Press Release


Boston Early Music Festival and Longy School of Music launch a new partnership

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Cambridge, MA–The Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF) and the Longy School of Music of Bard College (Longy) are pleased to announce a new partnership for the 2018–2019 academic year. Expanding on previous collaborations, this new affiliation features:

  • A series of lectures and masterclasses presented by BEMF artists and directors throughout the season.
  • A 10-day rehearsal residency at Longy for BEMF’s GRAMMY-Award winning Chamber Opera Series, as the BEMF Vocal Chamber Ensembles prepare a new production of Francesca Caccini’s Alcina in November.

BEMF’s Alcina opera rehearsals will be open to Longy students for observation and study, offering students a unique glimpse at BEMF artists and directors at work. Further, a first semester course – entitled “Inside BEMF & Caccini’s Alcina” – co-taught by Longy faculty members Ellen Hargis (Vocal Studies) and John McKean (Music History), will survey repertoire to be performed by artists appearing on the BEMF concert stage this season, including Les Talens Lyriques directed by Christoph Rousset, The Tallis Scholars directed by Peter Phillips, and Ensemble Correspondances directed by Sebastian Daucé. Ellen Hargis will draw upon her experience with BEMF (as opera singer and Assistant Stage Director) to provide an introduction to various components of producing a Baroque opera. In addition to the open Alcina rehearsals, two members of BEMF’s directorial team will offer special programs for Longy students in November: BEMF Opera Director Gilbert Blin will present a lecture on “Staging Baroque Opera” while on Saturday, November 17, 2018, Orchestra Director Robert Mealy will lead a masterclass on Baroque violin. Members of the Longy community will also receive free tickets to BEMF concerts throughout the 2018–2019 Season.

“BEMF is thrilled to join our colleagues at Longy for this new collaboration,” says BEMF Executive Director Kathleen Fay. “My expectation is that BEMF will further enrich Longy’s impressive Early Music curriculum with regular programs and unique presentations featuring our superb artists and directors, while Longy will provide access to talented young students considering a career in Early Music and a variety of convenient physical facilities and resources for our programs. We are especially attracted to Longy’s distinctive historic emphasis on preparing musicians ‘to make a difference in the world.’ The BEMF directorial team and artists have a strong commitment to nurturing and mentoring the next generation of Early Music singers and instrumentalists; partnering with Longy is an important way to reinforce this commitment.”

“Boston is known as one of the world’s Early Music hubs, and we at Longy are beyond excited to partner with our colleagues at BEMF.” says Longy President Karen Zorn. “I believe in doing things together that you can’t do alone. As two of the leading Early Music institutions in Boston, it makes sense to come together to share our resources. At Longy, we value our exceptional partnerships. I know that together with BEMF, we will create new opportunities and develop innovative projects that add to the City’s robust reputation for Early Music.”

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 20th Boston Early Music Festival will take place from June 9–16, 2019, and feature the fully staged North American premiere of Agostino Steffani’s Orlando as the Centerpiece Opera. 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.

Longy School of Music of Bard College trains musicians to make a difference in their world with a social imperative that is at the core of the School’s curriculum. Breaking down the traditional conservatory constraints, Longy prepares its students to lead meaningful lives in music through project-based learning courses and performances alongside professional partners. Internationally recognized for its efforts to meet a changing musical landscape head-on, Longy gives its graduates the opportunity to perform professionally, teach in a variety of settings, and expand access within classical music.

Longy’s innovative curriculum compels students to explore their artistry, take risks, hone their technique, and become the musician the world needs them to be. Spearheaded by world-class faculty, Longy promotes profound musical understanding and technical mastery and inspires growth of imagination, fostering an attitude of inquiry about the musician's role in the world.

For more information, images, press tickets, or to schedule an interview, please contact Kathleen Fay at 617-661-1812 or email or Todd McNeel at 617-831-1759 or email