Singing into the Future

Voices of Youth at BFX 2018 My introduction to early music came through singing in a children’s choir. This was in 1960, a time when the voice of classical music — live, broadcast, and recorded — was stronger in our national culture than it is today, but our appreciation of early music was only beginning. […]

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Beyond the Baroque

Redefining, Reimagining, Reinventing Early Music Over the last two generations, the historical performance movement has given the world both a vast and growing body of rediscovered masterworks and whole new ways of understanding and hearing the music of past eras. We have reinvented early music in our reconstructions of lost technologies and performance practices. We […]

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Unsung Voices

In 1991, Concerto Amabile with soprano Nancy Zylstra gave a concert on the SFEMS series titled “Unsung Heroines,” a program of music by women: Barbara Strozzi, Isabella Leonarda, Maddalena Lombardini, Ana Bon, and Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre. At that time, almost 30 years ago, these composers were, if not exactly “unsung,” at least not […]

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Tactus Seeks New Director

SFEMS Affiliate Tactus (tactus-sf.org), a 12–16 voice Renaissance chamber chorus in San Francisco, is seeking a Music Director to lead the chorus at weekly rehearsals and three performance weekends per year. This is a part-time, year-round, volunteer position. Some financial support may be available, depending on the qualifications of the candidate. The candidate must be available for evening rehearsals (currently […]

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Lee Mennell (1946–2018)

We were saddened to learn of Lee Mennell’s sudden death last week. Lee was a former President of SFEMS (1985–86), a fine amateur recorder player, and a gentle spirit. We will miss him, and we extend our condolences to his family and friends. There will be a memorial his honor at El Cerrito’s Hillside Community […]

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How to Play Expressively on the Recorder

A Gift from Frans Brüggen and Lee McRae by Peter Fisher On Saturday, September 23, 2017, Eva Legêne produced a memorial celebration at St. John’s Church in Berkeley for Lee McRae, a remarkably accomplished musician, teacher, worker for peace and justice, and a dear friend to many Bay Area musicians. The following are remarks I […]

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CJC/SFEMS Early Music Sundays

Call for proposals: 2018–19 Series SFEMS is accepting concert proposals for the California Jazz Conservatory/SFEMS Early Music Sundays 2018–19 series. Participation in this series is open to SFEMS Affiliates and members of SFEMS. All performances in this series take place on Sunday afternoons at 4:30 p.m.  Programs should be approximately one hour in length with […]

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Machaut’s Medieval Polyphony for Treble Voices

This spring, Vajra Voices is excited to announce its latest initiative: a one-day vocal workshop on Le Lai de la Fonteinne by Guillaume de Machaut (ca. 1300–1377), supported in part by a grant from the California Arts Council in partnership with the San Francisco Early Music Society. This landmark work by one of the titans of […]

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Headlands in Berkeley?

The world-famous Headlands Workshop sponsored by the East Bay Recorder Society has moved to an every-other-year schedule, with the next full weekend event happening in May 2019. But we couldn’t go a whole year without some multi-faculty fun, so for 2018 we are doing “Headlands in Berkeley.” This workshop is Saturday, May 19 from 9:00 […]

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Berlin Classes in May and June

Tish Berlin will be offering four different classes for upper intermediate to advanced recorder players in May and June. Two separate classes will be offered on Wednesdays from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. and from 3:00-4:30 p.m., May 16–30 and June 13. Johann Sebastian Bach’s Art of Fugue will be the subject of the 1:00 p.m. […]

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Garden in the Hills Party

You are cordially invited to the SFEMS Garden in the Hills House Concert taking place on Sunday, May 19, from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m., at the home of Dr. Carol Baird and Alan Harper. This special party and concert will benefit the 2018 Berkeley Festival and Exhibition. Music, The event features wine, hors d’oeuvres, and […]

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Handel in Rome

California Bach Society to Perform Magnificent Vesper Psalms Artistic Director Paul Flight leads the award-winning California Bach Society in stunning works from GF Handel’s 1707 Vespers service at the Carmelite church of Santa Maria in Montesanto in Rome. We perform three magnificent psalm settings: Nisi Dominus, Laudate Pueri Dominum, and Dixit Dominus. The 30-voice chorus […]

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Norman Larson (1938–2018)

Norman Larson, who passed away on February 20, has been a friend to the Bay Area’s early music community for 4 decades. An enthusiastic concertgoer and generous supporter of the arts and historical heritage, especially in his native San Francisco, he was beloved and will be missed by many friends in the Bay Area. SFEMS […]

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Render Unto Cæsar

The new year’s Sunday Afternoon concert series at the California Jazz Conservatory concludes on April 15 with a special program celebrating the 16th Amendment to the US Constitution. Les Violettes (Corey Carleton, soprano; David Wilson, violin; Colin Shipman, viola da gamba; and Violet Grgich, harpsichord) perform music from the Court of Leopold I, Holy Roman […]

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The Magnifick Consort of Four Parts

The SFEMS 2017–18 concert season continues the weekend of April 6 with three performances by Wildcat Viols, whose program of music for the viol consort from takes us to the very end of that wonderful tradition as it unfolded in the second half of the 17th century. Their concert will include Henry Purcell’s “Fantazias of […]

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Music in the Garden of Delight: Song and Dance in Early Spain

The new year’s Sunday Afternoon concert series at the California Jazz Conservatory continues on March 25 with a program of medieval Spanish and Arabic music from Flauti Diversi. Musical Director Frances Feldon and the group have presented a variety of programs at the CJC, many of which feature the intersection of different musical traditions. Flauti […]

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California Bach Society Sings “The German Romantics”

The Romantic era had its roots in the late 18th century and spilled over into the 20th century. Romanticism was a movement with many facets; it was the antithesis of the artistic forms and structures of the Classical age. It emphasized individual expression, emotion, and virtuosity, as well as freedom from constraining forms. It took […]

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Flanders Farewell, February 25

The legendary Flanders Recorder Quartet will be in the Bay Area next weekend for a workshop and concert. Tom Beets, Paul Van Loey, Joris Van Goethem, and Bart Spanhove have traveled around the world for a quarter century with more than 150 recorders in tow performing for international audiences to great acclaim. They are on […]

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