Doing Baroque Different(ly):


Heinrich Biber, The Mystery Sonatas (1676) and The Luminous Mysteries, (2018)

Creators and performers of New Music and Early Music share a natural kinship. Both communities are driven by a desire to search, discover, and uncover in practically everything they do. It is no coincidence that many musicians who specialize in the performance of either Early or New Music readily participate in the other as well.  


This project is a unique collaboration that combines the two.


Heinrich Biber's Rosary or Mystery Sonatas are well-loved gems of the Baroque: fifteen sonatas inspired by the fifteen Rosary Mysteries, employing scordatura and virtuosic techniques. However, in 2004 Pope John Paul II proposed a new additional set of five Rosary Mysteries: the "Luminous Mysteries." To "complete" the cycle, and taking inspiration from Biber's original fifteen, five new Rosary Sonatas are being composed for these additional five Luminous Mysteries - with the support of New Music USA - by Derrick Spiva Jr., Joseph Trapanese, and Jonathan Beard. They will be performed in early 2019 - by the exciting new period-performance group Ensemble Bizarria - alongside Biber's originals, in a series of engaging mixed-media performances at throughout Los Angeles, including UCLA's Powell Library Rotunda, and the Sierra Madre Playhouse (where Beard is composer in Residence).


These concerts will also form a tentpole in Ensemble Bizarria's second season. There has been no recent established period-performance ensemble in Los Angeles whose mission specifically advocates for the creation of new works for period instruments. Ensemble Bizarria fills this gap. We look forward to sharing this project with you!




Derrick Spiva is a composer who often integrates world music practices in his work with classical music communities. His compositions aim to break down the boundaries between musical genres, using integrative techniques that seek common ground between musical traditions. He has been awarded a residency with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra through New Music USA’s “Music Alive” program during LACO’s 2015-2016 season.


Joseph Trapanese's love of classical music and electronic sound has led him to the stages of Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, and Central Park; collaborations with renowned artists such as Daft Punk, Dr. Dre, and M83; and original film scores for Straight Outta Compton, Oblivion, and The Raid, among many others. He is a founding member of the New Music collective The Echo Society.


Jonathan Beard has recently composed works for the Los Angeles Master Chorale Oratorio Project; the 2015 Hear Now Music Festival; Graduale Nobili, Jodie Landau, and wild Up; and the score for the upcoming feature Frank vs. God. He has been awarded an I-Park Foundation residency for 2016. His NAACP Award-nominated music for Driving Miss Daisy was the first product of his composer-residency with the Sierra Madre Playhouse.



© 2019, Ensemble Bizarria. Site Design by Lindsey Strand-Polyak

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