Mozart & Beethoven
Thursday, November 7 | 7:30 PM
The Gallery at MATCH (Midtown Arts and Theater Center, Houston) | 3400 Main Street
Mercury concertmaster Jonathan Godfrey and early music specialist Mario Aschauer perform a trio of classical sonatas. The program of dramatic and delightful works includes Mozart’s Violin Sonata No. 21 in E minor, written in the year of his mother’s death, Beethoven’s Violin Sonata #5 in F major “Spring Sonata” written in 1800 near the end of his first period, and the rarely-performed Förster’s Violin Sonata in E-flat major. Don’t miss this special opportunity to hear these classical works on period violin and fortepiano for a fresh and exciting concert experience.
Innovation, accessibility and dynamism are just three of the distinguishing characteristics of Mercury, the critically acclaimed Houston-based period instrument ensemble that continues to redefine the orchestraexperience. Now in its 18th season, Mercury celebrates the power of music – from the Baroque period and more - serving the Houston community and beyond through teaching, sharing and performing with passion, intimacy and excellence.
Founded by conductor and Artistic Director Antoine Plante and three friends in 2000 with the goal to enrich and entertain Houston audiences with an exciting repertoire of Baroque music performed on period instruments, the ensemble gradually expanded its vision to offer fresh, original performances of a broader repertoire, and integrated multi-media, unique dance, costume and narrative elements into its programs.
In addition to performances in multiple venues throughout the Houston area, including its flagship series at Wortham Center’s Cullen Theater, Mercury continues to invest in the community. It offers free community performances annually, including the community concert at The Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park, and the public concerts in the Crain Garden at Houston Methodist Hospital. Recognized for its award-winning education outreach programs comprising classroom music education and performances in Houston area schools, Mercury also presents master classes for school orchestras. Active in the recording scene, to date, Mercury has released eight albums on its own label, featuring works by Corelli, Mozart, Schubert, Rameau, Vivaldi, Piazzolla, and Handel.
Mercury continues its collaboration with The Juilliard School’s Historical Performance Program for the fourth year. The Mercury-Juilliard Fellowship initiative encourages the development of talented young instrumentalists and fosters a strong relationship between two major players in America's period instrument performance scene, as well as introducing Houston audiences to the next generation of great period performance musicians.
Mercury gratefully acknowledges the following organizations and corporations for their ongoing support: The City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance, Houston Endowment Inc., Texas Commission on the Arts, the Wyatt Foundation, the Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Additional information on Mercury, its events and concerts, directions to the venues, and to learn more about its recordings, please visit www.mercuryhouston.org
Jonathan Godfrey, violin
A founding member of Mercury, violinist Jonathan Godfrey has served as Concertmaster and violin soloist since the orchestra’s inception. A graduate of Rice University, Mr. Godfrey is also currently Assistant Concertmaster of the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra. He has performed with many ensembles including the Houston Symphony, the Houston Bach Society, the IRIS Chamber Orchestra, and the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra.
He has also served as Concertmaster of the Sinfonietta Cracovia, The Houston Grand Opera Orchestra, The American Radio Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra X, and the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra. He has concertized in the US and abroad, performing solo and chamber music recitals in Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Interlochen, and Kansas City, as well as Guanajuato, León, Monterrey, and Santiago, Mexico; Yokohama, Kyoto, Matsumoto, Sapporo, Date, and Tokyo, Japan; and Quito and Ambato, Ecuador.
A music educator as well, Mr. Godfrey has taught for twenty-five years, including positions on the violin faculty of both the Interlochen Arts Camp and the Rocky Mountain Summer Conservatory. Mr. Godfrey is also the co-director of Prelude Music Classes for Children, a school of music for young children and their families that teaches the research-based music and movement program Music Together® and a co-founder of the Prelude Music Foundation.
Mario Aschauer, fortepiano
Praised as an “unconventionally playful” performer by the press and listed among Austria's thirty-five most outstanding researchers aged under thirty-five by the Austrian Science Fund in 2013, Mario Aschauer works as conductor, harpsichordist, and musicologist at the interface of music scholarship and performance.
His book on German Keyboard Treatises in the Second Half of the Eighteenth Century (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 2011) is considered a standard reference in the field. Further projects in early keyboard studies include the development of historical-style keyboard fingerings and notes on performance practice for new editions of prominent works by Beethoven and Schubert as well as a new edition of Mozart's keyboard sonatas published by Bärenreiter.
As a performer on historical keyboard instruments, Mario specializes in Austrian repertoire from the Baroque and Classical periods. He is member of the Calamus-Consort, which won first prize at the International H.I.F. Biber Competition in 2009 and since then has been invited to numerous renowned early music festivals such as Resonanzen Wien, Bach Fest Leipzig (Germany), and Itinéraire Baroque en Périgord Vert (France). Their CD “Un dolce affanno” (Passacaille, 2012) features highlights from operas performed at the Vienna court around 1700 with chalumeau, clarinet, and harpsichord as solo instruments. Mario’s current recording projects include a selection of keyboard works by Mozart and Beethoven contemporary Emanuel Aloys Förster.
Having earned a degree in conducting from the Linz Bruckner Conservatory at the young age of seventeen, Mario had already conducted major works from the choral and symphonic canon before he graduated from high school. With his period instrument group Ensemble NovAntique Linz, Mario has performed late eighteenth-century repertoire beyond the standard including large-scale sacred and symphonic works and oratorios by composers such as Florian Leopold Gassmann, Joseph Martin Kraus, Antonio Salieri and Georg Christoph Wagenseil. In addition, Mario also collaborates with early music ensembles such as Progetto Semiserio Vienna, Harmony of Nations Baroque Orchestra, Ars Antiqua Austria, and L'Orfeo Baroque Orchestra, Ars Lyrica Houston, Houston Bach Society, and Mercury Houston.
Mario has edited Schubert's opera fragment “Adrast”, D. 137, for the New Schubert Edition and gave it its world premiere in Vienna in 2010. The recording of the concert was broadcast on BBC Radio and won the “Pasticcio Prize” from the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF). Mario's current research for a new book on Anton Bruckner's creative process was selected for prestigious fellowships from the Austrian Science Fund and the Max Kade Foundation, Inc. (New York). Mario is member of the advisory boards of the New Bruckner Complete Edition (Vienna) and the Anton Bruckner Institut Linz.
Mario Aschauer is Assistant Professor of Music at the Sam Houston State University School of Music (Huntsville, TX), where he also directs the Center for Early Music Research and Performance (CEMRAP). Furthermore, he teaches harpsichord and basso continuo at the Rice University Shepherd School of Music (Houston, Texas). Mario degrees in conducting from the Linz Bruckner Conservatory, in harpsichord performance from the University of Music and Performing Arts (Vienna), and a PhD in musicology from the University of Vienna. He has since returned to teach at these institutions. Before his move the the United States Mario held a position as researcher at the Austrian Academy of Sciences (Vienna). In 2012/13 he was a postdoctoral fellow and visiting guest lecturer at the Yale School of Music.