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19. NOV | Roman Catholic Church Holy Cross

Elicia Silverstein
Marco Mencoboni

Mysterium II

Biber: Complete Mystery Sonatas (Rosary Sonatas) II


HOLY CROSS CHURCH (Bul. Regele Ferdinand 3)

20:30 Pre-Concert Talk ELICIA SILVERSTEIN

21:00 Nocturnal Recital

Mysterium II

The 15 Mysteries of the Rosary, practiced as a Scripture-based meditation on the life of Jesus Christ along with the Virgin Mary, constitute one of the most popular Catholic devotions, dating back to the 13th century. In this tradition, a series of prayers are recited for each of the beads on the rosary. Heinrich Biber's Rosary Sonatas for violin and continuo serve as a musical commentary accompanying this contemplative prayer, in which rhythm and inner peace are essential.

Each sonata corresponds to one of the fifteen Mysteries, and a Passacaglia for solo violin concludes the cycle. They are believed to have been composed in 1676 but were considered lost until their discovery in the Bavarian State Library and their publication in 1905.

In addition to the extreme difficulty arising from highly expressive and virtuosic writing, a highly interesting detail is the tuning (scordatura), with each sonata having a different way of tuning the strings, except for the first and last sonatas, which are tuned normally. For this reason, to perform all fifteen sonatas, Elicia Silverstein will use four different violins over the course of two days.



The Five Glorious Mysteries

XI: The Resurrection

XII: The Ascension

XIII: Pentecost (The Descent of the Holy Spirit)

XIV: The Assumption of the Virgin

XV: The Beatification (or Coronation) of the Virgin

XVI: Passacaglia

Elicia Silverstein


Violinist Elicia Silverstein, 2020 winner of the BBC Music Magazine Best Newcomer Award has garnered praise on the international stage for her nuanced, bold and insightful performances of repertoire ranging from the 17th to the 21st century.


Silverstein is equally at home as a performer on historical and modern instruments, as a soloist with orchestra, giving recitals and playing chamber music. Her “wonderfully inventive” playing (The Strad) and her “highly emotionally intelligent” (Gramophone) approach to music making distinguish Silverstein as one of the most important musical voices of her generation.

In recent season, Silverstein has performed as a soloist with ensembles including The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, The Philharmonic Orchestra of North Macedonia, The Kölner Akademie, Barokkanerne, Ensemble Odyssee, the Orquestra Clássica de Espinho, Cathedra Camerata, Tesserae Baroque, and the Steinitz Bach Players in prestigious halls such as the Washington National Cathedral, where she was Artist-in-Residence during the 2019-2020 concert season, Concertgebouw Brugge, the Berlin Konzerthaus, the Teatro Massimo di Palermo, the Teatro Comunale di Bologna and Kings College Chapel.


She regularly performers in important European festivals, such as Ravenna Festival, Baroque at the Edge Festival, ZAMUS Early Music Festival, Larvik Barokk, Gloger Festpillene, Festival Duni, Brighton Early Music Festival, the Festival Internacional de Música de Espinho and Bologna Modern. Silverstein’s performances have been broadcast on RAI Radio3 Suite’s La Stanza della musica, WQXR’s Young Artist Showcase, and BBC Radio 3’s In Tune.

Silverstein is passionate about creating concert and recording programs that “trace the mental circuits and capture and link points distant from each other in place and time,” (cit. Italo Calvino). Notably, her solo album, “The Dreams and Fables I Fashion,” released by Rubicon Classics in 2018 to international critical acclaim, brought together works of the 17th century stylus phantasticus with Bach, Berio and Sciarrino.

Her love for chamber music has led her to collaborate with artists such as keyboardists Francesco Cera, Richard Egarr, Robert Levin and Patrick Ayrton, violinists Marco Serino and Marco Bianchi, members of the Ebène Quartet, and cellist Mauro Valli and lutenist Michele Passotti, with whom she founded the ensemble Harmonical Miscellany in 2016.

Born in New York, Silverstein began playing the violin at the age of two. After graduating from the Juilliard School’s pre-college division, she continued her studies at the Colburn School’s Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles as a student of Robert Lipsett and Arnold Steinhardt. She was selected to perform as a soloist with the Colburn Orchestra on numerous occasions.


In 2013, Silverstein moved to Europe as the recipient of a Netherland-America Foundation Fulbright grant, earning her Master of Music degree cum laude at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam under the supervision of Vera Beths, Anner Bylsma and Lucy van Dael. She is an affiliate faculty member at the University of Delaware, where she teaches violin, chamber music and historical performance and regularly gives masterclasses in conservatories throughout Europe and the United States.


In 2020, she launched a historical performance program at the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with music director Federico Cortese, the first of its kind amongst American youth orchestra organizations. Silverstein plays a J.B.Vuillaume violin crafted in Paris in 1856 (copy of a Guarnieri del Gesù) and on bows made by René-William Groppe, Ralph Ashmead, Gerhard Landwehr and Andrea Proietti.

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Marco Mencoboni
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Marco Mencoboni is a musician born in 1961 in Macerata (Marche Region).
He treated music as a soloist, conductor, record producer, film producer, actor and writer.

He began his studies as composer and organist in 1976 in the Conservatorio Rossini in Pesaro with Umberto Pineschi moving then to Bologna following his teacher, where he got his diploma in 1985.


In 1984 he enrolled for harpsichord at Amsterdam’s Sweelinck Conservatory invited by Ton Koopman, later transferring in 1987 into the class of Gustav Leonhardt with whom he finished his studies in 1990. The next time he entered a school as a student was in 2009 and the motivation was to follow the lessons in renaissance polyphony by Prof Diego Fratelli at the Conservatorio in Lecce.

In the early 90s he became a music entrepreneur, record producer, artistic director of festivals - leaving behind solo activity which nobody, least of all himself, was interested in any longer.

The need and the desire to create a vocal ensemble arose from the rediscovery, in 1993, of the ancient practice of Cantar Lontano, at the time known only by musicologists but never put into practice. The practice of Cantar Lontano (which, according to its inventor Ignazio Donati, did not require a director) nevertheless initially undertook a series of experiments and attempts aimed at conducting musicians placed at a distance from each other.

The need to learn a modern directional technique, easily understood by today’s orchestras, arose when work started with some symphony orchestras and with very demanding productions such as Gioachino Rossini’s Otello.

Since 2017 he is in charge of the Monteverdi Project in Malta.

Today he performs regularly as a performer and conductor all over the world.

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