Concerti con Molti Strumenti

Media Release

Concerti con Molti Strumenti
Victoria Baroque Players
Steven Devine harpsichord/director

Victoria Baroque Players finish their sixth season with an orchestral extravaganza of multi-instrument concertos for horns, winds, and strings, directed by the British harpsichord-wizard, Steven Devine. The programme, “Concerti con Molti Strumenti”, includes the First and Fifth of Bach’s famous Brandenburg Concertos, along with multi-instrument concertos by Baroque masters, Telemann and Heinichen.

Each of Bach’s six Brandenburg Concertos are written for a different, unusual combination of solo instruments. The First calls for a solo piccolo violin, two horns, three oboes, bassoon, and orchestral strings: though very exuberant in nature, it is also a true chamber concerto in the way the different parts are intertwined and interact with each other throughout the piece. The Fifth Brandenburg Concerto is more intimate in its instrumentation – solo harpsichord, flute, violin, and orchestral strings – and includes the legendary harpsichord cadenza in the first movement. Bach was the first composer to use harpsichord as a solo instrument in orchestral music, and the concerto is a true celebration of the possibilities of the instrument. Devine will come to Victoria with musical insights gained from having just recently performed all Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in London, UK.

The VBP’s May programme will also include the opening Sinfonia from Bach’s Cantata BWV 174, which re-uses the first movement of his Brandenburg Concerto No.3, enhancing the nine-part string writing with two horns and three oboes. Other works in the programme are equally novel in their instrumentation: Telemann’s Concerto in B flat for three oboes, three violins and continuo, and Heinichen’s Concerto in F major for solo violin, flute, two horns, three oboes, bassoon, and strings. Devine’s masterful solo harpsichord playing will be further featured in Handel’s Chaconne for harpsichord and strings, transcribed from one of Handel’s organ concertos by Devine himself.

Leading a busy life as a guest director, and solo and orchestral harpsichordist in Europe, Devine makes his home in Kent, South-East England. Devine’s recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations were acclaimed as being “amongst the best” by Gramophone Magazine. “Concerti con Molti Strumenti” is a continuation of the fruitful collaboration between the VBP and Devine begun last year, when the VBP had the privilege of working with Devine on two occasions: an orchestral programme in January under Devine’s direction, and the Victoria Conservatory of Music Summer Oratorio Programme’s concerts.

During Devine’s upcoming May visit, Devine will also be giving a workshop for the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra May 22nd, and a masterclass on continuo playing for local keyboardists May 23rd. Both events are open to public for auditing; more details can be found at

“Concerti con Molti Strumenti”
Friday May 26th 7:30pm Christian Reformed Church, 930 Trunk Rd, Duncan Saturday May 27th 7:30pm Church of St John the Divine, 1611 Quadra St, Victoria Sunday May 28th 2:30pm Artspring, 100 Jackson Ave, Saltspring Island

Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra: Workshop on Baroque Performance with S. Devine Monday May 22nd 1.15-4pm St John the Divine, Victoria
Harpsichord workshop and masterclass “The Art of Continuo Playing” with S. Devine Tuesday May 23rd 11-1, Church of St John the Divine, Victoria

More info at,
Ticket info for the May 27th Victoria concert at 250 595 6556
Media contact: Soile Stratkauskas,, 250 388 7760