Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Houston Early Music Opens 2021-22 Season With Compelling Cross-Cultural Presentation

pixeltracker

Finding Enchantment and Renewal with Houston Early Music, reflects the organization's fresh start and the innovative vision guiding its programming.

Houston Early Music Opens 2021-22 Season With Compelling Cross-Cultural Presentation

After an "Interlude Season" of self-evaluation and strategic planning during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Houston Early Music is now presenting live performances. The 2021-2022 season, Finding Enchantment and Renewal with Houston Early Music, reflects the organization's fresh start and the innovative vision guiding its programming.

"This season's offerings are profoundly engaging and enchanting: an essential component of getting one's spirits through this next level of worldwide angst," said Houston Early Music Artistic & Executive Director Deborah Dunham. "Although challenges persist, Houston Early Music is steadfastly upholding our mission as a presenting organization to bring the best international touring artists of historically informed performances to Houston."

Houston Early Music presented the season's first in-person performance, The Baroque-Carnatic Music Connection: Cross-Cultural Musical Discoveries, in collaboration with Silambam Houston last month. The performance explored the parallels and differences between the classical music of southern India and European Baroque-era (1600-1750) pieces. This provocative event was also livestreamed to viewers in India and received overwhelmingly positive responses.

The 2021-2022 season will continue at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6, when Houston Early Music presents Kleine Kammermusik, an ensemble known for inventive programming and imaginative use of space to create fresh, entertaining events with a distinctively historic flavor.

During its concert at Lambert Hall in the Houston Heights, the ensemble will showcase woodwind chamber gems from two High Baroque figures: Johann Sebastian Bach and Jan Dismas Zelenka. Each composer has a legacy of profound counterpoint - setting different melodic lines against each other - and also for brilliant melody, deft harmonic interplay and musical drama.

"Most are familiar with Bach, but not everybody knows Zelenka," Dunham said. "He was raised in Bohemia (now the Czech Republic) and spent his professional life in Dresden, Germany. There is an exotic feel to Zelenka's music; it's immensely appealing."

Houston Early Music's full 2021-2022 season is described below.

KLEINE KAMMERMUSIK - The Art of Counterpoint: Bach & Zelenka

Kleine Kammermusik is dedicated to reviving the wealth of Baroque chamber music for winds and continuo (a core group of instruments, typically including a harpsichord and a bowed bass instrument).

The ensemble's debut recording, Fanfare and Filigree: Chamber Music from Paris and Dresden, was recently released on the Acis label and has received praise from Early Music America Magazine, Colorado Public Radio and BBC Radio.

Kleine Kammermusik's upcoming Houston concert demonstrates how the distinctive personalities of Bach and Zelenka - who knew and admired each other - led to equally intricate and dazzlingly virtuosic styles of counterpoint.

The performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6, at Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Blvd. in Houston, 77008.

ISTANPITTA and KINDER HSPVA MADRIGAL SINGERS - Bonus Concert: Now Make We Joy!

Join Houston Early Music for "madrigals, musicke and merriment," followed by wassail and holiday treats.

General admission is $35; tickets are $10 for students and FREE for Houston Early Music's Gold Level Members.

The performance begins at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, at the University of Houston Chapel, A.D. Bruce Religion Center, 3841 Cullen Blvd., Houston, 77004.

SEVERALL FRIENDS and reader JONATHAN RICHARDS - The Shadow of Night: Mysticism and Magic in Medieval Music

This presentation incorporates excerpts from contemporary diaries, drama, poetry and music dating back to 17th-century England, revealing a widespread interest in magic of all sorts.

Severall Friends is a Santa Fe, New Mexico-based consortium of musicians who play a broad spectrum of early music. Actor Jonathan Richards has appeared in leading roles on the Santa Fe stage and is a founding member of the New Mexico Actors Lab.

The concert is set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, at the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston's Kaplan Theatre, 5601 S. Braeswood Blvd., Houston, 77096. The University of Houston's Moore School of Music will offer a lecture demonstration by Mary Springfels and members of Severall Friends Jan. 20. The time will be announced closer to the event.

TABEA DEBUS, recorder, and ALON SARIEL, archlute - Introducing Tabea Debus: Recorder Player Extraordinaire

Described as a "charismatic virtuoso," Tabea Debus is constantly exploring the horizons of music for recorder and has played widely across Europe and Asia, along with Colombia and the United States. The award-winning artist is a regular guest on BBC Radio 3's "In Tune and Early Music Show," and she has released five solo discs. In 2019, Debus was a winner of the Concert Artists Guild (CAG) International Competition, and she is now on the CAG roster.

Debus' American tour, Ohrwurm, explores how popular tunes and dances "wormed their way" into many aspects of music-making in 17th- and 18th-century Europe.

Debus will be accompanied by lutenist Alon Sariel, also a mandolinist and conductor. Sariel has toured in Asia, Europe, the U.S., Mexico, South America and South Africa. He resides in Hanover, Germany, where he is musical director of the international Baroque orchestra Concerto Foscari and a founding member of the quartet, PRISMA.

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 29, 2022, at Live Oaks Friends Meeting House, 1318 W. 26th St., Houston, 77008. Tickets for 2021-2022 season concerts are $50 for the public, $20 for students, and $40 for seniors age 60 and older.

Tickets for Houston Early Music's special event, ISTANPITTA and KINDER HSPVA MADRIGAL SINGERS - Now Make We Joy!, are $35 for the public, $10 for students, and FREE for Houston Early Music Gold Members.

Purchase tickets at https://houstonearlymusic.ludus.com.

Season passes and Discovery Memberships are also available. Visit https://www.houstonearlymusic.org for details.


Related Articles View More Houston Stories

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes & More

More Hot Stories For You