Press Release


Boston Early Music Festival presents The Tallis Scholars in a program of works by Josquin, Palestrina, and Byrd


ARTIST:The Tallis Scholars
Peter Phillips, director

Friday, December 10, 2021 at 8pm
St. Paul Church, 29 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA

Virtual Premiere: Friday, December 17, 2021 at 8pm ET
Available until Friday, December 24, 2021 at 11:59pm ET


Josquin 500: Music of Josquin, Palestrina, and Byrd

Josquin des Prez: Missa Hercules Dux Ferrariae, Kyrie and Gloria
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina: Surge amica mea
Palestrina: Ecce tu pulchra es
Josquin: Missa Hercules Dux Ferrariae, Credo, Sanctus, and Benedictus
William Byrd: Laetentur Caeli
Byrd: Vigilate
Byrd: Ave verum
Josquin: Missa Hercules Dux Ferrariae, Agnus dei

TICKETS:Limited $30 tickets are available for the in-person performance; tickets for the virtual event are $15. Remaining in-person tickets have a partially obstructed view of the stage. Virtual tickets are included free with all in-person tickets or can be purchased on their own. To purchase tickets, visit or call the BEMF Box Office at 617-661-1812; a $5 discount for students and seniors is available for in-person tickets. Subscription discounts are available with the purchase of three or more programs in the 2021–2022 Season.

Celebrate the season in high style as Peter Phillips leads the legendary voices of The Tallis Scholars in a program honoring the incomparable composer Josquin des Prez on the 500th anniversary of his death. With thousands of concerts across the globe—including three decades of visits to Boston—these singers have established themselves as one of Early Music’s truly essential ensembles with performances of unparalleled clarity. The centerpiece of their program is Josquin’s monumental and sublimely beautiful Missa Hercules Dux Ferrarie, which encodes the patron's name in a musical motif, woven into the counterpoint as a springboard for Josquin's invention. The mass is juxtaposed with motets by two composers who built on Josquin's legacy in very different contexts, Renaissance masters William Byrd and Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina.

As we return to in-person performances with our 2021–2022 Season, the health and safety of our audience, employees, and artists is our highest priority. BEMF is joining many of our colleagues around Boston in requiring patrons to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated. Patrons may use either paper or electronic documentation. Exceptions will be made for children under 12 and persons with a medical condition or a sincerely held religious belief that prevents vaccination. Patrons who require an exception will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance. All staff and musicians will also be required to be vaccinated.

In addition, we will require patrons to wear a well-fitted mask covering their nose and mouth at ALL times at the concert venue, including throughout the performance. We will be reducing capacity significantly to ensure socially distanced seating at all venues and will not be offering ticket sales or ticket pick-up at the concert venue. For our patrons who cannot—or chose not to—attend a performance after a ticket purchase has been made, we are offering free ticket exchanges and refunds for all in-person performances up to 2 hours before concert start time, as well as Virtual Ticket options for all events.

As the global pandemic is still a developing situation, we anticipate these protocols will evolve in the months ahead. Visit to review our current safety policies.

A pre-concert video featuring The Tallis Scholars Director Peter Phillips and Suzie Clark, Morton B. Knafel Professor of Music at Harvard College, will be released on Monday, December 6 on and social media.

The Tallis Scholars were founded in 1973 by their director, Peter Phillips. Through their recordings and concert performances, they have established themselves as the leading exponents of Renaissance sacred music throughout the world. Peter Phillips has worked with the ensemble to create the purity and clarity of sound for which The Tallis Scholars have become so widely renowned. The Tallis Scholars perform in both sacred and secular venues, giving around 80 concerts each year. 2021-2022 season highlights include performances in Amsterdam, Vienna, Paris, the RheinVokal and Regensburg Festivals, Klangvokal Musikfestival Dortmund, Bremen Musikfest and tours of Italy, in addition to their usual touring schedule around the USA, Europe and the UK. As part of the postponed Josquin des Prez’ 500th anniversary celebrations The Tallis Scholars will sing all eighteen of the composer’s masses over the course of 4 days at the Boulez Saal in Berlin in July 2022. Recordings by The Tallis Scholars have attracted many awards throughout the world. The latest recording of Josquin masses including Missa Hercules Dux Ferrarie was released in November 2020 and was winner of the BBC Music Magazine’s much coveted Recording of the Year Award in 2021. This disc was the last of nine albums in The Tallis Scholars' project to record and release all Josquin's masses before the 500th anniversary of the composer’s death in 2021.

Peter Phillips has dedicated his career to the research and performance of Renaissance polyphony, and to the perfecting of choral sound. He founded The Tallis Scholars in 1973, with whom he has now appeared in over 2,300 concerts and made over 60 discs, world-wide. As a result of this commitment Peter Phillips and The Tallis Scholars have done more than any other group to establish the sacred vocal music of the Renaissance as one of the great repertoires of Western classical music. Phillips is currently also working with the BBC Singers, the Netherlands Chamber Choir, the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Intrada (Moscow) and El Leon de Oro (Spain). In addition to conducting, Peter Phillips is well known as a writer. His first book, English Sacred Music 1549-1649, was published by Gimell in 1991, while his second, What We Really Do, appeared in 2013. In 2005 Peter Phillips was made a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture. In 2008 Peter helped to found the chapel choir of Merton College Oxford, where he is a Bodley Fellow; and in 2021 he was elected an Honorary Fellow of St John’s College, Oxford.

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 22nd Boston Early Music Festival, A Celebration of Women, will take place from June 4-11, 2023, and will feature the 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.

The Boston Early Music Festival is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Constellation Charitable Foundation, and CRB 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