From Bohemia’s Fields and Groves

by Anthony Martin The New Esterházy Quartet is one of SFEMS’ most distinguished Affiliate groups. Recently voted “Best Chamber Music Performers” by San Francisco Classical Voice, the quartet is increasingly recognized as one of the world’s top period-instrument string quartets. Founded to present historically-informed interpretations of Joseph Haydn’s path-breaking music (he essentially invented the string […]

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The Amazons in the Fortunate Isles—Gender Bending in Venice

A Conversation with Ars Minerva’s Céline Ricci The Bay Area’s fecundity as a center for early music is attested by the number, variety, and scope of the innovative projects our community members undertake. One of the most exciting and ambitious in recent years has been Ars Minerva, brainchild of mezzo-soprano Céline Ricci, whose goal is […]

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MPRO Spring Concert—Wolkenstein to Sousa

On Saturday, May 7, the Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra will present a concert at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 1106 Alameda de las Pulgas in San Carlos at 2:00 p.m. The program will feature the canzona La Spiritata by Giovanni Gabrieli, a movement from Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 4, The Liberty Bell March by John Philip Sousa, a […]

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Marin Headlands Workshop May 13–15

The Marin Headlands Workshop is coming up soon. This year’s session runs from Friday through Sunday, May 13–15. In many ways the Bay Area’s premier workshop, this much anticipated event was founded many years ago by the Marin Recorder Society (no longer in existence) and now is sponsored each year by the East Bay Chapter […]

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À Basso Solo

The 2015–2016 collaboration between SFEMS and the California Jazz Conservatory concludes this Sunday, April 17, with a performance by the Laudami Ensemble (Laura Rubinstein-Salzedo, violin; Adaiha MacAdam-Somer, cello; Ben Kazez, baritone; Michael Peterson, harpsichord). Entitled L“À Basso Solo,” Laudami’s program will spotlight music for the bass voice, both vocal and instrumental. Laudami promises an exciting […]

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Forty Steps to Parnassus

Early Days of Early Music by the Bay In a perceptive, two-part article in San Francisco Classical Voice (April 2, April 23, 2002) Michelle Dulak discussed what she called the Bay Area’s early music “ecology,” noting that our region had achieved a critical mass which not only made possible performances of a wide range of […]

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Singet dem Herrn

by Patricia Jennerjohn Artistic Director Paul Flight and the California Bach Society present “Singet dem Herrn: Bach motets and chorales” on April 22–24 in San Francisco, Palo Alto, and Berkeley. This stunning all-Bach program includes the virtuosic double-choir motets Singet dem Herrn and Der Geist hilft, the sublime Jesu meine Freude, plus less familiar, but […]

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Jessica House Steward, Craig Hanson Join SFEMS Administration

SFEMS is delighted to announce the appointment of two new staff members, Jessica House Steward, who is our new Administrator, and Craig Hanson, our new Patron Services Manager. As SFEMS Administrator, Jessica will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the Society’s work, with special emphasis right now on preparations for the June Berkeley Festival […]

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Love Island

She’ll Make a Lion Fool Outta You Love can be tough, especially when you’re a sorceress who turns her men into lions, goats, and other wild beasts! Alcina is an expert in the art of seduction. She attracts men to her enchanted island and holds them captive. But she is finally defeated by the ultimate […]

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Early Music Open Mic Night!

We’re excited to announce a new, Early Music Open Mic Night in the East Bay. This event will be held on the fourth Wednesday of each month from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. at the Hillside Community Church, 1422 Navellier Street, El Cerrito. This is your opportunity to perform early music in a friendly cabaret style […]

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Choral Music Seeks Good Home

Do you need to build your choral music library? Juan Pedro Gaffney is cleaning out a storage facility in San Francisco and must dispose of many old scores (multiple copies) left over from various choirs he has directed. The works include: Orlando di Lasso:  madrigals Monteverdi:  Libri VII, IX madrigals sundry English, Italian & others’ […]

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Magnificat to Reprise Buxtehude, Membra Jesu Nostri

On the weekend of March 18-20, Warren Stewart will lead Magnificat in a program of music by Dieterich Buxtehude. Since Magnificat first performed Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri in 1996, the cycle of seven cantatas has become the composer’s most performed and recorded work. Each of the cantatas is built around three stanzas from the medieval […]

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Ávila: Musicians & Mystics of Sixteenth Century Spain

The 2015–2016 collaboration between SFEMS and the California Jazz Conservatory continues this Sunday, March 20, with the Euphora Project (Amy Michele White, voice;
 Dominic Schaner, lute/guitar/vihuela) return with a reprise of their program “Ávila: Musicians & Mystics of Sixteenth Century Spain.” Amy White & Dominic Schaner Through both new and ancient music, this program explores […]

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Scandals of the Baroque

Infusion Baroque Digs the Dirt Admit it. Everybody loves a good scandal, and one of celebrity’s perks is having your life held up not just for scrutiny, but often for gossip, ridicule, and the schadenfreude of lesser mortals. But why settle for the backbiting, wretched excesses, or even the violent deaths of today’s rock and […]

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Rebels and Rivalries

by Sallynee Amawat (Infusion Baroque) When we reflect on composers of the distant past, our first thought is usually of their music: the glorious strains of a Bach suite, the virtuosity of a Leclair sonata, or the brilliance of Telemann’s concertos. In contrast to the general gossip we hear about popular music and film artists […]

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An Evening of Bach

This week, Berkeley Baroque Strings, directed by Kati Kyme, will be giving two performances at St. Clement’s Episcopal Church in Berkeley, on Tuesday, March 1, and Sunday, March 6. The program features the “Cantata” Concerto in D with William Skeen, cello; the Violin Concerto in E with Kati Kyme, violin; Brandenburg Concerto No. 3; the […]

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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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