Early Music Now Announces Season 31
Milwaukee’s premier presenter of early music continues innovative programming
Hot on the heels of its record-breaking 30th Anniversary Season, Early Music Now announces a new season that overflows with world-class ensembles eager to present their extraordinary Medieval, Renaissance, and early Baroque programs to an enthusiastic Milwaukee audience. Reaching across borders and across time, the 31st season includes a trio of Arab musicians combined with America’s preeminent early music ensemble, along with international artists from Belgium, Canada, England, France, and the Netherlands.
Early Music Now creates lively connections with the past through historically informed performances of music composed before 1800. International artists include three groups that are already well-known to Milwaukee audiences (including one on its farewell tour), and three new to this series (including one Midwest debut and one U.S. debut). The programming explores Spanish dance music, choral music from the Reformation, two centuries of Baroque chamber music from five countries, Christmas music from the Mediterranean, music from a castle (sung by the choir that lives there!), and more!
All six programs will be performed in Milwaukee landmark venues at EMN’s popular time, Saturdays at 5:00, with an extra Christmas concert on Sunday at 3:00.
The season opens on October 21st at a venue that hasn’t been visited by Early Music Now since 1998: Grace Lutheran Church (1209 North Broadway) – the ideal venue for a concert celebrating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. The eight male voices of Cappella Pratensis (Netherlands) are specialists in the performance of 16th-century polyphony, which they sing from a central music stand, reading mensural notation from a single large choir book. “Missa Lutherana: The Beginnings of Lutheran Church Music,” includes chant as well as compositions by Heinrich Isaac and Adam Renner, making the case that Luther retained much more of earlier musical and liturgical traditions than is often assumed. (cappellapratensis.nl)
The long-awaited Midwest debut of the celebrated French ensemble, La Poème Harmonique, comes to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (914 East Knapp Street) on November 11th. Director Vincent Dumetre (guitar and theorbo) is joined by his ensemble of soprano, violin, viola da gamba, violone, and percussion in “Danza! Spanish Dances in 17th-Century France,” demonstrating how Spanish influences helped create a century of dance in France. (sempremusica.com)
Early Music Now has always been noted for providing unique alternatives to the usual Christmas concert fare. Continuing that tradition, America’s preeminent early music ensemble, The Boston Camerata, will be joined by SHARQ Arabic Music Ensemble for a program of music from the various coastal areas around the Mediterranean, spanning more than 700 years, all inspired by both traditional and unusual aspects of the Christmas story. The dichotomy between the Arab and Western worlds dissolves in “A Mediterranean Christmas,” performed at St. Joseph Chapel, 1501 South Layton Boulevard at 5:00 on December 9 and 3:00 on December 10. (bostoncamerata.com – karimnagi.com/sharq)
Early Music Now returns to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church to open the second half of the season on February 17th with a performance by a favorite of Milwaukee audiences, The Flanders Recorder Quartet (Belgium), on their farewell tour. “The Final Chapter: 30 Years,” represents one final burst of colorful recorder fireworks, exploring the spectrum of old and new recorder music (including two commissions) that have defined their signature style. (flanders-recorder-quartet.be)
This 31st season concludes on April 14 back at St. Joseph Chapel with a choir that has unique credentials! The Queen’s Six (England) live within the walls of Windsor Castle, where they regularly sing for the Royal Family. Established in 2008, the 450th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth I, they come to us on their first American tour with a program of music from the reign of their namesake. “Sacred & Profane: Music of the Tudor and Jacobean Courts” includes music of the notable “six” – composers from that earlier era – Byrd, Gibbons, Morley, Tallis, Tomkins, and Weelkes. (thequeenssix.com/uk)
Tickets to this extraordinary bounty of world-class early music are available as individual concerts or in full or partial season packages in three seating sections, with discounts for 4- 5- or 6-concert packages. Each full 6-concert subscription comes with a voucher for one free guest ticket. All three tiers feature general seating. Note that Tier 1 seating closes on September 30.
Full 6-concert series packages for adults and seniors range in price from $147 to $300, with student series from $51 to $102. Partial series packages of 3, 4, or 5 programs range from $87 to $266 for adults and seniors, with student series ranging from $30 to $45 (for full-time students between 6 and 26 years of age). Individual adult/senior tickets range in price from $29 to $59 dollars, with student tickets ranging from $10 to $20. All prices include sales tax and all applicable fees. A 20% discount is available for groups of ten or more.
Tickets may be ordered by phone (414.225.3113), email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or regular mail (750 N. Milwaukee #420, Milwaukee 53202) beginning May 1st. Orders may be placed online at EarlyMusicNow.org beginning May 15th. All orders will be filled via email as “print-at-home” tickets beginning June 1st, with the option of choosing email or mail receipts to be redeemed at Will Call. A season brochure is available upon request.
Adult Price /Student Price
Series Subscriptions: Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3
6 Concerts 300/102 234/75 147/51
5 Concerts 266/90 207/68 131/45
4 Concerts 224/76 175/57 110/38
3 Concerts 177/60 138/45 87/30
Single Concert 59/20 46/15 29/10
Early Music Now was founded in 1986 by Thallis Hoyt Drake, is the only presenter in Wisconsin, and one of the few in the entire country, to focus exclusively on historically informed, period instrument performances of music composed before 1800. Adding the tagline “Across Borders – Across Time,” in recent seasons EMN has also explored music from non-Western cultures, as well as including both very early and more recent music chosen to create a rich historical context.
Early Music Now is widely regarded in the world of early music as one of the most creative and successful organizations in the United States, enabling it to attract the very finest early music ensembles from around the world. In addition to presenting both established and emerging artists from the North American continent, EMN season programming has included performer/educators from Argentina, China, England, Estonia, France, Germany, India, Scandinavia, and Spain.
For further information about Early Music Now, visit EarlyMusicNow.org.