Before the turn of the 20th century, string and wind instruments were generally built for more intimate concert settings than the large symphony orchestra concerts of modern times. Chamber music performances were very common and brought people together in homes or small concert halls. The raw-sounding warmth of the period instrument reminds us of ourselves as humans. Our imperfections and weaknesses may hinder us as individuals, but together we can create something of beauty and meaning that transcends the individual.
La Speranza was founded by violist Yvonne Smith in 2016 in her dream of sharing this transcendent beauty with audiences everywhere in Houston, and eventually the country. At La Speranza, we seek to bring the transformative experience of historically informed performance to our audiences through our concert series and free community concerts.
At La Speranza, our instruments are as close as possible to what would have been used to premiere the works we perform. This means our stringed instruments are equipped with gut strings and no chin rests, shoulder rests, or endpins. Our wind instruments are originals or copies of originals from the appropriate era, and instead of a Steinway, we use fortepianos or harpsichords as our keyboard instrument of choice.
La Speranza exists to illuminate and explore the connection between historically informed chamber music performances and our overall wellbeing in each one of our concerts. We might be performing in a concert hall or a hospital room, a living room with fifteen people or a theater with five hundred people, but our goal is always to bring the unforgettable intimacy of Baroque, Classical, and Romantic era chamber music on period instruments to communities all over Houston and the United States.