As producer of the Berkeley Festival & Exhibition, The San Francisco Early Music Society is dedicated to fostering the missions and promoting the events of partner early music organizations.
SFEMS welcomes the return of Early Music America’s (EMA) Young Performers Festival to the Berkeley Festival & Exhibition since its last appearance in 2016. Come see the future of early music in action!
On the Hertz Hall stage, the audience will have the opportunity to get close to a pair of Viennese fortepianos from the Nineteenth-Century Piano Collection of the University of California, Berkeley, as Nicholas Mathew leads a discussion of the musical reciprocity and animosity between Beethoven and his contemporary adversaries and inspirations, from Neefe and C. P. E. Bach to Haydn and Clementi.
In the afternoon, four specialists in early pianos—the English pianist and music historian Nicholas Mathew, the Turkish pianist Sezi Seskir, the Polish pianist and writer Martyna Wlodarczyk, and the American pianist Eric Zivian—are joined by the period violinist Carla Moore in a wide-ranging program of music by Beethoven’s contemporary inspirations, adversaries, and anxious nineteenth-century followers.
This event is funded in part by a grant through the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Art Works program.
EMA is pleased to be presenting BFX’s inaugural “Community Baroque Play Day”— a chance for all members of community early music ensembles, from baroque orchestras, medieval choirs and gamba groups, to recorder orchestras, to come gather for a cheery day of musicking and getting to know your fellow community early musicians from across the West and North America!
Local early music choirs WAVE, Gallimaufry, and Tactus form the core of three community-driven pop-up performances of Thomas Tallis’ frequently-cited, but rarely-performed 40-part “Spem in Alium,” which had its 450th birthday this year. This ambitious composition will first be performed on Thursday, June 11 at 2:30 p.m. in front of First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley. It will be performed twice more on Saturday, June 13, 20 minutes before the 4:00 p.m. (Rachel Podger, St. Mark’s) and 7:00 p.m. (Sollazzo Ensemble, First Congregational) main stage concerts.
While there are rehearsals beforehand, those who show up with their own score will be lost in the fray and likely never get caught.
Celebrate the final day of the festival with a 45-minute, free performance of early music on Sunday, June 14 at 2:00 pm at “The Campanile”, the third-tallest bell-and-clock tower in the world and one of the most iconic symbols of UC Berkeley.
The 2020 Berkeley Festival will allow for intimate contact with some of the great performers, teachers and scholars on today’s early music scene. New events will be added throughout the spring. Please check back for updates.