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Main Stage

Sun. June 7  Ι  Mon. June 8  Ι  Tues. June 9  Ι  Wed. June 10  Ι  Thurs. June 11  Ι  Fri. June 12  Ι  Sat. June 13  Ι Sun. June 14

Sunday, June 7, 2020

CANTATA COLLECTIVE with NICHOLAS McGEGAN, conductor: J.S. Bach’s Mass in B minor
Cantata Collective, cred. Teresa Tam

Our 2020 Festival begins with one of the summits of the literature: J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor. Founded in 2017, Cantata Collective is preparing to present its fourth season of free Bach cantata performances, having become a fixture of the Bay Area’s musical life. Featuring some of the nation’s top Bach musicians, and performing without a conductor, Cantata Collective returns with Festival in full force. Cantata Collective’s musicians are thrilled to welcome beloved maestro Nicholas McGegan to the podium as he concludes his tenure with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra.

Cantata Collective
Sherezade Panthaki and Clara Rottsolk, sopranos
Reginald Mobley and William Duffy, altos
Dann Coakwell and David Kurtenbach, tenors
Paul Max Tipton and Edmund Milly, basses
Nicholas McGegan, conductor

7:00 p.m. First Congregational Church of Berkeley (2345 Channing Way)
$85/$65/$45, $10 for students 30 and under with ID

Monday, June 8, 2020

DAVID KIM, fortepiano: A night of Beethoven
Festival Debut

Celebrate Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday! The young Beethoven took the musical world by storm not only through his compositions, but through his unparalleled virtuosity on that then-new instrument, the piano. Praised for his “emotionally expansive” and “idiomatically perfect” interpretations, fortepianist David Kim will present a solo recital of some of Beethoven’s most enticing early works, including the “Pastoral” and “Moonlight” sonatas, on period instruments. 

7:00 p.m. Hertz Hall (101 Cross-Sproul Path, Berkeley)
$65/$55/$45, $10 for students 30 and under with ID

BLUMENSTOCK, REED & JAMASON: Teutonic Titans

Long-time colleagues and San Francisco Conservatory of Music faculty members Elizabeth Blumenstock (violin), Elisabeth Reed (viola da gamba), and Corey Jamason (harpsichord) explore some of Bach’s most moving chamber sonatas, as well as the work of Bach’s remarkable German predecessors, including Froberger, Erlebach and Buxtehude.

7:00 p.m. Sol Joseph Recital Hall, San Francisco Conservatory of Music (50 Oak St.)
$65/$45, $10 for students 30 and under with ID

FIRE & GRACE & ASH: Partita Americana
Festival Debut

Violinist Edwin Huizinga and guitarist William Coulter join forces with mandolinist Ashley Broder in a compelling musical journey, taking the music of Johann Sebastian Bach as the starting point for a dynamic fusion of Baroque and folk, spanning the centuries from Vivaldi to the “father of blugegrass,” Bill Monroe! This concert promises to keep your foot tapping as you waltz home from a late night at the Festival!

10:00 p.m. Sol Joseph Recital Hall, San Francisco Conservatory of Music (50 Oak St.)
$50 general admission, $10 for students 30 and under with ID

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

KALEIDOSCOPE VOCAL ENSEMBLE: La Vita Effimera
Festival and West Coast Debut

Kaleidoscope Vocal Ensemble is a new, racially-diverse vocal octet featuring world-class performers focused on early and new music. Led by Arianne Abela, Kaleidoscope is pleased to present La Vita Effimera, featuring works by Italian and English composers of the Renaissance and early Baroque. Enjoy pieces by Lotti, Purcell, Monteverdi, Gibbons, Tallis, Dowland and Gesualdo centered upon the universal themes of human fragility, sorrow, and affliction.

Kaleidoscope Vocal Ensemble
Michele Kennedy and Sherezade Panthaki, sopranos
Reginald Mobley and Cece Duarte, altos
Noah Horn, tenor
Andy Berry, bass
Arianne Abela, artistic director

4:00 p.m. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church (2300 Bancroft Way, Berkeley)
$65/$45, $10 for students 30 and under with ID

TESSERAE BAROQUE: The Myth of Venice
Festival Debut

Los Angeles-based Tesserae Baroque (Ian Pritchard, music director; Alexandra Opsahl, executive director) returns to its roots with a performance of large-scale music by Giovanni and Andrea Gabrieli, paired with works from Monteverdi’s Selva Morale e Spirituale. Featuring singers, cornetti, sackbuts, and strings, Tesserae recreates the original surround sound experience with some of the most sumptuous and stunning repertoire of the late Renaissance and early Baroque. 

Amateur period instrumentalists and singers are welcome to join Tesserae for a short post-performance jam! 

7:00 p.m. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church (2300 Bancroft Way, Berkeley)
$65/$45, $10 for students 30 and under with ID

BLUMENSTOCK & JAMASON: Sonatas by J.S. Bach

Elizabeth Blumenstock and Corey Jamason present J.S. Bach’s expressive and brilliant sonatas for violin and obbligato harpsichord, as well as his Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue, one of the composer’s most extravagant and virtuosic keyboard compositions.

7:00 p.m. Sol Joseph Recital Hall, San Francisco Conservatory of Music (50 Oak St.)
$65/$45, $10 for students 30 and under with ID

ARTEK: Artemisia—Light and Shadow

This is the opera for our times! Delve into the life of Artemisia Gentileschi—internationally-renowned painter and modern feminist icon—in this unique one-woman show from New York-based ensemble ARTEK (Gwendolyn Toth, director). She led a life more dramatic than an Italian opera: trained in art by her father, raped as a teenager, Artemisia survived a sensational trial to become an internationally renowned painter, and the secret lover of a Florentine nobleman.

10:00 p.m. Sol Joseph Recital Hall, San Francisco Conservatory of Music (50 Oak St.)
$50 general admission, $10 for students 30 and under with ID

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

BAREFOOT ALL-STARS: Lawes As You Like It—The Six-Part Consort Setts

This concert features all of William Lawes’ extraordinary music for six viols, played by the Barefoot All-Stars, with a variety of listening options: traditional seating, or lie
back and enjoy the music from the floor (bring your own yoga mat, beach blanket, etc.).

Lawes was the most innovative of the post-Elizabethan composers. The “Setts” for six viols are a cornerstone of the repertoire, combining complex counterpoint with daring harmonic invention and an idiosyncratic melodic sense.

The Barefoot All-Stars have been bringing viol consort music to the Bay Area for nearly a decade. Formed as an occasional ad hoc group of viol players for the popular Barefoot Chamber Concerts series, the All-Stars have become a local institution.

Barefoot All-Stars
Marie Dalby Szuts, Peter Hallifax, Julie Jeffrey, David Morris, Elisabeth Reed, Lynn Tetenbaum; viols

4:00 p.m. Venetian Ballroom, Berkeley City Club (2315 Durant Ave.)
$50 general admission, $10 for students 30 and under with ID

EARLY MUSIC AMERICA: Emerging Artists Showcase

The future is now! Early Music America’s (EMA) Emerging Artists Showcase presents four competitively-chosen ensembles that reflect the future of historically informed performance in North America. For the first time in the Showcase’s history, one of the finalists will be offered a performance for the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado’s 2020–21 season. The decision will be announced immediately following the concert.

Artists
Gili Loftus, fortepiano (Montréal, Canada)
L.A. Camerata: Marylin Winkle, director (Los Angeles, California)
Lyracle: Ashley Mulcahy and James Perretta (Boston, Massachusetts)
Trobár: Allison Monroe, Elena Mullins and Karin Weston (Cleveland, Ohio)

7:00 p.m. Hertz Hall (101 Cross-Sproul Path, Berkeley)
$50 general admission, $10 for students 30 and under with ID

Thursday, June 11, 2020

VOX LUMINIS (Lionel Meunier, Artistic Director): Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu nostri

Internationally-renowned Festival favorite Vox Luminis returns with Dietrich Buxtehude’s most ambitious work. A work of deep profundity, the seven-cantata Membra Jesu nostri employs relatively limited vocal and instrumental forces—five voice parts, two violins and continuo for the most part—to create an atmosphere of dramatic exultation. This not-to-be-missed concert comes on the heels of their 2019 Gramophone Award for a recording of cantatas by the same composer. 

4:00 p.m. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church (2300 Bancroft Way, Berkeley)
$65/$45, $10 for students 30 and under with ID

CAPPELLA PRATENSIS: A Renaissance Masterpiece—Obrecht’s Missa Maria zart
Festival Debut

On the way to his dream job in Ferrara from Flanders in 1504, Jacob Obrecht stopped in the town of Innsbruck, where he heard Maria zart, the German devotional song for the Virgin Mary. This simple tune formed the basis of the Missa Maria zart, possibly the most ambitious polyphonic setting of the Mass Ordinary and coming in over twice the length of most masses by Josquin and Palestrina. As Obrecht died of plague soon after arriving in Italy, this Mass served not only as the composer’s valediction, but also as a summation of fifteenth-century Northern polyphony.

Since 1987, Capella Pratensis (Stratton Bull, Artistic Manager) has broadened our understanding of the polyphonic music of the 15th and 16th centuries through original research and exceptional performances. This will be exemplified in their Festival debut, where the ensemble will sing from one full-size choirbook, hand-penned by calligrapher (and ensemble bass) Marc Busnel.

7:00 p.m. First Congregational Church of Berkeley (2345 Channing Way)
$65/$55/$45, $10 for students 30 and under with ID

Friday, June 12, 2020

SOLLAZZO ENSEMBLE: Nuit et Jour—Love Obsession in the Ars Nova
American and Festival Debut

“The true lover is ceaselessly and without repose possessed by the thought of the beloved.” (Rule 30, De amore, Andreas Capellanus) 

Journey with us in search of pure love! This three-part survey of medieval love music, featuring works by Matteo da Perugia, Paolo da Firenze, Giovanni da Cascia and Jacob Senleches, starts with depictions of lovesickness and rejection, followed by a turn toward religious adulation and concluding with an exploration of gallantry and courtly love. The winners of the prestigious 2015 York Early Music International Young Artists Competition, they are quickly becoming one Europe’s most sought-after medieval ensembles.

Sollazzo Ensemble
Anara Khassenova, soprano
Jonatan Alvarado, tenor
Christoph Sommer, lute
Franziska Fleischanderl, psalterion
Roger Helou, organetto
Natalie Carducci, fiddle
Anna Danilevskaia, fiddle and director

4:00 p.m. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church (2300 Bancroft Way, Berkeley)
$65/$45, $10 for students 30 and under with ID

VOICES OF MUSIC with RACHEL PODGER, violin: Virtuoso Concertos for One, Two and Three

Voices of Music and superstar violinist Rachel Podger reunite at BFX for a one-night only concert of showstopper concertos by Antonio Vivaldi and Johann Sebastian Bach for one, two and three soloists. Podger is joined by her former student Alana Youssefian, a Bay Area favorite with recent and upcoming solo appearances with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra.

With almost 150,000 subscribers and 60 million YouTube video views, Bay Area-based ensemble Voices of Music (Hanneke van Proosdij and David Tayler, co-directors) has become an essential part of the international early music landscape through its high-definition performance videos, including several with Podger, hailed as “the unsurpassed British glory of the baroque violin” (The Times).

7:00 p.m. First Congregational Church of Berkeley (2345 Channing Way)
$65/$55/$45, $10 for students 30 and under with ID

ARTEK: Artemisia—Light and Shadow

This is the opera for our times! Delve into the life of Artemisia Gentileschi—internationally-renowned painter and modern feminist icon—in this unique one-woman show from New York-based ensemble ARTEK (Gwendolyn Toth, director). She led a life more dramatic than an Italian opera: trained in art by her father, raped as a teenager, Artemisia survived a sensational trial to become an internationally renowned painter, and the secret lover of a Florentine nobleman.

10:00 p.m. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church (2300 Bancroft Way, Berkeley)
$50 general admission, $10 for students 30 and under with ID

Saturday, June 13, 2020

CAPPELLA PRATENSIS: Visions of Joy—The Bosch Choirbooks
Festival Debut

The paintings of Hieronymus Bosch resonate with a multiplicity of images, ranging from frightening scenes of the Last Judgement to tender depictions of the Madonna and Child. Throughout them all, the eye picks up a silent concert of polyphony, whether from the howls of tortured souls or the gentle sounds of voices and instruments.

In this second concert of their Festival debut, Cappella Pratensis offers a parallel in sound to the world of Bosch, with music that he would have heard on a in his native city of ’s-Hertogenbosch—the ensemble’s home city. From the choirbooks of the Confraternity of Our Illustrious Lady, of which Bosch was a member, we hear not only the works of Pierre de la Rue (c. 1452–1518), a fellow Confraternity member and one of the leading composers of his generation, but also anonymous motets and Gregorian chant as sung in the Confraternity chapel.

11:00 a.m. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church (2300 Bancroft Way, Berkeley)
$65/$45, $10 for students 30 and under with ID

RACHEL PODGER, violin: Guardian Angel and J.S. Bach’s Cello Suites, transcribed for violin

The “queen of the Baroque violin,” (Sunday Times) Festival favorite Rachel Podger presents a solo program combining both virtuosity and depth. Enjoy selections from two of Podger’s award-winning discography: Guardian Angel, featuring works by Giuseppe Tartini, Nicola Matteis and Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber; as well as her newest recording, consisting of J.S. Bach’s Cello Suites transcribed for violin.

4:00 p.m. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church (2300 Bancroft Way, Berkeley)
$65/$45, $10 for students 30 and under with ID

SOLLAZZO ENSEMBLE: Cantano gli angeli—Sacred Medieval Music 
American and Festival Debut

Around 1320, two French treatises revolutionized the music world: Ars Novae Musicae by Jean de Muris, and the collection Ars Nova, attributed to Philippe de Vitry. From these writings sprung a new chapter of Western music: rich and ornate melodies, dense polyphony and novel rhythmic patterns are woven together to form a new expressive tapestry, particularly in sacred music. The winners of the prestigious 2015 York Early Music International Young Artists Competition, they are quickly becoming one Europe’s most sought-after medieval ensembles.

Sollazzo Ensemble
Anara Khassenova, soprano
Andrew Hallock, countertenor
Jonatan Alvarado, tenor
Christoph Sommer, lute
Franziska Fleischanderl, psalterion
Roger Helou, organetto
Natalie Carducci, fiddle
Anna Danilevskaia, fiddle and director

7:00 p.m. First Congregational Church of Berkeley (2345 Channing Way)
$65/$55/$45, $10 for students 30 and under with ID

FIRE & GRACE & ASH: Partita Americana
Festival Debut

Violinist Edwin Huizinga and guitarist William Coulter join forces with mandolinist Ashley Broder in a compelling musical journey, taking the music of Johann Sebastian Bach as the starting point for a dynamic fusion of Baroque and folk, spanning the centuries from Vivaldi to the “father of blugegrass,” Bill Monroe! This concert promises to keep your foot tapping as you waltz home from a late night at the Festival!

10:00 p.m. Loper Chapel, First Congregational Church of Berkeley (2345 Channing Way)
$50 general admission, $10 for students 30 and under with ID

Sunday, June 14, 2020

VOX LUMINIS (Lionel Meunier, Artistic Director): J.S. Bach and Kuhnau Magnificats

Join us for our Festival finale with Vox Luminis, performing Johann Sebastian Bach’s iconic Magnificat, as well as a setting of the same text by Bach’s venerable predecessor at St. Thomas’s Church in Leipzig, Johann Kuhnau. Enjoy these two sumptuous and exuberant works, which demonstrate the high level of instrumental and vocal playing available to Kuhnau and Bach over their seven decades as cantors of St. Thomas. This exultant Christmas in June will leave listeners eagerly awaiting the return of the Festival in 2022.

4:00 p.m. First Congregational Church of Berkeley (2345 Channing Way)
$85/$65/$45, $10 for students 30 and under with ID

Additional Ticket Information

DISCOUNTS: Buy tickets to four or more different Main Stage Concerts and receive a 15% discount! SFEMS members receive 10% off any ticket purchase. These discounts cannot be combined.

Student tickets are $10 and are available to full-time students 30 years old and younger with valid student ID. Student-priced seating is available only in the General seating areas at each venue.

Order tickets online, or call our box office at 510-528-1725.

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THE 2020 BERKELEY FESTIVAL & EXHIBITION IS PRESENTED BY THE SAN FRANCISCO EARLY MUSIC SOCIETY