SFEMS’s Baroque Workshop returns!

June 21-27, 2015 at Dominican University of California, San Rafael, CA. More information about the 2015 workshop is coming soon; feel free to browse the 2014 information below.

This year’s theme: “Venetian Influences–France, Germany, Italy”

Venice was a leading center for the dramatic musical developments at the turn of the 17th century. Its relative independence of the Catholic church in Rome, its cosmopolitan economic and social life, and the affluence of its private citizens and churches created the perfect environment for engagement with the “modern” style. The developments in dramatic music were paralleled in the instrumental idiom—the specification of instruments, the development of virtuosic writing, and the search for expression led to the creation of stunning works for the concerted forces of voices and instruments and for instruments alone.

This dominant style spread throughout Europe before giving way to the development of National styles later in the century. Come and explore this influence and the contrasts in styles that later emerged. You will perform and listen to music from the French masters (double-reeds and viols), the Venetian school (particularly on sackbut and cornetto), German arias, and composers like Vivaldi, Monteverdi, Bach, and Schütz.

Chamber music for winds at the 2013 Baroque Workshop.

Chamber music for winds at the 2013 Baroque Workshop.

Daily master classes offer each participant the opportunity to hone skills both technical and musical and to explore new modes of expression in prepared pieces. Instrumental and vocal techniques will be addressed by each instructor. We offer classes for recorder, Baroque oboe, Baroque flute, bassoon, violin/viola, cello, Baroque trombone, viola da gamba, harpsichord/organ, and voice.

Elective classes include Orchestra, Chorus, Oboe Band, Performance Practice in Action, Continuo. Each participant will have the opportunity to work in a small ensemble with a coach, exploring repertoire and interpretation with the goal of performance at the end of the week. Faculty performances, lecture-demonstrations, and Concerto Evening (in which participants perform a concerto movement with orchestra) round out a week of inspiring music making and learning.

Our workshop provides a friendly and supportive atmosphere for both the dedicated amateur and the professional musician. Our faculty of specialists in the field of early music is internationally known performers as well as gifted teachers.

Our week of concentrated playing and learning will be filled with the beautiful works of the Habsburgs and interspersed with social gatherings with like-minded players from all around the country. These activities culminate in a night and a morning of very high-level student performances. Participants leave the workshop replete with new musical ideas, with new repertoire under their belts and new friends for future music making!

New! Announcing the 2014 Baroque Workshop Viol Intensive!

As a part of the SFEMS Summer Baroque Workshop, Mary Springfels will be offering an intensive three-part master class series on Sunday and Monday, June 22 and 23.
Dates and Times:
1) Sunday, June 22, 6–9pm
2) Monday, June 23, afternoon (exact time TBD)
3) Monday, June 23, 6–9pm
Fee: $150 for all three sessions.
Location: SFEMS Baroque Workshop at Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park
Please be in touch with Katie Hagen to register:

A Day in the Life of a Baroque Workshop Participant

Breakfast is bright and early, affording time for a bit of sight reading or personal practice before morning master classes begin.

Mornings at the Baroque Workshop are spent in master classes with our supportive and virtuoso faculty members. Each instructor will guide students through his or her own unique combination of repertoire, technique work, and performance practice. Students will have the opportunity to play a prepared piece for the class, receiving individual attention from the instructor. Focus topics for the 2014 Master Classes will be posted soon.

Afternoons are spent in a combination of rehearsals for the Orchestra or Special Performance Project (please check the tabs above for details of these offerings) and in elective classes, including Oboe Band (with bassoons), and Performance Practice. Afternoon classes conclude with coached ensembles.

After class, participants are free to join the faculty for “happy hour” lecture/demonstrations, put their feet up in the comfortable dorm suites, practice on their own, or get together with other participants for some Baroque sight reading.

Each evening features a unique after-dinner event, including, among other things, faculty performances and Concerto Evening, in which participants may sign up to play a movement of a Baroque concerto or sing an aria accompanied by the Baroque Workshop orchestra.

View the Daily Schedule for the 2014 Baroque Workshop.

Questions? Contact director Linda Pearse at

FACULTY: Sand Dalton, baroque oboe; Yonit Kosovske, harpsichord; Kathleen Kraft, baroque flute; Kati Kyme, baroque violin (and orchestra); Eva Legêne, recorder; Rita Lilly, voice; Anna Marsh, baroque bassoon; Linda Pearse, baroque trombone; William Skeen, baroque cello; Mary Springfels, viola da gamba

The orchestra at the 2013 Baroque Workshop.

The orchestra at the 2013 Baroque Workshop.

Dates, Deadlines, and Fees

Tuition: $560 before April 30, $610 May 1 or later
Room and Board: $650
Room only (no meals): $560
SFEMS/EMA/ARS member discount: $10

Please contact the SFEMS Office to register if you are an EMA or ARS member and not also a SFEMS member.

Tuition assistance is available–visit the Scholarships page for more information.

To register for the Baroque Workshop, find instructions on the Registration info page–or go directly to online registration.

Additional questions regarding fees, logistics, or other matters? Contact Katie Hagen, Workshop Administrator, at