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About MCB

Music City Baroque is Nashville’s premier period instrument ensemble and the only professional organization in Tennessee that brings concerts based in historically and culturally informed performances practices to audiences in Nashville and surrounding areas. With our unique commitment to the incredible wealth of the Baroque repertoire we are making our own contribution to elevate Nashville as “Music City”.

 

A musician-led group, Music City Baroque draws its performers primarily from local musicians, but also invites expert musicians from across the nation. Guest artists have included renowned early music specialists such as Barthold Kuijken (flute), Monica Huggett (violin), Robert Mealy (violin), Stephen Redfield (violin), as well as Allison Nyquist (violin), who served as Artistic Director from 2015-2017. 

 

The ensemble is currently led by Dr. Maria J. Romero Ramos (Assistant Professor of the Practice in Violin and Baroque Violin and Director of Historical Performance at Vanderbilt University Blair School of Music). 

 

Many of our performers are educators in public and private educational settings, and educational outreach is a major goal for us in upcoming seasons. We are uniquely positioned to connect our modern world of music to music and musicians who have gone before us. 

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Our Community

Through its twenty-year history, Music City Baroque’s outreach into the greater Nashville community and to local ensembles and institutions have resulted in the following collaborations:

 

  • Casual “coffee concerts” with Nashville coffee roaster Bongo Java

  • A concert featuring Mexican Baroque Music in collaboration with the Center for Latin American Studies at Vanderbilt University CLAS (now CLACX))

  • J.S. Bach’s Coffee Cantata at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts (now Frist Art Museum) with the local coffee roaster CREMA

  • Performances of J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion and B-Minor Mass at St. George’s Episcopal Church Nashville

  • A “fiddling” project which explored the common roots between Baroque-style violin playing and Country-style fiddling, connecting older performances practices with contemporary music making (supported by a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission)

  • Messiah-Sing-Alongs at Christ Church Cathedral Nashville

  • Concerts with the Vox Grata Women's Choir featuring newly discovered repertoire for women singers of the 17th and 18th century

  • A concert featuring Music and Musicians of Spanish America for the Frist Art Museum, (January 2024)

  • “How the fiddle became the violin” with select orchestra programs at Metro Nashville Public Schools (upcoming September 2024; supported by a grant from The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee

 

Our History

Music City Baroque was founded in 2005 (originally named Belle Meade Baroque) by Dr. Murray Forbes Somerville (harpsichord and organ), Karen Clarke (violin), and George Riordan (oboe). Since then, the ensemble has been playing music with sensitive renderings of the expressive, elegant, and passionate styles of the Baroque period. Music City Baroque has been recognized by critics for “extraordinary expression” and “grace, taste, and unfailing sensitivity”.
 

 

Our Organization

 

Music City Baroque - Board of Directors

 

Maria Romero Ramos, Artistic Director

Mareike Sattler, President

Idalynn Besser, Treasurer

Jessica Dunnavant, Concert Operations

Carrie Kimbrough, Secretary 

Christina Vongsiharath, Intern


 

Music City Baroque is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization as recognized by the State of Tennessee and the United States of America. All donations are tax-deductible.

 

Music City Baroque is supported by a grant from the Metro Arts commission (2023-2024)

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