When John F. Kennedy welcomed 49 Nobel Prize winners to the White House in 1962, he uttered that famous quote, “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent and human knowledge that has ever been gathered together at the White House — with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.” Our polymath third president was an accomplished horticulturist, architect, paleontologist, author and inventor. He designed and founded the University of Virginia — and he also had a passion for music. This week, travel back to the 18th and early 19th centuries when Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra presents two evenings of song, writing and cuisine from Jefferson’s world. Soprano Mary Wilson and harpsichordist Corey Jameson perform parlor, dance, political and opera music from Jefferson’s library, including songs by Francis Hopkinson, another talented politician who also signed the Declaration of Independence; arias by Haydn and Arne; and other works. They’ll also read excerpts from Jefferson’s letters and his poetry collection, along with writings about him. And you’ll get to sample refreshments made from original Monticello recipes. Will there be oblietjies baking in the oven? Pasadena Presbyterian Church, 585 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Sat., Jan. 6, 8 p.m. And at All Saints Church, 504 N. Camden Dr., Beverly Hills; Sun., Jan. 7, 4 p.m.; preconcert lecture 40 minutes before event; $35, $29 seniors, $12 students. (310) 458-4504 or www.MusicaAngelica.org.
—Mary Beth Crain