SFEMS’s Baroque Workshop returns!

June 21-27, 2015 at Dominican University of California, San Rafael, CA.

This year’s theme: Fertile Ground—Lutheran Music from Michael Praetorius to J. S. Bach

492px-Habsburg_familyLutheran music composition during the Baroque period embraced the Italian influences introduced by composers such as Claudio Monteverdi and Alessandro Grandi. It blended the Italianate style with German texts and the structure inherent in the language and saw the creation of a plethora of stunning works. The sacred concertos of Johann Hermann Schein and Heinrich Schütz are choice examples of music that provides fertile ground for later Lutheran composers, for example, G. P. Telemann and J. S. Bach. Sacred concertos and cantatas, as well as instrumental works for small chamber ensemble, will figure prominently throughout the week of music–making.

This year’s workshop traces a path through these musical pastures, exploring well-known and lesser-known gems of the Baroque period by composers such as Michael Praetorius, Johann Hermann Schein, Samuel Scheidt, Heinrich Schütz, Georg Philipp Telemann, and J.S. Bach.

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, harp, and voice.

Elective classes include Orchestra, Chorus, Oboe Band, Reed Making, and 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 semi-professional musician. Our faculty of specialists in the field of early music includes internationally known performers and 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!

Pitch: A = 415 Hz.

**Attention harpists! This year, SFEMS’s Medieval & Renaissance and Baroque Workshops will take place in conjunction with the Historical Harp Society Workshop (June 26-28 at St. Albert’s Priory). Enrollment/registration options to be announced soon!**


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.

Questions? Contact director Linda Pearse at

FACULTYSand Dalton, baroque oboe; Cheryl Ann Fulton, harp; Mara Galassi, harp; Clea Galhano, recorderElisabeth Le Guin, baroque cello; Rita Lilly, voice; Anna Marsh, baroque bassoon; Sandra Miller, baroque flute; Linda Pearse, Workshop Director, baroque trombone; Mary Springfels, viola da gamba; Peter Sykes, harpsichord;  David Wilson, baroque violin.

The orchestra at the 2013 Baroque Workshop.

The orchestra at the 2013 Baroque Workshop.

Dates, Deadlines, and Fees

Tuition: $580 before April 30, $630 May 1 or later
Room and Board: $600 double occupancy (two people per room); $750 single occupancy
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.

Registration info is now available! Please visit the Registration page.

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