The Bach Sinfonia comes to the Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center in Silver Spring on Saturday with "Gut, Wind and Wire." The intriguing title refers to the materials of the instruments played by the three members who formed the early music trio in 1983. Mark Cudek plays the cittern, bass viol, Renaissance guitar and percussion. He shares the stage with Ronn McFarlane and Mindy Rosenfeld on flutes, fifes and whistles. All three met as students at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. They became so enamored with early music that they joined forces and in 1980 became founding members of the Baltimore Consort. Today, they perform in these and other configurations. McFarlane frequently appears as solo lutist and last year received a Grammy nomination for "Indigo Road," his first CD of his original compositions.
|IF YOU GO|
|The Bach Sinfonia|
|» Where: Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center, Silver Spring|
|» When: 8 p.m., Sunday|
|» Info: Tickets: $30 adult, $27 seniors, $15 ages 15 to University, free ages under 14, at 201-362-6525 or bachsinfonia.org|
"This program will have lots of variety," Cudek said. "Along with Renaissance and Elizabethan music, it includes 18th century Celtic music and some contemporary numbers from Ronn's 'Indigo Road.' The weather affects all our instruments, so we like to arrive early in order for them to become acclimated to the hall."
As director of the early music program at Peabody Conservatory, Cudek is delighted by the talented students who enter the department. The collaboration with the vocal department brings singers into the mix. Soprano Elizabeth Hungerford, who frequently performs with the Folger Consort and other area ensembles, exemplifies many who go on to professional careers.
As a young guitarist, Cudek played rock, jazz, folk and other styles. He studied classical guitar in college, but when he heard the lute, he was inspired to get one of his own. After that introduction to early music, he could not refrain from becoming a master of the many instruments that fulfill his life today. He is proud of the program he has developed at Peabody and the growing interest of youngsters in early music. Many hear it for the first time played by European ensembles on YouTube.
Each summer, he turns his attention to the Indianapolis Early Music Festival where he is the artistic director.
"I'm planning a wonderful schedule for the three weekends that will include several East Coast groups with Peabody faculty members," he said. "ÁSacabuche!, a group of 12 musicians, dancers and actors from Indiana University, will perform a multimedia piece about a Jesuit who went to China in the 1600s. The final segment will feature Ronn performing the Vivaldi lute concerto with the Baroque Orchestra of Chicago."
As a recording artist, the winner of honors for his contributions to early music education and founder/director of the high school early music program at the famed Interlochen Arts Camp, Cudek is in demand at many festivals and venues such as the Kennedy Center and New York's Metropolitan Museum. Wherever he performs with the equally spectacular McFarlane and Rosenfeld in their Bach Sinfonia persona, the audience can expect a musical treat.