Handel and His World

The SFEMS 2017–18 concert season gets underway the weekend of October 20–22, with performances by one of the first American “original instrument” ensembles. Formed in 1973 by five Juilliard graduates, the Aulos Ensemble was on the cutting edge of the early music movement at a time when historical performance was starting to capture the imagination […]

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CJC Series Opens with Sprezzatura

The SFEMS-CJC series opens on Sunday, October 15, with “Sprezzatura.” Judith Linsenberg, recorders; William Skeen, cello; and Katherine Heater, harpsichord perform virtuosic Italian sonatas from 17th and 18th centuries, including works by Castello, Frescobaldi, Corelli, Vivaldi, and Sieber. Called “the Jascha Heifetz of the recorder,” Judith Linsenberg is one of the leading exponents of the […]

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California Bach: Brevis and Bekümmernis

Johann Sebastian Bach would have been surprised by California Bach Society’s upcoming performances: his church music on a concert stage, and more than 250 years after his death. Apart from Luther’s chorales, he would never have performed music that old! We don’t know if Bach expected his works to be performed after his death. However, […]

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Mics Open Once Again at Hillside

The candles in are being lit and the Roland rolled out of storage for the resumption of Early Music Open Mic Night in the East Bay. This event is 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 […]

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Auditions Open for 2018 Junior Bach Festival

From Director Lisa Grodin to Bay Area Music Teachers Welcome to the beginning of the Junior Bach Festival’s 2017–2018 season! We thank you if you have prepared students to audition for the Junior Bach Festival in the past, and we hope you will encourage your advanced students, up to 18 years of age, to apply […]

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SFEMS Annual 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, September 13. The meeting was well attended by community members as well as both SFEMS board and staff. Following some pleasant socializing, lubricated with excellent wines and other refreshments donated by board […]

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Call for Concert Proposals

SFEMS has issued a request for proposals for individuals and ensembles interested in appearing on the 2018–19 concert series. SFEMS welcomes all proposals that could be of interest to our audiences by both local and non-local ensembles. We are seeking a diversity of instruments, periods, as well as size of performance group. Proposals should be […]

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Early Music Sundays

CJC and SFEMS Announce 2017–18 Series As you probably 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, monthly series of Sunday afternoon concerts at the California Jazz Conservatory (CJC), […]

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Lee McRae Memorial Concert Set for September 23 in Berkeley

The Memorial Concert for Lee McRae has been confirmed for Saturday September 23, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 2727 College Avenue in Berkeley. All are welcome. Admission is free. The afternoon will be a celebration and commemoration of Lee’s pioneering work in many areas of education, music, and social activism. […]

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Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra Starts September 13

The Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra will hold its first meeting of the 2017–18 season at 7:30 P.M. on Wednesday, September 13, in Angus Hall at Trinity Church, 330 Ravenswood Avenue in Menlo Park.  All those who play recorder, early winds or early strings are invited to attend and asked to bring their instruments and a music […]

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SFEMS Annual Meeting Scheduled for September 13

SFEMS will hold its Annual Members’ Meeting on Wednesday, September 13, 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 will be an exciting and important year for SFEMS. Our 2017–18 concert season is shaping up to be one of the […]

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The Apotheosis of French Baroque Music

Some of us were fortunate enough to attend the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale’s production of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Le Temple de la Gloire this past spring, which used the extraordinary original source manuscript score and libretto in the collection of UC Berkeley’s Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library. In September, John Prescott, Ph.D., will present a […]

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The Music of Transformation

SFEMS 2017–18 Series: Notes for Changing Times The SFEMS 2017–18 concert series now is posted at our website, and when you check it out we think you will be delighted as we are at the variety and depth of the coming season’s offerings. It is hard to recall a recent SFEMS series broader or better […]

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Valley of the Moon 2017 to Celebrate Robert Schumann

The musicians of the Valley of the Moon Music Festival will return to the Hanna Boys Center in Sonoma next Sunday for the start of their annual summer event. This year the Festival celebrates the world of Robert Schumann over three consecutive weekends, July 16–30, juxtaposing the composer’s own compositions with chamber works by composers […]

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Spanish Dance in July, Christmas in August

Two workshops, one coming up later this month and the other in mid-August, no doubt will be of interest to many readers. On Sunday July 23, Stephanie Neira will present “Siglo de Oro,” her first Spanish dance baroque workshop The workshop will take place from noon to 2:00 p.m. at the Sunset Movement Arts Dance […]

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Workshop Events Open to the Public

This week’s SFEMS Baroque Workshop at Sonoma State University features several events open to the public. The real treat will be the Workshop Faculty Concert, “Water – Music’s Elixir,” taking place at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 21, at Schroeder Hall, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University. Performers include Rita Lilly (soprano), Aaron Sheehan (tenor), […]

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The Other Acis – Black Box Baroque & Albany Consort

Most early music lovers are familiar with Handel’s English pastoral opera, Acis and Galatea. But have you heard the 1708 Italian serenata, Aci, Galatea, e Polifemo? Handel’s Aci, Galatea, e Polifemo features daring, experimental sound colors from early in Handel’s output, and extraordinary vocal writing for bass-baritone, pants-role soprano, and mezzo-soprano. This is your chance […]

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Memorial Concert for Lee McRae Being Planned

Lee McRae, who died on June 1, 2016, was a major contributor to early music in the Bay Area and across the US for five decades. A founding member of SFEMS, Lee also founded or co-founded our Music Discovery Workshop and the Singers’ Retreat. Her lifelong passion and life’s work was children’s education, which she […]

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