Red Priest, Rose Ensemble & More Set For Houston Early Music's 2009-10 Season

Houston Early Music announces its 2009-2010 season featuring four internationally known groups - Red Priest, The Rose Ensemble, Ensemble Caprice and Tapestry. Each will delight audiences with inventive programs, outstanding virtuosity and their expertise in early music performance.

Houston Early Music, one of the nation's oldest early music organizations, is known for presenting the finest music from the Middle Ages through the Renaissance to the Baroque and Classical periods. Artistic director Nancy Ellis is proud of the organization's record of highlighting national and international leading talent for over 40 years. An accomplished musician herself, Ellis scouts the best up-and-coming and established artists through extensive research and by attending events such as the Boston Early Music Festival. "The growth of interest in early music has been phenomenal. More research has been done on the making and quality of period instruments. As the performance standard has risen, so has the interest of the general public," says Ellis. "Now, many of the major universities have early music programs."

Ellis works hard to fashion diverse programs that offer something unique amidst the exciting flurry of activity in early music already happening in Houston. "We strive to offer a truly balanced season," says Ellis. "There's lots of variety and young talent, and several of these groups are completely new to Houston." Events take place at Trinity Episcopal Church, Christ the King Lutheran Church and Christ Church Cathedral, all known for their support of music and fine acoustics.

Nightmare in Venice

The season launches with the notorious renegade of the recorder, Piers Adams, and his famed UK-based group, Red Priest, who will present A Nightmare in Venice on Tuesday, October 27, 2009, 7:30 p.m. - just in time for Halloween - at Trinity Episcopal ChurcH. Adams, a rock star of the early music genre, is known for bending the rules, high theatrics and outrageous costumes. The program includes Vivaldi's Nightmare Concerto, Tartini's Devil's Trill sonata, Masque music by Robert Johnson, Gluck's Dance of the Blessed Spirits, Leclair's Demon Airs and Red Priest's own Fantasia on Corelli's La Follia. According to Ellis, Red Priest is a bit like early music gone wild. "They are known for being way out there," says Ellis. "And the timing with Halloween was perfect. They will definitely add some spice to our programming."

Celebremos el Niño - A Mexican Baroque Christmas

Next up and for the holidays is The Rose Ensemble in Celebremos el Niño - A Mexican Baroque Christmas on Sunday, December 13, 5:00 p.m. at Christ Church Cathedral as part of the Hispanic Heritage Series. The internationally honored Minneapolis-based vocal group brings a rare collection of early Mexican music, featuring over two centuries of festive Christmas dances, ballads and villancicos from the great cathedrals of Puebla and Mexico City. "It has been several seasons since we have presented a concert of Mexican baroque music," says Ellis, "and this is an outstanding choral group that has never performed here before."

Music of Paradise and Hell

Ensemble Caprice's performance in Music of Paradise and Hell on Friday, March 5, 2010, at 8:00 p.m. at Christ the King Lutheran Church includes a dazzling selection of seventeenth-century works on recorders, viola da gamba, baroque guitar and percussion, including works by Falconiere and Schmelzer. The performance coincides with the Society of Seventeenth-Century Music annual conference at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music. "This dynamic group of five is led by Matthias Maute and Sophie Larivière, both amazing recorder players of the highest calibre," says Ellis.

Faces of Women

The season concludes with the all-female vocal group Tapestry joined by the acclaimed vielle and harp instrumentalist Shira Kammen on Friday, April 16, 2010, 8:00 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church. The program, titled Faces of Women, crisscrosses borders and centuries to tell tales of remarkable women who inspired nations and generations. "We've featured them in our series before, and they were received very well," says Ellis. "They have a way of using modern dialogue to put a contemporary spin on these ancient music works that are by and about women."

Subscription Rates
Season subscribers enjoy discount ticket pricing, priority seating at concerts, free lost-ticket replacement and discount on purchase of extra tickets. Rates for the season: $120 for general admission, $100 for seniors, and $40 for students. To subscribe, go to to print out the subscription form.

Individual Tickets
Prices at the door are $35 for general admission, $30 for seniors, and $10 for students (with student ID.) Free admission for children under 15.

For more information about Houston Early Music, visit, e-mail or call 713-432-1744.

Season Locations:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009, 7:30 p.m.
A Nightmare in Venice, with RED PRIEST
Trinity Episcopal Church
1015 Holman (at Main)
Houston, TX 77004

Sunday, December 13, 2009, 5:00 p.m.
Celebremos el Niño - A Mexican Baroque Christmas, with THE ROSE ENSEMBLE
Christ Church Cathedral
1117 Texas Avenue
Houston, TX 77002

Friday, March 5, 2010, 8:00 p.m.
Music of Paradise and Hell, with ENSEMBLE CAPRICE
Christ the King Lutheran Church
2353 Rice Boulevard
Houston, TX 77005

Friday, April 15, 2010, 8:00 p.m.
Faces of a Woman, with TAPESTRY
Trinity Episcopal Church
1015 Holman (at Main)
Houston, TX 77004

Houston Early Music is funded in part by grants from the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance and by Texas Commission on the Arts and The National Endowment for the Arts.

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