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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 26, 2012
CONTACT: Kathleen Fay, Executive Director
617-661-1812 |

MEDIA ALERT: Legendary vocal ensemble The Tallis Scholars returns for their 24th annual appearance with the Boston Early Music Festival in a sublime holiday program on December 2, 2012 at St. Paul Church in Harvard Square.Love Is Better than Wine

ARTIST: The Tallis Scholars (United Kingdom)
Peter Phillips,
WHEN: Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 7:30pm
St. Paul Church
Bow & Arrow Streets, Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA
PROGRAM:  Love Is Better than Wine

Sebastián de Vivanco: Magnificat Octavi Toni
Orlandus Lassus: Osculetur me
Lassus: Missa Osculetur me
Arvo Pärt: I am the true vine
Pärt: Tribute to Caesar
Thomas Tallis: Sancte Deus
Hieronymus Praetorius: Magnificat Quinti Toni

TICKETS: Tickets priced at $19, $38, $49, and $66 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 of 10% are available with the purchase of three or more programs.

Called “the rock stars of Renaissance vocal music” by The New York Times, The Tallis Scholars, directed by Peter Phillips, make their 24th annual appearance on the Boston Early Music Festival concert stage in a sublime holiday program. Lauded for their impeccable intonation and expressive performances, The Tallis Scholars are in extraordinary demand, giving over 70 concerts annually around the globe. For this BEMF holiday appearance, they have assembled a gorgeous collection of Renaissance and contemporary polyphony, bookended by two thrilling double-choir Magnificats.

Spanish composer Vivanco’s richly textured Magnificat opens the program, followed by a breathtaking setting of Osculetur me by Lassus which is noted for is vivid word-setting and dramatic tensions. The program continues with works by contemporary composer Arvo Pärt, whose intense study of early European polyphony informs compositions of transcendent purity, and the somber yet passionate Sancte Deus by the ensemble’s namesake Thomas Tallis. The festive celebration concludes with a Magnificat by Praetorius which features the composer’s settings of two famous Christmas carols, In dulci jubilo and Joseph lieber, interleaved between its verses.

The Tallis Scholars were founded in 1973 by their director, Peter Phillips. Through numerous recordings and concert performances, they have established themselves as the leading exponents of Renaissance sacred music throughout the world. Peter Phillips has worked with the ensemble to create, through excellent tuning and blend, the purity and clarity of sound which he feels best serve the Renaissance repertoire, allowing every detail of the musical lines to be heard. It is the resulting beauty of sound for which The Tallis Scholars have become so widely renowned. The Tallis Scholars perform in both sacred and secular venues, giving around 70 concerts each year across the globe. Recordings by The Tallis Scholars have attracted many awards throughout the world including a Gramophone award, the Diapason d'Or de l'Année, and a Grammy nomination.

Peter Phillips has made an impressive if unusual reputation for himself in dedicating his life’s work to the research and performance of Renaissance polyphony. He founded The Tallis Scholars in 1973, with whom he has now appeared in over 1600 concerts and made over 50 discs, encouraging interest in polyphony all over the world. Apart from The Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips continues to work with other specialist ensembles including Collegium Vocale of Ghent, the VoxVocal Ensemble of New York, and Musix of Budapest. He has made numerous television and radio appearances, on BBC Radio 4 and the World Service as well as on German, French, Canadian and North American radio. Peter also works extensively with the BBC Singers with whom he gave a Promenade concert, in collaboration with The Tallis Scholars, from the Royal Albert Hall in July 2007, which was broadcast live and attended by over five thousand people.

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Recognized as the preeminent early music presenter and Baroque opera producer in North America, the Boston Early Music Festival has been credited with securing Boston’s reputation as “America’s early music capital” (The Boston Globe). Founded in 1981, the Boston Early Music Festival 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 17th Boston Early Music Festival will take place from June 9–16, 2013, and will be highlighted by several performances of Almira, the first opera by the celebrated and prolific composer, George Frideric Handel (1685–1759), in its first fully staged and historically conceived production outside of Germany.

The 2012–2013 Boston Early Music Festival Concert Series is presented with support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts, ConstellationCenter, 99.5 All Classical, Harpsichord Clearing House, Zuckermann Harpsichords International, The Gregory E. Bulger Foundation, U. S. Trust/Bank of America Private Wealth Management, and GTC Law Group.

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