Message from the President

What does SFEMS stand for? To hundreds of attendees, SFEMS is a wonderful week playing, singing, and studying at one of Six Summer Workshops, coached by some of early music’s most inspiring artists and interpreters. For thousands of audience members, SFEMS is a wonderfully rich Early Music Concert Series that presents outstanding performances in programs […]

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Boccherini Meets Zappa at the Jazz Conservatory

This season’s Sunday Afternoon concert series at the California Jazz Conservatory continues on November 18 with Trio Ignacio (Katherine Heater, harpsichord: Anthony Martin, violin & viola; David Morris, violoncello) performing “Boccherini Meets Zappa.” Listen to solos, duos, and trios composed by a pair of 18th-century Italian cellist-composers, Luigi Boccherini and Francesco Zappa. Though born in […]

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MPRO Winter Concert—Montpellier to Moderniste

On Saturday, December 8, the Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra will present its annual winter concert. The performance will be held at Grace Lutheran Church, 3149 Waverley Street in Palo Alto, starting at 2:00 p.m. The concert is free, and the church is wheelchair accessible. The program will feature a Sonatina by Johann Heinrich Schmelzer, an anonymous […]

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Neither from Heaven nor from Earth

The SFEMS concert series continues the weekend of November 30, with the series debut of Cappella SF. The 16-voice choir will perform a program of sacred Renaissance polyphony, featuring works of Josquin des Préz, Gregorio Allegri, François Couperin, and Heinrich Schütz. Cappella SF is a professional chamber choir founded in 2014 by Ragnar Bohlin, Director […]

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Auditions for 66th Junior Bach Festival Coming in February

Apply Online Now — and Start Practicing! Calling soloists and ensembles—all instruments and voices! The Junior Bach Festival hopes all will be well represented during our 66th year in 2019. Festival auditions will take place in Morrison Hall at UC Berkeley during the weekend of February 2–3, 2019. A panel of professional musicians will judge […]

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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 Castile. 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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