For Immediate Release:  May 24, 2016
contact:  Susan Strano, Marketing Director

Images:  Bach

JS Bach’s Musical Offering

The first “Music at the Museum” series concludes on June 11 at 2:00 p.m. when Repast, an early music ensemble based in New York City, shares JS Bach’s Musical Offering.  The ensemble for this performance is comprised of violinist Ameila Roosevelt, harpsichordist Gabriel Shuford, baroque flutist Emi Ferguson, baroque cellist Katie Rietman, and violinist Beth Wenstrom.  They will perform on period instruments and  share the intriguing story behind the creation of Musical Offering.  Sponsored by Alison Nowak and Robert Cane, all concerts in this series are free.   “We anticipate that this will be a recurring series, so you can look forward to enjoying high quality music for years to come,” stated Deana Mallory, Director of Public Programs.

In 1747, during a visit Frederick the Great of Prussia, Bach improvised a fugue based on a subject proposed by the King, astonishing all with his profound skill.  Within two months of his visit, Bach had fully developed the King’s theme and given it the title Musical Offering.  Bach dedicated the composition and sent it to the King.

Violinist Amelia Roosevelt is a founding member of Repast. Described by the New York Times as a “virtuoso duelist,” she performs with the Trinity Baroque Orchestra, Sinfonia New York, the Clarion Music Society, and the Carmel Bach Festival Orchestra. She has toured internationally and has had numerous recording credits. A New York City native, Amelia holds degrees in violin performance from Stony Brook University, where she studied with Joyce Robbins and Mitchell Stern; the Manhattan School of Music; and the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam. Her baroque violin was made in 1773 by Richard Duke in London.

Harpsichordist Gabriel Shuford is proficient in a wide range of styles, from historical performance, to concert music of the 21st century, to jazz and blues.  He performs throughout North America and abroad, and is the recipient of several awards.  He is a frequent guest of Boston based A Far Cry, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. The New York Times called his performance of Elliott Carter’s Sonata, with the acclaimed new music ensemble Speculum Musicae, “assured, polished and beautifully nuanced.” He has served on the faculty of Luther College and Sarah Lawrence College.  Shuford holds a doctorate in harpsichord from Stony Brook University where he studied with harpsichordist, Arthur Haas.

Katie Rietman has performed as a baroque cellist on over 45 CD recordings and numerous concerts and radio broadcasts with notable baroque and classical period instrument ensembles worldwide.  Currently residing in New York City, she performs there regularly with ensembles such as the Clarion Society, Rebel, Concert Royal, the Trinity Choir and St. Thomas Boys Choir, and nationwide with other American groups such as the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, Musica Angelica, and Philadelphia’s Buxtehude Consort.  She has coached baroque and modern string players at Yale University, Bard College, Catholic University of Peru, and University of Alabama.

Violinist Beth Wenstrom’s performances have been described by The New Yorker as “elegant and sensual, stylishly wild.” Ms. Wenstrom is a founding member of Wayward Sisters, winner of the 2011 Early Music America/Naxos Competition. As a guest soloist and concertmaster, Ms. Wenstrom has performed with the Baroque Orchestra of Maine, Quodlibet Ensemble, New York Baroque Incorporated, Sebastian Chamber Players, and Vilas Baroque, as well as William Christie’s Les Rencontres Musicales en Vendée in Thiré, France. She has also served as concertmaster of the Richmond County Orchestra on Staten Island. Ms. Wenstrom frequently enjoys playing with Sarasa Chamber Music Ensemble, Apollo’s Fire, Trinity Wall Street Baroque Orchestra, and PHOENIXtail.

English-American baroque flutist and composer Emi Ferguson can be heard live in concerts and festivals around the world as well as at home in New York City where she is a member of the New York New Music Ensemble, NYBI, Argento Ensemble, and New Vintage Baroque.  She was a featured performer alongside Yo-Yo Ma, Paul Simon, and James Taylor at the 10th Anniversary Memorial Ceremony of 9/11 at Ground Zero.  Emi is currently on the faculty of the Juilliard School teaching Ear Training in the Evening and Pre-College divisions and has taught at the University of Buffalo.  She was first person to have graduated from Juilliard with Undergraduate and Graduate degrees with Scholastic Distinction in flute performance, as well as a second Graduate degree in Historical Performance as a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow.  Her principal teachers have been Carol Wincenc, Sandra Miller, Robert Langevin, and Judy Grant. Born in Japan and raised in London and Boston, she now resides in New York City.

About the Museum

Bennington Museum is located at 75 Main Street (Route 9), Bennington, in The Shires of Vermont. The museum is open Thursday through Tuesday 10 am to 5 pm.  June through October, the museum is open daily (closed July 4).  As we celebrate with pride the amazing advances in design and technology taking place in Bennington, the museum is offering Free Admission to the museum through June 15 to anyone who lives or works in Bennington County.  (Proof of residency or employment required.)  The museum is wheelchair accessible.   Regular admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and students over 18.  Admission is never charged for younger students, museum members, or to visit the museum store.  Visit the museum’s website or call 802-447-1571 for more information.

Bennington Museum is close to other notable art and culture destinations, including Usdan Gallery at Bennington College (10 minutes), The Clark Art Institute (20 minutes); and MASS MoCA (30 minutes).