sealPurdue News

September 18, 2002

Red Priest to present a fiery evening of early music

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Red Priest, one of the major success stories on the international Early Music scene, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (9/24) in Loeb Playhouse.

Admission is $22 for general public, $15 for Purdue students and children K-12. Tickets can be purchased at Purdue box offices or charged by phone at (765) 494-3933 or (800) 914-SHOW. Tickets also are available at all Ticketmaster outlets. Red Priest is presented by Purdue Convocations.

The evening's program will include Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" as well as works by other composers. Red Priest is composed of Piers Adams, recorder; Julia Bishop, violin; Angela East, cello; and Howard Beach, harpsichord.

Named after the flame-haired priest Antonio Vivaldi, Red Priest has redefined the art of baroque music performance, combining the fruits of extensive research with swashbuckling virtuosity, creative recomposition, emotion and stagecraft. The group performs largely from memory, allowing an operatic level of freedom and interaction, and its imaginative programs are drawn from myriad baroque sources to create a kaleidoscopic range of moods and colors.

Formed in 1997, Red Priest gives more than 50 concerts a year in some of the most prestigious festivals and venues in Europe and the United States, together with radio and television broadcasts and CD recordings. Its debut disc, "Priest on the Run," was released in 1998 to critical acclaim, and the ensemble has now embarked on a five-year recording project with Dorian Recordings.

Adams is widely regarded as one of the world's greatest recorder virtuosi. His playing has been described as "astonishing" (Washington Post), "breathtaking" (London Daily Telegraph), and "staggering" (Gramophone). He has performed at festivals and premier concert halls throughout the world, including London's Royal Festival and Wigmore and Queen Elizabeth Halls, and as soloist with orchestras including the Philharmonia, the Academy of Ancient Music and the BBC Symphony. He also has recorded several solo CDs.

Bishop is one of the outstanding baroque violin specialists of her generation, with a virtuoso style described in BBC Music Magazine as "psychedelic". She has toured the world with most of the UK's leading period instrument orchestras, including the English Concert, of which she was a member for six years.

East is widely respected as one of the top performers in the period instrument world, praised in The Times of London for the "elemental power" of her cello playing. She has given numerous concerto performances in London's Queen Elizabeth and Wigmore Halls, and has performed as soloist and continuo cellist with many of Europe's leading baroque orchestras.

Beach's uniquely wide-ranging style of keyboard playing has been developed through years of partnering fine musicians in many different fields of music, as well as his own experience as an accomplished singer and violinist. As a student he was piano accompanist to Bryn Terfel and other prize-winning singers and instrumentalists. Since 1989 he has worked regularly with Adams in concert and in the recording studio as both harpsichordist and pianist, including several performances in London's Wigmore Hall and tours throughout Europe, Canada and the Far East.

The Washington Post has called Red Priest's playing "effortless, a barrel of fun and almost invisibly subtle ... immaculately forged and cunningly phrased. An electrified audience shouted and cheered."

Gramophone wrote that Red Priest was "the UK's most dynamic, theatrical and outrageously different baroque ensemble ... Red Priest has the fire, technical ability and sheer daring to bring it off ... brilliant and inspired musicianship."

The Denver Post wrote of a performance, "... the results were nothing short of electrifying. The English quartet combined a supremely accomplished level of musicianship with an almost superhuman energy and a sense of showmanship in a concert that will stand as one of the season's best."

CONTACT: Larry Sommers, Purdue Convocations, (765) 494-5045,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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