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 […]

Continue Reading

Sonoma Bach’s Silver Anniversary Season

Sonoma Bach is a nonprofit arts organization based in Sonoma County. Founded in 1991 at Sonoma State University, the organization became a separate nonprofit entity in 2008. Sonoma Bach sponsors several musical ensembles, presents a year-round concert series, and offers music classes and workshops. Through these activities, Sonoma Bach works to build a community of […]

Continue Reading

A Glorious Quartet

Archetti & Nagy, Bach & Handel Open SFEMS Season SFEMS begins our 40th-anniversary season the weekend of October 23–25 with a celebration of joyous, powerful, serene, and ebullient music—Bach and Handel concerti performed by Archetti Baroque Strings with guest artist Debra Nagy, baroque oboe. We’ve titled this season “Masters of Early Music,” and presenting works […]

Continue Reading

Notes on the Concerti of Bach and Handel

Archetti’s co-director John Dornenburg discusses the music on their upcoming SFEMS concert, the weekend of October 23–25. Handel’s Concerti Grossi Opus 3 were published by John Walsh in 1734, a date that rather pointedly corresponds to the expiration of Handel’s 1720 royal privilege for music printing. This was a time of widespread piracy in the […]

Continue Reading

A Bohemian Masterpiece

California Bach Society to Perform Zelenka’s Missa Votiva Artistic Director Paul Flight and 30-voice California Bach Society present Missa Votiva by Czech composer Jan Dismas Zelenka, with a baroque orchestra and vocal soloists Rita Lilly and Elizabeth Kimble, soprano; Gabriela Estephanie Solis, alto; Chris McCrum, tenor; and Sepp Hammer, baritone. Performances are October 16–18 in San […]

Continue Reading

Prelude to a Recording

The collaboration between SFEMS and the California Jazz Conservatory resumes on Sunday, October 11, with the return of Musica Pacifica (Judith Linsenberg, recorder; Elizabeth Blumentstock, violin; Josh Lee, viola da gamba; John Lenti, theorbo; and Charles Sherman, harpsichord), who will take this series—which up to now has focused mainly on the improvisatory link between early […]

Continue Reading

Katie Hagen to Step Down. New SFEMS Administrator Sought

SFEMS Administrator Katie Hagen, who has served the Society with distinction for the past two years, will step down at the end of October. Katie has done exemplary work on an enormous range of tasks, everything from helping coordinate the 2014 Berkeley Festival and our summer workshops, to helping maintain our website and member database, […]

Continue Reading

Magnificat Season Opens with Tancredi e Clorinda

by Warren Stewart On the weekend of September 25–27, Magnificat will perform a program of music by Claudio Monteverdi and contemporaries. Grammy Award-winning tenor Aaron Sheehan returns to interpret the Testo role in Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, and renowned soprano Christine Brandes makes her Magnificat debut in the role of Clorinda. Brandes will also sing Monteverdi’s ‘love letter,’ Se i […]

Continue Reading

California Bach Society’s 45th Season

The California Bach Society announces our 45th-anniversary season, full of varied and glorious works you won’t want to miss! We open our season on October 16–18 with “A Bohemian Masterpiece,” featuring Missa Votiva (1739) by Czech composer Jan Dismas Zelenka (1679–1745). Originally a violone player in the Dresden court orchestra, Zelenka began composing sacred music […]

Continue Reading

Thomas Smithberger (1931–2015)

We were saddened to learn about the death, on August 21, of Tom Smithberger. Tom was a familiar face at SFEMS concerts, as he was at many early music events in the Bay Area. An affable and thoughtful man, he enjoyed talking with the performers and other audience members at performances. We will miss his […]

Continue Reading

Marin Baroque 2015–16 Season Features Peace, Love, and Sax(es)

Marin Baroque, an emerging professional chamber choir and period instrument orchestra led by Music Director Daniel Canosa, is pleased to announce its 2015–16 season. Our fall concert, November 21, will include both choral and instrumental works of George Frideric Handel. For Valentine’s day (concert date is February 13, 2016) we present an evening of “Love […]

Continue Reading

Spanish Vespers for Fall Singers’ Retreat

by Lee McRae Singers can again look forward to a stimulating weekend of sight singing and lectures (as well as enjoying our infectious mix of good company and good food!) at the Fall 2015 Singers’ Retreat, to be held September 26–27 at the Braun Music Building at Stanford University. Please note the new venue for […]

Continue Reading

Junior Bach Festival Auditions Coming Soon

Dear Music Teacher, Welcome to the beginning of the Junior Bach Festival’s 2015–2016 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 this year. Applications will open soon, […]

Continue Reading

Nicola Gruen New Patron Services and Box Office Manager

If you telephone the SFEMS office number during regular business hours these days, more than likely you will be greeted by a new voice at the other end—Nicola Gruen, who has taken over answering our phone, selling tickets, and a great deal more, from Dorothy Manly, who retired this past spring. Nicola is very much […]

Continue Reading

Dorothy Manly Retires

Dorothy Manly, SFEMS’ Operations Manager and the Society’s main liaison with both our membership and the general public, has retired after almost two decades service to the Bay Area early music community. One of SFEMS’ most beloved representatives in our 40 year history, she leaves a great gap and will be missed by countless people […]

Continue Reading

Early Music for Grace

A festival of music in memory of Grace Ann Krumdieck, June 1–5, 2015 Barbara Blaker Krumdieck is a baroque cellist from Berkeley, the youngest daughter of a large, musically talented family who have been involved with SFEMS since its early days. Her sister is our popular recorder player and teacher Frances Blaker, and her mother, […]

Continue Reading