Founded in Philadelphia in 1980, Piffaro performs 15th- through 17th-century music. Under the artistic direction of Joan Kimball and Robert Wiemken, the ensemble has released 16 CDs since 1992, including four on the prestigious Deutsche Grammophon/Archiv Produktion label, as well as on Dorian Recordings and Parma/Navano. In 2011, Piffaro produced Music in New Spain, a Center-funded project that explored the historic music resulting from Spain's encounter with indigenous civilizations in Central and South America during its 16th-century imperial expansion. In 2015, Piffaro received Center support to present The Musical World of Don Quixote, a music and movement performance offering audiences a distinctive interpretation of Miguel de Cervantes' four-century-old classic, Don Quixote.
Piffaro, The Renaissance Band will present The Musical World of Don Quixote, a music and movement performance that will offer audiences a distinctive interpretation of Miguel de Cervantes' four-century-old classic, Don Quixote. Combining narrative elements and ballads drawn from the novel, the performance will be recited in both Spanish and English, accompanied by monophonic melodies, organ and vihuela works. Published between 1605 and 1618, Cervantes' novel is replete with references that illuminate a musical world that was an important creative center for both vocal and instrumental music in the early 17th century. Piffaro's musical interpretation of Don Quixote will include repertoire and orchestration reminiscent of Golden Age Spain, with lighting effects that will transport audiences into Cervantes' captivating world, and movement choreographed by the award-winning New York-based choreographer Christopher Williams, whose works have been commissioned and presented by the English National Opera, Martha Graham Dance Company, and Danspace Project, among many others. To augment the experience for concert-goers, Piffaro will host a symposium organized and moderated by Sonia Velázquez, Assistant Professor in the Romance Language Department at the University of Pennsylvania.
*Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.*