Don't be embarrassed if you haven't heard of all the composers on this year's Vivaldi by Candlelight concert. Even Gerald Elias, the event's music director and a highly credentialed violinist, learned of one of them only recently.
"This year of course there'll be Vivaldi, but there's also music by composers whose names are rarely heard," Elias said. "One of them, Pietro Castrucci, I'd never heard of in my life until I started researching.
"He was a phenomenal composer. He studied with Corelli and he was concertmaster of Handel's orchestra in London, and his compositions are just wonderful."
Fellow Baroque composers Alessandro Scarlatti, William Boyce, George Philipp Telemann are also on the program, along with the Red Priest himself. "We're including a sinfonia from one of Vivaldi's operas ['Ottone in Villa'], and a concerto originally written for violin and cello but arranged for harpsichord, and a very unusual concerto for two violins, one of which is an echo," Elias said. Featured performers are harpsichordist Pamela Palmer Jones and violinists Bonnie Terry and Krista Utrilla.