Houston Early Music Festival Announces 2017 Events, 2/11-19
Five Houston music organizations join forces to stage an extravaganza of early music for the fifth anniversary of the Houston Early Music Festival, February 11-19, 2017 at venues across the city. 2017 HEMF events listed below!
Performances presented by the five festival organizations -- Ars Lyrica Houston, Bach Society Houston, Houston Early Music, Mercury, and Piping Rock Singers -- include the Houston debut of ensemble Profeti della Quinta, performing works of Salomone Rossi, an Italian Jewish composer who broke barriers of discrimination in the late Renaissance to become a renowned composer of the Mantuan court of the Gonzagas, a multi-media collaboration with Museum of Fine Arts Houston for Rameau's Les Indes galantes, motets from the Bach family as well as J.S. Bach's virtuosic cantata Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen for soprano and trumpet.
Outreach events include a vocal masterclass led by acclaimed soprano Sherezade Panthak, and a colloquium on Bach's Little Organ Book, culminating in a performance of the entire work by organ students from Rice University and the University of Houston.
HEMF features a number of local and international early-music experts and recording artists including the ensemble Profeti della Quinta, Gregory Barnett (Chair of Musicology at Rice University), Kevin Clark (Piping Rock Singers Director), Matthew Dirst (Ars Lyrica Houston Artistic Director), Rick Erickson (Bach Society Houston Director), Nathaniel Mayfield (natural trumpet), Daniel Melamed (Professor of Musicology at Indiana University), Sherezade Panthaki (soprano), and Antoine Plante (Mercury Artistic Director). The Festival includes a wide array of early music repertoire, including masterpieces by Baroque composers J.S. Bach, Rameau, Scarlatti, and Vivaldi, as well as Renaissance works by composers Dering, Gibbons, and Janequin.
Friday, February 10, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. | Vocal Master Class
Join the Houston Early Music Festival as we present a Vocal Master Class in partnership with the University of Houston, and Rice University. Soprano Sherezade Panthaki is quickly being recognized as one of early music's greatest stars, and she will coach students and professional singers in Baroque vocal performance practice. Audience members will learn about Baroque ornamentation, and the practices that made these forms the epitome of classical singing.
Location TBA. Tickets and information: www.houstonearlymusicfestival.org.
Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 8 p.m. | Rameau's Les Indes galantes (Mercury)
Rameau's music to the opera-ballet Les Indes galantes perfectly represents the French Baroque - now, experience this work in a unique collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts Houston featuring a curated series of eighteenth century paintings projected behind the orchestra - a singular way to experience this music like never before. Young Bach hits the ground running at age 23 and wows the court with his prodigious talent.
Wortham Center - Cullen Theater, 501 Texas Ave, Houston, TX 77002. Tickets and information: www.mercuryhouston.org or 713-533-0080.
Sunday, February 12, 2017 at 6 p.m. | Scalable Heights (Ars Lyrica Houston)
Fast passagework? High notes? No problem for the greatest virtuosos of the early 18th century, whose talents inspired some of the most spectacular music of the late Baroque. J. S. Bach's Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, one of the great showpieces of the soprano and trumpet repertoire, headlines a program that also includes showstoppers by Vivaldi and Scarlatti.
Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. | Bach's Little Organ Book
Bach's Little Organ Book (Orgelbüchlein) consists of short pieces based on Lutheran hymns, which were designed to teach organ students various aspects of theory and technique. And what better group to perform this sublime collection than students from the University of Houston and Rice University organ departments! The students will play these marvelous works on the famous Bach Organ at Christ the King Lutheran Church, which was closely modeled after the instruments that Johann Sebastian himself played.
Christ the King Lutheran Church, 2353 Rice Blvd, Houston, TX 77005. Tickets and information: www.houstonearlymusicfestival.org.
Friday, February 17, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. | Madrigals, Motets and Merryment (Piping Rock Singers)
The Piping Rock Singers presents Madrigals, Motets and Merryment, an evening of rarely heard street song style madrigals and beloved favorites. The program combines featured works by Dering, Gibbons and Janequin with a sampling of madrigals by other treasured Renaissance composers.
Christ the King Lutheran Church, 2353 Rice Blvd, Houston, TX 77005. Tickets $40 or SAVE when purchasing with a Festival Pass (see below for pass information). For more information visit: www.pipingrocksingers.com.
Saturday, February 18, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. | Profeti della Quinta: Italian madrigals, instrumental pieces and Hebrew prayers by Salomone Rossi (Houston Early Music)
Swiss-based vocal quintet Profetti della Quinta portrays the many-faceted art of Italian Jewish composer Salomone Rossi (c.1570-c.1630) as a court composer in the service of the Gonzaga family and as an innovator of devotional music for the synagogue, performing a selection of his Italian madrigals, instrumental pieces, and Hebrew prayers.
Congregation Beth Israel, 5600 N. Braeswood, Houston, TX 77096. Pre-concert viewing of documentary film The Search for Salomone Rossi at 6:30 p.m. Tickets and information: www.houstonearlymusic.org.
Sunday, February 19, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. | Bach Family Motets (Bach Society Houston)
The Bach family was enormous - Johann Sebastian had eight siblings and 20 children, many of them composers, and J.S. Bach almost certainly studied their compositions. Join us as we trace the development of this incredible, yet often-forgotten genre from the earliest works of the Bach clan, through Johann Sebastian's marvelous Fürchte dich nicht, BWV 228 ("Be Not Afraid"), one of the pinnacles of western choral music.
Christ the King Lutheran Church, 2353 Rice Blvd, Houston, TX 77005. Tickets and information: www.bachsocietyhouston.org.
Seeking to capitalize on the local growth of early music programming and period-instrument expertise, HEMF was founded in 2011 as an international platform for showcasing Houston's growing talent pool and flourishing early music organizations. HEMF 2017 is sponsored by partner organizations Ars Lyrica Houston, Bach Society Houston, Houston Early Music, Mercury, and Piping Rock Singers. The combined efforts of these distinctive and innovative early music organizations provide an excellent educational platform and multiple opportunities to bring greater awareness to Houston's extraordinarily diverse and robust arts scene. The 2017 Houston Early Music Festival is generously funded in part by a grant from the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.
The Houston Early Music Festival is February 11-19, 2017 at venues across the city. Visit www.houstonearlymusicfestival.org for event listings and descriptions and ticketing information.