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Berkeley Festival & Exhibition

“The Berkeley Festival & Exhibition has become a remarkable institution on the American musical scene.” —The New York Times

For the past three decades, during June of even-numbered years, SFEMS has produced or co-produced a week-long festival of early music.

The Berkeley Festival & Exhibition (BFX) was envisioned and founded by Robert Cole, then Director of Cal Performances, and the late Joseph Spencer, proprietor of the Musical Offering and then SFEMS president. Over the years, the Festival has presented unique and remarkable events: Mark Morris Dance Group’s interpretation of Rameau’s Platée; “Le Carousel du Roi,” featuring dressage horses and riders executing elaborate ballets from seventeenth-century France accompanied by shawms and sackbuts in their natural setting (outdoors); and the North American premiere of a long-lost Mass by Alessandro Striggio for 40 and 60 voices.