The Academy of Ancient Music to Perform Holiday Concert in Berkeley

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The Academy of Ancient Music to Perform Holiday Concert in Berkeley

The San Francisco Early Music Society is pleased to present a special one-night-only engagement of the Academy of Ancient Music. The renowned orchestra, founded in Cambridge, England, in 1973, will perform a program of joyful music for the season with works by Bach, Handel, Corelli and more on December 13, 2019 at 8 p.m. at First Congregational Church in Berkeley. Individual tickets, $15 to $65, are available for purchase online at

Under the direction of Bojan Čičić, the orchestra will be joined by rising young soprano Rowan Pierce, who will perform in two sacred cantatas. Only rediscovered in 2001, Handel's Gloria has already established itself as one of the great coloratura cantatas, showcasing the soprano voice in a sequence of dazzling, virtuosic movements. Overflowing with jubilant energy, J.S. Bach's Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen pairs a solo soprano and trumpet in music that sets them in exuberant competition. Pierce is joined by the Academy's principal trumpeter David Blackadder, who is also the soloist for Torelli's high-spirited Concerto in D major.

The program also includes "Let the Bright Seraphim" from Handel's oratorio Samson, Jeremiah Clarke's ever-popular Trumpet Tune and Daniel Purcell's "Sound the Trumpet" from The Masque of Hymen. "This is a concert that promises to send you home with a smile on your face and a spring in your step," said Čičić.

Award-winning soprano Rowan Pierce has toured internationally throughout Europe and in South America, performing with ensembles including the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Gabrieli Consort, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Early Opera Company, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Florilegium and Royal Northern Sinfonia. Her concerts this season with the Academy of Ancient Music mark her U.S. debut.

Pierce was awarded the President's Award by HRH Prince of Wales at the Royal College of Music in 2017. She won both the Song Prize and First Prize at the inaugural Grange Festival International Singing Competition, the Van Someren-Godfrey Prize at the Royal College of Music and the first Schubert Society Singer Prize in 2014.

Known for his intelligent and virtuosic playing on both the violin and viola d'amore, Bojan Čičić specializes in repertoire ranging from the late 16th century to the Romantic period. A principal player of the Academy of Ancient Music for many years and appointed leader in April 2018, he appeared as director with both the Academy of Ancient Music and the European Union Baroque Orchestra as well as a guest leader and soloist with the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Budapest Festival Orchestra.

Čičić has featured as a leader on numerous recordings with ensemble Florilegium, La Nuova Musica, and the Arcangelo Consort. His recording of J.S. Bach's Concerto for Two Violins with Rachel Podger has been named the best available recording by BBC Music Magazine, and in 2017 his own group, the Illyria Consort, released their first album with Delphian, a recording of Carbonelli's virtuosic Violin Sonatas.

Čičić was recently appointed Professor of Baroque Violin at the Royal College of Music, and is passionate about training the next generation of instrumentalists in historically-informed playing styles.

David Blackadder took up the trumpet at age nine, following in the footsteps of his grandfather who was a bandmaster. He joined the Leicestershire Schools Symphony Orchestra and went on to study at the Royal College of Music with Michael Laird.

After a season as guest principal trumpet with Scottish Opera he joined the English Baroque Soloists and Orchestre Revolutionaire et Romantique as principal trumpet under Sir John Eliot Gardiner. He also became principal trumpet of the Academy of Ancient Music with Christopher Hogwood.

He is renowned as a soloist, having performed and recorded with conductors including Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Roger Norrington and Vladimir Jurowski. His recordings of Handel arias with singers including Renee Fleming and Kiri Te Kanawa have received particular critical acclaim; and he has recorded the Brandenburg Concertos with Trevor Pinnock and with the Academy of Ancient Music.


January 10 - 12 | Les Voix Humaines

For more than three decades, the Quebecois group, which includes gambists Susie Napper and Margaret Little, has specialized in the performances of music from the French baroque. For their debut concert for SFEMS, however, they will take audiences on a deep dive into one of the greatest works of the English baroque: John Dowland's Lachrimae, or Seven Teares, written for five viols and lute.

Founded in 1975, SFEMS is one of the nation's leading organizations for the advancement of historically informed performance of early music. Through its concert series, publications, outreach activities, affiliate support and educational programs SFEMS encourages the development of amateurs, supports professionals, and increases public involvement and participation in early music. SFEMS is the lead presenter of the Berkeley Festival & Exhibition of early music.

Among the hundreds of ensembles and solo artists SFEMS has supported over four-plus decades are many whose national or regional debuts occurred under its auspices: Anonymous 4, Benjamin Bagby, Frans Brüggen, Concerto Palatino, Fretwork, Laurette Goldberg, Hilliard Ensemble, John Holloway, Emma Kirkby & Anthony Rooley, Wieland Kuijken, Gustav Leonhardt, PAN, Joshua Rifkin, Jordi Savall, Max Van Egmond and Vox Luminis, to name a few.




Bojan Čičić, Director / Violina??

Rowan Pierce, Soprano

David Blackadder, Trumpet



Clarke "Mr. Shore's Trumpett Tune"

Handel "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion" from Messiah, HWV56

Corelli Concerto grosso in D major, Op. 6 No. 7

Torelli Concerto for Trumpet in D major

Handel Gloria in Excelsis Deo

Daniel Purcell "Sound the Trumpet" from The Masque of Hymen

Handel "Let the Bright Seraphim" from Samson, HWV57

Handel Concerto grosso in G major, Op. 6 No. 1, HWV319

J.S. Bach Cantata Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, BWV51


Friday, December 13| BERKELEY

8 p.m. @ First Congregational Churcha??

2345 Channing Way


i??Individual tickets: $15 - $65

Memberships and subscriptions for three or more concerts are available with discounts up to 25%.

Tickets may be purchased online at or by phone at 510-528-1725. The box office may also be reached by email at

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