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Desert Baroque Presents: “The Suite Life” in Palm Springs

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Desert Baroque, “The Suite Life” is partly supported by the Western Early Keyboard Association.

Please help support this unique offering of Desert Baroque! Make a generous contribution via PayPal by using the Donate Via PayPal button below.  Alternately, you may print this Donation Form and mail it with your check to the address on the form.  Your donations sent via WEKA are used to support Desert Baroque Presents: “The Suite Life.”

We thank you whole heartedly for your contribution to the Desert Baroque inaugural season. Contributions are essential to the life of the arts, and your support helps to broaden the spectrum of arts in the Coachella Valley. Your donation will be acknowledged in the printed programs and on the Sponsors page.

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Desert Baroque

Margaret Irwin-Brandon
Margaret Irwin-Brandon

Desert Baroque was founded by Margaret Irwin-Brandon: Founder and Director Emerita of Arcadia Players Baroque Orchestra, Fulbright Scholar, renowned performer on early keyboard instruments and long-time collaborator with Dutch violinist, Jaap Schroder.

Presents: “The Suite Life”

Webb Wiggins
Webb Wiggins

The Suite Life is a thrilling weekend intensive dedicated to the harpsichord. Participants will be treated to performances and master classes by world-renowned harpsichordists including Elaine Funaro, Margaret Irwin-Brandon, Sonia Lee, Gilbert Martinez, Charles Metz,  Webb Wiggins, and others. Whether you are simply an appreciator of the harpsichord, a performer new to the instrument or a professional harpsichordist, this is a weekend NOT TO BE MISSED.


Dates and Location




Friday, January 20 – Sunday, January 22, 2017
In Greater Palm Springs, California





Gilbert Martinez
Gilbert Martinez

Workshops are the heart of the weekend, and will be unique in that ALL those interested in participating will be welcome to do so. There will be robust and engaging conversations both with words and music about the history of the dance movements assembled into suites, and the sharing of information about current performance practice as it relates to the harpsichord. Since the Suites make up a major portion of harpsichord literature they are an essential component to understanding and enjoyment of the harpsichord itself – both historically and within the contemporary realm. While there is no call for academic papers, it will be expected that performers come prepared to contribute knowledge and insight to their performances.


Sonia Lee

The master classes will be approximately 3 hours each. The instructors Gilbert Martinez and Sonia Lee will introduce the material and facilitate the performances of the attendees – allowing those performances to be of value to all, from the professional to the student harpsichordist. These sessions will offer the opportunity to observe, question, advance ideas, review and revise knowledge, and to give and receive feedback on performances. In order to make these workshops even more valuable, participants will be asked to submit their chosen repertoire upon registration, so that the course “curriculum” can be balanced and distributed to all participants in advance. Of course, auditors are welcome but the masterclasses will be more meaningful if you choose to participate.


Basic Schedule

    • Friday, January 20, 2017
      • Morning rehearsals, practice time
      • Afternoon master class – Allemande and Courante
      • Evening Recital – Gilbert Martinez
    • Saturday, January 21, 2017
      • Morning rehearsals, practice time
      • Afternoon master class – Sarabande and Gigue
      • Evening Concert – Concerti for two, three and four harpsichords by Johann Sebastian Bach, with string band
    • Sunday, January 22, 2017
      • Morning master class – Minuet, Gavotte, Bourrée and other dances
      • Participant Luncheon
      • Afternoon Recital – “Baroque to Beyond,” contemporary works performed by Elaine Funaro, Sonia Lee and Margaret Irwin-Brandon, and works from the Baroque by selected workshop participants

Venues and Instruments

Elaine Funaro
Elaine Funaro

Events will take place in and around Palm Springs, famous for its welcoming weather, mid-century modern architecture, landscape of palms, peaks, pools and golf – and now, music of the Baroque. You’ll find events presented in an eclectic manner – from intimate spaces to public halls.

Various harpsichords will be made available for those wishing to practice or simply try out a different keyboard. We invite harpsichord builders to share their work as well; appropriate spaces and conditions for the instruments will be made available.



Charles Metz
Charles Metz

Places for master class participants are limited, so sign up in advance to hold your place at Cost for the weekend: $225/participant, includes master classes, recitals and Sunday luncheon.  Registrations must be received by December 1, 2016. Housing is available at local hotels with pre-negotiated rates.

See for further details.  Send inquiries to Margaret Irwin-Brandon: mibrandon[at]verizon[dot]net  (To use the email address, replace [at] with @ and [dot] with .)  Or telephone:   760-774-8300



January 20, 2017
January 22, 2017

Past WEKA Events