A Christmas Mass to Brighten Dark December Nights

Magnificat, founded and directed by Warren Stewart, led the American revival of 17th-century music and remains one of the most acclaimed interpreters of this revolutionary repertory. For our annual holiday concert, the weekend of December 19–21, SFEMS proudly presents Magnificat performing a 17th-c. Venetian Mass for Christmas Day, featuring Francesco Cavalli’s glorious Missa concertata. Cavalli […]

Continue Reading

Music in the Garden of Delight

The collaboration between SFEMS and the California Jazz Conservatory resumes on Sunday, January 11, 2015, with the return of Flauti Diversi, performing an unusual program entitled “Music in the Garden of Delight: The Kinship of Medieval Dance and Arabic Music.” Flauti Diversi (Frances Feldon, recorders/flute; Gary Haggerty, oud; Sarah Michael, kanun; Roy Whelden, vielle; and […]

Continue Reading

A Christmas Carol

SFEMS founder Ken Johnson took great pleasure in his annual Christmas caroling parties. This is a favorite story he told about one of those outings. Bob Dawson included it in his 1994 tribute to Ken for the SFEMS newsletter. Each year, Ken’s caroling excursions trod different San Francisco neighborhoods, some of which proved more congenial […]

Continue Reading

Rent a Lute!

The Lute Society of America has had several of its rental instruments based here in the San Francisco area come back to us, and we are looking for new renters. The instruments now available are a 6-course vihuela, an 8-course Renaissance lute and a 13-course baroque lute. Renters must be LSA members, or join, and take […]

Continue Reading

Albany Recorder Classes Resume January 20

Frances Feldon will offer two classes for recorder players Tuesday nights in Albany, starting in January. The classes, sponsored by the City of Albany’s Recreation and Community Services, are held in the Band Room of the Albany Middle School, 1259 Brighton Avenue. Low Intermediate Recorder Ensemble Tuesdays, 6:30–7:30 p.m. In this class, students will develop ensemble […]

Continue Reading

Awareness Through Movement for Singers

Karen Clark offers ongoing classes in Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement® for Singers Monday evenings in Berkeley. These classes offer an inspiring introduction to Awareness Through Movement® lessons that will help singers increase their vocal range and stamina, manage stress and performance anxiety, and enjoy yourself—your voice—more fully! Beginners, amateurs, and professionals, teenage to adult—all are […]

Continue Reading

A Musical Smorgasbord

The weekend of January 17–18, Shira Kammen, vielle; Tish Berlin, recorder; and Peter Maund, percussion, will offer a workshop on a variety of early music topics of interest to both singers and instrumentalists. The repertory will include medieval, Renaissance, and traditional music. Choose from many tasty musical styles and favors, including motets and songs by […]

Continue Reading

How 15th-c. Composers Transformed the Prosaic into the Sublime

A Musical Trinity: Three Types of Love Songs in One by Adam Gilbert Invoking the time honored trinity of Virgilian styles, the 15th-century theorist and  composer, Johannes Tinctoris, listed three different types of songs: Cantus magnus (“grand song”) referred to the Mass. Cantus mediocris (medium song) referred to the Motet. The third genre, cantus parvus (“little song”), […]

Continue Reading

A German Christmas

California Bach Society’s December Concert Spans Four Centuries of Great Music German Christmas music has a long tradition, dating back to medieval times. Early Christmas hymns usually integrated well-known folk melodies with lyrics written by local clergymen, and they were sung in churches, often as choral dialogues, or performed in religious Christmas plays. The oldest […]

Continue Reading

Sing the Music of Hildegard von Bingen

A Workshop with Karen R. Clark For St. Hildegard von Bingen (1098–1179), music was essential to the human being’s health and connection with the Divine. In a letter to the Prelates at Mainz Hildegard wrote, “Remember that singing is our best hope to hear divine harmony again.” On Saturday, December 13, contralto Karen Clark will […]

Continue Reading

MPRO’s December Concert

From Franco-Flemish Love Song to Swedish Children’s Television On Saturday, December 6, the Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra will present a concert at Grace Lutheran Church, 3149 Waverley Street in Palo Alto, starting at 2:00 p.m. The program will feature settings of “Farewell my love” by Francisco Guerrero and Josquin des Pres, an arrangement for recorders of the theme […]

Continue Reading

SFEMS Announces 2015 Summer Workshops

SFEMS has just finalized the dates and locations of our 2015 Summer Workshops! There will be a number of changes this year, most notably in our venues. Because of ongoing construction at Sonoma State University, both the Baroque and Medieval-Renaissance workshops are moving, at least for this summer. Baroque will return to Dominican University, fondly […]

Continue Reading

Laudami Ensemble performs Sunday at the CJC

SFEMS’s presenting partnership with the California Jazz Conservatory (formerly The JazzSchool) explores the common threads that link early music and jazz in an intimate, informal setting. The concert series continues this Sunday, November 9, with the Laudami Ensemble. This concert will highlight the lavish ornaments and spirited variations of the French chaconne, one of the […]

Continue Reading

East of the River Opens SFEMS 2014–15 Concert Series

Levantera—A Mediterranean Journey—November 21–23 The Mediterranean Sea has been central to the development of Western Civilizations, from the earliest city states in North Africa, Asia Minor, and the Levant, to the kingdoms, republics and empires of Greece and Rome, and later to their Arabian and Turkish successors. Abundant marine resources supported stable and healthy populations, […]

Continue Reading

“Into the Light”—A Special SFEMS Concert, December 4

Galax and Clark to Appear in Much Anticipated World Premiere The Galax Quartet and Karen Clark team up again to premiere David Jaffe’s “Eight O’s in Woolloomooloo” on December 4 at 7:30 p.m. at Trinity Chapel, 2320 Dana Street, Berkeley. The program also includes works by J.S. Bach and John Dowland. Tickets are $25 general/$20 […]

Continue Reading

Albany Consort Turns 40

Pair of Programs to Celebrate Anniversary This fall marks 40 years of continuous music making for the Albany Consort. First formed in October 1974 at Christ Church, Albany Street, London, the name moved to the Bay Area along with founder Jonathan Salzedo in 1981. It is really a big umbrella for co-directors Jonathan and his […]

Continue Reading

Seeking Great Concerts for SFEMS 40th Anniversary Season

Next year marks the 40th anniversary of the Society’s founding, and we are hoping to celebrate with a season worthy of the occasion. SFEMS is currently soliciting proposals for our 2015–16 concert series. We very much want to present the greatest diversity of programs possible, in terms of repertory, historical era, and instrumentation (including voices!). […]

Continue Reading

SFEMS Annual Membership Meeting

Cole Is New SFEMS President. Phillips Reviews Achievements & Challenges The San Francisco Early Music Society held its annual membership meeting at The Musical Offering café and record store on Monday evening, September 22. After a half hour of socializing, lubricated with some excellent Prosecco and double-cream cheeses, the meeting got under way with president John […]

Continue Reading

MP at the CJC

Improvisation in the Baroque The California Jazz Conservatory (CJC, formerly the JazzSchool), and The San Francisco Early Music Society have established an exciting affiliation that delights both our audience and our local musicians. Early music lovers and jazz music lovers join together to celebrate the improvisational kinship of the two genres. CJC offers a casual […]

Continue Reading

The Last Shall Be First

Magnificat Starts 23rd Season with Schütz’s Opus Ultimum On the weekend of October 3–5, Magnificat will open their 23rd season with the monumental Opus Ultimum of Heinrich Schütz. The performances—taking place in Palo Alto on October 3, Berkeley on October 4, and San Francisco on October 5—will feature sopranos Clara Rottsolk and Jennifer Paulino, countertenors Andrew Rader and Tim Galloway, tenors David Kurtenbach and Daniel […]

Continue Reading