Press Release


Boston Early Music Festival presents The Tallis Scholars in a program of music for the Virgin Mary, free of charge on YouTube


ARTISTS:The Tallis Scholars (UK)
Peter Phillips, director
WHEN:Premieres Friday, December 11, 2020 at 8pm EST
Recorded at the Church of St. Anne & St. Agnes, London

Broadcast on BEMF's YouTube Channel:
Available until Friday, December 25, 2020 at 11:59pm EST


Ave Virgo Sanctissima: Music for the Virgin Mary

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina: Magnificat Primi Toni
Orlande de Lassus: Alma redemptoris mater
Robert White: Exaudiat te
White: Christe qui lux (IV)
Arvo Pärt: Virgencita
Francisco Guerrero: Sancta et immaculata
Guerrero: Ave virgo sanctissima
Hieronymus Praetorius: Magnificat IV

The legendary voices of The Tallis Scholars have been a Boston Early Music Festival tradition for 31 consecutive seasons, and 2020 will be no exception! Recorded exclusively for BEMF at the historic Church of St. Anne & St. Agnes in London, the program offers some serenity in a turbulent year. Director Peter Phillips leads music for the Christmas season written to invoke and honor the Virgin Mary with selections by Palestrina, Guerrero, Lassus, Whyte, Pärt, and Praetorius.

Attend a Post-Concert Q&A Session with Tallis Scholars Director Peter Phillips and Suzannah Clark, Morton B. Knafel Professor of Music at Harvard College; moderated by BEMF Executive Director Kathleen Fay, live on Zoom and YouTube.

Over four decades of performance and a catalogue of award-winning recordings for Gimell, Peter Phillips and The Tallis Scholars have done more than any other group to establish sacred vocal music of the Renaissance as one of the great repertoires of Western classical music. They have sought to bring Renaissance works to a wider audience in churches, cathedrals and venues on every continent on the planet except Antarctica! These include the Royal Albert Hall, the Sistine Chapel, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall New York, the Philharmonic Hall Berlin, Saint Mark's Venice, Seoul Arts Centre Korea, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre London, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Wigmore Hall, Beijing Concert Hall, Megaron Athens, and the Opera House Sydney. The Tallis Scholars continue to develop their exclusive sound, praised by reviewers for its supple clarity and tone, and to bring fresh interpretations to music by contemporary as well as past composers, such as Pärt, Tavener, Whitacre, Muhly and Jackson.

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, BEMF offers diverse programs and activities, including one GRAMMY Award–winning and five 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 weeklong 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 9–13, 2021, and will feature a double-bill of comic opera by Telemann and Hasse. 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.

The Boston Early Music Festival is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Constellation Charitable Foundation, and WCRB Classical Radio Boston, as well as a number of generous foundations and individuals from around the world.

For more information, please contact Kathleen Fay at