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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 22, 2010
CONTACT: Kathleen Fay, Executive Director
617-661-1812 |

MEDIA ALERT: New Chamber Ensemble Directed by Oboist Gonzalo X. Ruiz, Symphonie Des Dragons, Makes World Début Performances with the Boston Early Music Festival in Boston and New York City


Symphonie des Dragons (oboe consort; United States)

Gonzalo X. Ruiz, director, oboe & recorder
Stephen Bard, Luke Conklin, Jeanine Krause, Debra Nagy, Kathryn Montoya, Kristin Olson, Priscilla Smith, Rie Thiesson, oboe & recorder
Rachel Begley, Nathan Hegelson, Julia Marion, Dominic Teresi, bassoon & recorder
Charlie Weaver, guitar and theorbo
Ben Harms, percussion


Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 7:30pm
Gilder Lehrman Hall at The Morgan Library & Museum

New York City, NY

Friday, January 14, 2011 at 8pm
First Church in Cambridge, Congregational

Cambridge, MA


From the Court to the Stage: The Rise of the French Oboe Band

Jean-Baptiste Lully: Les Combattants (from Alceste)

Lully: Suite from Alceste

André Danican Philidor: Le Mariage de la Grosse Cathos

François Couperin: La Steinquerque

Henry Purcell: Musick in The Double Dealer    

George Frideric Handel: Sonata in G minor Op. 2 #5

Handel: Suite from Rodrigo

Tickets for the Cambridge performance are 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.

Tickets for the New York City performance are $45 for non-members and $35 for members and are available by calling 212-685-0008, ext. 560 or online at



One of the world’s finest Baroque oboists, Gonzalo X. Ruiz brings his new ensemble, Symphonie des Dragons, to New York City and Boston for their world début. This exceptional assortment of oboes, recorders, and bassoons will explore beautiful and varied music tracing the development of the oboe band, from the Court of Versailles to the concert stages of London.

“While many modern day organizations, BEMF prominent among them, have made great strides in bringing to life the true sound of Lully’s orchestra, most modern audiences have never heard the oboe in what was in fact its most common tonal environment, wind bands,” says director Gonzalo X. Ruiz. “At Versailles the sound of double reed ensembles was ubiquitous and probably heard more often by more people than what we would call an orchestra.”

The program reflects the diverse music performed by oboe bands at a time when it was still a very new instrument. Original compositions, well-known marches, operatic excerpts and dances will be joined by later repertoire showcasing the oboe as a virtuosic solo instrument. Exquisite music by Lully, Philador, Couperin, Purcell, and Handel will give audiences a glimpse into the exciting early evolution of an instrument praised for its majesty and “Sweetness of Sound” when John Bannister wrote The Sprightly Companion in 1695


Symphonie des Dragons makes its world début in these performances. The ensemble takes its name from the custom of different military regiments to field their own such band. The lineup mirrors that of the Douze Grands Hautbois, which together with the Vingt-Quatre Violons du Roi formed the basis for Lully’s legendary orchestra. In addition to the treble oboes, the band includes tenor oboes in F, commonly referred to by their role, taille, as well as the oboe’s natural bass cousin the bassoon, and in one piece the rare alto hautcontre d’hautbois in A. As was common at the time, many of the players double on recorders of various sizes.


Gonzalo X. Ruiz, oboe and recorder, is one of America’s most sought-after historical woodwind soloists and was recently appointed to the faculty of The Juilliard School. In recent seasons he has appeared as principal oboist and soloist with leading groups in the United States and Europe under such conductors as McGegan, Savall, Manze, Antonini, Huggett, Goodwin, and Egarr. Critics have called him “one of only a handful of truly superb baroque oboists in the world” (Alte Musik Aktuell) and “a master of expansive phrasing, lush sonorities, and deft passagework” (San Francisco Chronicle). For years he has taught at Oberlin Conservatory and the Longy School of Music, and his former students now fill the ranks of many top groups across the country. He is an acknowledged expert in historical reed techniques and examples of his work are on permanent display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Recognized as the preeminent early music presenting organization 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 fully staged operatic centerpiece of the 16th Festival and Exhibition in 2011 will be the North American premiere of Agostino Steffani’s Niobe, Queen of Thebes led by BEMF Artistic Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, and Stage Director and Set Designer Gilbert Blin. The international cast will include soprano Amanda Forsythe in the title role and countertenor Philippe Jaroussky as Anfione.


The 2010–2011 Boston Early Music Festival concert season 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.


Dates, times, venues, artists, and programs are subject to change. 


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