On the 16th of July 2016, our violinists Eliza McCracken and Sarah Papadopoulos arrived in Urbino, Italy, to partake in the Italian Foundation for Early Music Festival (FIMA). Eliza and Sarah were primarily involved in the Chamber music course run by the internationally renowned Baroque violinist, Enrico Gatti.
Throughout their time in Urbino, they performed Rosenmüller’s Sonata No. 7, Corelli’s Trio Sonata Opus 4 No. 4, and accompanied various Handel arias. Working so closely with Gatti allowed Eliza and Sarah to develop a thorough understanding of the standard and teaching style in Italy, whilst fully immersing them in the true Italian Baroque spirit.
Each year, the festival brings musicians from around the globe to work with the some of the finest Baroque musicians in the world. Eliza and Sarah being accepted into the course is an incredible achievement, and a priceless networking opportunity. Living in Perth means we are isolated from the epicenter of Baroque music. For Eliza and Sarah, working on Baroque improvisation, ornamentation, and diminution, was incredibly eye opening and gave light to how important the development of these techniques are in European institutions. Also being involved in Baroque dance classes provided a new perspective of interpreting Italian dance forms. These aspects of the course are readily available in Europe, but unfortunately not Australia. Therefore, it is vital to travel to Europe and take part in festivals, like FIMA, to gain new perspectives on interpretation, and meet fellow musicians with similar career pathways.
Living in the age of social media has allowed Eliza and Sarah to stay connected with the musicians they met in Urbino, and become aware of all the opportunities that are available to Baroque musicians in various pockets of the world. This course was not only at a very high musical standard, but was a culturally enriching experience, inspiring the girls to explore all that Italy has to offer.