Arts Blog

Monica Huggett: a Conversation in Trio Form

Recently I had the pleasure of sitting down with the renowned violinist – and Artistic Director of Portland Baroque Orchestra – Monica Huggett. Since there was so much to talk about, this CD review is presented as a special three-part series.

Part the First:  Remembering Christopher Hogwood

I’ve known Monica for essentially the two decades she’s been here.   I’ve interviewed her about concerts, special recording projects, and have seen her perform with the PBO.  But it also occurred to me that Monica is part of the fantastic period instrument movement. She’s recorded with all the major conductors, the pioneers of the practice.  Christopher Hogwood was one of them.  The conductor (who died in 2014) and Monica recorded Vivaldi concertos in the 80s, and Monica was part of the Academy of Ancient Music on their very first LP, in 1973.  I take Ms. Huggett on a journey back to the early days with some of those now classic recordings.


Arne: Eight Overtures / Hogwood, Academy Of Ancient Music
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Part the Second:  Monica Huggett and the Portland Baroque Orchestra’s new Bach CDs

Portland Baroque Orchestra has discovered that its audiences, following a concert, love to purchase PBO’s CDs, right in the lobby.  The orchestra has been busy the past few years releasing CDs of concertos for oboe (with PBO Principal, Gonzalo Ruiz), and violin.  Here’s something I found delightful:  Monica has handed the solo parts over to several of the orchestra’s very talented musicians.  You’ll hear some of them in this part of our recent conversation.



J.S. Bach Concertos for Oboe and Oboe d’amore
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Part the Third:  Monica becomes director of Juilliard Baroque

As if Monica weren’t busy enough, she’s now performing and recording with fellow professors at Juilliard.  We talk about the work that went into their new Naxos CD of Francois Couperin’s Les Nations:  a series of trio sonatas that espouse the musical styles of several nations in Europe.  Don’t know what a trio sonata is?  Never fear!  Listen to our conversation and hear the music.



Couperin: Les Nations / Juilliard Baroque
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