June 28, 2010

John Prescott leads SFEMS summer adult course

On August 2-6, our pre-concert lecturer John Prescott (right) will once again lead a series of morning classes for adults in Berkeley at the Crowden Center for Music in the Community. The theme this year will be the music of one of the most prolific and influential of Baroque composers (he's also one of our favorites): G. F. Handel. Presented by the San Francisco Early Music Society, this interactive course entitled "Handel and his World" is intended for curious adults who want to broaden their musical horizons and deepen their listening pleasure. Learn more.

Historically-informed summer camp!

Our friends at the
San Francisco Early Music Society just let us know that there is still space in their summer youth day camp program. At this year's "Music Discovery Workshop," youths ages 7-15 can "swashbuckle their way through life and music in 17th century France and England," learning recorder, harpsichord, strings, chamber music and musicianship, while also participating in other activities like crafts, costume making, and outdoor games. The camp takes place in Berkeley at the Crowden Center for Music in the Community from August 1-6, 2010. Download a brochure.

June 25, 2010

Soccer: Baroque? Classical? Romantic?

Do you have soccer (ahem... football) fever like many of us in the office? Maybe you can answer this bit of trivia:

Which piece of orchestral or operatic music was published the year that the first official rules of soccer were agreed upon and first "Football Association" was founded in a tavern in London?

A: John Blow's Venus and Adonis (1683)

B: Joseph Haydn's Symphonies No. 12 and 13 (1763)

C: Hector Berlioz's Les Troyens (1863)

And now, in anticipation of tomorrow's elimination round game:

UPDATED 6/28: We guess we'll have to hang onto that memory. Good effort, USA!

June 22, 2010

Meet Scott!

Scott broke the news last week and now it's our turn: We have engaged Scott Foglesong to write all of our program notes for our 30th Anniversary Season, as well as give three of the eight sets of pre-concert lectures. Chair of the Department of Musicianship and Music Theory at the San Francisco Conservatory and one of the San Francisco Symphony's program annotators and pre-concert lecturers, Scott will also serve as our Scholar in Residence, assisting in our artistic planning.

Why is this so exciting for us? Well, not only is Scott a respected musicologist and a great writer whose name many of our staff members look for in the concert hall and on the web, but his roots are entangled deeply with the orchestra's – Scott was a student of Laurette Goldberg, the founder of our orchestra!

More Nic News

Last week, Juilliard's Historical Performance program announced that Nic will conduct Juilliard415 on Saturday, November 20 at 8 PM in Alice Tully Hall. The program includes a rare Handel cantata, Clori, Tirsi, e Fileno, and Vivaldi's Concerto for Two Flutes in C Major. Having only just debuted in December of last year, Juilliard415, the music school's new period-instrument group, will perform a series of seven concerts next season that features not only Nic, but also Jordi Savall and William Christie. Watch them perform with Artistic Director Monica Huggett below.

McGegan has long relationship with Juilliard, including a teaching residency and has regular appearances conducting the Juilliard Orchestra. He returns to conduct the Juilliard Orchestra that same week on Monday, November 22 at 8 PM in Alice Tully Hall.

June 15, 2010

Congratulations Nic!

What does Graham William Nash, co-founder of Crosby, Stills and Nash, and our Music Director Nicholas McGegan have in common? Both were named Officers of the British Empire in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list published this weekend. Congratulations Nic!

Thank you to our BFX volunteers!

Thank you to our board members Kit Leland, Adam Arthur Bier, and Marie Bertillion Collins, who helped out this weekend at our table at the Berkeley Early Music Festival and Exhibition. Our Marketing Director was particularly thankful he could escape for two hours on Saturday to watch the USA/England game. We enjoyed meeting our neighbor baroque string instrument maker Gabriela Guadalajara and, of course, seeing scenes like this:

June 9, 2010

Congratulations Hanneke!

We are pleased to announce a recent appointment to the membership of Philharmonia Baroque. Effective next season, Hanneke van Proosdij has been named First-Call Member of the Laurette Goldberg Keyboard Chair, endowed by Anne and David Oliver. Our long time fans will surely recognize Hanneke, who has often played harpsichord, organ, and recorder in the orchestra for the last 13 years.

Hanneke performs regularly as soloist and continuo specialist with
Philharmonia Baroque, FestspielOrchester Göttingen, Voices of Music, Concerto Palatino, Magnificat and American Bach Soloists. She has appeared as a guest artist with Hesperion XX, Concerto Köln, Chanticleer, Orchestre dAmbronnay, Gewandhaus Orchester and the Arcadian Academy. She received her solo and teaching diplomas from the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, where she studied recorder, harpsichord and composition.

Together with her husband David Tayler, Hanneke cofounded and codirects Voices of Music. Hanneke is a cofounder of the Junior Recorder Society in the East Bay and was the director of the SFEMS Medieval Renaissance Workshop for seven years and now directs, together with Rotem Gilbert, the SFEMS Recorder Workshop. She has recorded over forty discs for Magnatune, BIS, Koch, Musica Omnia, Carus, AVIE and Delos.

Please join us in congratulating Hanneke on her appointment!

June 8, 2010

Our new favorite blogger...

Judge Marie!

Our board member The Hon. Marie Bertillion Collins has your "Survival Guide" for all you BFX10 bound Early Music lovers. Read Tip 1 and Tip 7... We hope the BFX blog fills us in as to what 2 through 6 are (how else will we survive)!

Our Marketing Director, who lived in Berkeley until just two months ago, can tell you how he'll survive the long days at the Philharmonia Baroque exhibition table – besides visits from you! – in just two words: Triple Rock.

Hey, Marie, when this is all over. Want to be our guest blogger?

June 7, 2010

An inspiring model?

Annalisa Pappano, a viol player in town for BFX10 from Cincinnati, wrote on her group's blog today:

What I find especially intriguing [in San Francisco] is the culture for early music here. This city boasts the [San Francisco Early Music Society] series, the Berkeley Early Music Festival, an astonishing number of professional viol players (last count was 16!), a full-time professional baroque orchestra (Philharmonia Baroque) with the superstar conductor Nicolas [sic] McGegan, and a whopping 43 early music organizations. This city is an inspiring model... What does it take for a city to become such an exciting center for early music?

So, we ask you the same question Annalisa asked: "What do you think?" Why and how did the Bay Area become a hub for early music? We'll be answering that all summer ourselves as we explore our own history as we approach our 30th Anniversary Season concerts.

June 4, 2010

Frederica von Stade interview from Houston PBS

Tired of reading some pretty gloomy posts on "Orchestra R/Evolution," we decided to cheer ourselves up. And Flicka can certainly do that! Here's a clip from Ernie Manouse's interview with her for Houston PBS's InnerVIEWS from this past December: