The Broken Consort to Play Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1/17

The youthful and innovative ensemble The Broken Consort will explore music as an ethereal art with magical powers in a diverse program titled "Muses, Modes, and Magic (and also Mary)" as part of Houston Early Music's Emerging Artists Series at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church on Friday, January 17, at 7:30 p.m.

"This is one of our most ambitious and authentic touring programs," said singer Emily Lau, who founded The Broken Consort four years ago in Boston. "Since this program is a collection of our favorite pieces regardless of time periods or region, all of the performers can bring their best selves and express joy, heartbreak, excitement and hope from the depths of our heart and abilities."

They will perform a wide variety of secular and sacred music, ranging from improvisational settings of the 13th-century epic poem "Nibelungenlied" for lute, vielle and voice to a composition written this year by Lau to commemorate the 2012 Costa Concordia shipwreck.

The Broken Consort's program is structured around the medieval and Renaissance belief that each of the nine Classical Muses was magically associated with a specific musical mode.

"We believe that early music is not an academic discipline only," said Lau. "We have to be very serious in our preparation, but once onstage our job is to deliver very intense emotions and share them with our audience. The magic is in our passion, joy and commitment."

The Broken Consort, whose name refers to a term for an ensemble of instruments from more than one family, consists of seven musicians all under age 32. They include sopranos Camila Parias and Jessica Petrus, altos Lau and Clare McNamara and instrumentalists Niccolo Seligmann (viola da gamba/vielle), Brian Kay (lute/percussion) and Christopher Preston Thompson (historical harp). But the musicians have many talents, with both Kay and Thompson also singing tenor.

The Broken Consort will present "Muses, Modes, and Magic (and also Mary)" on Friday, January 17, at 7:30 p.m. at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church, 4930 West Bellfort St., Houston, Texas 77035. A pre-concert talk with ensemble members will begin at 6:45 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased at HoustonEarlyMusic.org. General admission tickets for "Muses, Modes, and Magic (and also Mary)" are available for $40; seniors $35; and students with valid student ID cards $20.




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