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MEDIA ALERT: BEMF presents world-renowned viol player Jordi Savall in a recital of English and Celtic songs-Saturday, March 5 in Harvard Square

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ARTIST: Jordi Savall, viols (Spain)

Frank McGuire,
WHEN: Saturday, March 5, 2016 at 8pm
St. Paul Church, Bow & Arrow Streets, Cambridge, MA
PROGRAM:  The English & Celtic Viol: At Court and in Exile
Anonymous: The Humours of Scariff (Traditional Irish)
Anonymous: Archibald MacDonald of Keppoch (Traditional Irish)
Anonymous: The Musical Priest/Scotch Mary (Traditional Irish)
Fraser: Caledonia's Wail for Niel Gow
Anonymous: Sackow's Jig (Traditional Irish)
Hume: A Souldiers March
Hume: Captaine Hume's Pavin
Hume: Harke, harke
Hume: Good againe
Hume: A Souldiers Resolution
Anonymous: Lady Mary Hay's Scots Measure (Traditional Scottish)
Anonymous: Da Slockit Light (Traditional Scottish)
Anonymous: The Flowers of Edinburg (Traditional Scottish)
Gow: Lament for the Death of his Second Wife
Anonymous: Fisher's Hornpipe (Traditional Scottish)
Anderson: Peter's Peerie Boat
Ferrabosco: Coranto
Ford: Why not here
Playford: La Cloche & Saraband
Anonymous: The Tuttle's Reel (Traditional Irish)
O'Carolan: Planxty Irwin
O'Neill: Alexander's Hornpipe
Anonymous: Jimmy Holme's Favorite (Traditional Irish)
Anonymous: Gusty's Frolics (Traditional Irish)
Anonymous: Regents Rant (from Ryan's Mammoth Collection)
Anonymous: Crabs in the Skillet (from Ryan's Mammoth Collection)
Anonymous: The Sword Dance (from Ryan's Mammoth Collection)
Anonymous: Lord Moira (from Ryan's Mammoth Collection)
Anonymous: Lord Moira's Hornpipe (from Ryan's Mammoth Collection)
Anonymous: The Morning Dew (Traditional Irish)
Anonymous: The Hills of Ireland (Traditional Irish)
Anonymous: Apples in the Winter (Traditional Irish)
Anonymous: The Rocky Road to Dublin (Traditional Irish)
Anonymous: The Kid on the Mountain (Traditional Irish)
Anonymous: Morrison's Jig (Traditional Irish)
TICKETS: Tickets are priced at $25, $45, $55, and $75 each, and can be purchased at and 617-661-1812; a $5 discount for students, seniors, and groups is offered by calling 617-661-1812. Subscription discounts are available with the purchase of all three remaining programs on the 2015-2016 Season.

One of the giants of Early Music, Jordi Savall returns to BEMF with a fascinating recital steeped in the English and Celtic traditions. Renowned for his immense musical curiosity and enthralling performances, Savall connects with the music and his audience like few others, making every concert an unforgettable experience. He joins with Celtic percussionist Frank McGuire in this journey through the folk and art songs of England, Scotland, Ireland, and America.

"My first acquaintance with Celtic music goes back to the late 1970's, when we visited Kilkenny to give a concert with Hespèrion XX," writes Savall in his notes on this program. "The streets, squares and pubs were teeming with all kinds of musicians ... What incredible vitality! It was magical to see so many musicians living their music with that degree of intensity and emotion!"

This expansive selection of tunes includes sublime laments, animated reels and jigs, and stately dances. Some are the traditional tunes that accompanied the daily lives of the people, while others were written in more courtly style by composers such as Tobias Hume, Alfonso Ferrabosco, and John Playford. Selections from the Manchester Gamba Book demonstrate the lively interplay of these two traditions in 17th-Century England, with music composed for the courtly solo viol in the evocatively-named "bagpipes tuning". Crossing the Atlantic to New England, we are treated to dances from Ryan's Mammoth Collection, an 1883 compilation of old and new tunes for the popular social dances of the day, published right here in Boston.

For more than 50 years, Jordi Savall has rescued musical gems from the obscurity of neglect and oblivion and given them back for all to enjoy. A tireless researcher into Early Music, he interprets and performs the repertory both as a gambist and a conductor. His activities as a concert performer, teacher, researcher, and creator of new musical and cultural projects have made him a leading figure in the reappraisal of historical music. Together with Montserrat Figueras, he founded the ensembles Hespèrion XXI (1974), La Capella Reial de Catalunya (1987), and Le Concert des Nations (1989), with whom he explores and creates a world of emotion and beauty shared with millions of early music enthusiasts around the world. One of the most versatile musical personalities of his generation, Jordi Savall's prolific musical career has brought him the highest national and international distinctions, including the order of Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur (France), the Praetorius Music Prize awarded by the Ministry of Culture and Science of Lower Saxony, the Gold Medal of the Generalitat of Catalonia, and the prestigious Léonie Sonning Prize, which is considered the Nobel prize of the music world.

Frank McGuire comes from a family of traditional musicians, and has been playing music since he was old enough to hold an instrument. His years of study in all styles of percussion have given him the opportunity to play all over the world with many truly outstanding musicians from the realms of folk, blues, old-time Americana, bluegrass, soul, gospel, and classical music. Collaborators have included banjo maestro Alison Brown, American fiddler Kate Lasaure, blues/gospel singer Lea Gilmore, and legendary viola da gamba player Jordi Savall.

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Recognized as the preeminent early music presenter and Baroque opera producer in North America, the Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF) has been credited with securing Boston's reputation as "America's early music capital" (The Boston Globe). Founded in 1981, BEMF offers diverse programs and activities, including one GRAMMY Award-winning and four GRAMMY Award-nominated opera recordings, an annual concert series that brings early music's brightest stars to the Boston and New York concert stages, and a biennial week-long Festival and Exhibition recognized as the "world's leading festival of early music" (The Times, London). The 19th Boston Early Music Festival will take place from June 11-18, 2017, and will feature fully staged performances of André Campra's Le Carnaval de Venise as the Centerpiece Opera. BEMF's Artistic Leadership includes Artistic Directors Paul O'Dette and Stephen Stubbs, Opera Director Gilbert Blin, and Orchestra Director Robert Mealy.

The 2015-2016 Boston Early Music Festival Concert Series is presented with support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts, ConstellationCenter, WGBH Radio Boston, Harpsichord Clearing House, Zuckermann Harpsichords International, and The Gregory E. Bulger Foundation.

For more information, images, press tickets, or to schedule an interview, please contact Kathleen Fay at 617-661-1812 or email