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.
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
For more information, click here.
Barefoot Chamber Concerts
Barefoot Chamber Concerts presents local chamber music in an informal setting, usually on Friday evenings, usually short concerts starting at 6, usually in the fabulous wooden acoustic of St. Mark’s Parish Hall, usually only $15. Occasionally otherwise.
Barefoot has been throwing the fun back into early chamber music for 8 years now. For more information go to www.barefootchambercooncerts.com and add yourself to our all-important email list, or find us on Facebook and subscribe to the page.
Contact: Peter Hallifax, email: email@example.com
Bay Area Baroque Orchestra
Berkeley Baroque Strings
Berkeley Baroque Strings welcomes string players eager to learn Baroque performance practice and to perform for the benefit of the community in which we live. BBS’ fifth season will feature three sets of concerts: The Drama of Love and War, in November 2017; Concerto Night, featuring soloists from the orchestra, in March 2018; and Bach Family, in May and June, 2018. We rehearse Monday evenings, 7:30-9:30, at St. Clement’s Episcopal Church in the Fellowship Hall, 2837 Claremont Blvd, Berkeley, under the leadership of Kati Kyme who conducts, instructs, coaches and inspires us in the essence of Baroque style, technique and elegant musicianship.
Contact: Charlotte Gaylord, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Camerata Moresca is an ensemble formed by keyboardist Bernadette Arnold and baroque violinist Eric Finley. They explore and perform the exquisite music literature of the Baroque Era on period instruments. The ensemble was featured on concert series at Foothill Presbyterian Church in San Jose, Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Santa Clara and Music Academy of Gilroy.
Contact: Eric Finley, e-mail: email@example.com.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, email@example.com.
Claudia holds a Master of Arts in Recorder Performance from the Conservatory of Music in Geneva, Switzerland (2004). She has performed and taught in Europe, US and South America. She has recorded with the Ensemble Elyma (Switzerland, 1997), Musica ficta (Colombia, 2007), Esfera Armoniosa; www.esferaarmoniosa.com (Colombia, 2009, and 2015). After moving to the USA in 2009, she collaborated in the Early Music program at the Palm Beach Atlantic University in Florida. In California, she has been a guest conductor at several Recorder Workshops, has served as a member of the faculty of the SFEMS Recorder Workshop, and has played in the last years with the California Bach Society, the American Bach Soloists, and the Farallon Recorder Quartet. As a teacher, Claudia teaches piano, recorder, ear training and music theory to her students preparing them for the ABRSM test.
Contact: Claudia Liliana Gantívar, 561-309-9986, 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 is a chamber music ensemble presenting medieval, renaissance, baroque and contemporary music, using transverse flutes and recorders as well as a variety of other instruments. Flauti Diversi recently released its first CD recording of Joseph Bodin de Boismortier’s Opus 37 trio sonatas for baroque flute, viola da gamba, and chamber organ. This is an important recording as it is the first recording of these pieces with historically correct instrumentation. Flauti Diversi was founded in 1992 by artistic director Frances Feldon at the San Francisco Early Music Society’s Recorder Workshop. The ensemble presents a variety of innovative programs, which often combine or focus solely on early and contemporary music, and uses a wide palette of instrumental colors. Flauti Diversi’s personnel, under artistic director Frances Feldon, varies from concert to concert depending on the demands of specific musical repertoire.
In 2005, Flauti Diversi became an affiliate of The San Francisco Early Music Society. From 2003 to 2008, Flauti Diversi presented its own concert series called “Baroque and Beyond.” It has since been enthusiastically received at its performances, including those presented by The San Francisco Early Music Society at the California Jazz Conservatory, in conjunction with the Berkeley and Marin Early Music Festivals, the Hausmusik concert series, Music at Old St Mary’s, and Music on Squirrel Hill concert series, in the SF Bay Area. For the past three concert seasons, Flauti Diversi has focused on presenting early repertoire of the thirteenth to the eighteenth centuries from the Mediterannean. Core members Frances Feldon, recorders/flutes; Peter Maund, percussion; and Sarah Michael, qanun; have been joined for a variety of programs by Gary Haggerty, oud; Susanna Porte, violoncello; Karen Clark, contralto; Allison Zelles Lloyd, soprano/harp; and Roy Whelden, viola da gamba/vielle. In 2013, Flauti Diversi presented an unusual program of recorder music portraying birds. For this program, Ms Feldon commissioned three new works by Erika Oba, Glenn Shannon, and Roy Whelden for solo alto recorder with a string quartet of two violins, viola da gamba, and violoncello.
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.
Gallimaufry Chamber Chorus
Gallimaufry was formed in early 2014 by well-known early music scholar and musician, Shira Kammen. The group performs music from the medieval and Renaissance eras, as well as traditional and contemporary settings of early texts and tunes. The group is unusual in the early music world for performing mostly secular rather than sacred music. Our name, “Gallimaufry,” is a 16th century French word meaning mix or medley (referring usually to a stew or soup), and reflects the variety of music the group performs. Led by Ms. Kammen as Artistic Director, who also arranges and composes some of the music the ensemble performs, Gallimaufry consists of 20 or so singers from throughout the Bay Area, with experience ranging from skilled amateur to semi-professional. Gallimaufry primarily performs a cappella, but each concert also includes some accompanied pieces and some early or traditional instrumental music performed by Ms. Kammen and by guest artists as well.
Contact: Beth Summers, 3932 Reinhardt Drive, Oakland CA 94619.
Telephone: 510-689-2770. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
HIP (Historically Inspired Performance) Forum, is a Bay Area ensemble performing music from the Renaissance through the Classical periods, on historical instruments. The ensemble consists of: Erik Anderson (Cello and Viola da Gamba), Rebecca Molinari (Oboe and Recorder), Derek Tam (Harpsichord), and Kristin Zoernig (Bass). We seek to present a modern concert experience that broadens access to the world of Early Music.
Contact: Rebecca Molinari Telephone: 510-323-5910 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Contact: Violet Grgich, email@example.com
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 about twice a month from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Wednesdays during the fall, winter and spring. Rehearsals are held in Angus Hall at Trinity Church, 330 Ravenswood Avenue, Menlo Park. The orchestra presents two concerts annually. MPRO members also have the opportunity to rehearse and perform in 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 an annual workshop, directed by a well-known recorder artist. Information on upcoming concerts, workshops, and rehearsal dates is available at http://www.mpro-online.org.
Contact: Judith Unsicker, President, MPRO Board of Directors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Nash Baroque was formed in 2013 by traverso player Vicki Melin, and harpsichordist, Katherine Heater to present chamber concerts in stylistically varied and engaging programs on period instruments. Having met while receiving advanced degrees from the Royal Conservatory, the Hague and Sweelinck Conservatory respectively, both are SF Bay Area musicians who join forces with an array of accomplished instrumentalists, vocalists, and period dancers, to perform repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries.
Nash Baroque has performed in Music on the Hill, the Berkeley Festival and Exhibition, and in several invitation concerts in New England. In July 2014, they performed a special program honoring the town of Guilford, Connecticut, for the 375th Anniversary Festival of its founding. The program, which was performed first at the Berkeley Festival Fringe 2014, featured music of the British Isles and the early American colonies and was later featured on WSHU CT Public Radio’s program “First Fridays” with host Kate Remington as one of most notable concerts of 2014. They have recently joined forces with Jennifer Meller and her historical dance troupe, San Francisco Renaissance Dancers, for collaborative projects in 2019, 2020!
Contact: Nash Baroque, Vicki Melin, 262 Bella Vista Way, San Francisco, CA 94127. Telephone: 415-265-2675; e-mail: email@example.com; web site: https://www.nashbaroque.org
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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: email@example.com; 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Tactus (San Francisco) is a chamber chorus dedicated to bringing Renaissance polyphony to audiences in the San Francisco Bay Area. We aim to bring together musicians of diverse identities, ages, and experience to create a musical melting pot of energy and ideas. Through innovative rehearsal methods derived from the latest in teaching pedagogy, we aim to forge musical and personal relationships that will last a lifetime. Committed to the highest quality of artistic excellence, we will perform regularly in the San Francisco Bay Area, seeking to educate, engage, and delight.
The Bay area women’s ensemble Vajra Voices performs medieval to modern music in a singing style inspired by Hildegard von Bingen that is “clear, sweet, and strong.” In 2010, Vajra Voices debuted in the Berkeley Early Music Festival, and returned to the Festival in 2014 for an enthralling standing-room-only audience at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. Holding the questions of what makes historical music ‘authentic’, director, Karen R. Clark, invites each member of Vajra Voices to contribute her unique voice, knowledge and expertise. Every attempt to understand the context in the time the music is composed, its intended purpose, and how best to bring the meaning and expression forward to modern ears is of primary importance to Vajra Voices. For more information, please visit www.vajravoices.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.
Wildcat Viols was formed in 2003, bringing together three of the San Francisco Bay Area’s favorite early string specialists, Joanna Blendulf, Julie Jeffrey and Elisabeth Reed, and was joined in 2015 by internationally recognized viol virtuosa Annalisa Pappano.
Praised for their musical rapport and the shared enjoyment that radiates from their performances, they have been hailed as “refreshing”, “sensuous”, “gutsy”, “incredible artists,” “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);
“A balm… endlessly absorbing” (The London Financial Times); “Spellbinding…fantastic.” (WQXR, the Classical Music Station of NYC).
The success of Wildcat Viols’ first recording, “Fairest Isle” inspired plans for another recording, which will include the complete four-part Fantazias of Purcell, along with quartets by Matthew Locke and Giovanni Legrenzi.