ABC Alphabet Baroque Club

Garden in the Hills Party

You are cordially invited to the SFEMS Garden in the Hills House Concert taking place on Sunday, May 19, from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m., at the home of Dr. Carol Baird and Alan Harper, in Oakland. This special party and concert will benefit the 2018 Berkeley Festival and Exhibition. Music. The event features wine, hors […]

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Debussy as Early Music: The Piano and the Pianist in the Early Twentieth Century

Berkeley Festival Event, Sponsored by the Westfield Center for Historical Keyboard Studies by Nicholas Mathew There was a time, not so long ago, when “early music” meant sackbuts and shawms: the lusty hey-nonny-nonnying of Alfred Deller, the austere anti-romantic stylings of Paul Hindemith and his followers, the twang of Wanda Landowska’s massive Pleyel harpsichords, and […]

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Lee McRae 2

Lee McRae (1923–2016)

Helping Others Discover Early Music The death of Lee McRae on June 1, a few weeks before her 93rd birthday, adds a bittersweet touch to the San Francisco Early Music Society’s 40th anniversary and to this year’s Berkeley Festival, just two of the many institutions to which she contributed, but it also gives us a […]

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Who We Are—What We Have Created

This is a quiet week for early music in the Bay Area—a late Spring Break, so to speak, after the regular seasons of our resident groups have ended and preparations for next week’s Early Music Bonanza are being finalized. The only concert, in fact, is a Festival preview Thursday noon by upcoming Fringe ensemble La […]

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The Indispensable Guide to a Remarkable Week When you arrive at the Festival, one of the first things to do is pick up a copy of the 2016 BERKELEY FESTIVAL & EXHIBITION READER. This beautiful and comprehensive guidebook offers you—all in one place—everything you need to know to get maximum enjoyment from our week-long musical […]

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Keyboard Revelations

Time is short, so let me just say this flat out. If you don’t have tickets yet to hear Kristian Bezuidenhout at the 2016 Berkeley Festival, get them now. There are rare performances that go well past great, beyond memorable, surpassing even some ideal of “perfection.” They are revelations, fundamentally changing how we perceive music. […]

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Expose Yourself to Great Art

. . . at the 2016 Berkeley Festival Exhibition and Marketplace! Among the lost treasures lamented by those who remember the early days of SFEMS, the late Ken Johnson’s Musica Antiqua holds a high place. It was a wonderful, early music store on California Street in San Francisco, carrying a wide range of historical instruments—winds, […]

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