The Theatre at Washington, VA Presents – “Smithsonian at Little Washington”


“SMITHSONIAN AT LITTLE WASHINGTON” – Performance Date – Saturday, May 10, 2014 at 8 p.m.

The final concert in this season’s Smithsonian at Little Washington series presents the season’s earliest works, with a rare opportunity to hear a consort compromising four of America’s leading gambists playing a group of antique instruments from the remarkable Caldwell Collection of Viols. The date is Saturday, May 10 at 8 p.m., and the venue, the Theatre at Washington.

The Smithsonian Consort of Viols comprises Catharina Meints, Brent Wissick, Craig Trompeter, and Kenneth Slowik. Each of the musicians has had a long and distinguished career as a soloist and chamber musician as well as teaching at conservatories.

The consort will play English music from the 16th and 17th centuries by Alfonso Ferrabosco the elder (1543-1588), Richard Mico (1590-1661) and Henry Purcell (1659-1695).

Ferrabosco is thought to have come to England from his native Italy in his late teens. He found work at the Court of Queen Elizabeth I and was said to have been “unusually well paid” for a Court musician. Eventually, however, he returned to Italy and it is said that despite the Queen’s efforts, he could not be lured back to London during the final years of his life.

Richard Mico, on the other hand, was born in England although he, too, may have been indirectly influenced by his European background — his forbears were said to be French Huguenots. A contemporary musician, writing shortly after Mico’s death, said that Mico was one of the best composers of fantasias, though it appears that none of his works for viols had been published while he was alive.

The best known of this trio of composers is Henry Purcell who was born to a musical family and is generally recognized, even now, as one of England’s foremost composers. And so he was regarded, too, in his own day — a contemporary musician referred to him as “the greatest genius we ever had.”

Tickets for the Saturday evening performance are $25 for adults, $10 under 18. Reservations are recommended. To make reservations, or to obtain a copy of the Theatre’s spring schedule, phone (540) 675-1253, or send email to, or write to The Theatre, P.O. Box 322, Washington VA 22747.

The Theatre at Washington, Virginia
291 Gay Street
P.O. Box 322
Washington, VA 22747
Inquiries: Wendy Weinberg
Phone: 540-675-1253