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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 5, 2013
CONTACT: Kathleen Fay, Executive Director
617-661-1812 |

Boston Early Music Festival Announces 2013–2014 Boston Concert Series
Featuring a Gala Concert celebrating the BEMF Chamber Opera Series, returns by Sarasa, The Tallis Scholars, Sequentia, Kristian Bezuidenhout, and Stile Antico; débuts by Ensemble Plus Ultra and the London Haydn Quartet; and a Good Friday performance of Sebastiani’s St. Matthew Passion with the all-star singers and instrumentalists of the BEMF Chamber & Vocal Ensembles

Cambridge, MA – September 5, 2013 – Subscriptions and individual tickets are now on sale for the Boston Early Music Festival 2013–2014 Concert Series, featuring some of the best Early Music artists and ensembles from around the world. For 24 seasons, BEMF has been bringing the most exciting and accomplished musicians in Early Music to Boston for rare and engaging performances. For the first time in its history, the 2013-2014 Concert Series will offer two programs featuring the all-star BEMF Chamber & Vocal Ensembles: a Gala Concert celebrating the first five seasons of BEMF’s beloved Chamber Opera Series in November during Thanksgiving weekend, and a special Good Friday performance of Sebastiani’s St. Matthew Passion in April.

The Boston Early Music Festival 2013–2014 Concert Series opens with the return of the Boston-based chamber ensemble Sarasa on Friday, October 18, 2013 at 8pm at First Church in Cambridge, Congregational in a program of music by Italian Baroque composer Luigi Boccherini. A highlight will be Boccherini’s sublime Stabat Mater featuring soprano Dominique Labelle.

The following month, the winner of Gramophone Magazine’s 2012 Early Music Award, Ensemble Plus Ultra make their eagerly anticipated BEMF début on Saturday, November 9, 2013 at 8pm at St. Paul Church, Cambridge. This extraordinary vocal ensemble specializes in pristinely gorgeous performances that unearth jewels of the Spanish Renaissance, breathing life into masterpieces that have been lost to time in the libraries and archives of some of Spain’s grandest palaces and cathedrals. For this program, Ensemble Plus Ultra invites us to share in a journey of discovery with rarely heard works of astonishing passion and sorrow by Victoria, Morales, Ribera, and Guerrero.

Since 2008, the BEMF Chamber Opera Series has fast become a “popular tradition among local early music fans” (The Boston Globe) on Thanksgiving weekend. To celebrate five seasons of gorgeous opera productions, BEMF offers a glorious concert of highlights featuring an all-star cast on Sunday, December 1, 2013 at 3pm at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall! For this Gala Concert, Musical Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs along with Stage Director Gilbert Blin have crafted a program of their favorite selections from the seven operas that have been featured in the Chamber Opera Series.

Peter Phillips and the legendary voices of The Tallis Scholars return to Boston for their 25th annual appearance on Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 8pm at St. Paul Church, Cambridge. Founded in 1973, The Tallis Scholars have toured the world earning enthusiastic acclaim for impeccable and glorious performances of Renaissance vocal music. In a joyous celebration of the holiday season and the ensemble’s 40th anniversary season, they perform sublime sacred works written to honor the Virgin Mary, both as saint and mother, from the grandeur of Victoria’s Missa Gaudeamus to intimate seasonal settings of the Ave Maria by Victoria, Verdelot, and Bruckner.

Since its founding in 2000, the London Haydn Quartet has rapidly built a reputation for “astonishing brilliance, gracefulness and intelligence.” (Goldberg Magazine) They make their BEMF début on Saturday, January 18, 2014 at 8pm at First Church in Cambridge, Congregational in a program featuring delightful and lyrical string quartets by Haydn and Beethoven alongside Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet in A, which is performed on the basset clarinet. This will be a truly rare opportunity to hear this quintet played using the instrument for which it was written, featuring the virtuoso who has pioneered its modern-day rediscovery, Eric Hoeprich.

Perhaps the most innovative and revered ensemble performing Medieval music in the world, Sequentia returns to the BEMF concert stage on Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 8pm at St. Paul Church, Cambridge. Director Benjamin Bagby leads an ensemble of ten singers and instrumentalists in a program featuring exquisite and expressive vocal music of the High Middle Ages in Germany by Benedictine visionary and composer Hildegard von Bingen, and other mystical poets of German courts, schools, and cloisters.

A longtime favorite of BEMF audiences, fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout offers an evening of intimate keyboard music by Mozart on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 8pm at NEC’s Jordan Hall, Boston. Often proclaimed a revelatory musician by audiences and critics alike, Bezuidenhout uses his “rare rhetorical and poetic gifts” (De Telegraaf) to bring Mozart’s masterpieces to life with virtuosity and nuance.

The twelve young voices of Stile Antico are quickly emerging as one of the most technically polished and stunningly beautiful Renaissance vocal ensembles in the world, with The New Yorker calling a recent performance “perhaps the most ravishing sound I have heard this year.” They return to the BEMF stage on Friday, March 7, 2014 at 8pm at St. Paul Church, Cambridge with a program honoring the legacy of the Carnegie UK Trust. Starting in 1922, the Trust published a ten-volume collection of Tudor church music which unearthed extraordinary music that had languished unperformed for centuries. Stile Antico draws entirely from these publications to create a program of exquisite beauty, featuring works by Byrd, Tallis, Gibbons, Taverner, White, Morley, and Weelkes.

This spectacular Boston Early Music Festival 2013–2014 Concert Series closes with a special Good Friday concert on Friday, April 18, 2014 at 8pm at NEC’s Jordan Hall featuring the all-star instrumentalists and singers of the BEMF Chamber & Vocal Ensembles performing the St. Matthew Passion by the outstanding but rarely performed German composer Johann Sebastiani. BEMF Artistic Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs lead the beautiful and deeply moving passion setting, lushly scored for five voices, six strings, and continuo, in what promises to be an unforgettable experience. Acclaimed tenor and German Baroque specialist James Taylor sings as the Evangelist.

Subscriptions and individual tickets are now on sale through the Boston Early Music Festival Box Office at 617-661-1812 or online at WWW.BEMF.ORG. Discounted subscription packages start as low as $102 for three programs.

The 2013–2014 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, The Gregory E. Bulger Foundation, and U. S. Trust/Bank of America Private Wealth Management.

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 three Grammy-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 18th Boston Early Music Festival will take place from June 7–14, 2015, and will be highlighted by Claudio Monteverdi’s trilogy of operas: Orfeo, Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria, and L'Incoronazione di Poppea. BEMF’s Artistic Leadership includes Artistic Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, Opera Director Gilbert Blin, and Orchestra Director Robert Mealy.

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