7:30 - 9:30pm


Ganz Hall | 430 S. Michigan Ave, 7th floor, Chicago, IL 60605

Event type:

CCPA Performances


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About this event

The Music of Sophie Elisabeth, Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg

The Newberry Consort opens its 37th season with the delightful music of Sophie Elisabeth, Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg. Described by her teacher Heinrich Schütz as “the incomparably perfect princess in all other princely virtues, especially in the praiseworthy profession of music,” Sophie Elisabeth (1613-1676) was a composer, poet, translator, arts patron, and impresario who transformed Lower Saxony into a thriving center for music and the humanities. Her musical talents and patronage made her famous during her lifetime and influenced early Baroque music in Germany for years to come.

Despite her many accomplishments, Sophie Elisabeth has nearly vanished from history. The Newberry Consort is thrilled to reintroduce her musical works, many of which have never been performed in the United States. The program features selections from over a hundred surviving pieces, including strophic songs, instrumental sinfonias, dances, sacred concertos, and music from her Festspielen—masque-like music dramas that Sophie Elisabeth referred to as “song-ballets.” The concerts will also include works by her teachers, including the influential Heinrich Schütz and English expatriate William Brade. Audiences will hear singers, viola da gamba, organ, lute, harpsichord, and a consort of strings and trombones. The soundscape recalls that of Sophie Elisabeth’s “Castle of the Moon”—an interpretation of the name “Lüneburg” by the dukes who lived there, as well as an allusion to female power.

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The Newberry Consort is an Ensemble-in-Residence at Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts.