Los Reinos de Castilla

Spanish, Italian, and Latin American Music of the 17th–18th Centuries Open Concert Series The 2018–19 SFEMS concert season opens the weekend of October 12 with the return of El Mundo, who will be performing works from their Grammy-nominated album Kingdoms of Castille. Directed by world-renowned guitarist and lutenist Richard Savino, El Mundo will take audiences […]

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Damning With Feints and Praise

Musical paeans rarely damn with faint praise. And on September 30, Coro Ciconia, directed by Asher Davison, will open the 2018–19 SFEMS-CJC series with a praiseworthy program of works by Machaut, Ciconia, and others. Performers in this a cappella vocal program will be Cheryl Koehler, Dorothy Manly, Jean McAneny, Ralph Prince, Scott Robinson, and Helen […]

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SFEMS 2018 Annual Meeting

Board and Staff Changes, BFX and Affiliates Reports The San Francisco Early Music Society held its annual membership meeting at Berkeley’s Musical Offering café and record store on Wednesday evening, September 12. After some pleasant socializing, lubricated with excellent wines and other refreshments donated by board members, the meeting got underway with President Joyce Hamilton […]

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President’s Annual Report, 2018

President Joyce Johnson Hamilton’s address to the SFEMS board of directors and members at the Annual Meeting, September 12, 2018. *                *                * Welcome SFEMS members to our 2018 Annual Meeting! It is a great honor, a rather humbling experience, and a huge responsibility to find be leading this wonderful organization as president of the […]

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Annual Meeting Will Take Place September 12

SFEMS will hold its Annual Members’ Meeting on Wednesday, September 12, 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. This is your chance to meet your Board, express your thoughts and concerns, and most important, nominate new Directors for the coming […]

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SFEMS Announces 2018–19 CJC Series

As most of our readers and members know, SFEMS curates not one but three separate concert series: our regular weekend season, showcasing major national and international artists of the early music world; the biennial Berkeley Festival and Exhibition; and our informal series of Sunday afternoon concerts at the California Jazz Conservatory (CJC), in downtown Berkeley. […]

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American Recorder Rally Coming to the Bay Area

Matthias Maute, whose Ensemble Caprice will be featured on the SFEMS concert series next spring, will be in the Bay Area in early September, and our community of recorder players has been presented with a rare opportunity to play in concert with one of the world’s great recorder players. On Saturday, September 8, the recorder […]

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Voices Shaping Time

SFEMS 2018–19 SFEMS Concert Season The SFEMS annual concert series always seems a bit like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates. You never know quite what you’ll get, but you may be sure it will be sweet. Last year’s series certainly was broadest in recent memory, spanning almost seven centuries, from Hildegard to the French Rococo. […]

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Lost Songs

One of the main themes of the upcoming Berkeley Festival is reexamining the nature and meaning of “early music.” Some of the most fascinating happenings the Festival will be presentations of music from the extremes of the historical spectrum. Much attention already has been devoted to the application of historical performance practices to music of […]

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Debussy as Early Music

The Piano and the Pianist in the Early Twentieth Century by Nicholas Mathew The upcoming Berkeley Festival features perhaps the broadest range of historical music ever presented at an early music festival—a claim which should be made with some caution, lest it invite comparisons to “jumbo shrimp” or the “World’s Largest Dwarf Lemon Tree.” After […]

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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: Applications Deadline Extended to June 15

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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