Littlmar_sml_1The SFEMS Weekly Calendar of Early Music —the Bay Area’s most comprehensive listing of historically informed early music events— has moved to the redesigned, searchable SFEMS website.

Find news, reviews, previews, artists bios, detailed program information and more at www.sfems.org

Thursday, February 13

Voices Of Music
HvP 07
Great Artists Series: “The Art of the Recorder.” Dutch recorder virtuosa Hanneke van Proosdij performs a selection of the signature works for the recorder with dazzling medieval istampittas, tuneful 16th and 17th century songs by, Byrd, van Eyck and Playford, exciting trio sonatas from the baroque by Vivaldi and Telemann, and the world premiere of a new composition by van Proosdij.
8PM
All Saints’ Episcopal Church
555 Waverley St., Palo Alto.
$40/$35
415-260-4687, https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?actions=6&p=1

Friday, February 14

Camerata Moresca
Slide 1A Valentine’s Day concert celebrating this romantic evening with love poems and wonderful & passionate music from the baroque by composers – Telemann, Vivaldi, Castello and more!
Wine and pairings will be served at the beginning of the concert.

CAMERATA MORESCA: Bernadette Arnold, harpsichord; Eric Finley, baroque violin; Tom Hill, baroque bassoon; Alan Paul, baroque oboe; Glen Shannon, recorders
7:30PM
Our Lady of Peace Church & Shrine
2800 Mission College Blvd., Santa Clara
Limited seats available!
Suggested Donation:  $20/single or $30/couple
Reserve your seats now through the gift shop or the rectory office.
Gift Shop:  408-980-9825; Rectory Office:  408-988-4585

Magnificat, Warren Stewart, Director
WS_BW“Bach’s Heritage—Pachelbel, Westhoff & the Bach Family” Magnificat will explore the music of Bach’s ancestors and will feature cantatas and instrumental music by Sebastian’s cousins Johann Christoph and Johann Michael Bach as well as Johann Pachelbel and Johann Paul Westhoff. The program is framed by cantata settings of the chorale Christ lag in Todesbanden, opening with Pachelbel’s setting and concluding with that of Johann Sebastian Bach. With soprano Jennifer Ellis Kampani, countertenor Andrew Rader, tenor Paul Elliott and bass Peter Becker; Rob Diggins and Jolianne von Einem, violin; David Wilson and Anthony Martin, viola; Warren Stewart, violoncello; John Dornenburg, violone; and Jillon Stoppels Dupree, harpsichord and organ..
8PM
First Lutheran Church, 600 Homer at Webster, Palo Alto.
$35/$30/$12
http://magnificatbaroque.tix.com, http://magnificat.eventbrite.com, or 800-595-4849.

Marin Baroque
Marin Baroque
“The Subtle Art” Calextone ensemble, led by Shira Kammen, will perform love songs of 14th- and 15th-century France, including works by Machaut, Solage, Binchois, and Busnois.
8PM
First Presbyterian Church of San Anselmo
72 Kensington Road, San Anselmo
$25/$20/$5
415-497-6634

South Bay Recorder Society
Judy
Monthly meeting, guest conductor Judith Linsenberg.
New members and guests welcomed.
7:30–10PM
First Congregational Church of San Jose
1980 Hamilton Ave. (at Leigh)
San Jose.
408-358-0878 or zilbrown@aol.com

Voices of Music repeats program of February 13.
Great Artists Series: “The Art of the Recorder.” Dutch recorder virtuosa Hanneke van Proosdij performs a selection of the signature works for the recorder with dazzling medieval istampittas, tuneful 16th and 17th century songs by, Byrd, van Eyck and Playford, exciting trio sonatas from the baroque by Vivaldi and Telemann, and the world premiere of a new composition by van Proosdij.
8PM
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church
3 Bayview Avenue, Belvedere.
$40/$35
415-260-4687, https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?actions=6&p=1

 Saturday, February 15

Magnificat repeats program of February 14.
“Bach’s Heritage—Pachelbel, Westhoff & the Bach Family” Magnificat will explore the music of Bach’s ancestors and will feature cantatas and instrumental music by Sebastian’s cousins Johann Christoph and Johann Michael Bach as well as Johann Pachelbel and Johann Paul Westhoff. The program is framed by cantata settings of the chorale Christ lag in Todesbanden, opening with Pachelbel’s setting and concluding with that of Johann Sebastian Bach. With soprano Jennifer Ellis Kampani, countertenor Andrew Rader, tenor Paul Elliott and bass Peter Becker; Rob Diggins and Jolianne von Einem, violin; David Wilson and Anthony Martin, viola; Warren Stewart, violoncello; John Dornenburg, violone; and Jillon Stoppels Dupree, harpsichord and organ..
8PM
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
2300 Bancroft Way, Berkeley.
$35/$30/$12
http://magnificatbaroque.tix.com, http://magnificat.eventbrite.com, or 800-595-4849.

San Francisco Renaissance Voices
SFRV
“Klezmer Baroque” Members of the Sunset Baroque Ensemble, Adam Cockerham on theorbo; Noah Strick, violin; and Adaiha MacAdam Somer, cello; with the San Francisco Renaissance Dancers, directed by Jennifer Meller, perform traditional Renaissance and baroque dances to music by Jewish composers of the period. After intermission our dancers present traditional and contemporary Jewish dance set to the music of klezmer; a tradition of the Jews of Ashkenaz.
7:30PM
Seventh Avenue Presbyterian Church
1329 Seventh Ave., San Francisco.
$20/$15
www.brownpapertickets.com/event/448630

Singers’ Retreat
Professor William Mahrt
Weekend workshop for singers, studying and performing works of Renaissance polyphony. Dr. William Mahrt will direct singers in Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina’s Missa Jam Christus Astra Ascenderat
9AM Saturday through 5:30PM Sunday.
Braun Music Center
Stanford University, Palo Alto.
$110 PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED.
www.renaissancesingersretreat.org, 510-848-5591, leemcr@gmail.com

Voices of Music repeats program of February 13.
Great Artists Series: “The Art of the Recorder.” Dutch recorder virtuosa Hanneke van Proosdij performs a selection of the signature works for the recorder with dazzling medieval istampittas, tuneful 16th and 17th century songs by, Byrd, van Eyck and Playford, exciting trio sonatas from the baroque by Vivaldi and Telemann, and the world premiere of a new composition by van Proosdij.
8PM
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church
1111 O’Farrell Street, San Francisco.
$40/$35
415-260-4687, https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?actions=6&p=1

Sunday, February 16

Magnificat repeats program of February 14.
“Bach’s Heritage—Pachelbel, Westhoff & the Bach Family” Magnificat will explore the music of Bach’s ancestors and will feature cantatas and instrumental music by Sebastian’s cousins Johann Christoph and Johann Michael Bach as well as Johann Pachelbel and Johann Paul Westhoff. The program is framed by cantata settings of the chorale Christ lag in Todesbanden, opening with Pachelbel’s setting and concluding with that of Johann Sebastian Bach. With soprano Jennifer Ellis Kampani, countertenor Andrew Rader, tenor Paul Elliott and bass Peter Becker; Rob Diggins and Jolianne von Einem, violin; David Wilson and Anthony Martin, viola; Warren Stewart, violoncello; John Dornenburg, violone; and Jillon Stoppels Dupree, harpsichord and organ..
4PM
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church
1111 O’Farrell, San Francisco.
$35/$30/$12
http://magnificatbaroque.tix.com, http://magnificat.eventbrite.com, or 800-595-4849.

Mills College Music Department
image
“Haydn!” Sara Ganz, soprano; Louise Carslake, early flute; Farley Pearce, Classical cello; and Belle Bulwinkle, fortepiano, perform music of Franz Joseph Haydn on period instruments, including solo songs, folksong arrangements, a solo keyboard fantasia, and chamber music for flute, cello and keyboard. A presentation of the Mills College Music Department and the Center for Contemporary Music present Mills Music Now.
4PM
Littlefield Concert Hall
Mills College
5000 MacArthur, Oakland.
$15/$10
www.boxofficetickets.com

MusicSources
IlyaPoletaev-4
Ilya Polataev, Yale music faculty member and 1st Prize winner of the Leipzig Bach Competition, performs J.S. Bach’s Well-tempered Clavier, Book II (complete), on harpsichord, chamber organ and fortepiano. This program will showcase instruments of the MusicSources collection, as well as illustrating how this repertoire was approached on a variety of keyboard instruments in Bach’s time and throughout history.
5PM
St. Mary Magdalen Church
2005 Berryman St., Berkeley.
$30/$25
510-528-1685 or www.musicsources.org

Singers’ Retreat, William Mahrt Director, performs Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina’s Missa Jam Christus Astra Ascenderat.
4PM
Stanford University. Venue TBA

Voices of Music repeats program of February 13.
Great Artists Series: “The Art of the Recorder.” Dutch recorder virtuosa Hanneke van Proosdij performs a selection of the signature works for the recorder with dazzling medieval istampittas, tuneful 16th and 17th century songs by, Byrd, van Eyck and Playford, exciting trio sonatas from the baroque by Vivaldi and Telemann, and the world premiere of a new composition by van Proosdij.
7:30PM
Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists
1924 Cedar Street (at Bonita), Berkeley.
$40/$35
415-260-4687, https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?actions=6&p=1

Tuesday, February 4

Sacramento Recorder Society
LouiseCarslakeRecorder
Regular meeting for recorder players, with guest conductor Louise Carslake.
Newcomers welcome. Bring recorders, stand, and other early instruments. Music provided. Refreshments.
6:45–9:30PM
Friends Meeting House
890 57th St., between H and J, Sacramento.
marschif@gmail.com or at 916-685-7684.

 Wednesday, February 5

Philharmonia Baroque, Nicholas McGegan Conductor
Ya-Fei-Chuang“C.P.E. Bach and Haydn: Berlin and Vienna.” Tercentenary celebration of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s birth, featuring the composer’s Symphony in e minor, Wq 178; Keyboard Concerto in b minor, WqRobert_Levin_resized 30; and Concerto for Fortepiano and Harpsichord in E-flat Major, Wq 47, featuring husband-and-wife team Robert Levin and Ya-Fei Chuang as soloists; also, Joesph Haydn, Symphony No. 68.
8PM
Bing Concert Hall
327 Lasuen Street (at Campus Drive)
Stanford University, Palo Alto.
Presented by Stanford Lively Arts.
Tickets for Bing Concert Hall are not yet available without a subscription.

 Thursday, February 6

Philharmonia Baroque, Nicholas McGegan Conductor
Nic_Porchweb-150x150“Sessions,” an entirely new type of concert hosted by KQED’s Rachael Myrow. In this 90-minute concert, conductor Nicholas McGegan and keyboardist Robert Levin take you on a guided tour through selections fromrachaelmyrow158x225 Philharmonia’s C.P.E. Bach/Joseph Haydn concert. This is not a regular subscription concert. This short program will include spoken introductions to each piece and projected images. After the concert, stick around to socialize in the lobby, meet our musicians, and enjoy free wine generously donated by Boisset Family Estates.
8PM
Miner Auditorium
SFJazz Center
201 Franklin St., San Francisco.
All tickets $25 – including free wine!
www.philharmonia.org/sessions-with-robert-levin/

Friday, February 7

Barefoot Chamber Concerts
Left-Coast-243x300
Left Coast Viols (Marie Dalby Szuts, Julie Jeffrey, Josh Lee, and Lynn Tetenbaum) perform J.S. Bach’s Art of Fugue
6PM
Parish Hall of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
2300 Bancroft Way, Berkeley.
$15/$13 18 and under free and welcome. Program lasts approximately 75 minutes with no intermission. Light refreshments will be available.
Tickets at the door or order online at www.brownpapertickets.com.
More information at http://barefootchamberconcerts.com

Cal Performances
veniceBaroqueOrchestraPhilippeJaroussky
Venice Baroque Orchestra and Philippe Jaroussky, countertenor, perform a selection of arias by Baroque composer Nicola Porpora, whose most famous protégé was the castrato Farinelli. The orchestra also plays a rich assortment of instrumental works by Vivaldi, Veracini, and Geminiani.
8PM
First Congregational Church
Dana and Durant Sts. Berkeley.
$68+
www.calperformances.org; 510-642-9988

East Bay Chapter, ARS
Monthly playing session, conductor TBA. New members and guests welcome.
7:30–10PM
Zion Lutheran Church
5201 Park Blvd., Oakland.
www.eastbayrecorders.org, 510-483-8675 or 415-472-6367

MusicSources
Gilbert Martinez HarpsichordPiccola Morte has been Postponed! But come to a Baroque Birthday Party
Gilbert Martinez
performs the music of Buxtehude, Bach, Telemann and Fischer.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, MusicSources had to postpone the scheduled concert by the ensemble Piccola Morte. They will be performing later this season. In the mean time, we’re making an offer that is hard to refuse. February 7 is the birthday of MusicSources Artistic Director Gilbert Martinez. He’ll be performing music of Buxtehude, Bach, and Fischer. In addition, there will be refreshments offered, including Birthday Cake!
Anyone who has already purchased a ticket to Piccola Morte can come for free, and their ticket will still be good at the to be announced new date. For all others, here is our special offer:
7:30pm Refreshments, 8:00 pm Concert
St. Alban’s Episcopal Church
1501 Washington Ave, Albany
$20 general, $15 seniors, students and MusicSources members, $5 for youth under 18 years of age.
510-528-1685 or www.musicsources.org

Due to unforeseen circumstances, MusicSources has had to postpone Piccola Morte to later in the season. Current ticket holders may redeem them in several ways:
1. Come to a, “BAROQUE BIRTHDAY PARTY” for free, and redeem your ticket for the rescheduled Piccola Morte concert, or
2. Redeem your ticket at any other regular priced event in our season
3. MusicSources will also grant a full refund, just send us an email <www.musicsources.org> or call 510-528-1685.

Philharmonia Baroque repeats program of February 5.
“C.P.E. Bach and Haydn: Berlin and Vienna.” Tercentenary celebration of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s birth, featuring the composer’s Symphony in e minor, Wq 178; Keyboard Concerto in b minor, Wq 30; and Concerto for Fortepiano and Harpsichord in E-flat Major, Wq 47, featuring husband-and-wife team Robert Levin and Ya-Fei Chuang as soloists; also, Joesph Haydn, Symphony No. 68.
8PM
Miner Auditorium, SFJazz Center
201 Franklin St., San Francisco.
Pre-concert lecture 45 minutes before each performance.
$25–$105
415-252-1288 or www.philharmonia.org/c-p-e-bach-haydn-in-vienna/

Saturday, February 8

Philharmonia Baroque repeats program of February 5.
“C.P.E. Bach and Haydn: Berlin and Vienna.” Tercentenary celebration of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s birth, featuring the composer’s Symphony in e minor, Wq 178; Keyboard Concerto in b minor, Wq 30; and Concerto for Fortepiano and Harpsichord in E-flat Major, Wq 47, featuring husband-and-wife team Robert Levin and Ya-Fei Chuang as soloists; also, Joesph Haydn, Symphony No. 68.
8PM
First Congregational Church
Dana & Durant, Berkeley
$25–$105
415-252-1288 or www.philharmonia.org/c-p-e-bach-haydn-in-vienna/

Santa Cruz Baroque Festival
“From Lute to Uke.” A musical tour of 700 years from medieval strings to the modern guitar and ukulele, with medieval specialist Tim Rayborn, virtuoso of Renaissance to Romantic plucked strings John Schneiderman, and Ukulele Dick, performing on an array of instruments from the plucked string family. The evening concludes with a celebration of the Baroque Festival’s 40th anniversary.
7:30PM
UC Santa Cruz Recital Hall
UCSC Campus, Santa Cruz.
$23/$17/$6/$3 ($3 parking charge)
831-457-9693 or www.scbaroque.org

Silicon Valley Music Festival
Bach ConcertThe Complete J.S. Bach Flute Concertos
.  Ray Furuta, flute; Arthur Haas, harpsichord
3PM
First Lutheran Church
600 Homer Ave
Palo Alto
$20 general/$10 students
www.svmusicfestival.org

Viola da Gamba Society/Pacifica Chapter
John-Dornenburg-Post-2001
Stanford Viol Workshop, led by John Dornenburg and others.
A one-day workshop consisting of repertory and technique classes followed by a large group session to end the day.
9AM–4:30PM
Braun Music Center (Music Department)
Stanford University, Palo Alto.
jdrnbrg@saclink.csus.edu

Sunday, February 9

Musical Waves House Concert Series
Elizabeth Blumenstock, violin and Elaine Thornburgh, harpsichord
Violin sonatas of Bach, Jacquet de la Guerre, Leclair and Johann Walther
1PM
510 48th Ave, San Francisco
$20 tickets for performance and reception
Call 415/387-6890 to order tickets

Philharmonia Baroque repeats program of February 5.
“C.P.E. Bach and Haydn: Berlin and Vienna.” Tercentenary celebration of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s birth, featuring the composer’s Symphony in e minor, Wq 178; Keyboard Concerto in b minor, Wq 30; and Concerto for Fortepiano and Harpsichord in E-flat Major, Wq 47, featuring husband-and-wife team Robert Levin and Ya-Fei Chuang as soloists; also, Joesph Haydn, Symphony No. 68.
7:30PM
First Congregational
Dana & Durant, Berkeley.
$25–$105
415-252-1288 or www.philharmonia.org/c-p-e-bach-haydn-in-vienna/

Venice Baroque Orchestra with Philippe Jaroussky, countertenor.
Arias by baroque composer Nicola Porpora and instrumental works by Vivaldi, Veracini, and Geminiani.
3PM
Green Music Center
Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall
Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park.
$40–$85
http://gmc.sonoma.edu/event/1557442-venice-baroque-orchestra-and-philippe-jaroussky, tickets@sonoma.edu,
866-955-6040

Chromatic Clusters

“With minimal vibrato and malleable tone, Ms. Clark showed an astonishing range of expressive subtlety, carrying the listener rapt.” —New York Times

Galax Quartet With Karen Clark, Contralto
Elizabeth Blumenstock, baroque violin; Roy Whelden, viola da gamba; David Wilson, baroque violin/viola; David Morris, baroque cello; Karen Clark, contralto

SFEMS fully embraces its season theme —The New Music—Glorious, Impassioned, Outrageous— in a genre-bending program to engage new and early music aGQ98_KC_72udiences alike! Galax Quartet and Karen Clark embark on a Galactic journey—as only they could—from the earliest avant-garde of four centuries ago to music newly written for ancient instruments.

From the end of the Renaissance, Clark and Galax will perform the swirling, mystical Prophetiae Sibyllarum of Orlando di Lasso (1530–1594) and the emotionally wrenching Beltà poi che t’assenti of Carlo Gesualdo (1566–1613), music far ahead of the time in its radical and evocative harmonies—music which in fact inspired Stravinsky.

The concert also offers premieres of two works recently written for the quartet. Galex will perform the World premiere of On the Petaluma River by Roy Whelden, who is recognized as a major figure in the composition of new music for historical instruments. The program concludes with the West Coast Premiere of Dream Drapery: “Thoreau Songs” by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Joseph Schwantner. The much-honored Schwantner is known for a uniquely dramatic style and is one of the most prominent American composers today.  View the program

Buy tickets

Friday, Jan. 31, 8:00 p.m. | First Lutheran Church, Palo Alto
Saturday, Feb. 1, 7:30 p.m. |St. John’s Presbyterian, Berkeley
Sunday, Feb. 2, 4:00 p.m. | St. Mark’s Lutheran, San Francisco

Monday, January 27

American Bach Soloists repeats program of January 24.
abs_j_thomas1“Bach’s Magnificat,” an all-Bach program including the always popular Magnificat, the cantatas Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten! and Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir, and the Orchestral Suite No. 2 in b minor, with solo flutist Sandra Miller.
7PM
Davis Community Church
412 C St, Davis.
http://americanbach.tix.com/Event.asp?Event=565692

 Tuesday, January 28

San Francisco Conservatory of Music
nicporch-photo-by-randy-beach-jpgNicholas McGegan lectures on “Baroque Opera: An Exotic and Irrational Entertainment”
8PM
San Francisco Conservatory of Music
50 Oak St., San Francisco.
FREE
415-503-6275, www.sfcm.edu

Wednesday, January 29

Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra
Regular meeting, for players of recorder, early winds or early strings. Bring your instrument(s) and music stand.
7:30–9:30PM
Music Room number 060
J.L. Stanford Middle School
480 E. Meadow, Palo Alto.
650-591-3648 or www.sfems.org/mpro

Friday, January 31

The New Esterházy Quartet
“Esterázy: Book II” Lisa Weiss & Kati Kyme, violins; Anthony Martin, viola; and William Skeen, violoncello, perform the premiere of Pault Brantly’s new string quartet, dedicated to the memory of the late mathematician and early computer pioneer Franz Alt.
7:30PM
Palo Alto Friends Meetinghouse
957 Colorado Ave., Palo Alto.
No ticket information. 415-520-0611; www.newesterhazy.org

SFEMS presents Galax Quartet with Karen Clark, contralto.
GQ98_KC_72“Chromatic Clusters” David Wilson & Elizabeth Blumenstock, violin; David Morris, ‘cello; Roy Whelden, viola da gamba; and Karen Clark, contralto, perform avant-garde music from the 16th and 17th centuries paired with new music for early instruments. Featured works include Orlando di Lasso’s Prophetiae Sibyllarum, Carlo Gesualdo’s Beltà poi che t’assenti, and two works written for Galax: Roy Whelden’s On the Petaluma River (World premiere) and Joseph Schwantner’s Dream Drapery: Thoreau Songs (West Coast premiere).
8PM
First Lutheran Church
600 Homer at Webster, Palo Alto.
$35/$30/$28
510-528-1725 or www.sfems.org

Saturday, February 1

SFEMS repeats Galax/Karen Clark program of January 31.
GQ98_KC_72“Chromatic Clusters” David Wilson & Elizabeth Blumenstock, violin; David Morris, ‘cello; Roy Whelden, viola da gamba; and Karen Clark, contralto, perform avant-garde music from the 16th and 17th centuries paired with new music for early instruments. Featured works include Orlando di Lasso’s Prophetiae Sibyllarum, Carlo Gesualdo’s Beltà poi che t’assenti, and two works written for Galax: Roy Whelden’s On the Petaluma River (World premiere) and Joseph Schwantner’s Dream Drapery: Thoreau Songs (West Coast premiere).
7:30PM
St. John’s Presbyterian Church
2727 College Ave. (at Garber), Berkeley.
$35/$30/$28
510-528-1725 or www.sfems.org

 San Francisco Renaissance Voices
“A Prelude to Valentine’s Day” Danielle Reutter-Harrah, mezzo-soprano; and Adam Cockerham, guitar/lute, perform madrigals, villancicos, sonnets, and canciones from the Renaissance through the contemporary periods.
7:30PM
Seventh Avenue Presbyterian Church
1329 Seventh Ave., San Francisco.
$20/$15
www.brownpapertickets.com/event/448630

 Sunday, February 2

SFEMS repeats Galax/Karen Clark program of January 31.
GQ98_KC_72Chromatic Clusters” David Wilson & Elizabeth Blumenstock, violin; David Morris, ‘cello; Roy Whelden, viola da gamba; and Karen Clark, contralto, perform avant-garde music from the 16th and 17th centuries paired with new music for early instruments. Featured works include Orlando di Lasso’s Prophetiae Sibyllarum, Carlo Gesualdo’s Beltà poi che t’assenti, and two works written for Galax: Roy Whelden’s On the Petaluma River (World premiere) and Joseph Schwantner’s Dream Drapery: Thoreau Songs (West Coast premiere).
4PM
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church
1111 O’Farrell St., San Francisco.
$35/$30/$28
510-528-1725 or www.sfems.org

Galax_Program

kc316Karen Clark’s singing has received high praise from major journals nationwide, such as the New York Times, who said: ”With minimal vibrato and malleable tone, Ms. Clark showed an astonishing range of expressive subtlety, carrying the listener rapt.” Karen’s recent recording with the Galax Quartet, On Cold Mountain: Songs on Poems of Gary Snyder (Innova), is praised by Joshua Kosman of The San Francisco Chronicle, who writes, “Clark’s majestic, throaty singing hints of modernist extravagance and medieval troubadours.” Karen’s repertory spans the centuries to include premieres of medieval passions and new works by living composers and poets, such as, the Greater Passion Play from the Carmina Burana ms. (Thomas Binkley ed.), and the microtonal music of Ben Johnston. The Los Angeles Times review of Karen’s recent premiere of Johnston’s Parable-Poems on Rumi said: “Karen Clark brought a rich intensity to the stories. The performance was stunning.” In 2014 a recording of Parable is due out on the Microfest label. In March, Karen performs Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire on Concerts at Old First in San Francisco. And in June (during Berkeley Festival Week), Karen sings music by her medieval mentor, Saint Hildegard von Bingen.

Since 2005, the Galax Quartet has been commissioning new music, exploring early works, and performing these in unexpected collaborations. The quartet has performed new works (Marc Mellits, Carl Stone, Dan Becker) on concert series in Northern California; played Bach’s Art of the Fugue alongside Hubble Telescope images at the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival; recorded film music by Belinda Reynolds for PBS (The New Metropolis); and accompanied computer images from virtual worlds with mathematician and sci-fi writer Rudy Rucker. The Galax Quartet is modeled after an early version of the string quartet—two violins, cello and viola da gamba—developed by the eighteenth-century composer and viola da gamba virtuoso Carl Friedrich Abel. Their 2011 recording, On Cold Mountain: Songs on Poems of Gary Snyder, is published by Innova, available as well on iTunes. The quartet is an affiliate of the San Francisco Early Music Society.

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