2021 Festival | June 6–13, 2021

Save the dates for our next biennial Festival—June 6–13, 2021—“Music of Solace and Joy".

The 21st biennial Boston Early Music Festival will be presented exclusively online, from June 6–13, 2021. The virtual event—titled Music of Solace and Joy—will feature a combination of new broadcasts from BEMF’s operatic video archives, recorded concert performances from the world’s leading Early Music Artists, an Exhibition, Fringe Series, Masterclasses, and more. BEMF’s Artistic Leadership team of Artistic Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, Opera Director Gilbert Blin, Orchestra Director Robert Mealy, and Dance Director Melinda Sullivan will work closely with Executive Director Kathleen Fay in the coming weeks and months to plan a full schedule of events for audiences to enjoy in their own homes.

“We have had to make some extremely difficult decisions amid unfolding plans made over the last several years, and in an atmosphere of widely variant scenarios on the potential future of the pandemic and possible vaccines,” says BEMF Executive Director Kathleen Fay. “We identified three options: to cancel or drastically reduce the traditional live Festival; to gamble on proceeding as usual, hoping for safe, highly effective, and rapidly and extensively distributed vaccines; or to prioritize the health and safety of our artists, staff, and fans, mounting for the first time and in this unique, unprecedented year, an equally unique and unprecedented virtual Boston Early Music Festival and Exhibition. With trepidation, we have chosen the third option.”

The virtual 2021 Festival replaces previously announced plans for a new production of the GRAMMY Award–winning BEMF Chamber Opera Series featuring Telemann’s Pimpinone and Hasse’s La Finta Tedesca, as well as earlier plans for a fully staged production of Desmarest’s Circé. Both productions will be rescheduled in the future.



The 2021 Festival will feature a special presentation from our video archives. Watch for more details in the coming weeks and months!



The 2021 Festival will feature a special selection of pre-recorded and archival concerts. Watch for more details in the coming the months.



BEMF is exploring ways to continue presenting the Exhibition and other Concurrent Events virtually for the 2021 Festival.