We’re a group of early music ensembles and musicians connected with the Boston area. Visit our table at the Boston Early Music Festival Exhibition, June 14-17 for a selection of our work including recordings, books, arrangements and transcriptions, and original compositions for historical instruments, and information about upcoming concerts, events and projects.
The Society for Historically Informed Performance grew out of the local early music community’s desire for more performance opportunities, as interest in early music grew during the 80s. Members of seven ensembles collaborated on a summer concert series in 1987, endeavoring to share in the work, and later to give a helping hand to other groups that were trying to get a start in the field. In the years since, the SoHIP Summer Concert Series has become a beloved tradition which continues to provide opportunities for new project by New England musicians.
Founded in 2004 by choral director Amelia LeClair to research, study and perform the music of women composers, award-winning Cappella Clausura brings exquisite performances of music by women to today’s audiences, fostering an appreciation of the role of women as composers throughout history, and bringing women composers into the classical canon. Our repertoire extends from the earliest known music by women, dating from the 9th century, to the music of our own time. The core of the vocal ensemble is eight-to-sixteen singers who perform a cappella, and with period instruments appropriate to the repertoire. Both singers and players are drawn from Boston’s superb pool of freelancers, all accomplished professionals who perform widely as soloists and ensemble musicians in Greater Boston and beyond.
Cappella Clausura’s name was inspired by the many gifted and musically educated cloistered nuns (“in clausura”) in 17th century Italy, such as Raffaella Aleotti, Chiara Cozzolani, Bianca Maria Meda, Caterina Assandra, Sulpitia Cesis, and more. It continues to serve as a metaphor for the cultural obstacles faced by women composers throughout history, and even to the present day.
The period-instrument ensemble Les Bostonades has been sharing chamber music with Boston area audiences since its founding in 2005. The ensemble features Baroque music specialists who have studied and performed all over the world, who collaborate in Boston's vibrant early music scene, bringing spirited and polished performances to their listeners. The ensemble's performances have been described as "the most engaging chamber music playing...[a] generous, voluptuous sound...well delineated, [and with] a poignancy of emotion." The ensemble has developed under the direction of Akiko Sato, an acclaimed harpsichordist and continuo player with a unique cultural background. Ms. Sato's early training in Japan, and further study in the U.S. and Montreal, have given her unique cultural perspective, along with exposure to French language and culture. Akiko's passion for French language and Baroque music led her to early music study at McGill University in Montreal, where she focused on studying music of the French clavecin school and Baroque stage works. This work has shaped Les Bostonades' programming, which over the years, has featured lesser-known French Baroque composer such as Boismortier, Guillemain, Stuck, Mondonville, Colin de Blamont, Courbois, and Senallie (along with Rameau, Couperin, and Marais, and the great composers of the Italian, and German Baroque traditions). Les Bostonades is an ensemble of flexible size and instrumentation; their regular players, with Ms. Sato at the core, collaborate regularly with internationally renowned Baroque performance specialists. Recent performances have featured Teresa Wakim (soprano), Gonzalo Ruiz (oboe) and Hank Knox (harpsichord). At their June 2011 concert at the Boston Early Music Festival, the ensemble played to a packed house and received a standing ovation; this success has propelled the ensemble into a new season of magnificent works.
Emily O’Brien is a native of Washington, DC where she played recorder from a young age. She studied recorder and french horn at Boston University, and recorder and Baroque flute at the Hochschule für Musik in Karlsruhe, Germany. She performs in recorder ensembles and historical chamber music, as well as English Country Dance bands, and is a former employee of the Von Huene Workshop and the Early Music Shop of New England in Brookline, MA. In her spare time, she enjoys long distance cycling. O'Brien's recent album, "Fantasies for a Modern Recorder" features the flexibility and possibilities offered by the Mollenhauer Helder tenor recorder.
Renaissance music comes alive in the robust performances of Renaissonics. Simultaneously historical and contemporary in its approach, the group plays as musicians of the era played --vigorously and improvisationally. Renaissonics' stylish performances allow audiences to experience the elegance and excitement of Renaissance music as it was intended to be heard. Music of the past is suddenly music of today. Virtuoso solos, chamber music, dance music and dazzling improvisations combine in a program that joyously bridges the gap between the artistic and pop. Renaissonics is a unique blend of members, all of whom are internationally recognized soloists, dance musicians, and improvisors. Their playing vibrantly blends this extensive expertise into performances that are continually original. Renaissonics is the resident ensemble for the Historical Dance Foundation's annual International Early Dance Institute. RENAISSONICS is acknowledged as a leading ensemble of Renaissance Dance, Chamber Music, and Improvisation enjoying a vast repertoire which takes them from concert halls to pop music clubs. They have performed in France, Italy, Japan and Australia and throughout the U.S. and may be heard on Ken Burns’ PBS documentary The West. Renaissonics was a featured ensemble for the Boston Christmas Revels and for Early Music America’s Star Spangled Season. Other appearances include the Boston Early Music Festival, the Cambridge Society for Early Music's International Concerts, the Castle Hill Pop Music Series, the Washington Early Music Festival, the Indianapolis Early Music Festival, the New England Conservatory of Music's Improvisation Festival, Plimouth Plantation, and at Boston's First Night Celebration. Renaissonics has been resident ensemble of the Court Dance Company of New York and the Vermont Shakespeare Festival.
America’s only Renaissance Recorder Orchestra. Professional and amateur players performing on a handmade, matched set of nine sizes of Renaissance recorders, sopranino to contrabass, made by Italian master craftsman Francesco LiVirghi. Renaissance, contemporary, pop and world music. BRO presents public concerts and outreach performances to schools and community organizations. If you would like to join BRO please contact us for an Audition.
A native of Stafford, Virginia, Melika M. Fitzhugh (A.B. Harvard-Radcliffe, M.M. Longy School of Music of Bard College) studied conducting and composition with Thomas G. Everett, Beverly Taylor, James Yannatos, Julian Pellicano, Roger Marsh, Jeff Stadelman, and, most recently, John Howell Morrison and Osnat Netzer. Mel's compositions have been commissioned by John Tyson, Catherine E. Reuben, John and Maria Capello, Laura and Geoffrey Schamu, and the Quilisma Consort, and have been performed by those artists as well as the Radcliffe Choral Society, Berit Strong, Miyuki Tsurutani, Libor Dudas and Aldo Abreu. Mel, who has composed music for film and stage, was a member of Just In Time Composers and Players and is currently a member of world/early music ensemble Urban Myth, in addition to playing bass guitar with acoustic rock singer/songwriter Emmy Cerra, the ambient rock band Rose Cabal and the Balkan folk dance band Balkan Fields. Two of
Seven Times Salt is a Boston-based early music ensemble focusing on repertoire of 16th- and 17th-century England, especially works for the consort-of-six or broken consort. Praised for their creative programming and “impeccably balanced sound,” STS has performed since 2003 at numerous venues throughout New England including Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Plimoth Plantation, the New England Folk Festival, WGBH radio, and many others. They have also researched and presented original programs for the Amherst, Bloomington, and Boston Early Music Festivals (Fringe), the Society For Historically Informed Performance, and their own self-produced concert series. The ensemble delights in blurring the lines between “art music” and folk tunes, and feel at ease performing in the concert hall, the dance hall, or the beer hall! Seven Times Salt is pleased to offer their latest album "Pilgrims' Progress: Music of the Plimoth Colony Settlers" at this year's festival. They'll perform a Fringe concert of the same name on Tuesday, June 11 at 12pm at Arlington Street Church. The Ensemble: Karen Burciaga - treble viol, violin, voice Dan Meyers - flute, recorders, percussion, voice Josh Schreiber Shalem - bass viol, voice Matthew Wright - lute, bandora, voice with Barbara Allen Hill, soprano
Pamela Dellal, mezzo-soprano, has enjoyed a distinguished career as an acclaimed soloist and recitalist. She has appeared in Symphony Hall, the Kennedy Center, Avery Fisher Hall, and the Royal Albert Hall, and premiered a Harbison chamber work in New York, San Francisco, Boston and London. With Sequentia, Ms. Dellal has recorded the music of Hildegard von Bingen and toured the US, Europe, and Australia. Passionate about chamber music, early music, and contemporary music, she has appeared multiple times at the Boston Early Music Festival, and has performed frequently with Dinosaur Annex, Boston Musica Viva, Ensemble Chaconne, Blue Heron, and the Musicians of the Old Post Road. She has been a regular soloist in the Emmanuel Music Bach Cantata series for over thirty years, having performed almost all 200 of Bach’s sacred cantatas. She has recorded for Arabesque, Artona, BMG, CRI, Dorian, Meridian, and KOCH. She serves as faculty at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee and at the Longy School of Music of Bard College, and is a sought-after translator of lyric texts. More at www.pameladellal.com.
Favella Lyrica means "lyric speech" and the ensemble aims to capture the communicative power of its chosen repertoire, the vocal chamber music of the 17th and 18th centuries. Favella Lyrica has an impressive array of concert programs including familiar and rarely-heard works of Monteverdi, Handel, Purcell, Schütz, and Couperin, as well as other composers. Their programming has been universally praised for its variety and imagination (see below). Brilliant guest artists often augment the forces of the ensemble, expanding the range of repertoire available to them. Its three members, Pamela Murray, soprano, Pamela Dellal, mezzo-soprano, and Michael Beattie, harpsichord, have a wide range of performing experience, with repertoire spanning the 12th to the 20th centuries. The ensemble has appeared on the BEMF concert series and the Celebrity Series of Boston, as well as numerous festivals and concert venues across the U.S. Their three CDs, for KOCH International Classics, have received impressive critical response. "Sweet Torment" features music of 17th century Italy and Germany; "Blind Love, Cruel Beauty” focuses on Handel’s chamber duets; and "A New Sappho: Barbara Strozzi and Nicolò Fontei” presents duets by the Venetian genius and one of her librettists and contemporaries.
La Donna Musicale is a non-profit research, education, and performance organization devoted exclusively to the discovery, preservation, and promotion of sacred and secular music by women composers. The ensemble uses period instruments and historical performance practices. Biography: Hailed by Early Music America for its “excellent performers … outstanding music stylishly performed,” La Donna Musicale is dedicated to the historically informed performance of music by women composers of the Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical periods. Our concerts provide “both valuable knowledge and entertainment” (Bryn Mawr), and our CDs of Antonia Bembo and Julie Pinel have been praised in Goldberg: “first-rate … a disc I will be returning to for a long time to come”; International Record Review: “first rate performances of unusually delightful music”; Notes: “warmth and impeccable accuracy”; and Early Music America: “Exacting scholarship is backed up by high quality performances.”
OUR MISSION To unite diverse communities by highlighting the fusion and confluence of the cultures of Europe, Africa, and theAmericas through musical performances and educational outreach. We show the European influence on Afro-American and indigenous music in Latin America, as well as how the fusion of those types of music with European classical music produced new musical genres. We recreate, preserve, and popularize the diverse multicultural aspects of the rhythmic patterns that have been passed down from the Middle Ages to today. And for this purpose we have formed a Latin-Baroque Fusion ensemble of musicians using period, folk, and contemporary popular instruments. Rumbarroco also aims to promote awareness and enjoyment of the musical and cultural similarities and distinctions between Orient and Occident, and among Jews, Christians, and Muslims, as experienced through Latin-American music. We seek to unite today’s diverse communities through the powerful transformative passion of the music we play. Finally, we employ music as a tool for cultural integration, especially for the empowerment of youth in their personal growth.
Meravelha was formed in 2012 in Boston for the purpose of making medieval music accessible to a wider audience through live performances. Using music, poetry, imagery, and movement, the ensemble tells stories that reflect themes illustrated within the songs and cultures of the 11th-15th centuries. The name “Meravelha,” which translates as “marvel” or “wonder” was taken from the song “Non es meravelha s’eu chan” (It is no wonder that I sing) by Bernard de Ventadorn, a 12th-century troubadour. Meravelha frequently performs self-produced concerts, featuring multimedia presentations, around the Greater Boston area, and has also appeared at the 2013 IBERICA Early Music Festival, in a fringe concert at the 2013 Boston Early Music Festival, and on the SoHIP Summer Concert Series in 2014, 2016, and this coming summer with a new program about King Richard the Lionheart. In our concerts, we aim to provide an understanding of the arts and culture of Middle Ages, as well as how they relate to and inform our current era. Meravelha has also participated in educational and outreach events, including an educational session for elementary school students, filling out the student early music ensemble at Tufts, and is developing addition educational sessions and workshops.
A graduate of the Longy School of Music’s Master’s in Early Music Program, Teri Kowiak specializes in the historically-inspired performance of medieval, renaissance and baroque music while also performing a wide range of styles including classical, jazz, traditional Irish/Celtic, and premiering new compositions. Her repertoire spans from the chants of Hildegard von Bingen to Samuel Barber to James Bond Movie themes to newly-composed choral works. She greatly enjoys vocal improvisation in many styles and collaborative composition via improvisation. Teri currently performs with Cappella Clausura, Night’s Blackbird (an eclectic new music group), Diamonds from the Dust (Worcester, MA), Red Shift (Baton Rouge, LA) and the choir of the Church of Our Saviour in Brookline, MA. In 2012 she founded medieval ensemble Meravelha, and has served as artistic director ever since. The ensemble was featured at the SoHIP summer concert series in 2014 and 2016, and will be again this summer, partnering with Peter Walker for a new program of music for and about Richard the Lionheart. Outside of performing, Teri loves to help others make music. She runs a thriving private voice studio, gives workshops on performance practice, and provides choral coaching to local ensembles. She is also a writer of speculative fiction, and is currently working on a novel and two opera libretti.
Winchendon Music Festival
The mission of the Henry Purcell Society is to present historically informed, vibrant performances of the works of Henry Purcell and his contemporaries. Founded by Jessica Cooper in 2013, the organization has fostered collaborations with other arts organizations to perform the full breadth of Purcell’s compositions: the incidental theater music, operas and semi- operas, odes, symphony songs written for the Royal Court, sacred and secular songs for vocal solo and ensemble voice, and instrumental music. The fledgling Society is committed to exciting and interdisciplinary programming, and to educating audience members on the conventions and style of the English Baroque though their concerts, concert notes and website information.”
Laura Jeppesen received a master’s degree from Yale University and subsequently studied the viola da gamba at the Hamburg Hochschule and the Brussels Conservatory. She has been a Woodrow Wilson Designate, a Fulbright Scholar, and a fellow of the Bunting Institute at Harvard. A prominent member of Boston’s early music community, she has long associations with The Boston Museum Trio, Boston Baroque, The Handel and Haydn Society, the Boston Early Music Festival and Aston Magna. In 2015 she was part of the BEMF team that won a Grammy for best opera recording. She has performed as soloist with conductors Christopher Hogwood, Edo deWaart, Seiji Ozawa, Craig Smith, Martin Pearlman, Harry Christophers, Grant Llewellyn, and Bernard Haitink. She has an extensive discography of solo and chamber works, including the gamba sonatas of J.S.Bach, music of Marin Marais, Buxtehude, Rameau, Telemann and Clerambault. She teaches at Boston University, Wellesley College and Harvard University where in 2016 she received an award of distinction in teaching from the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning. She is a 2017 recipient of an Andrew W. Mellon Blended Learning Initiative Grant for innovative teaching at Wellesley College.
For more information or other inquiries, contact Emily O'Brien at emily-at-emilysdomain-dot-org.