Collegium Musicum Medieval Ensemble, Case Western Reserve University

CWSThe Beginning of Joy: Italian Music of the Late Middle Ages

Friday, June 10, 11:00 a.m.
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 2300 Bancroft Way, Berkeley
Suggested donation is $10 per person. No tickets are sold.

The late Middle Ages was a time of great musical excitement in Italy. Native Italian lyricism was meeting sophisticated northern counterpoint; new modes of ornamentation and improvisation were enlivening the written score. We explore these elements in music by Landini, Ciconia, Zacara, and others, and with the help of guest artist and vielle virtuoso, Berkeley’s own Shira Kammen.

The Medieval Ensemble is one of several groups meeting under the umbrella of the Collegium Musicum at Case Western Reserve. Including also ensembles of Renaissance winds and strings (sometimes with solo voices), the Collegium provides a compliment to the Baroque Orchestra and Baroque Chamber Ensembles that figure prominently in our Historical Performance Practice program, and that are led by this year’s EMA Binkley Award winner (and CWRU alum), Julie Andrijeski. We believe that so many distinguished leaders in the early music world, like Julie, like Robert Mealy, like Adam Gilbert, Scott Metcalfe, Debra Nagy, and so many others, demonstrate that early music training need not be confined to more recent eras … that music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance can speak with freedom and eloquence to modern audiences, and provide fulfillment to performers that cannot easily be achieved in other ways.

We are pleased and honored, once again, to be able to participate in the Young Performers’ Festival. It is so important for these budding professionals to have the opportunity to meet and hear their future colleagues from around the country, and to hear the best professional ensembles in the world. What a week! I have had colleagues say, “You’re going again?” My response is always, “Yes, of course!” Our school has been fortunate to be represented in the past, but the students themselves are always changing, so for them it’s a new opportunity. Many thanks to the Young Performers’ Festival of EMA, and to its generous donors for sustaining this vitally important program.