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    Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) – priest, teacher, composer, impresario – is rightly one of the most popular composers of all time. His genius lay in his ability to connect to his audience, whether it was through teaching pieces, liturgical works, concert music, or opera. For thirty years, he worked at the Ospedale della Pietà, a school and orphanage for girls in Venice, where he taught music and composed music for the girls to sing and play. Vivaldi was the John Williams of his day, using musical language to paint landscapes, illustrate poetry, and create memorable sound tapestries that still speak to us 300 years after the ink dried.

    Founded by soprano Maria Jette and historical keyboardist Henry Lebedinsky, the Minnesota Vivaldi Festival presents a series of concerts featuring exemplary local and national artists performing the music of Vivaldi and his contemporaries. The inaugural season of the Minnesota Vivaldi Festival invites you to journey into the music and times of Vivaldi and his contemporaries, to experience the music as if for the first time. Go beyond The Four Seasons and explore the breadth of Vivaldi’s output and experience the influence Vivaldi had on an entire generation of composers, from Bach to Händel to musicians as far from Italy as Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.

  • Henry Lebedinsky

    Hailed by The Miami Herald for his “superb continuo… brilliantly improvised and ornamented,” Henry Lebedinsky performs on historical keyboards across the United States and the United Kingdom. He currently plays with Consortium Carissimi, The Minnesota Bach Ensemble, The Vivaldi Project (DC), Quince (Boston), and Ensemble Vermillian (Berkeley), and directs the period instrument ensemble The Seicento String Band. He has also performed with The Charlotte Symphony, The Oratorio Society of Minnesota, Seraphic Fire and the Firebird Chamber Orchestra, Boston Revels, and the Harvard Baroque Orchestra, among others. He is the founder of the Music @ St. Alban’s concert series in Davidson, North Carolina, and served as interim Artistic Director of Charlotte Chamber Music, Inc. and Director of Rochester, NY’s The Publick Musick. In addition to performing, Mr. Lebedinsky has taught masterclasses and workshops on historical keyboards and performance practice at Bowdoin College, Davidson College, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and Appalachian State University, as well as at the American Guild of Organists 2011 Region IV Convention. An avid composer of music for choir and organ, his sacred music is published by Carus-Verlag Stuttgart. His editions of vocal works of 17th century nun composers for Saltarello Editions have been performed around the world, most recently in France, South Korea, and Lebanon. Lebedinsky holds degrees from Bowdoin College and the Longy School of Music, where he earned a Master of Music in historical organ performance as a student of Peter Sykes. He currently lives in Minnesota, where he serves as Music Minister at St.

  • Passion & Folly

    The Vivaldi Project with Maria Jette: Passion and Folly

    Friday, September 27, 2013 | 7:30pm

    The Chapel at Plymouth Congregational Church

    1900 Nicollet Avenue | Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403

    The Minnesota Vivaldi Festival opens with a program of virtuosic cantatas and brilliant chamber music by Antonio Vivaldi, including his famous La Follia, performed by soprano Maria Jette and Washington, D.C.'s acclaimed period instrument ensemble The Vivaldi Project. The program also features Händel’s dramatic Salve Regina, written when the composer was 22 years old and living in Rome.

    Tickets: $15 at the door.

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    LUTEFISK: Music of the Northern Lands

    Friday, January 24, 2014 | 7:30pm

    The Chapel at Plymouth Congregational Church

    1900 Nicollet Avenue | Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403

    Explore the connection between Venice and Scandinavia with the innovative trio LUTEFISK. Join soprano Maria Jette, baroque violinist David Wilson, and harpsichordist Henry Lebedinsky as they illuminate the connections between Scandinavian composers and their Italian influences. Hear arias and cantatas by Johan Helmich Roman and Hinrich Philip Johnsen along with spirited and virtuosic violin sonatas by Vivaldi, Agrell, and Freithoff.

    Tickets: $15 at the door.

    David Wilson's Bio

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    Venetian Virtuosity: Violin music from Northern Italy

    Friday, April 25, 2014 | 7:30pm

    The Chapel at Plymouth Congregational Church

    1900 Nicollet Avenue | Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403

    Aaron Westman, baroque violin
    Henry Lebedinsky, harpsichord

    Feel the flames of passion in fiery sonatas from Venice and Northern Italy performed by San Francisco's Aaron Westman, one of America's most prestigious baroque violinists. Hear music by Vivaldi and his northern contemporaries, including an intensely beautiful sonata by Isabella Leonarda and works by Vivaldi's celebrated student Johann Georg Pisendel.

    Tickets: $15 at the door.

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  • Aaron Westman

    Complimented recently for his “impressive playing” and “rapturous music” (Early Music America), Aaron Westman is in demand as a period violinist and violist. He has performed as a soloist and chamber musician with Agave Baroque, American Bach Soloists, El Mundo, Ensemble Mirable, Live Oak Baroque Orchestra, Musica Pacifica, Seicento String Band, Seraphic Fire, and The Vivaldi Project. As a principal player, Aaron works with ABS, Berkeley West Edge Opera, Bach Collegium San Diego, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Musica Angelica, Magnificat, New Hampshire Music Festival, and Pacific Bach Project, and he also performs regularly with Wiener Akademie and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra.

    Aaron co-directs the award winning chamber ensembles Agave Baroque (www.agavebaroque.org) and Live Oak Baroque Orchestra (www.sonomabach.org). Agave was a finalist in the Early Music America Baroque Performance Competition in 2012, as well as in the EMA/NAXOS Recording Competition, and was a featured main stage performer at the 2012 Berkeley Early Music Festival. Both ensembles have received grants from the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music to release albums on the VGo Recordings label. Aaron has also recorded for Hollywood, and on the Dorian/Sono Luminus, NCA, and Philharmonia Baroque Productions labels, as well as live on KPFK (Los Angeles), WDAV (North Carolina), BBC, ORF (Austria), and as a soloist on NPR's Harmonia and Performance Today radio programs.

    Aaron tours extensively worldwide, including with two projects starring the actor John Malkovich.

    Aaron holds a Master of Music from the Indiana University School of Music, where he double-majored in viola performance and early music. His teachers included Stanley Ritchie, Alan de Veritch, Theodore Arm, and Geraldine Walther. For three years, Aaron taught at California Institute of the Arts. He is currently Music Director of the Santa Rosa Symphony's Young People's Chamber Orchestra.

    Photo © Teresa Tam

  • Contact Us

    Contact Us

    For more information, please drop us a line.

    1659 Russell Ave. N
    Minneapolis, MN 55411

    Phone: 612-223-8923