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Folger Consort's 45th Season Begins This Month

The season includes explorations of cultural meeting points throughout history and exciting guest artist debuts.

Folger Consort's 45th Season Begins This Month

Folger Consort, the early music ensemble-in-residence at Folger Shakespeare Library, announces its 45th season-featuring five concert programs of music ranging from 12th-century France to 18th-century Tanjore, as well as concerts inspired by the works of Shakespeare and its annual holiday performance, this year reviving the Consort's 2014 album of festive works from the New World.

Spanning nearly eight centuries of music, Folger Consort's 2022/23 season of early music will perform live, in-person performances at St. Mark's on Capitol Hill as well as offer a virtual streaming option for on-demand viewing for select programs. Programmed by Folger Consort's co-Artistic Directors and founding members, Robert Eisenstein and Christopher Kendall, the 2022/23 season offers much to explore for early music aficionados and newcomers alike.

"We're so happy to be bringing the Consort back to St. Mark's for another season on-the-road while the Folger continues its renovation project," says Folger Music Program Manager, David Mozur. "The season that Robert and Christopher have planned invites diverse perspectives and enters the Folger into important conversations taking place in the early music community."

This season, Folger Consort is joined by such distinguished guest artists as soprano Jessica Beebe, as well as the Kaleidoscope Vocal Ensemble, among other highly acclaimed local and national performers who specialize in early music. The 2022/23 Consort season is programmed by Folger Consort's co-Artistic Directors and founding members, Robert Eisenstein and Christopher Kendall. Those interested in learning more about early music and upcoming Consort programs can join Eisenstein for his Early Music Seminar series, or hear from guest artists at pre-concert discussions.

"We are eagerly looking forward to a season of diverse programs including music not only from our European tradition but also India, Appalachia, Peru and Mexico," say co-Artistic Directors Robert Eisenstein and Christopher Kendall. "We'll be making music with a lot of old friends and some exciting new guests and collaborators. Though Christopher has decided on a non-playing role this year, we're both very much engaged in the planning and execution of the programs. It is a pretty


wonderful thing that after 45 years we are still fired up about creating innovative programming, and playing and singing this amazing music together."

This season also rings a valedictory note, as after 45 years as lutenist for the Folger Consort, founder Christopher Kendall is exiting his playing role and will officially retire as Artistic Director at the end of the season. In 2022/23, he continues to collaborate with fellow Artistic Director Robert Eisenstein and colleagues, providing artistic and programming consultation for the Folger Consort. Kendall notes "his tremendous good fortune in the opportunity to make marvelous music and experience remarkable artistic freedom and support at the Folger over these many decades. Such an institutional home for a chamber music enterprise is an extraordinary, virtually unprecedented boon." Kendall, Dean Emeritus of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, will continue his work in Washington, DC as Artistic Director of the 21st Century Consort.

Subscriptions to Folger Consort are now on sale and may be purchased at www.folger.edu/subscribe-consort or by calling the Folger box office at 202.544.7077. Single tickets for all performances go on sale in September.


FOLGER CONSORT'S 2022/23 SEASON:

Music for the Last Raj

Baroque and Karnatic Music at the Court of Tanjore

September 23-25, 2022 at St. Mark's

Serfoji II, King of Tanjore from 1798-1832, was a uniquely enthusiastic patron and supporter of the arts and sciences. During his reign, classical South Indian Karnatic music flourished and his court featured regular performances of music brought to India by British colonists, including scores by Handel and Corelli. A lover of both traditions, Serfoji experimented with ensembles of European and Indian instruments playing in hybrid styles, and introduced western instruments to Karnatic performance practice. The Folger Consort's performances, with musicians from both traditions, will present Karnatic music from Tanjore, speculative 'cross-overs' as well as European music from Serfoji's library.

Early Music Seminar: Music for the Last Raj

September 21, 2022 at 6:00pm

Special guest presenter, Indira Peterson (Professor Emeritus at Mount Holyoke College and author of the upcoming Tanjore Renaissance: King Serfoji II and South Indian Modernity) shares historical and musical background information related to Music for the Last Raj. Virtual program; $10. Free for Folger Members and Consort subscribers.

A New World Christmas

European, African and Native American Currents

December 9-11, 2022 at St. Mark's

Most composers in New Spain during the 16th - 18th centuries were originally Spanish, but they drew from many sources for their varied musical styles, including indigenous American and African influences. This extraordinarily colorful, spirited and diverse music includes a rich repertoire telling the story of Christmas. With an ensemble of singers, harp and guitar, strings, winds and percussion, the Folger Consort celebrates the fusion of European, American and African practices that formed a uniquely Latin American music. Four holiday performances, and will stream on-demand through January 5, 2023.

Early Music Seminar: A New World Christmas

December 7, 2022 at 6:00pm

Folger Consort Artistic co-Director Robert Eisenstein shares historical and musical background information related to A New World Christmas. Virtual program; $10. Free for Folger Members and Consort subscribers.

Sing My Story

Troubadour Songs in Old Provençal and English Translation

February 3-5, 2023 at St. Mark's

The troubadours flourished in 12th and 13th-century southern France, composing both melodies and poetry in Old Provençal, and establishing the forms and conventions of lyric love songs in the vernacular languages of Europe. In these concerts, the Folger Consort performs songs in their original language as well as rhyming English translations by Robert Kehew, along with the romantic storytelling of medieval lais and lively instrumental dances featuring medieval fiddles, plucked strings, winds and percussion.

Early Music Seminar: Sing My Story

February 1, 2023 at 6:00pm

Folger Consort Artistic co-Director Robert Eisenstein shares historical and musical background information related to Sing My Story: Troubadour Songs. Virtual program; $10. Free for Folger Members and Consort subscribers.

Shakespeare in Step and Song

From early country dance to folk and bluegrass, music drawn from and inspired by Shakespeare

March 17-19, 2023 at St. Mark's

As part of the Folger's First Folio celebration (the 400th anniversary), the Folger Consort returns to its home repertoire of music from Shakespeare's time with the uniquely English broken consort, an "orchestra" of three plucked stringed instruments, flute, fiddle and bass viol. We have often noted the similarities between this engaging style, featuring some fancy pickin,' to the music of the Appalachian descendants of British settlers - bluegrass. In this program, we'll explore that connection as well as songs from Shakespeare and the shared stories of ballads from both traditions.

Early Music Seminar: Shakespeare in Step and Song

March 15, 2023 at 6:00pm

Folger Consort Artistic co-Director Robert Eisenstein shares historical and musical background information related to Shakespeare, English Consort Music, and Bluegrass. Virtual program; $10. Free for Folger Members and Consort subscribers.

Folger Consort with Kaleidoscope Vocal Ensemble

May 5-7, 2023 at St. Mark's

In this final program of our 2022-2033 season, we are excited to be joined by Kaleidoscope Vocal Ensemble. Kaleidoscope, directed by Arianne Abela, is recognized for presenting vocal music with artistic distinction, while celebrating racial, ethnic and gender diversity. Like Folger Consort, the ensemble delights in performing both early and new music. For this program Kaleidoscope's singers will join our ensemble of violins, viol, harpsichord in performances of new music for our combined forces as well as the timeless music of Claudio Monteverdi.

Early Music Seminar: Folger Consort with Kaleidoscope Vocal Ensemble

May 3, 2023 at 6:00pm

Folger Consort Artistic co-Director Robert Eisenstein shares historical and musical background information related to Folger Consort with Kaleidoscope Vocal Ensemble. Virtual program; $10. Free for Folger Members and Consort subscribers.

Folger Consort subscriptions are currently on sale and may be purchased at www.folger.edu/consort or by calling the Folger box office at 202.544.7077. Single tickets for all performances go on sale [insert date].

St. Mark's Episcopal Church

301 A Street, SE, Washington, DC

Metro: Capitol South (blue/orange/silver lines), 4 blocks

Parking: Street parking in Capitol Hill neighborhood

Tickets/Information: www.folger.edu/folger-consort or Folger Box Office at 202.544.7077

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