Hiram – Hiram Community Trust and the Hiram College Music Department are sponsoring an outstanding opportunity for music lovers to enjoy the performances of two internationally-known musicians presenting Masterworks of J.S. Bach in Transcription on Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. in Frohring Music Recital Hall.

The musicians are Michael Sponseller, harpsichord, and Douglas Kelley, viola da gamba, both well-known for mastery of their Renaissance/Baroque instruments on stages around the world.  Both are graduates of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music here in northeast Ohio.

Mr. Kelley has performed and taught at venues from Amsterdam to Zagreb, including the Osaka( Japan) International Chamber Music Competition.  His instrument ( a bowed descendant of the fifteenth century vihuela, plucked, similar to a guitar)is an original viola da gamba made by Johann Hasert in 1723, available courtesy of the Caldwell Collection of Viols, Oberlin, OH.

Mr. Sponseller is recognized as one of the outstanding American harpsichordist of his generation (The harpsichord is a forerunner of the piano, which  became the dominant keyboard instrument of the 18th century.  Its sound is produced by plucking the strings rather than striking them).  Since his work at Oberlin and the Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague, he has participated in festivals and concerts around the world as recitalist, soloist and partner to other fine musicians, including baroque orchestras and chamber groups such as the Bach Collegium San Diego.  He is heard on numerous recordings from Naxos, Vanguard Classics, Delos, Centaur and Electra as well as contributing from the orchestra pit in productions of operas by Handel and Rameau.  In the Handel & Haydn Society and in Boston’s Emmanuel Music his presence is felt in their performances of J.S. Bach’s sacred cantatas.  Outside his performance schedule, he can be found teaching at the Longy School of Music and serving as artistic director of Ensemble Florilage.

The performances of these two exceptional artists are free and open to the public.  All are invited.