HISTORY OF BEMF
Founded in 1980 by a group of dedicated performers and instrument makers interested in promoting historical performance in the United States, the Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF) is now universally recognized as a leader in the field of early music. Through a wide array of acclaimed performances, exciting and educational events, and Grammy-nominated opera recordings, BEMF has earned its place as North America’s premier presenting organization for conservators and performers of music of the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical periods and has secured Boston’s reputation as “America’s early music capital” (The Boston Globe).
Biennial Festival & Exhibition
The largest and most respected early music festival in the world, our “weeklong extravaganza of early music” (The Boston Herald) includes a fully-staged Baroque opera masterpiece, concerts by the world’s leading soloists and ensembles, nearly one hundred Fringe Concerts by established and emerging artists, dozens of Performance Masterclasses, Public Symposia, Pre-opera Lectures, a fun-filled Family Day, and the world-famous Exhibition, uniting thousands of early music professionals and enthusiasts in our living laboratory of early music.
Annual Concert Series
In response to the overwhelming demand for ongoing world-class early music performances inspired by our biennial celebrations, BEMF introduced its annual Boston concert series in 1989 to instant audience and critical approval. Since 2006, BEMF has partnered with the Morgan Library & Museum to extend its performances to New York City, providing “a shot in the arm for New York’s relatively modest early-music scene” (The New York Times).
Baroque Opera Project
BEMF’s one-of-a-kind Baroque opera spectacles introduce modern audiences to rediscovered classics from the 17th and 18th centuries. The culmination of years of meticulous research, each creation gathers today’s leading operatic superstars and a wealth of instrumental talent from across the globe to reproduce a stunning palette of sight and sound. More recently, BEMF has added an annual Chamber Opera Series and a series of Grammy-nominated CD recordings to its offerings.