Did you know that the most famous orchestra in Europe at the beginning of the 18th Century was composed of all females, most of whom had been orphaned or abandoned as babies? These remarkable musicians lived together in the Ospedale della Pietà, a unique orphanage in Venice, where they were directed by Don Antonio Vivaldi, the prolific composer who would become known for The Four Seasons. Vivaldi, ordained a Catholic priest in 1703, maintained an on-again, off-again relationship with the Pietà for 37 years and wrote a countless number of pieces for its girls during that time. The main character in Kimberly Cross Teter's debut novel, Isabella's Libretto, is a 14-year-old cellist who lives at the Ospedale della Pietà and dreams that Vivaldi will write a solo that features her.
Listen to Kimberly talk about her novel and this fascinating piece of history and hear a cellist perform in the Visitor Center on Wednesday March 4. Friends of the Garden will host a book signing and reception at 6:00 pm. Kimberly's talk will begin at 6:30 pm. This event is free.