The Valencia Baryton Project was founded in Valencia, Spain with the vision of performing the nearly 160 works written by Franz Joseph Haydn as well as compositions by other composers, both modern and classical. At the heart of the ensemble is the traditional formation in trio – baryton, viola, and violoncello – for which Haydn wrote 123 works of outstanding beauty during his time as the court composer for the Prince Esterhazy of Austria.
Matthew Baker is one of only a handful baryton performers in the world, an instrument considered to have been the pinnacle of aristocratic instruments of the classical era. On cello is Alex Friedhoff, a former Music Academy of the West student (2004 and 2005). For their first performance at the SBMA, (after their last concert had to be cancelled) the group will play Haydn’s Baryton trios numbers 67 in G Major, 113 in D Major, 87 in A minor, and 69 in D Major. They will also perform works written especially for the trio including Canadian composer Steve Zink’s The River, British composer John Pickup’s Prelude 1 and a U.S. premiere of Pickup’s new composition Lament.