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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 18, 2013 (updated May 24, 2013)
CONTACT: Kathleen Fay, Executive Director
617-661-1812 |

The Boston Early Music Festival Announces the
Full Schedule for the 2013 Festival & Exhibition:
June 9–June 16 in Boston

“Arguably the most important and influential Early Music event in the world.” –BBC3 Radio

Cambridge, MA –April 18, 2013- The Boston Early Music Festival announces the full schedule for the 2013 Festival and Exhibition – entitled Youth: Genius and Folly – and taking from June 9 to June 16 in Boston, Massachusetts. The 17th international Festival and Exhibition features two exciting opera productions, 16 concerts showcasing the finest artists in the field today, the world famous Exhibition, and an exciting collaboration with the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation which will bring Mozart’s own violin and viola to the United States for the first time. Subscriptions packages and individual tickets are available now from the BEMF Box Office at WWW.BEMF.ORG or 617-661-1812.

CENTERPIECE OPERA—George Frideric Handel’s Almira
The fully-staged Operatic Centerpiece of the 2013 Festival will be Almira, the first opera by the celebrated and beloved Baroque composer, George Frideric Handel (1685–1759), in its first modern-day historically conceived production. Written when Handel was only 19, Almira tells a story of intrigue and romance in the court of the Queen of Castile, in a dazzling parade of entertainment and delight which Handel would often borrow from during his later career. Leading the BEMF Almira production will be: three-time Grammy-nominated Artistic Co-Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs (USA); Stage Director and Set Designer Gilbert Blin (France); Costume Designer Anna Watkins (United Kingdom); Choreographers Caroline Copeland and Carlos Fittante (USA); and Lighting Designer Lenore Doxsee (USA).  Past collaborations by members of this artistic team have earned unprecedented critical acclaim, with the 2011 BEMF opera Niobe, Regina di Tebe by Steffani heralded as “the opera production I’ve been waiting for” (The Boston Phoenix) and “breathtakingly beautiful and dramatically compelling” (City Journal).

BEMF has assembled another extraordinary and international cast of eight (8) vocalists. Starring in the title role of Almira and making her Boston Early Music Festival début, will be soprano Ulrike Hofbauer. A native of Bavaria heralded for her “expressive passion” (Basellandschaftliche Zeitung), Ulrike Hofbauer specializes in Baroque vocal and operatic repertoire; her busy performance career includes regular collaborations with esteemed ensembles and conductors. Completing the cast, will be: Amanda Forsythe (USA) as Edilia; Colin Balzer (Canada) as Fernando; Christian Immler (Germany) as Consalvo; Zachary Wilder (USA) as Osman; Tyler Duncan (Canada) as Raymondo; Valerie Vinzant (USA) as Bellante; and Jason McStoots (USA) as Tabarco.  Joining the cast of eight (8), will be the internationally acclaimed Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra led by Robert Mealy, and the BEMF Baroque Dance Ensemble trained by BEMF Ballet Mistress Melinda Sullivan.

BEMF CHAMBER OPERA—Charpentier Double Bill
In addition to the fully staged centerpiece opera, the 2013 Festival will include an encore production of its November 2011 BEMF Chamber Opera Series Double Bill, featuring two miniature masterpieces by the great French Baroque composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier on Saturday, June 15 at 8pm in New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall in Boston. The tragic La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers tells the famous story of Orphée who descends into the underworld to rescue his beloved Euridice using his musical charms. La Couronne de Fleurs, based on a text by Molière, depicts a musical contest in tribute to Louis XIV as shepherds vie for a crown of flowers from the goddess Flora for the most beautiful and eloquent aria. The cast is led by tenor Aaron Sheehan, whose performance as Orphée in BEMF’s original 2011 presentation of this Double Bill was hailed as “musically intelligent and dramatically affecting” by The Boston Globe. This semi-staged production features gorgeous costumes, exquisite staging, and outstanding performances by the BEMF Vocal and Chamber Ensembles under the direction of Musical Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs and Stage Director Gilbert Blin.

“Heaven... for early music fans.”
–The New York Times

MOZART AT BEMF—First time in the United States!
BEMF is excited to partner with the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation for a once-in-a-lifetime musical event as the Foundation brings Mozart’s own violin and viola to the United States for the first time! Directly responsible for administering Mozart’s legacy, the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation was established by Salzburg’s citizens in 1841. The Foundation has the largest collection of original instruments that belonged to Mozart. These historic instruments represent an invaluable cultural heritage, affording us a direct insight into Mozart’s world. Not only will music lovers have a chance to view Mozart’s own instruments for themselves, they will be able to hear the instruments in a rare performance featuring some of the world’s finest instrumentalists.

On Monday, June 10 at 8pm in NEC’s Jordan Hall, the BEMF Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation Quartet will perform a concert of chamber music from Mozart’s Viennese period featuring the great composer’s very own violin and viola. Playing Mozart’s violin – and making her BEMF début – will be virtuoso Amandine Beyer. Beyer has been hailed as a “wonderfully expressive and sensitive violinist with a secure technique, clear and sonorous tone and discreet approach to ornamentation” (The Strad). Beloved violinist and violist in the BEMF Orchestra and founder of Solamente Naturali, Miloš Valent will play Mozart’s viola. In addition to his popular appearances at past Festivals, Valent has been praised by The New York Times for his “lavish but tasteful ornamentation.” Superstar keyboardist and Mozart interpreter Kristian Bezuidenhout joins the quartet on fortepiano. Proclaimed as “Mozart Reincarnated” for his “rare rhetorical and poetic gifts” by De Telegraaf, Bezuidenhout returns to the BEMF concert stage for the sixth (6th) consecutive Festival! Completing the BEMF Salzburg Mozarteum Quartet is one of the world’s leading Baroque clarinetists, Eric Hoeprich. Regarded as perhaps the definitive interpreter of Mozart’s oeuvre for the clarinet, he has won acclaim for playing which is “wonderfully fluent and nimble” (The Boston Globe). The concert will be preceded by a special talk at 6:30pm featuring two experts from the staff of the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation, Ulrich Leisinger, Head of Research, and Johannes Honsig-Erlenburg, President.

In addition to the performance, Mozart’s own violin and viola will be on display as part of the opening day of the world famous BEMF Exhibition on Wednesday, June 12 at the Revere Hotel, Boston. These storied instruments have been painstakingly preserved and are exhibited courtesy of the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation for the first three hours of the Exhibition, from 10am to 1pm.

“The world’s leading festival of early music.”
The Times, London

Recognized as “the world’s leading festival of early music” by The Times of London, the 2013 Boston Early Music Festival features 16 official Concerts bringing together luminaries and emerging stars in the field. Early Music lovers can enjoy a wide array of programs spanning centuries of music performed by some of the worlds most dynamic and engaging artists.

Vocal programs include: The Newberry Consort directed by Ellen Hargis and David Douglass and featuring period vocal ensemble Exsultemus directed by Shannon Canavin, performing Medieval Spanish songs for the Virgin Mary; Atalante directed by Erin Headley, presenting a program of extravagant and ethereal laments from 17th-century Rome; the accomplished voices of The Hilliard Ensemble who return by popular demand to offer some of their favorite pieces from the ensembles storied 39-year career; and the all-star instrumentalists of Tragicomedia directed by Stephen Stubbs, who are joined by a quintet of singers drawn from the Almira vocal cast for a program of songs, dances, and instrumental music from Handel’s Hamburg.

Instrumental ensembles performing Festival Concerts will include: the unique wind ensemble Symphonie des Dragons directed by Gonzalo X. Ruiz, in a program of military and ceremonial music for oboe band; the famed ensemble La Risonanza directed by Fabio Bonizzoni making their BEMF début in a program exploring the musical life of Handel; the always popular Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra directed by Robert Mealy, in a program celebrating the birth of the orchestra with music from Paris and Rome, ca. 1700; superstar violinist Amandine Beyer who returns to the Festival Concert Stage with her ensemble Gli Incogniti, making its North American début, in an eclectic program featuring masterpieces of the Austrian Baroque; Early Music superstar Jordi Savall, who brings musicians from Turkey, Israel, and Armenia together as his ensemble Hespèrion XXI explores music from 17th-century Istanbul; and the outstanding recorder consort The Royal Wind Music directed by Paul Leenhouts, in a program of inventive instrumental music from the Italian Renaissance.

The 2013 Festival concerts will also feature five (5) solo and duo recitals: legendary soprano Dame Emma Kirkby joining forces with BEMF Co-Artistic Director Paul O’Dette on lute, to celebrate the 450th anniversary of John Dowland’s birth; keyboard virtuoso and alumnus of New York’s “famed” High School for the Performing Arts, Kenneth Weiss in a diverse survey of late Renaissance keyboard works on three unique instruments; acclaimed soloists Philippe Pierlot, viola da gamba, and Lorenzo Ghielmi, harpsichord, return by popular demand for a captivating recital based on the relationships between teacher and apprentice; one of Europe’s leading lute players, Elizabeth Kenny makes her BEMF solo recital début in a showcase of seminal lute works of the 17th-century; and one of Ireland’s foremost historical harpists Siobhán Armstrong brings a replica of the Trinity College harp, Ireland’s national emblem, for a program of the ravishing high art of the old Gaelic world with florid sean-nós featuring vocalist Áine Ní Dhroighneáin.

In addition to the schedule of Festival Concerts, BEMF will offer two Mini-Festivals during the week. William Porter directs the Organ Mini-Festival on June 13 at The First Lutheran Church of Boston, with performances by three (3) internationally acclaimed organ virtuosos: William Porter, Lorenzo Ghielmi, and John Scott. On June 14, Peter Sykes directs the Keyboard Mini-Festival with presentations by six (6) exceptional artists – including Kenneth Weiss and Fabio Bonizzoni (harpsichord), Anthony Romaniuk and Yi-Heng Yang (fortepiano), and Peter Sykes and Ulrika Davidsson (clavichord) – at Remis Auditorium in Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, using original instruments from the museum’s coveted Musical Instruments Collection.

“If you are interested in early music, this is the place to be.”
–The New York Times

The world famous Exhibition, “one of the largest showcases for early instruments in the country” (The Boston Globe) is host to tradespeople from across the globe, with top makers of period instruments joined by schools of music, performers, publishers, and more. From June 12 to June 15, these specialists will be on hand at the Revere Hotel, Boston (formerly the Radisson) to host workshops and panel discussions, display their products, and share details of their work with Festival attendees. The [one-of-a-kind] BEMF CD Store returns for the 2013 Exhibition with over 400 titles and 5,000 CDs from the field’s most distinguished labels all in one place. Also returning will be the Exhibition’s Family Day on Saturday, June 15 where children and parents alike can enjoy an engaging tour of the Exhibition’s instrument-makers and an interactive presentation by BEMF Director of Education, David Coffin.  Other concurrent events for the 2013 Festival include: Performance Masterclasses by distinguished Festival musicians; the Gala Opening Night Reception on Sunday, June 9 at The Ritz-Carlton Boston Common; Dance Workshops; Pre-Opera Talks featuring noted Handel scholar Ellen T. Harris (Class of 1949 Professor Emeritus at MIT); and a remarkable array of over 100 Fringe Concerts throughout the Festival week. Festival Week Passes ($40) provide admission to the Exhibition, The BEMF CD Store, Symposia, auditing Performance Masterclasses, Dance Workshops, and Pre-Opera Talks for the entire week and maybe purchased in advance. Festival Week Passes and Day Passes ($10) will be sold at the Exhibition and other concurrent events during the Festival Week.

Concert tickets range from $20 to $66. Chamber Opera tickets range from $25 to $105 and Centerpiece Opera tickets range from $30 to $250. Tickets are available from the BEMF Box Office online at WWW.BEMF.ORG or by calling 617-661-1812. Subscription Packages of four (4) or more concerts are also available with discounts up to 20% off. Individual tickets for the Centerpiece Opera are available from the Cutler Majestic Theatre at Emerson College Box Office at or 617-824-8000.

2013 Festival Press Ticket Policy:

Press Images:

Recognized as the preeminent early music presenter and Baroque opera producer in North America, the Boston Early Music Festival has been credited with securing Boston’s reputation as “America’s early music capital” (The Boston Globe). Founded in 1981, the Boston Early Music Festival offers diverse programs and activities, including three 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 2013 Boston Early Music Festival is presented with support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts, ConstellationCenter, 99.5 All Classical, Harpsichord Clearing House, Zuckermann Harpsichords International, The Gregory E. Bulger Foundation, U. S. Trust/Bank of America Private Wealth Management, and GTC Law Group.

Dates, times, venues, artists, and programs are subject to change.

For more information, images, press tickets, or to schedule an interview, please contact Kathleen Fay at 617-661-1812 or email or contact Brian Stuart, Director of Marketing and Publicity, at 617-661-1812 or email