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The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra will return to the Williams Center for the Arts in a special performance with German countertenor Andreas Scholl 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4.

Orpheus will conduct an open, free rehearsal of the evening’s program at 6:00 p.m. Families with children are welcome.

The concert will feature baroque concertos by Arcangelo Corelli and Georg Philipp Telemann, Handel arias, traditional Irish, Welsh, English, and American songs, and J.S. Bach’s Orchestral Suite no. 4. The program is the same one performed by Orpheus and Scholl at Carnegie Hall and other venues in a U.S. tour during the 2001-2002 season.

Tickets cost $25 and may be purchased by calling the box office at 610-330-5009. Tickets also may be purchased for Orpehus’ third concert at Lafayette this season, an engagement with soloist Liang Ping How 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1.

Regarded among the outstanding countertenors of his generation, Scholl was born in Germany, receiving his early musical training with the Kiedricher Chorbuben. Between 1987-1993, he studied with Richard Levitt and René Jacobs at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, where he was awarded a Diploma of Ancient Music. He is also a graduate of the Foundation Ernst Göhner and Association Migros. In 1992, Scholl was awarded the Conseil de l’Europe and the Foundation Claude Nicolas Ledoux. He is also a winner of the 1999 ECHO Awards and the Prix de l’Union de la Presse musicale belge.

In concert, Scholl works regularly with the world’s leading conductors and ensembles, including John Nelson and the Cleveland Orchestra, Philippe Herreweghe and the Collegium Vocale, Christopher Hogwood and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Ton Koopman and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. At the BBC Promenade Concerts, he has sung Julius Caesar and Bach’s Magnificat with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under René Jacobs, the title role in Solomon with the Gabrieli Consort conducted by Paul McCreesh, and Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra.

As a recital artist, Scholl has appeared at Wigmore Hall, Cologne Philharmonie, Concertgebouw, and Tonhalle Zurich, and at the Sydney, Brighton, Lufthansa, Schwetzinger and Schleswig-Holstein Festivals. He made his operatic debut as Bertarido in Handel’s Rodelinda at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera; this season he appears in the title role in Handel’s Giulio Cesare with the Royal Danish Opera. Also during the 2001-2002 season, he makes his New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall and tours the United States with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and Europe with Barbara Bonney and Freiburg Baroque Orchestra.

Scholl’s solo recordings include Vivaldi motets with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and a disc of arias by Handel, Mozart, Hasse, and Gluck titled Heroes. His discography also includes the title role in Solomon, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, and Monteverdi’s Orfeo and 1610 Vespers, as well as the Gramophone Award-winning recordings of Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater, Antonio Caldara’s Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo, and Robert Dowland’s A Musicall Banquet. His most recent release is Wayfaring Stranger, a collection of English and American folksongs.

Recognized internationally as one of the world’s great chamber orchestras, Orpheus celebrates its 29th season of concert activity spanning four continents, including appearances in the major cities of North and South America, Europe, and Asia. The centerpiece of each Orpheus season is its five-concert series at Carnegie Hall.

Accompanying the critical acclaim for the orchestra’s live appearances are numerous distinctions and awards, including a 2001 Grammy Award for “Shadow Dances: Stravinsky Miniatures,” three 1999 Grammy Awards for its jazz-inspired Ravel and Gershwin collaboration with Herbie Hancock, a 1998 Grammy nomination for its recording of Mozart piano concertos with Richard Goode, and the 1998 “Ensemble of the Year” award by Musical America.

Orpheus was founded in 1972 by cellist Julian Fifer and a group of fellow musicians who aspired to perform chamber orchestral repertory as chamber music through their own close collaborative efforts, and without a conductor. Orpheus developed its approach to the study and performance of this repertory by bringing to the orchestral setting the chamber music principles of personal involvement and mutual respect. Orpheus is a self-governing organization, making the repertory and interpretive decisions ordinarily assumed by a conductor. Next month, Holt/NY Times Books will publish a book about Orpheus and its management model, Leadership Ensemble: Lessons in Collaborative Management from the World’s Only Conductorless Orchestra, written by Orpheus executive director Harvey Seifter and business writer Peter Economy.

Members of Orpheus have received recognition for solo, chamber music, and orchestral performances. Of the 17 string and ten wind players who comprise the core membership of Orpheus, many also hold teaching positions at prominent conservatories and universities in the New York and New England areas, including Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, Mannes College of Music, Columbia University, and Yale University.

Orpheus has recorded extensively for Deutsche Grammophon. Included in the catalogue of over 50 recordings are several Haydn symphonies and Mozart serenades, the complete Mozart wind concertos with Orpheus members as soloists, Romantic works by Dvorák, Grieg and Tchaikovsky, and a number of 20th-century classics by Bartók, Prokofiev, Copland and Stravinsky. Recent collaborations include a recording with countertenor Andreas Scholl to be released in December (Decca); “Creation,” a jazz-inspired CD of classics from 1920s Paris with saxophonist Branford Marsalis (SONY Classical); a series of recordings of Mozart piano concertos with Richard Goode (Nonesuch); a recording with cellist Mischa Maisky (DG); and a recording of Piazzolla works with tango pianist Pablo Ziegler (BMG).

The 2001-2002 Performance Series at Lafayette is supported in part by gifts from members of Friends of the Williams Center for the Arts, and by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour, and New England Foundation for the Arts.

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