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Live from WRTI 90.1: Musicians from Piffaro, The Renaissance Band and The Newberry Consort

Members of Piffaro, The Renaissance Band are joined by musicians from the Newberry Consort—an ensemble called "Chicago's gift to early music" by the Boston Globe—in the WRTI Performance Studio to preview music from their upcoming joint concert honoring Isabelle d'Este, a prominent influencer of the Italian Renaissance. WRTI's Susan Lewis is host.

Watch the performance recorded live on WRTI's Facebook page!

Isabelle D'Este (1474-1539) was a "Renaissance woman"—a noblewoman, mother, musician, writer, art collector, patron of the arts, and a taste-maker in fashion, art and culture. The music in this program illustrates music that Isabella commissioned at her court in Mantua, including amorous love songs, comic songs and dance.


Anonymous, (late 1400s): "Giloxia"
Josquin des Prez (1455-1521): "In te, Domine, speravi"
Attributed to Nicolo Pifar (1500-1530): "Son infermo"
Anonymous, (early 1500s): "Pan de miglio caldo?"
Anonymous, (early 1500s): "Gagliarda: La roca el fuso"
Anonymous, (early 1500s): "Lavandara"
Rossino Mantovano, (active in 1510): "Lirum bililirum"


Joan Kimball, artistic co-director of Piffaro, bagpipes, shawms, recorders; Bob Wiemken, artistic co-director of Piffaro, bagpipes, shawms, dulcians, recorders

Ellen Hargis, artistic co-director of The Newberry Consort, soprano; Tim Macdonald, soprano violin; Brandi Berry Benson, tenor violin; Allison Selby Cook, tenor violin; Jeremy David Ward, bass violin; Brandon Acker, lute 

Piffaro collaborates with the Newberry consort in their upcoming concerts:

"First Lady of the Renaissance: Music at the Court of Isabella D'Este"

Friday 2/21 @ 7:30 PM, Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral
Saturday 2/22 @ 7:30 PM, Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill
Sunday 2/23 @ 3:00 PM, Christ Church Christiana Hundred in Greenville, DE

Dr. Anne MacNeil, director of thedigital Isabella D'Este Archive, will give a pre-concert talk one hour before each concert.

The Newberry Consort: Directed by David Douglass and Ellen Hargis, the ensemble plumbs Chicago's Newberry Library's vast music collection and assembles a roster of local and international artists to present performances of music from the 13th to the 18th centuries.

The Newberry Consort performs in a series of programs in the Chicago area, touring nationally and internationally as well. The Consort's offerings underscore their conviction that early music in its own time belonged to every strata of society, addressing every human concern.

Piffaro, The Renaissance Band: Piffaro recreates the rustic music of the peasantry and the elegant sounds of the official wind bands of the late Medieval and Renaissance periods. Its ever-expanding instrumentarium includes shawms, dulcians, sackbuts, recorders, krumhorns, bagpipes, lutes, guitars, harps, and a variety of percussion - all careful reconstructions of instruments from the period.

Under the direction of Artistic Directors Joan Kimball and Bob Wiemken, Piffaro presents an annual subscription concert series in the Philadelphia region; tours throughout the United States, Europe, Canada and South America; and appears as performers and instructors at major Early Music festivals. Piffaro has released 18 CDs since 1992.

Susan writes and produces stories about music and the arts. She’s host and producer of WRTI’s TIME IN online interview series, and contributes weekly intermission interviews for The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert series. She’s also been a regular host of WRTI’s Live from the Performance Studio sessions.