Press Release


Boston Early Music Festival Announces 2019–2020 Season

• Celebrating BEMF’s 30th annual series of concerts in Boston;
• The BEMF Chamber Ensemble joins with countertenor Philippe Jaroussky and soprano Amanda Forsythe for a 5-city North American tour;
• Return engagements from three of the world’s most sought-after voices: Karina Gauvin, Dorothee Mields, and Ann Hallenberg;
• Concerts from perennial BEMF favorites, including Jordi Savall with La Capella Reial de Catalunya and Hespèrion XXI, The Tallis Scholars, Stile Antico, Vox Luminis, and the Venice Baroque Orchestra;
• Concert Series débuts by recorder virtuoso Stefan Temmingh, the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, and the superstar quartet Nevermind

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Cambridge, MA–The Boston Early Music Festival is pleased to announce that subscription packages and individual tickets are now on sale for our 2019–2020 Season, celebrating our 30th anniversary of presenting world class artists and ensembles in an annual series of concerts in Boston. The 2019–2020 Season will also include a 5-city North American tour featuring the all-star BEMF Chamber Ensemble with superstar countertenor Philippe Jaroussky and superb soprano Amanda Forsythe, and led by BEMF’s GRAMMY-winning Musical Directors, Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs.

“One of the nation’s foremost Early Music organizations.”
–The New Yorker

BEMF opens our 2019–2020 Season in Boston with one of the world’s leading Baroque opera specialists and frequent BEMF artist, Canadian soprano Karina Gauvin, as she joins Vancouver’s exciting Pacific Baroque Orchestra in their BEMF début. Harpsichord virtuoso Alexander Weimann leads a captivating study of the diverse cultural wealth of Russian Baroque opera on Sunday, October 27, 2019 at 4pm at Emmanuel Church in Boston.

Our 30th Anniversary Season continues on Saturday, November 2, 2019 at 8pm at First Church in Cambridge, Congregational, as the Gramophone Award-winning ensemble Vox Luminis returns to BEMF with a gorgeous and evocative selection of motets of the Bach family. Led by director Lionel Meunier, these singers and continuo players have won international acclaim for their illuminating performances of the music of the Bach family, balancing pristine unity and seductive charm.

BEMF ON TOUR: La Storia di Orfeo
The Boston Early Music Fesitval Chamber Ensemble embarks on a 5-city North American tour this November in a fascinating program exploring the enduring story of Orpheus and his beloved Euridice. Superstar French countertenor Philippe Jaroussky—alongside sublime American soprano Amanda Forsythe—draws on three Italian Baroque operas to create a vivid pastiche of this tragic legend for the concert stage, hailed by Gramophone as “brilliant”.

GRAMMY-winning Musical Directors, Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, lead timeless arias and duets by Monteverdi, Rossi, and Sartorio, with the all-star instrumentalists of the BEMF Chamber Ensmble and Concertmaster Robert Mealy. In addition to performances in Montréal, QC, Seattle, WA, and Kansas City, MO, BEMF will present performances on Tuesday, November 26, 2019 at 7:30pm at Gilder Lehrman Hall at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York City, and two performances in Boston at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall—Friday, November 29, 2019 at 8pm and Sunday, December 1, 2019 at 3pm.

Beloved by BEMF audiences for more than three decades, The Tallis Scholars and director Peter Phillips return for the holiday season on Friday, December 6, 2019 at 8pm, at St. Paul Church in Cambridge. These legendary voices explore some of the seminal texts of Renaissance vocal music in brilliantly contrasting settings from Spain, England, Italy, Mexico, and France, with masterworks by Byrd, Victoria, Allegri, Padilla, and Tallis.

Recorder virtuoso Stefan Temmingh made his thrilling American début at the June 2019 Festival, and makes a triumphant return on Friday, January 31, 2020 at 8pm at First Church in Cambridge, Congregational, alongside the astonishing German soprano Dorothee Mields and his regular collaborators, The Gentleman’s Band. Their playful program alternates English folk songs with the often flamboyant and intense renditions they inspired by Baroque masters including Dowland, Purcell, D’Urfey, Geminiani, and others.

One of the world’s most enduringly gifted artists, legendary viol virtuoso Jordi Savall showcases the musical splendor of his Catalan homeland in a spectacular program on Friday, February 7, 2020 at 8pm, in Sanders Theatre at Harvard University in Cambridge. Featuring his GRAMMY-winning vocal ensemble, La Capella Reial de Catalunya, and his famous consort of virtuoso instrumentalists, Hespèrion XXI, Savall leads a vibrant celebration of the music of the Iberian Baroque.

One of the opera’s truly extraordinary voices, Swedish mezzo-soprano Ann Hallenberg makes her BEMF concert stage début on Friday, February 28, 2020 at 8pm at Emmanuel Church in Boston, appearing with “one of the world’s most adventurous and dramatic period instrument ensembles” (NPR) and frequent guests of BEMF, the Venice Baroque Orchestra. Their program spans the thrillingly energetic and profoundly theatrical repertoire of Baroque masters Vivaldi, Handel, Torri, and Broschi.

Hailed as a “breath of fresh air in the field of early music” (Wales Arts Review), the four members of Nevermind met while studying in Paris and recognized their shared musical passions and vibrant virtuosity. A hit at the 2017 Festival, they bring their thoroughly engaging mix of technical expertise and relaxed charm to the music of Bach and Teleman on Thursday, March 5, 2020 at 7:30pm at Gilder Lehrman Hall at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York City, and on Saturday, March 7, 2020 at 8pm at First Church in Cambridge, Congregational in Harvard Square.

Finally, the always-fascinating singers of Stile Antico close the 2019–2020 Season on Saturday, April 18, 2020 at 8pm at St. Paul Church in Cambridge with an illuminating program of music by and for women in Renaissance Europe. From powerful rulers who used their patronage to support music of exquisite beauty, to the astonishing talents of the first women composers to be published, this oft-neglected repertoire is brought to life by one of the world’s most vibrant and expressive vocal ensembles.

Subscriptions and individual tickets for the Boston Concert Series are now on sale through the Boston Early Music Festival Box Office at 617-661-1812 or online at Discounted subscription packages start as low as $54 for three programs. Tickets for the performances at The Morgan Library & Museum are on sale now at

The 2019–2020 Boston Early Music Festival Concert Series is presented with support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Constellation Charitable Foundation, and 99.5 WCRB: Classical Radio Boston, a service of WGBH.

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 four 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 21st Boston Early Music Festival will take place from June 6–13, 2021, and will feature the fully staged North American premiere of Henry Demarest’s Circé. BEMF’s Artistic Leadership includes Artistic Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, Opera Director Gilbert Blin, Orchestra Director Robert Mealy, and Dance Director Melinda Sullivan.

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