ArtsBeat

Esther Simplot, the Simplot Foundation give $90,000 to Boise Baroque

Boise arts benefactress Esther Simplot, right, spoke with National Endowment for the Arts Chairwoman Jane Chu during Chu’s Boise visit in 2015. Simplot recently endowed Ballet Idaho, Opera Idaho and the Boise Philharmonic with $3 million. Now, she adds to that with a $90,000 gift to the up-and-coming Boise Baroque Chamber Orchestra.
Boise arts benefactress Esther Simplot, right, spoke with National Endowment for the Arts Chairwoman Jane Chu during Chu’s Boise visit in 2015. Simplot recently endowed Ballet Idaho, Opera Idaho and the Boise Philharmonic with $3 million. Now, she adds to that with a $90,000 gift to the up-and-coming Boise Baroque Chamber Orchestra. Idaho Statesman file

Esther Simplot and the J.R. Simplot Foundation announced a grant of $90,000 to the Boise Baroque Chamber Orchestra. The funds will be spread over three years and will be used to boost musicians pay and develop the group farther.

This is the first large gift Simplot has made to Boise Baroque. It comes after she established a $3 million endowment for continued support for Ballet Idaho, Opera Idaho and the Boise Philharmonic in May.

“The Boise Baroque Chamber Orchestra has been an important part of the Boise arts scene for over a decade and has experienced exceptional growth and development,” Esther Simplot said in a press release. “This seemed to be an important time to take the next major step forward.”

This gift is a huge vote of confidence for the group, its music director Daniel Stern said.

Simplot is the widow of Idaho agriculture magnate J.R. Simplot and a longtime supporter of Boise’s arts community from dance to art to music. She built the Esther Simplot Performing Arts Academy and Annex in 1996, which houses the ballet, philharmonic and opera rehearsal studios, offices, costume shop and performance space on Myrtle Street between 8th and 9th streets in Boise.

The Boise Baroque Orchestra was founded in 2003 under conductor Richard Roller. Stern took over in September 2005 and has led the group since. The group has grown over the years. Its members also play with the Philharmonic, 208 Ensemble and other Boise classical groups.

This season, the group added “Chamber” to its name to better reflect its mission to play and promote chamber music, which is a very different animal from symphonic music.

Boise Baroque Chamber Orchestra 2016-17 season

Performances are at 8 p.m. Fridays and 2 p.m. Sundays at the Cathedral of the Rockies, 11th and Hays streets, Boise.

▪  Oct. 7 & 9: Vivaldi and the Boise Philharmonic Master Chorale:Tartini Sinfonia in D; Handel’s “Royal Fireworks Music;” Thompson’s Alleluia; Vivaldi’s Gloria.

▪  Nov. 18 & 20: Mozart and More: Copland: Appalachian Spring Suit for Chamber Orchestra; Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for Winds and Orchestra.

▪  Feb. 3 & 5: Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3: Albinoni’s Concerto in A Major.

▪  March 3 & 5: Rachel Barton Pine: Locatelli’s Violin Concerto in D; Vivaldi’s Concerto for Viola d’amore; Beethoven’s Romance in G Major.

▪  April 29 & 30: The Genius of Haydn: Symphony No. 47 in G Major; “Mass in Time of War.”

Season tickets: $115 general, $95 senior (62 and older); Individual: $23-$28; Free for 17 and younger with a paying adult or $10 rush tickets at the door for high school and college students with student ID. BoiseBaroque.org.

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