Online Premiere
7:00 PM PST

February 12, 2023

A Baroque Portrait: Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre

Concert is free

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Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre was brought to the court of Louis XIV as a child prodigy and became a lifelong favorite of the king. She was one of very few musicians granted permission to dedicate her works to him. Our portrait of Jaquet de la Guerre includes her Cantata No.1 “Esther,” along with works for violin and harpsichord.

“What drew listeners beyond the level of Matthews’ imposing technique was the sense of passionate commitment beneath… the audience was wildly, and deservedly, enthusiastic.”

— Seattle Times


Katherine Goforth


Ingrid Matthews


Adaiha MacAdam-Somer


Byron Schenkman



Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre (1665-1729):

Sonata no. 4 in G Major for violin, viol and continuo (1707) 


Prelude and Chaconne in A Minor for harpsichord (1687) 

Cantata no. 1 “Esther” (1708) 


Gigue no. 2 in D Minor for harpsichord (1707) 

Sonata no. 3 in F Major for violin, viol and continuo (1707) 

Presto – Adagio

Goforth… does not hold back.”

—The New York Times

Notes on the Program

By Byron Schenkman

Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre created a sensation when she was brought to the French court of Louis XIV as a five year old child prodigy. She remained a favorite composer of the king’s and one of very few composers of any gender allowed the honor of dedicating her works to him. Jacquet published two books of harpsichord music, six violin sonatas, three collections of cantatas, and an opera. Her violin sonatas are among the first published in France and show the influence of the Italian composer Isabella Leonarda whose sonatas she undoubtedly knew. Her keyboard pieces provide a hint of why she received such acclaim for her improvisatory skill and for her exquisite taste at the harpsichord. Her cantatas, many of which feature female protagonists, show a mastery of the dramatic vocal style of the day.  

Thank You

We are extremely grateful to our generous donors who make it possible for us to offer free access to our online concerts, which require more resources to produce than in-person productions. Join the Continuo Circle to give monthly or make a one-time donation today to help us continue our mission of providing artistically excellent ensemble music in an equitable and inclusive way.

Byron Schenkman & Friends would like to gratefully acknowledge the following donors for their generous support. This list is based on donations received between December 1, 2021, and November 30, 2022.

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