Houston is the home to a vibrant arts scene, including a rapidly growing audience for historically informed performance. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, historically informed performance (or historical performance practice, HPP) refers to the performance of music written before the 20th century on period instruments, that is, instruments that would have been used during the time the music was written.
There are many fantastic HPP groups in Houston, like Bach Society Houston, Viols of Houston, and Ars Lyrica that mainly perform early music (music written before the Classical era began in 1750). Mercury Houston is an orchestra that performs everything from the music of the Baroque era (1600-1750) to music written in the twentieth century. Context, directed by Brian Connelly, is a group that presents chamber music works for piano from the Classical era to the 20th Century.
La Speranza is the only strings-based ensemble that presents historically informed performances of chamber music from the Baroque through Romantic eras. We are also committed to remaining a small chamber music group instead of expanding into an orchestra.
Why does this matter? Why does Houston benefit from period instrument strings-based chamber music?
1. We are uniquely positioned to provide high quality string chamber music to Houston audiences because this is our only focus. Whether we’re at Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center or at MATCH, our goal is to perform historically informed chamber music at the highest level. We have the time and resources to research and put together stellar programs that enrich and brighten the lives of our audience members.
2. The average Houstonian concertgoer only hears historical performance experts in an orchestral context. La Speranza provides the unprecedented opportunity to hear these and other seasoned musicians in a chamber music setting. In this more intimate context, audience members gain a deeper connection with musicians and the music itself.
3. Without La Speranza, Houstonians simply do not hear Classical and Romantic era chamber music for strings played on period instruments. Performances on period instruments provide a fresh perspective for even the most seasoned audience members. La Speranza keeps the audience for historically informed performance fresh and excited to hear more.