Salsa Baroque: Music of Latin America and Spain

A unique and infectious musical style developed in colonial Latin America, blending Spanish polyphony and popular music with the colonies’ distinctive, African and Native American rhythms and languages. New musical forms also developed in this cultural melting pot, such as the chacona and pasacalle, which spread first to Spain and Italy, then across Europe, affecting […]

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The Glories of Baroque Chamber Music

John Prescott, Ph.D., will present another in his series of early music lecture courses in February—an entirely new series focusing on the varieties of baroque chamber music, from viol consorts to cantatas to suites for solo instruments, trio sonatas, quartets, and more. The course runs Monday through Friday, February 15–19, from 9:30 am to 12:00 […]

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SFEMS Announces 2016 Summer Workshops

SFEMS has just published the dates, locations, and themes for our 2016 Summer Workshops! Perhaps the most important news this year is that, for the first time, all of our workshops will be located conveniently in Oakland and Berkeley. The major change is that our Baroque Workshop will be hosted at Holy Names University in […]

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Flauti Diversi’s Funny Valentine

The new year’s Sunday Afternoon concert series at the California Jazz Conservatory continues on February 14 with a musical valentine from Flauti Diversi. Flauti Diversi has been presenting early/contemporary chamber music programs for over twenty years. Musical Director Frances Feldon and the group present their third program at the CJC, and the second in which […]

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Hark the Wondrous Music

Winter Collegium to Explore Concerted Vocal Works from Italy, Holland, Germany, and England Baroque music enthusiasts mark your calendars! The SFEMS Baroque Workshop’s Winter Collegium Musicum is coming up at the end of February. The workshop takes place at Eden United Church of Christ, 21455 Birch Street, Hayward on Saturday, February 27, from 9:00 a.m. […]

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California Bach Society: Oratorios and Dialogues

Artistic Director Paul Flight and the California Bach Society present “Oratorios and Dialogues: A Genre Emerges” on February 26–28 in San Francisco, Palo Alto, and Berkeley. The program of sacred 17th-century music drama features Giacomo Carissimi’s Jonah and the Whale, Le Reniement de Saint Pierre by Carissimi’s pupil Marc-Antoine Charpentier, and Heinrich Schütz’s Weib, was […]

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The Lyra Trios of William Lawes and Other Delights in Eights

SFEMS’ collaboration with California Jazz Conservatory resumes on Sunday, January 10, with a concert by gambists Peter Hallifax, Julie Jeffrey, and Lynn Tetenbaum. Their program will showcase some of the most unusual and beautful music composed by three of England’s greatest viol composers of the 17th century. King Charles loved the viol, and paid many […]

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A Night in Old Vienna — NOT

Whatever storms El Niño may bring this January, the month is guaranteed to end with with a musical blast as the second half of SFEMS’ regular concert series opens with Quicksilver, led by violinists Robert Mealy and Julie Andrijeski. Quicksilver—whose members include Mealy and Andrijeski on violin; Greg Ingles, trombone; Dominic Teresi, dulcian; David Morris, viola […]

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The (Very) First Viennese School

by Julie Andrijeski and Robert Mealy When the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II moved his court to Vienna in 1619, this great Hapsburg city became a thriving international musical scene. Emissaries sought out the best players and composers from all over Italy in an effort to make Ferdinand’s court as cosmopolitan and sophisticated as possible. […]

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Make a Joyful Noise!

Your Part in Magnificat’s Program A great part of early music’s largesse as an art is its accessibility to participants. Many of its strongest enthusiasts and advocates, be they the performers on stage or the audience listening, began their association with early music as amateur musicians, often as singers in a school or church choir. […]

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Advent Music in Leipzig—The Director’s Cut

Recreated Leipzig Liturgy Follows Old Bach’s Handwritten Notes For twenty years, Warren Stewart and Magnificat have been pioneers in performing the great sacred works of the 17th century in their full musical-liturgical context. Whether they are doing Charpentier’s Midnight Mass or Monteverdi’s Vespers, situating these great works in a more complex setting brings their color […]

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The Return of Stile Antico!

No, this isn’t another Steely Dan reunion. This is the real resurrection of a very special SFEMS concert promised in our Season Brochure—an event that once had foundered but once again has been found! Buy Tickets If that introduction seems a bit irreverent, just wait for what Stile Antico—the British vocal ensemble who’ve quickly established […]

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California Bach Society sings Joyeux Noël!

Artistic Director Paul Flight and the 30-voice California Bach Society present “Joyeux Noël!” on December 4–6 in San Francisco, Palo Alto, and Berkeley.  Our program will span the centuries, from Gregorian chant and a 14th-century mass, to Mouton’s “Noe, noe, psallite” and Charpentier’s charming Christmas noëls, to Berlioz’s evocative “Shepherd’s Farewell,” and to 20th-century Francis Poulenc’s motets […]

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The Floating City: Music of Renaissance Venice

by Greg Ingles Rising majestically out of a northern Mediterranean lagoon, the Italian city of Venice, with its many bridge-covered labyrinthine canals traversed by gondolieri, seems almost mystical. The city itself was at the height of its power in medieval times and continued as an influential economic state through the late Renaissance. One byproduct of […]

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SFEMS Annual Membership Meeting

The San Francisco Early Music Society held its annual membership meeting at Berkeley’s Musical Offering café and record store this past Wednesday evening, November 4. Following some pleasant socializing, lubricated with excellent wines and other refreshments donated by Board members, the meeting got underway with president Robert Cole’s State of the Society report. Robert began […]

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Dr. Philippa Kelly to Lecture in Berkeley and San Francisco

Pre-concert Talk at Baltimore Concert Performances SFEMS is delighted to announce that dramaturg and Shakespeare scholar Dr. Philippa Kelly will give a pre-concert talk at the Berkeley and San Francisco performances by the Baltimore Consort on November 21 and 22. Dr. Kelly’s Berkeley talk will begin at 7:00 p.m., Saturday, at St. John’s Presbyterian Church, […]

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The Exquisite Consort’s Food of Love

This is a season of anniversaries. The 40th of our San Francisco Early Music Society has just passed. This coming year, 2016, marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death. How appropriate that the next concert in our 2015–16 season features the acclaimed Baltimore Consort—itself celebrating its 35th anniversary this year—for a program of music […]

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There and Bach

This year’s collaboration between SFEMS and the California Jazz Conservatory continues the afternoon of Sunday, November 8, with a recital by harpsichordist Katherine Heater, who will perform works by Johann Sebastian Bach, exploring the fantasy and the fugue, two of the compositional forms most closely linked to the great keyboard master’s renowned gifts of improvisation. […]

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Music in Shakespeare’s Plays

The Baltimore Consort provides these notes about the music they will perform on their SFEMS concerts, taking place the weekend of November 20–22. Purchase Tickets> A note about our instruments The Fairy Queen and her maides daunced about the garden, singing a Song of six parts, with the musick of an exquisite consort; wherein was […]

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SFEMS Annual Members’ Meeting Scheduled For November 4

SFEMS will hold its Annual Members’ Meeting on Wednesday, November 4, from 7:00 to 8:15 p.m., at The Musical Offering, 2430 Bancroft Way in Berkeley. All SFEMS members are cordially invited to attend. Our 40th anniversary was October 15. Please come, celebrate this milestone in our history, and help shape our future. This is your […]

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