The Albany Consort
The Albany Consort started performing in 1974 in London, at Christ Church, Albany Street. The group’s repertoire spans the period 1550 – 1750, with occasional forays into earlier and later centuries. Most performances use period instruments. Husband and wife team Jonathan Salzedo and Marion Rubinstein organize and direct the ensemble. The Albany Consort was based in London until 1981, when Jonathan left England, and is now based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Alice’s Renaissance String Band
Alice’s Renaissance String Band was formed five years ago by a small group of early music enthusiasts who had met each other at SFEMS events over the years. Meeting regularly in each other’s homes, the members worked very hard to improve their ensemble skills, technique and musicality. Alice has performed for friends in house concerts, for church services and for hospital inpatients. In the last two years, Alice has expanded the group from time to time to include one or more professional musicians and singers and has presented public concerts at local venues. Most exciting, Alice has produced fully staged productions of two of Purcell’s operas, “The Fairy Queen” and “Dido And Aeneas,” and is planning a third for April 2009, Purcell’s “King Arthur.”
Alta Sonora is a Renaissance wind band, playing shawm, slide trumpet, cornetto, sackbut, dulcian and recorder. The group formed in 2001 and specializes in the alta capella repertory of the 15th century, with forays into 14th and 16th century music as well. Besides presenting concerts and accompanying vocal ensembles, the group presents educational programs for adults and a program aimed at middle school classes, with demonstrations and explanations of both the music and a variety of wind instruments.
Contact: Peggy Murray, 510-233-0868, firstname.lastname@example.org
American Recorder Society–San Francisco Chapter
The San Francisco Recorder Society holds monthly playing sessions that are led by a variety of local recorder teachers and qualified chapter members. The sessions introduce the members to a variety of pieces from the recorder repertoire, usually addressing the historical context of each piece and a “historically informed” approach to playing it. Recorder players at all levels are welcome to play at our monthly meetings, which are held on the third Wednesday of each month, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall of Christ Church Lutheran 1090 Quintara Street (at 20th Avenue), in San Francisco. A $10 playing fee per session may be applied to the $40 annual fee for chapter membership.
Archetti Baroque String Ensemble
Archetti Baroque String Ensemble was founded in 2010 by violinist Carla Moore and viola da gambist John Dornenburg to perform the rich chamber concerto repertory of the Baroque era. The collective experience and artistry of Archetti’s members creates distinctive, dynamic and historically-informed interpretations without a conductor. The ensemble’s eight-member size is perfectly matched to the eight printed part-books of string concertos by composers such as Vivaldi, Corelli, and Handel, and is also small enough for the intimacy of Bach’s harpsichord concertos. The ensemble’s name means “little bows” in Italian and alludes to the dominance of bowed stringed instruments in the Italian Baroque concerto repertory. Archetti is based in the San Francisco Bay Area, where they have been praised for their “dazzling clarity” (San Francisco Examiner Online) and “beautiful ensemble playing” (Early Music America).
In 2014 Archetti’s first CD recording was released on the Centaur label, Handel and Hellendaal: Grand Concertos.
Visit Archetti on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Archetti/193923586619
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Barefoot Chamber Concerts
Bay Area Baroque Orchestra
Berkeley Baroque Strings
Amateur string players in the greater Bay Area gather in Berkeley each Monday evening to rehearse under the leadership of Kati Kyme who conducts, instructs, coaches and inspires us in the essence of Baroque style, technique and elegant musicianship. Performing an inaugural concert in December 2013, BBS ended its first season June 2014 playing to a full house in Berkeley Early Music Festival’s Fringe Concerts series. BBS launches its 2014-15 three concert season with performances in November, March and May. Chaconnes, Storms-Tempests-Other Weathery Things (to bring on the rain!), and Telemann comprise the themes, respectively, for this season. BBS welcomes new members. Rehearsals: Monday evenings, 7:30-9:30, St. Clement’s Episcopal Church in the Fellowship Hall, Berkeley CA.
Berkeley Festival Friends
East Bay Recorder Society
The East Bay Recorder Society (EBRS) is an association of recorder enthusiasts in the San Francisco Bay Area. Recorder players from low intermediate to advanced levels are invited to join to play music together and to learn more about the recorder. Membership activities include the following:
—Monthly playing meetings September through June featuring a professional conductor, usually held the first Friday of the month
—The opportunity to receive the music for practice ahead of time
—Monthly newsletter September through June
—At least two workshops a year, including a weekend in May at the Marin Headlands, featuring large-group, special-interest and low-intermediate sessions with 10 conductors. Viols and soft double reeds also welcome.
—Recitals — Opportunities to perform before a supportive audience of chapter members
—Social events, including Twelfth Night Party and Summer Picnic
Most chapter meetings are held at Zion Lutheran Church, 5201 Park Blvd. in Oakland, 7:30 – 10:00 pm on the first Friday of the month.
Contact: Susan Jaffe, President: e-mail: email@example.com.
Ensemble Vermillian — Frances Blaker, recorders; Barbara Blaker Krumdieck, cello; and David Wilson, violin — has performed together for many years. They have produced two CD recordings of 17th century German music. Ensemble Vermillian’s focus and mission is to present lesser known but magnificent works from the baroque era to audiences in vivid and personal performances. Their verbal program notes engage the audience and forge a closer connection between listeners and performers.
In 2015 Ensemble Vermillian is focusing on a new recording project with guest artists Margaret Carpenter (soprano voice) and Nicolas Haigh (organ). Upcoming concerts and this recording will focus on Cantatas by Dietrich Buxtehude and Christoph Bernhard and instrumental works by Biber, Rosenműller and others.
Beyond this current project Ensemble Vermillian will turn to Italian repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries and will finish production of a CD featuring 17th-century English repertoire.
Contact: Frances Blaker, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Euphora Project
The Euphora Project has made its goal not only to present historically informed concerts, but also to inhabit the spirit of this ancient music. Using historical interpretation and ornamentation from both printed and manuscript sources, The Euphora Project performs Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque music. The group also performs new music written for the ensemble in a style similar to the compositional practices of the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries. Dominic Schaner (lute & theorbo) directs The Euphora Project.
Formed in the spring of 2010, The Euphora Project made its debut at the Berkeley Early Music Festival with following performances at the Early Music Vancouver Summer Festival. During the 2010-2011 concert season, The Euphora Project toured southern California to critical acclaim with a concert at the San Diego Museum of Art in the historic Balboa Park presented by the San Diego Early Music Society. The Euphora Project continues to delight audiences with imaginative programs and breathtaking performances.
The Euphora Project encompasses multiple incarnations: a duo featuring Amy White (voice) and Dominic Schaner (lute & theorbo), and a period instrument ensemble.
For information, contact: Dominic Schaner, 707-874-2640, email@example.com.
Flauti Diversi was founded in 1992 by Frances Feldon at the San Francisco Early Music Society’s Recorder Workshop with the mission of presenting a variety of early chamber music for historical woodwinds. It has since received an enthusiastic reception at its performances, including those at the SFEMS Recorder Workshop, MusicSources, Marin Early Music Festival, in conjunction with the Berkeley Early Music Festival, Davis Community Church, St John’s Lutheran Church (Sacramento), Kensington Unitarian Church, Music at Old St Mary’s, Music at St Alban’s, Trinity Chamber Concerts and the former Hausmusik concert series. From 1992 until 2002, Flauti performed baroque solo sonatas, duos, trios and quartets, recreating the virtuosity and subtlety of 17th- and 18th-century European music. From 2002 to 2007, under music director Frances Feldon, Flauti Diversi produced its own concert series “Baroque and Beyond,” and its musical mission expanded to include contemporary works.
Flauti has been an affiliate of SFEMS from 2005. The ensemble has included a variety of performers and instruments appropriate to the program repertoire, be it Renaissance, Baroque, contemporary or popular, which allows Flauti to incorporate a novel panoply of sounds and colors on a wide variety of baroque woodwinds and other historical instruments. In addition to the more usual recorder and baroque flute, its members have performed on less common instruments such as chalumeau, baroque clarinet and bassoon, supported by a continuo of harpsichord and viola da gamba or cello. Performers have included many Bay Area professionals.
Flauti Diversi, with core members Frances Feldon, David Morris, and Katherine Heater, recently made its first recording, a program of Boismortier’s complete Op 37, a collection of elegant trio sonatas for baroque flute, viola da gamba and chamber organ by Joseph Bodin de Boismortier.
Contact: Frances Feldon (510)527-9029 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: FlautiDiversitackk.com/lgz9d6, FrancesFeldontacck.com/rm4469
The Galax Quartet (David Wilson & Elizabeth Blumenstock, violins; Roy Whelden, viola da gamba; David Morris, cello) is modeled after an early and short-lived variant of the string quartet — two violins, cello and viola da gamba — developed by the eighteenth century composer and viola da gamba virtuoso, Carl Friedrich Abel. Founded in Berkeley in 2005, the Galax Quartet has commissioned new music, explored early classical works, and performed these in unexpected collaborations.
Galax has performed, often in premieres, new quartets by Marc Mellits, Carl Stone, W.A. Mathieu and others. They have played Bach’s complete Art of the Fugue interwoven with images from the furthest regions of space taken by the Hubble Telescope, and performed with computer-generated images of virtual worlds created by mathematician and sci-fi writer Rudy Rucker. They have recorded film music written by Belinda Reynolds for PBS (The New Metropolis). With the contralto Karen Clark, the Galax Quartet has commissioned and helped create a large body of song cycles, working with some of the world’s best composers and poets.
The quartet seeks out educational opportunities to work with students and young people in residency situations, and with the general public in open rehearsals of exciting and challenging music.
Hallifax & Jeffrey
Peter Hallifax and Julie Jeffrey are viol players who first came together to play the music of the French high baroque tradition, specifically the music of Forqueray, Marais, Dollé and Couperin. Following the success of their first and second seasons, including concerts on the SFEMS series with guest artist Jakob Lindberg, and playing the complete works of Forqueray at the Berkeley Festivals in 2006 and 2008, as well as touring, they have expanded their repertoire to include English 17th century music.
For information: email@example.com
The Handel Opera Project
The mission of The Handel Opera Project is to present the works of G.F. Handel and his contemporaries, thoughtfully edited and reduced in length to bring the works of these composers into an easily accessible format for those interested in early opera and opera of the Baroque period. Performances take place at the historic Christian Science Organization building at 2601 Durant Avenue, in Berkeley, CA. The building was designed by Bernard Maybeck’s student Henry H. Gutterson. Performances are generally semi-staged in concert format. On occasion a work is presented staged.
Junior Recorder Society
The local chapter of the Junior Recorder Society was founded in the fall of 1997 to provide opportunities for young recorder players to play music together. Teachers Louise Carslake, Hanneke van Proosdij and Letitia Berlin felt it important for children to discover the fun of playing recorders together outside of their private lessons or school classes. Partially supported by the East Bay Recorder Society and SFEMS, our chapter is also a member of the national Junior Recorder Society, which connects young recorder players throughout the U.S. Our monthly meetings are open to all children who have a basic ability on the recorder. We play a wide variety of music from the Renaissance to the twentieth century, and sometimes we experiment with improvisation. Many of our players can play more than one size of recorder, and thanks to the generosity of many SFEMS members we are able to lend instruments to children who do not yet have their own. Performances in 1998 included enthusiastically received recitals for the ARS East Bay Chapter in March, and at the American Recorder Society’s reception at the Berkeley Early Music Festival in June. Enrollment has grown steadily, and we are greatly encouraged by the number of recorder players who have joined us recently.
Contact: Louise Carslake, 3931 Linwood Ave., Oakland, CA 94602. Telephone: 510-530-3202.
The Laudami Ensemble consists of young musicians David Ross on flute, violinist Laura Rubinstein-Salzedo, and harpsichordist Michael Peterson. As period instrument specialists, they are dedicated to giving lively interpretations of music from the Baroque era. The performers have recently finished their studies at the Juilliard School and at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague.
Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra
The Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra (MPRO), formed in 1962, is open for membership to those who play recorder, early winds or early strings. The orchestra meets during the fall, winter and spring from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. on alternate Wednesdays at the J.L. Stanford Middle School, 480 E. Meadow, Palo Alto. The orchestra presents two or more concerts annually. Additional performing opportunities are offered to those who take part in the MPRO Ensemble, which presents three or more programs a year at schools, community centers, retirement facilities and special events. MPRO membership also includes the services of the orchestra’s consort coordinator, who assists those wishing to join or form small ensembles. MPRO has performed on public television stations KQED and KCSM, as well as at the Berkeley Early Music Festival, the Palace of the Legion of Honor, Mission San Jose, and the Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek. MPRO also sponsors two workshops annually, which are directed by well-known recorder artists.
Contact: President Dana Wagner at 115 Arrowood Lane, San Mateo, CA 94403; Telephone 650-312-6341. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact Grace Butler at 650-493-1965.
Mostly Motets is a small ensemble that sings sacred music primarily from the Renaissance and earlier. The group sings a cappella works by popular High Renaissance composers (Tallis, Byrd, Victoria, Palestrina, etc.) as well as less-often performed earlier music (Dufay, Desprez, Fry, Ockeghem, chant, Middle English songs, etc.). While the ensemble’s roots can be traced back to informal sessions starting in Santa Rosa in 1998, regularly scheduled rehearsals began in January of 2004. The group presently rehearses and performs in the San Francisco Bay Area, primarily in Berkeley, San Francisco, and on the Peninsula. Rehearsals are usually twice a month on Sunday afternoons.
Anyone who might be interested in singing with the ensemble is welcome to visit www.MostlyMotets.com and contact the director, Steve Moore, at (707) 575-7400.
Described by the press as “some of the finest baroque musicians in America” and “among the best in the world,” Musica Pacifica performs 17th- and 18th-century music on varying combinations of recorder, oboe, violin, cello/gamba, harpsichord, and percussion. The artists perform with Philharmonia Baroque and American Bach Soloists in the Bay Area, and with prominent early music ensembles nationally and abroad. They have performed on such prestigious concert series as The Frick Collection and Music Before 1800 (NY), the Getty Museum (LA), Tage Alter Musik (Regensburg), the Cleveland Art Museum, the LA County Museum, and the Berkeley Early Music Festival, among others. Musica Pacifica’s eight CD releases on the Virgin Classics, Dorian, and Solimar labels have won national and international awards, including Chamber Music America/WQXR’s 2003 Record Award, features on NPR’s Harmonia, Performance Today, and Minnesota Public Radio, and being chosen as “CD of the Month” by the early music journal Alte Musik Aktuell (Regensburg). Judith Linsenberg, recorder; Elizabeth Blumenstock, violin; Charles Sherman, harpsichord; Josh Lee, viola da gamba.
New Esterházy Quartet
The New Esterházy Quartet (Kati Kyme, Lisa Weiss, Anthony Martin, William Skeen) is the first period instrument quartet in North America to present the entire Haydn Cycle on original instruments. Created in 2006, the group has now expanded its scope to include Students of Haydn (such as Beethoven), quartets dedicated to Haydn ( such as Mozart’s) and many other Haydn -related genres. The quartet perform its series of concerts in Berkeley, San Francisco and Palo Alto with additional appearances in New York, Ithaca, Los Angeles, Tucson, Menlo Park, and Carmel.
For more information, please consult http://NewEsterhazy.org.
Opera non Troppo
Passamezzo Moderno, founded in 2005, is a period ensemble that performs the music of three centuries, from 1530 to 1830, and specializes in the virtuoso instrumental music of the 17th century. Its members are David Granger, dulcian and bassoon; Jonathan Davis, harpsichord and organ; and Edwin Huizinga and Adriane Post, violins. Passamezzo Moderno has performed for the San Francisco Early Music Society, Berkeley Chamber Performances, the Universities of California in Berkeley and Davis, California State University, Stanislaus, and numerous chamber music series throughout northern California. Its first CD was released in 2008 to popular acclaim. A new CD, “Johann Michael Nicolai and His Contemporaries,” is due out in fall 2015.
JOHN PRESCOTT received his BA Magna cum Laude in Music from Carlton College (MN) and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and his MA in Music from UC Berkeley. He has been the recipient of a number of academic honors including the British Marshall Scholarship for two years study at St. John’s College, Cambridge England. He also studied at Oxford University’s Worcester College.
He has written extensively on the music of G F Handel and is completing his Doctoral Thesis on John Stanley, the 18th century, blind organist, conductor, violinist and impresario. He has taught music courses at UC Berkeley and Music Theory at The Crowden School (Berkeley, CA), and was the musicologist for the San Francisco Elderhostel Arts and Humanities Program and is currently the resident pre-concert lecturer for Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (SF, CA).
To contact John, email email@example.com, phone: 415.441.3695. 601 Van Ness Avenue, #523, San Francisco, CA 94102.
Sacramento Recorder Society
The Sacramento Recorder Society is a chapter of the American Recorder Society. Our meetings are from 6:45 to 9:30 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month, September through June, at the Friends Meeting House in Sacramento. Our members range from low-intermediate to advanced players, all with a love of early music. Players of other early music instruments are also welcome. Our monthly meetings are directed by professional early music specialists. We encourage members to form small consorts or study groups, which meet in members’ homes, and we offer opportunities for those groups to perform. Our monthly newsletter, our website, and our blog keep members informed of early music workshops and concerts throughout Northern California.
Sacramento Recorder Society, c/o Mark Schiffer, 9612 Graphite Ct., Elk Grove, CA 95624. Telephone: 916-685-7684, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: http://www.sacrecorders.org; blog: http://sacrecorders.wordpress.com
San Francisco Pro Musica Antiqua
Founded in 2014, SFPMA is focused on, but not limited to, performance of the Western musical tradition from the time of Alfonso the Wise to the death of John Dowland. Drawing on professional and semi professional Bay Area musicians, we look forward to presenting Bay Area audiences with interesting, scintillating and informative musical experiences through a variety of repertories, instrumental ensembles, and vocalists. Our debut concert, The Petrucci Project, exploring works from the first commercial printed music books of Ottaviano Petrucci, will present at this year’s Fringe Festival at the Church of the Madeleine in Berkeley. Come hear us!
>The Singers’ Retreat brings together Bay Area singers for two weekends each year. Normally directed by Stanford Professor William Mahrt, the retreats are held in San Anselmo’s San Francisco Theological Seminary. Past workshops have explored sacred polyphony by Renaissance composers from Josquin to Monteverdi. Intense singing sessions are balanced with short lectures on the music and its historical contexts. A public performance concludes each workshop. Singers’ Retreats are open to all singers with good sight-singing skills. Fees are nominal, some meals are provided, and overnight accommodations can be arranged.
Contact: Lee McRae, 2130 Carleton St., Berkeley, CA 94704. Telephone: 510-848-5591; email: LMcR@aol.com.
South Bay Recorder Society
The South Bay Recorder Society, a chapter of the American Recorder Society, provides opportunities for members and others to play recorders and socialize. The SBRS meets 7:30-10:00 PM on the second Friday of the month at the First Congregational Church of San Jose, 1980 Hamilton Avenue, San Jose, located at the corner of Hamilton Ave. and Leigh Ave.
Contact: President Liz Brownell at 899 E. Charleston Rd. Apt K406, Palo Alto, CA 94303. Telephone 650-223-7139 or e-mail email@example.com
Viola da Gamba Society–Pacifica chapter
VdGS-Pacifica, the Bay Area chapter of the Viola da Gamba Society, supports local amateur gambists by providing professional consort coaching sessions (to which established consorts, as well as individuals wishing to be placed in consorts according to skill level, are welcome), beginning instrument rentals and a monthly newsletter, as well as by organizing statewide meets and facilitating contacts with local viol teachers. The chapter meets monthly from Autumn through Spring, usually at Hillside Community Church in El Cerrito.
Praised for their musical rapport and the shared enjoyment that radiates from their performances, they have been hailed as “refreshing”, “sensuous”, “gutsy”, “incredible artists” and a “breathtaking ensemble.” Early Music America magazine called their debut concert at the 2004 Berkeley Early Music Festival a “wonderful offering… beautifully played.”
In 2010 Wildcat Viols, at the invitation of Artistic Director George Benjamin, performed the complete 3- and 4-part Fantazias of Henry Purcell at the Ojai Music Festival, receiving lavish audience and critical praise:
“Articulated fluently… with impeccable intonation” (The Classical Review)
“The expert period instrument group produces a focused ensemble sound…and delivered the music in all its intricately designed, soothing glory” (Santa Barbara News Press)
“Spellbinding…fantastic.” (WQXR, the Classical Music Station of NYC)