Give to BEMF

  About Us


« Back to Press Releases

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 24, 2015

MEDIA ALERT: BEMF opens its 2015–2016 Season with celebrated soprano Emma Kirkby and virtuoso lutenist Jakob Lindberg on October 2

(Download as a PDF)

ARTIST: Emma Kirkby, soprano (England)

Jakob Lindberg, lute (Sweden)
WHEN: Friday, October 2, 2015 at 8pm
First Church in Cambridge, Congregational, 11 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA
PROGRAM:  The Golden Age Revived
Ferrabosco: So Beauty on the waters stood
Anonymous: When Daphne fair
Danyel: Coy Daphne fled
Dowland: When Phoebus first did Daphne love
Anonymous: Prelude — The English Nightingale
Byrd: Constant Penelope
Lanier: Hero and Leander
William Lawes: Aire — Almain — Courante — Sarabande
Henry Lawes: Thelo legein Atreidas (Anacreon)
Henry Lawes: I long to sing (Anacreon Englished)
Blow: If mighty wealth (Anacreon)
Wilson: Diffugere nives (Horace)
Amodei: La Parca
Kapsperger: Toccata
Piccinini: Ciaccona Mariona alla vera Spagnola
Mudarra: Dulces exuviae
Purcell: Cebell — Ritornell — A New Irish Measure — A Scottish Measure — A New Ground — Hornpipe
Humfrey: Cupid once, when weary grown
Purcell: Cupid, the slyest rogue alive
Blow: Sappho to the goddess of love
TICKETS: Tickets are priced at $20, $39, $51, and $70 each, and can be purchased at WWW.BEMF.ORG 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 three or more programs on the 2015–2016 Season.

BEMF’s 2015–2016 Season opens with a brilliant program by celebrated soprano Emma Kirkby and virtuoso lutenist Jakob Lindberg that harkens back to the “Golden Age” of the Ancient Greeks. The poets and musicians of the late Renaissance and early Baroque were captivated by these classic myths, and retold innumerable stories of heroines and gods, of love and tragedy. Long revered as a singer of impeccable taste and intelligent musicianship, Kirkby’s grace and subtlety brings an exquisite emotional resonance to these masterworks.

“Just as Ancient Greek myth had told of the Golden Age, a lost time of primeval innocence and abundance, so late Renaissance and early Baroque poets and composers harked back to the classics,” writes Emma Kirkby in her notes on the program. “The lute was thought of as the queen of instruments, and best approximation of the lyre of Orpheus; it was a thing of great subtlety, whose magical sound could soothe the most savage or desperate soul, and also offer ideal partnership for any eloquent singer seeking to relive that golden age of Arcadia, where men and gods lived side by side - a scenario recreated again and again in the courts of Europe.”

Originally, Emma Kirkby had no expectations of becoming a professional singer. As a classics student at Oxford, and then a schoolteacher, she sang for pleasure in choirs and small groups, always feeling most at home in Renaissance and Baroque repertoire. She joined the Taverner Choir in 1971 and in 1973 began her long association with the Consort of Musicke. Emma took part in the early Decca Florilegium recordings with both the Consort of Musicke and the Academy of Ancient Music, at a time when most college-trained sopranos were not seeking a sound appropriate for early instruments. She therefore had to find her own approach, with enormous help from Jessica Cash in London, and from the directors, fellow singers, and instrumentalists with whom she has worked over the years.

To date, she has made well over one hundred recordings of all kinds, from sequences of Hildegarde of Bingen to madrigals of the Italian and English Renaissance, cantatas and oratorios of the Baroque, and works of Mozart, Haydn and J. C. Bach. In 1999 Emma was voted Artist of the Year by Classic FM Radio listeners; in November 2000 she received the Order of the British Empire, and in June 2007 was delighted to be included in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for appointment as a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

Jakob Lindberg developed his first passionate interest in music through the Beatles. He started to play the guitar and soon became interested in the classical repertoire. After reading music at Stockholm University he went to London to study at the Royal College of Music, where he further developed his knowledge of the lute repertoire and is now one of the most prolific performers in this field.

Jakob has made numerous recordings for BIS, many of which are pioneering in that they present a wide range of music on CD for the first time. An active continuo player on the theorbo and archlute, Jakob has worked with many well known English ensembles including The English Concert, Taverner Choir, The Purcell Quartet, Monteverdi Choir, Chiaroscuro, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and the Academy of Ancient Music. He is also in demand as an accompanist and has given recitals with Emma Kirkby, Anne Sofie von Otter, Nigel Rogers, and Ian Partridge. It is particularly through his live solo performances that he has become known as one of the finest lutenists in the world today, with concerts all over the globe from Tokyo and Beijing in the East to San Francisco and Mexico City in the West.

Download artist photos:

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 three 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