Arts Society & Culture

Red Priest to give ‘Viva Baroque’ concert at UGA Performing Arts Center

Red Priest dancing-sq
Red Priest's repertoire ranges from obscure 17th century sonatas to the most famous works of Bach and Vivaldi

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia Performing Arts Center will present Red Priest Nov. 12 at 8 p.m. in Hodgson Concert Hall. Known for flamboyant and theatrical performances, Red Priest will offer a program called “Viva Baroque,” featuring music by Bach, Handel and Vivaldi.

“Baroque music revels in the extravagant,” the group said. “The very word ‘baroque’ implies bizarre and over the top, and the leading musicians of the day were true pioneers, riding the seas of change with wild abandon, ever searching for new musical ideas to titillate the ears and move the souls of the public.”

Red Priest is the only early music group in the world to have been compared in the press to the Rolling Stones, Jackson Pollock, the Marx Brothers, Spike Jones and Cirque du Soleil. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said, “Any group that can make you rethink a masterpiece and also make it fun is rare indeed.”

Founded in 1997, Red Priest is named after the flame-haired priest, Antonio Vivaldi. The group has performed throughout Europe, Japan, Australia and North and Central America with regular appearances at international festivals that include the Hong Kong Arts Festival, Moscow December Nights Festival, Schwetzingen Festival, Prague Spring Festival, Ravinia Festival and Bermuda Festival.

In 2008, Red Priest launched its own record label, Red Priest Recordings. Recent releases have included a swashbuckling collection titled “Pirates of the Baroque” and the all-Bach “Johann, I’m Only Dancing.” The group’s latest release is a tribute to another Baroque master, “Handel in the Wind.”

The Performing Arts Center will offer a pre-concert lecture at 7:15 p.m. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Tickets for the concert are $25-$35 with discounts for UGA students and can be purchased at the Performing Arts Center, online at or by calling the box office at 706-542-4400 or toll free at 888-289-8497.

Red Priest’s concert will be recorded for national broadcast on American Public Media’s Performance Today.

Red Priest will also be in residence to perform a Young People’s Concert for area public school children. The performance and residency are made possible in part by a grant from the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts.

The Red Priest concert is part of Spotlight on the Arts at UGA. Presented by the UGA Arts Council, the third annual Spotlight on the Arts features more than 60 events in the visual, literary and performing arts. The nine-day festival, scheduled for Nov. 6-14, includes museum tours, discussions with writers and concerts, including a free outdoor concert on College Square. For the complete schedule, see, and follow the Arts at UGA on Facebook or Twitter.