New Comma Baroque at Mendelssohn Jan. 24

Online Staff Report

Enjoy Baroque music in a new and vibrant way with New Comma Baroque at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 24, at Mendelssohn Hall, 406 N. Main St., Rockford.

Dedicated to re-engaging modern audiences in historically informed performance, the Chicago-based ensemble New Comma Baroque features violinist Matthew C. Cataldi, flutist Leighann R. Daihl, gambist Phillip W. Serna, harpsichordist Emily J. Katayama and a variety of other collaborators celebrating cultural diversity through our rich musical heritage in the concert hall and beyond.

Advocating a strong sense of cultural context as well as community and educational outreach, New Comma Baroque works in close conjunction with Illinois’ first period-instrument public school Baroque orchestra at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Ill., as well as other programs.

About the members

Performing throughout the United States and Europe, Matthew C. Cataldi has performed a full range of solo, chamber and orchestral works. He has appeared as a soloist with many orchestras and his solo period instrumental performances have been reviewed as “sweet and well-judged” (Cross Palms) and met with “clarity and strength” (Chicago Classical Music). His period performances can be heard on WFMT’s Live Music Mondays and he has recorded for Cedille & Naxos Records.

Leighann R. Daihl, historical flutist, has concertized throughout central Europe as well as the United States both as a soloist and as a collaborator of chamber and orchestral music. Holding numerous degrees in both modern and historical flutes from DePauw University, Indiana University, and the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, Daihl performs on modern flute, Baroque flute and classical flute.

Emily Jane Katayama maintains a diverse career as a solo and collaborative performer, educator and lecturer. She holds a master of music degree in harpsichord performance from the University of Michigan, where she studied with Edward Parmentier, and a bachelor of music degree in piano performance from the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music (Wheaton, Ill.). A dedicated chamber musician, Emily is a founding member of the period ensembles New Comma Baroque and Antiqua Baroque Consort.

Phillip W. Serna performs on double bass with numerous Midwest orchestras as well as on violas da gamba with period-instrument Early Music ensembles including Ars Antigua, the Bach Collegium of Fort Wayne, the Callipygian Players, the Chicago Early Music Consort, Duo fantaisie en Echo, Harmonie, Madison Bach Musicians, the Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra, the Newberry Consort, the Oriana Singers, the Second City Musick, the Secret of the Muses, the Spirit of Gambo — a Chicago Consort of Viols, and many others. In performance, Phillip has appeared on Chicago’s 98.7FM WFMT, Wisconsin Public Radio, Milwaukee Public Radio and WUIS NPR and can be heard on CD releases from Clarion, Cedille, Soundbyte and Varèse Sarabande Records.

To learn more about New Comma Baroque, visit

Admission to the Jan. 24 event is $25 for adults, $10 for students up to age 25. For tickets, call (815) 964-9713, visit, purchase them at the box office (Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.) or purchase them at the door. All seating is first come, first serve. Proceeds will benefit the musicians and the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center.

Posted Jan. 22, 2014

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