passamezzos, morescas, canarios, and passacaglias) lie at the heart of the baroque compositions of the Hapsburg Court. By learning the grounds, melodic and rhythmic building blocks of diminution, and baroque rhetorical conventions, one will better appreciate the craft of improvising composers. Don’t worry, we will play composed music, but with one eye and ear open to how we can not only play the music of the Baroque masters, but even (within our comfort zone!) re-create their own compositional process.”

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