A turning point in classical music. Take a joyous journey to where it all began – Italy – the birthplace of the orchestra and the Baroque classical era. Widely considered to be the one of the most influential periods for modern western music, the Baroque style is marked by fuller and more complex musical compositions, including multiple independent melody lines, performed simultaneously by different instruments, and often incorporating voices, just as we see in modern symphonic presentations.


  • THE TURNING POINT: 17th century Italy is the birthplace of the modern orchestra. Early instrumental ensembles consisted mostly of string instruments with the occasional addition of the harpsichord and a handful of winds.
  • Baroque Italian composers not only shaped the musical styles and forms for generations to come, but introduced musical terminology that is still used today by musicians all over the world.
  • Italian instrument makers of 17th and 18th century, including Antonio Stradivari and Giuseppe Guarneri built the best and highest quality string instruments, unmatched by later generations. The value of the most expensive Stradivari violin – the so called “Stradivari Messiah”, is estimated to be worth approximately $200 million.
  • Ottorino Respighi (1879 – 1936) was a proud admirer of his country’s musical past. In addition to his modern works, he composed a series of works that evoke Italian music from previous centuries, including Ancient Airs and Dances, presented at this performance.