SalonEra: Inside the Goldbergs probes the intricacies of Bach's Goldberg Variations

Les Délices’ award-winning webseries and podcast SalonEra continues its fourth season with Inside the Goldbergs, premiering on March 25, 2024. This episode was filmed in front of a live studio audience at the Heights Theater in February 2024 at a SalonEra Session presented in collaboration with Piano Cleveland and the Riemenschneider Bach Institute at Baldwin Wallace University. 

The episode includes insights from noted Bach scholar Michael Marissen alongside images from a rare first-edition score of the Goldberg Variations. In addition, guests Mark Edwards and Dror Biran perform music by Bach on harpsichord and piano, respectively. Edwards and Biran also discuss their personal histories with Bach’s Goldberg Variations, issues of performance practice, and the work’s technical challenges.

Inside the Goldbergs premieres on March 25th on the Les Délices YouTube Channel, at salonera.org, and on all major podcast platforms. Each episode of SalonEra streams free with a suggested donation of $15/episode. Video episodes are available from their premiere date through June 30, 2024, with podcast versions of the same episodes available at salonera.org and wherever podcasts are heard. 

Harpsichordist and organist Mark Edwards, a core member of chamber music ensemble Les Délices, is internationally recognized for his captivating performances, bringing the listener “to new and unpredictable regions, using all of the resources of his instrument…of his virtuosity, and of his imagination” (La Libre Belgique). His recent complete performances of Bach’s Goldberg Variations on the Les Délices concert series were enthusiastically received by audiences. Dror Biran is an Israeli-American pianist who has won prizes at numerous important international competitions, including the Cleveland International Piano Competition. Currently, Biran serves as Professor of Piano at College-Conservatory of Music of Cincinnati. 

SALONERA SEASON 4 BROADCAST DETAILS:

SE: Inside the Goldbergs
Premieres March 25, 2024
With acclaimed Bach scholar Michael Marissen, harpsichordist Mark Edwards, and pianist Dror Biran, we go Inside the Goldbergs to explore Bach’s momentous work and consider the unique challenges and opportunities that Bach’s music has for us all.

ABOUT SALONERA
SalonEra (SE) was launched as a webseries in 2020  to share a world of early music with a dedicated global audience at home. Since the beginning, SalonEra’s winning formula has combined high-quality recordings with insights from an inspiring slate of guest artists. Over 35 episodes later, the award-winning series is increasingly featuring in-person performances and interviews, expanded to include podcast versions of episodes and – new this season – they’ll introduce SalonEra Sessions, a free live-taping experience accessible to Cleveland fans of SE. 

SalonEra’s 4th season will include seven new video episodes highlighting a diverse range of repertoire. In addition, The SalonEra podcast will also release exclusive episodes about select programming from Les Délices’ 2023-24 15th Anniversary Season, featuring musical insights, historical context, and audio highlights.

ABOUT THIS EPISODE’S GUESTS:

HARPSICHORDIST MARK EDWARDS
First prize winner in the 2012 Musica Antiqua Bruges International Harpsichord Competition, Canadian harpsichordist and organist Mark Edwards is recognized for his captivating performances, bringing the listener “to new and unpredictable regions, using all of the resources of his instrument, […] of his virtuosity, and of his imagination” (La Libre Belgique). An active chamber musician, he is the artistic director of Poiesis, collaborates regularly with Les Boréades de Montréal, and has performed with Il Pomo d’Oro, Pallade Musica, and Flûtes Alors!. He has also given solo recitals at the Utrecht Early Music Festival and Brussels’ Bozar and performed concertos with a number of award-winning ensembles, including Il Gardellino (Belgium), Neobarock (Germany), and Ensemble Caprice (Canada). He is currently a PhD student at Leiden University and the Orpheus Instituut, Ghent, where his research examines the intersection of memory, improvisation, and the musical work in seventeenth-century France. He is Associate Professor of Harpsichord at Oberlin Conservatory.

PIANIST DROR BIRAN
Winner of top prizes at the M.K Čiurlionis International Piano Competition, the Cleveland International Piano among others, Israeli-American pianist Dror Biran has been described by The Cleveland Plain Dealer as “his fortissimos crashed and roared, but next to them came pianissimos that whispered seductively…he has technique to burn and uses it effectively.” Biran’s superb tonal control combined with interesting phrasing and voicing has won him consistent critical acclaim and enthusiastic audiences. Biran taught at the University of Louisville, Youngstown State University and Case Western Reserve University. Currently, he serves as Professor of Piano at the College-Conservatory of Music University of Cincinnati. 

SCHOLAR MICHAEL MARISSEN
Michael Marissen is the Daniel Underhill Professor Emeritus of Music at Swarthmore College, and holds a B.A. from Calvin College and Ph.D. from Brandeis University. He joined the Swarthmore faculty in 1989 and has also been a visiting professor on the graduate faculties at Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania. His research has been supported by fellowships from agencies in Canada (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council), England (Woolf Institute), Germany (D.A.A.D., and Humboldt Foundation), and the USA (National Endowment for the Humanities, and American Council of Learned Societies). He has written several books on Bach and on Handel:  Bach against Modernity (Oxford University Press, 2023), Bach & God (Oxford University Press, 2016), and  Tainted Glory in Handel’s Messiah (Yale University Press, 2014).

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