The Actors Studio Chorus and Orchestra, the resident choir and orchestra at penangpac, typically brings us three concerts a year, one of which is the always sold-out Christmas concert. For the last couple of years, Penang has been treated to the crowd-pleasing tunes and witty lyrics of Gilbert and Sullivan operas for the Choir’s September concert. This year, Conductor Martin Rutherford has challenged both his Choir and his audience by putting together an ambitious programme of classic choral masterpieces from the Baroque period. 

Baroque Music generally applies to works written between 1600 and 1750 by composers such as Bach, Handel and Vivaldi. Baroque Music made considerable use of counterpoint, or polyphony, in which multiple melodic independent melodic lines are performed simultaneously. The earliest work in the programme – Beatus Vir was written by Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi, an Italian composer, string player and singer who is considered a crucial transitional figure between the Renaissance and the Baroque periods of music history. It is followed by a famous piece – Adagio in G minor  by another Italian famous opera composer – Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni, originally for violin, strings and organ and has been the subject of many modern recordings. The other works include excerpts from The Four Seasons by Vivaldi, Magnificat by Pergolesi, Ricercare a Six by Bach, Zadok the Priest and the Hallelujah Chorus by Handel and many more.

While not every tune will be familiar to the audience, some will be (and many may be tempted to sing along to Handel’s Messiah in particular), and all will fill the listener with wonder as the intersecting and interlocking streams of melodies blend together with the richness of harmony unique to that period in music. As ever, the choir will be ably accompanied by the top classical musicians in Penang, brought together specially for this performance under the aegis of the Actors Studio Orchestra.

There will be one performance only of at penangpac on 16th September 2017 at 8.30pm. Tickets are available at RM 40 from penangpac’s Box Office, or online via