A Harmony of Friends: Music of Italy and China (2009)

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Folger Consort performed A Harmony of Friends: Music of Italy and China from October 2 to October 4, 2009. By 1610, Italian musicians were well on their way to creating the adventurous new style known as Baroque. Jesuit priest Matteo Ricci, author of An Essay on Friendship, died that year after spending 20 years in China. In their season-opening concert, the Consort and guest artists joined in a speculative reconstruction of a musical evening Ricci and his Chinese friends may have enjoyed in Beijing. The program included Italian song and brilliant instrumental music by Francesca Caccini, the first woman to compose an opera, Sigismundo d’India, Biagio Marini, and others, along with music from China performed by guest virtuoso pipa, a short-necked Chinese lute, player Yang Wei.

Adam Pearl.


Folger Consort

Artistic Directors

  • Robert Eisenstein: viola, viola da gamba
  • Christopher Kendall: theorbo

Guest artists

  • Risa Browder: violin
  • Joelle Greenleaf: soprano
  • Elizabeth Hungerford: soprano
  • Adam Pearl: harpsichord, organ
  • Yang Wei: pipa