Berks Sinfonietta continues its on-line concert series this Saturday, March 27 at 7;30 pm. The concert can be viewed on Facebook and YouTube.

The concert opens with the first of Handel’s “Concerto Grosso No. 1” in G Major. Handel composed his entire set of 12 Concerti (opus 6) in the space of a single month in the autumn of 1739; each concerto displays a forceful, dramatic personality, with striking melodies, unexpected harmony and dynamic changes, and playful banter between the soloists and the more powerful ensemble. The short opening movement, solemn and majestic, quickly moves into a lively allegro. The following Adagio features a beguiling duet between the violins, followed by a fugue and toe-tapping gigue, the soloists echoing the full orchestra.

During the first months of the pandemic, players from the orchestra got together with our Artistic Director to make informal videos, which were shared on the ensemble’s Facebook page. This concert will include one of those videos, featuring bassoonist Garrett Brown accompanied by David McConnell. Garrett plays “Three Pieces” by the 20th-century French composer Charles Koechlin. A pupil of Massenet and Fauré, a substantial portion of his oeuvre includes music written for wind instruments. The three pieces are sensuously evocative, moving from a mood of quiet meditation to greater animation and ecstasy.  


Composer Elfrida Andrée was born in Visby, Sweden and had her first music lessons with father. She attended the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm where she studied both organ and composition, and later studied in Copenhagen. After working as an organist in Stockholm from 1861 to 1867, she became music director and organist in Gšteborg, where she remained for the rest of her career. Elected to the Swedish Academy of Music in 1879, she composed over 100 works, including Tva Romanser for violin and piano, Sonata for Violin and Piano in B-flat, and the String Quartet in D Minor.” 


Jonathan Spatola-Knoll, a noted scholar and conductor, transcribed this quartet for string orchestra, naming it “Serenade for String Orchestra.” In 1909 Andrée added a string bass part without changing the original string quartet parts, suggesting she intended that the work be performed by a string quartet, quintet, or string orchestra. Berks Sinfonietta’s performance will be the premiere of Spatola-Knoll’s transcription, which successfully highlights Andrée’s romantically songful and richly harmonized writing. 


Viewing is free and available to all. Berks Sinfonietta request donations equaling normal ticket costs ($15/Adult and $5/Child). Tune in for an evening of joyous and beautiful music, Saturday, March 27 at 7:30 pm. Streamed live on Facebook and YouTube – to learn more visit www.berkssinfonietta.org.

While viewership of our digital concerts is free, Berks Sinfonietta relies on public donations to hire local musicians, purchase and rent music, and continue bringing great music to our community.

Please consider a donation in any amount or on a recurring basis.

Upcoming Concerts


Saturday, June 12th, 2021

Berks Sinfonietta is performing at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary.

This LIVE concert features outdoor-themed programming including Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring and the world premiere of the National Parks Suite by Jill Haley, a Reading native. In addition to music, enjoy light refreshments and the birds and wildlife of Hawk Mountain!

Tickets will be limited. Sign up for our mailing list and be the first to buy tickets when they go on sale. 


Berks Sinfonietta was established in 2014 as a group made up of local musicians, dedicated to exploring the vast repertoire of all periods. One of its distinguishing characteristics is the intergenerational approach, where young professionals, advanced students and gifted amateurs come together to learn from one another and to create performances of unqualified excellence. We also intend to explore various aspects of performance practice, and to build a new audience for classical music through education and outreach.


710 N. 5th St.

Reading, PA 19601

© 2021 Berks Sinfonietta

Website by Brandon Buterbaugh

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