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Press Release


Boston Early Music Festival presents the Flanders Recorder Quartet and soprano Cécile Kempenaers in a program of music inspired by the changing seasons – February 22 in New York City and February 23 in Cambridge.

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ARTIST: Flanders Recorder Quartet (Belgium)
Cécile Kempenaers, soprano
WHEN: Thursday, February 22, 2018 at 7:30pm
Gilder Lehrman Hall at the Morgan Library & Museum, New York, NY

Friday, February 23, 2018 at 8pm
First Church in Cambridge, Congregational, 11 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA
PROGRAM:  A Song for All Seasons: Instrumental music and songs from the Renaissance

H. Ashton: Ashton’s Maske
Anonymous: This merry pleasant spring
Anonymous: When May is in his prime
R. Nicholson: Cuckoo
J.P. Sweelinck: Ballo Granduca
Anonymous: Capricio & Volta du Tambour
Anonymous: The darcke is my delight
Thomas Campion: The peacefull westerne winde
P. del Campo: Meditation-Fire
T. Preston: Upon La mi re
John Downland: Can she excuse my wrongs
Dowland: Sorrow come
Anonymous: Madam d’amours
Anonymous: Tourdion
Henry VIII: Passtime with good company
R. Parsons: Ut re mi fa sol la
Anonymous: Sweet was the song
Anonymous: Czaldy Waldy
Anonymous: Lullay, Lullay

Tickets for the Boston performance are priced at $20, $39, $51, and $70 each, and can be purchased at and 617-661-1812; a $5 discount for students, seniors, and groups is available by calling 617-661-1812. Subscription discounts are available with the purchase of three or more programs on the 2017-2018 Season.

Tickets for the New York performance are priced at $35 for Morgan members and $45 for non-members, and can be purchased at and at 212-685-0008 ext. 560.

For three decades the virtuoso instrumentalists of the Flanders Recorder Quartet have earned their peerless reputation for brilliant clarity, technical perfection, and sensitive musicianship, and in late 2018 they will perform their final concerts. Join these exceptional musicians — and dazzling soprano Cécile Kempenaers — during their farewell year, in a program inspired by the eternal changing of the seasons.

Throughout the ages, people have watched the cyclical changes of the world around them. For much of human history, the changing seasons had consequences for every facet of life: for work, for travel, for food that varied every season, and for the rituals that marked each one of those phases from winter, spring, summer, and fall. This program explores instrumental music and songs inspired by the four seasons from across Renaissance Europe, including extraordinarily beautiful texts drawn from English Renaissance poetry by Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, and others. Experience this captivating music by Dowland, Nicholson, Parsons and even King Henry VIII with these legendary musicians.

There will a Pre-Concert Talk at 7pm with members of the ensemble prior to each performance.

Since its foundation in 1987, the Flanders Recorder Quartet has evolved into one of the world’s top ensembles. The ensemble makes regular guest appearances at leading music festivals such as those in Helsinki, Paris, Geneva, Boston, Vancouver, Singapore, Taipei, and Mexico City. Their extensive collection of instruments and highly virtuosic performance of a richly varied program makes each concert an unforgettable experience and allows the recorder, one of the most important instruments of the Renaissance and Baroque periods, to shine.

The members of the Quartet have also built up impressive careers as teachers, and are able to convey their pedagogical ideas in an inspiring manner in their capacities as professors, as well as at master classes. Numerous prizewinning recordings have been made for Harmonia Mundi, Archiv/Deutsche Grammophon, Ricercar, and OPUS III. In 2003, the quartet entered a long and intensive collaboration with the German label AEOLUS. The press, public, and international juries have praised their clarity of ensemble playing, technical perfection, homogeneous sound, and true-to-style interpretation. With over a thousand concerts behind them and dreams of new projects ahead, the members of the Flanders Recorder Quartet have announced plans to conclude their musical journey together and disband at the end of 2018.

Soprano Cécile Kempenaers has worked as a soloist with many conductors, including Philippe Herreweghe, Marcus Creed, Attilio Cremonesi, and Paul Dombrecht, and with Baroque orchestras such as Collegium Vocale Gent, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Freiburger Barockorkester and Ensemble 1800, with whom she has also recorded. Ms. Kempenaers has also sung in two operas by the contemporary composer Pascal Dusapin: Medea Material with Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin and the company Sasha Waltz & Guests, and Passion at the Théâtre de Champs Elysées. She also sings in various ensembles such as Zefiro Torna, the Huelgas Ensemble, Ricercar (Belgium); Capella de la Torre, Orlando di Lasso Ensemble, Weserrenaissance (Manfred Cordes), Vocalconsort Berlin (Germany); Akadêmia (Françoise Lasserre), La Fenice (France); and The Amsterdam Baroque Choir (Ton Koopman), the Capella Amsterdam, the Balthasar Neumann Ensemble (Thomas Hengelbrock) in the Netherlands.

Download artist photos:
BEMF’s 2017–2018 Season Press Release:

The Morgan Library & Museum began as the private library of financier Pierpont Morgan, one of the preeminent collectors and cultural benefactors in the United States. Today, more than a century after its founding, The Morgan serves as a museum, independent research library, musical venue, architectural landmark, and historical site. Located at Madison Avenue and 36th Street, its collection includes world-renowned collections of drawings, literary and historical manuscripts, musical scores, medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, printed books, photography, and ancient near Eastern seals and tablets. Gilder Lehrman Hall, designed by renowned architect Renzo Piano, was opened by the Morgan in May 2006, and seats 264 people, providing a uniquely intimate concert venue. This marks the Boston Early Music Festival’s 12th season of concerts at the Morgan Library & Museum.

Recognized as the preeminent early music presenter and Baroque opera producer in North America, the Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF) 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-winning and four GRAMMY-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 week-long Festival and Exhibition recognized as the “world’s leading festival of early music” (The Times, London). The 20th Boston Early Music Festival will take place from June 9-16, 2019, and will feature fully staged performances of Agostino Steffani’s Orlando generoso as the centerpiece opera. 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 2017–2018 Boston Early Music Festival Concert Series is presented with support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts, ConstellationCenter, WGBH Radio Boston, Harpsichord Clearing House, and The Gregory E. Bulger Foundation.

For more information, images, press tickets, or to schedule an interview, please contact Kathleen Fay at 617-661-1812 or email