Boston Early Music Festival Announces 2021-2022 Season

  • BEMF returns to in-person performances with 9 programs in Greater Boston;
  • All programs will be available for virtual viewing following the in-person performance;
  • COVID-19 safety protocols to include required vaccinations and masks, reduced seating capacity, and other measures to safeguard our patrons;
  • The GRAMMY Award-winning BEMF Chamber Opera Series returns with a double-bill of masterpieces by Telemann;
  • Returning artists and ensembles include Jordi Savall & Le Concert des Nations, The Tallis Scholars, Stile Antico, Piffaro, Ensemble Correspondances, and more.

Cambridge, MA– Subscription packages and individual tickets are now on sale for the Boston Early Music Festival’s 2021–2022 Season featuring 9 programs in Boston and Cambridge, our first public performances since February 2020. Following a season of virtual events and the June 2021 Virtual Festival, all 2021–2022 Season programs will be recorded for a subsequent virtual premiere. A highlight of our 32nd annual concert series will be the return of the BEMF Chamber Opera Series with a brand-new production led by BEMF’s GRAMMY-winning Musical Directors, Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs.

“One of the nation’s foremost Early Music organizations.”
–The New Yorker

The last year and a half have brought unprecedented challenges, and all of us at BEMF are profoundly grateful for the support and encouragement of our global fan base. As we return to in-person performances with our 2021–2022 Season, the health and safety of our audience, employees, and artists is our highest priority. We have developed safety protocols to ensure that we reopen our doors in a safe and responsible manner—following guidance from medical professionals and the best practices for our industry.

BEMF is joining many of our colleagues around Boston in requiring patrons to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated. Patrons may use either paper or electronic documentation. Exceptions will be made for children under 12 and persons with a medical condition or a sincerely held religious belief that prevents vaccination. Patrons who require an exception will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance. All staff and musicians will also be required to be vaccinated.

In addition, we will require patrons to wear a well-fitted mask covering their nose and mouth at ALL times at the concert venue, including throughout the performance. We will be reducing capacity significantly to ensure socially distanced seating at all venues and will not be offering ticket sales or ticket pick-up at the concert venue. For our patrons who cannot—or chose not to—attend a performance after a ticket purchase has been made, we are offering free ticket exchanges and refunds for all in-person performances up to 2 hours before concert start time, as well as Virtual Ticket options for all events.

As the global pandemic is still a developing situation, we anticipate these protocols will evolve in the months ahead. Patrons should periodically visit to review our current safety policies.

For the 2021–2022 Season, all of our programs will be available for virtual viewing starting one to two weeks after the performance on our secure, online platform. This added convenience offers our patrons—in Boston and around the world—options to enjoy all 9 programs. BEMF will be working in partnership with Ball Square Films and videographer Kathy Wittman, and award-winning Recording Engineer Antonio Oliart Ros to record the live performances of our 2021–2022 Season. They will collaborate with our presented artists and ensembles to produce fully edited concert videos of their performances with BEMF to share with ticket buyers. Virtual Tickets will be included FREE with all in-person tickets or can be purchased on their own.

BEMF opens our 2021–2022 Season in Boston with the return of the all-star Boston Early Music Festival Vocal & Chamber Ensembles on Saturday, October 16, 2021 at 7:30pm at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall in Boston. GRAMMY-winning Musical Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs lead these world-class singers and instrumentalists in selections from Monteverdi’s late vocal works on the subject of love. Featured singers include sopranos Danielle Reutter-Harrah and Teresa Wakim, mezzo-soprano Cecilia Duarte, tenors Jason McStoots and Aaron Sheehan, and bass-baritone Jonathan Woody.

Since 1980, the multi-instrumentalists of Piffaro have delighted audiences with polished performances of the diverse wind music of the late Medieval and Renaissance periods. On Sunday, November 14, 2021 at 4pm at First Lutheran Church in Boston, the ensemble returns to BEMF as part of their final season with retiring founders and Artistic Directors Joan Kimball and Bob Wiemken for a program featuring a vibrant selection of Renaissance counterpoint from Josquin, Morales, Gabrieli, and many others.

Enjoy a double bill of vocal masterworks by Georg Philipp Telemann as BEMF’s own GRAMMY-winning Chamber Opera Series presents his comic intermezzo Pimpinone alongside his dramatic cantata Ino. Inspired by the comic intermezzi of Pergolesi, Pimpinone approaches social class and seduction with stylish slapstick and evocative humanity, while the cantata Ino is a true hidden gem written late in Telemann’s life, full of scintillating theatrics and show-stopping virtuosity. Don’t miss this “popular tradition among local early music fans” (The Boston Globe) on Thanksgiving weekend in Boston, Saturday, November 27, 2021 at 8pm and Sunday, November 28, 2021 at 3pm at NEC’s Jordan Hall.

GRAMMY-winning Musical Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs join acclaimed Stage Directors Gilbert Blin and Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière to lead this side-splitting romp through the battle of the sexes. Starring in Pimpinone will be stellar soprano Danielle Reutter-Harrah as Vespetta alongside thrilling baritone Douglas Williams in the title role, while Ino will feature celebrated soprano Amanda Forsythe. Rounding out the directorial team will be Concertmaster Robert Mealy leading the Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Ensemble, Dance Director Melinda Sullivan, Costume Designers Gilbert Blin & Meriem Bahri, and Executive Producer Kathleen Fay.

Celebrate the holiday season on Friday, December 10, 2021 at 8pm at St. Paul Church, Cambridge as Peter Phillips leads the legendary voices of The Tallis Scholars in a program honoring the incomparable composer Josquin des Prez on the 500th anniversary of his death. One of Early Music’s truly essential ensembles, the centerpiece of their program is Josquin’s monumental and sublimely beautiful Missa Hercules Dux Ferrarie, which is interwoven with motets by Renaissance masters Byrd and Palestrina.

Working without a conductor, the intensely collaborative singers of Stile Antico have won acclaim as one of the world’s most vibrant and expressive vocal ensembles. They return to BEMF on Friday, February 18, 2022 at 8pm at St. Paul Church, Cambridge with a program that charts a course from twilight to dawn, echoing both the rhythms of church liturgy and the medieval experience of night, seductive and unsettling in equal measure.

For more than a half century, Jordi Savall has built a legacy as one of the most engaging musical personalities of his generation. A favorite of BEMF audiences since our very first Concert Season, he returns on Friday, February 25, 2022 at 8pm at St. Paul Church, Cambridge, with his renowned ensemble Le Concert des Nations, performing music by Rameau, Marais, Philidor, and Rebel, written for the grand royal concerts of Louis XIII, Louis XIV, and Louis XV of France.

Musical Co-Director of Les Arts Florissants Paul Agnew makes his BEMF conducting début in a unique collaboration with singers and instrumentalists from New York City’s Juilliard415 and Royal Early Music of the Hague on Saturday, March 26, 2022 at 8pm at First Church in Cambridge, Congregational. Their program features Carl Philipp Emanuel’s rarely heard oratorio, Die Israeliten in der Wüste, an audacious depiction of the suffering of the Israelites in the desert, which was specifically intended not only for the church but also for the concert hall.

On Saturday, April 2, 2022 at 8pm at NEC’s Jordan Hall, experience a thrilling collaboration between two Early Music superstars: soprano Carolyn Sampson and fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout. The acclaimed duo present a recital of music by Mozart, Haydn, and their contemporaries that explores themes of love and separation to richly varied effect.

Sébastien Daucé and Ensemble Correspondances are renowned for recordings and performances of Baroque masterpieces that merge passion and elegance. They return to BEMF on Friday, April 29, 2022 at 8pm at St. Paul Church in Cambridge for the final concert of the Season. They explore two approaches to the Passion story from 17th-century Germany, Buxtehude’s seven-part cycle of Passion cantatas, Membra Jesu nostri, and Da Jesus an dem Kreuze stund by Schütz, written around the seven words of Christ on the cross.

Subscriptions and individual tickets go on sale on Tuesday, September 7, 2021 through the Boston Early Music Festival Box Office at 617-661-1812 or online at Discounted subscription packages start as low as $81 for three in-person programs or $40.50 for three Virtual Tickets.

The 2021–2022 Boston Early Music Festival Concert Series is presented with support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Constellation Charitable Foundation, 99.5 WCRB: Classical Radio Boston, a service of WGBH, ArtsBoston, and the Cambridge Community Foundation.

Recognized as the preeminent early music presenter and Baroque opera producer in North America, the Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF) has been credited with securing Boston’s reputation as “America’s early music capital” (The Boston Globe). Founded in 1981, BEMF offers diverse programs and activities, including one GRAMMY Award-winning and four GRAMMY Award-nominated opera recordings, an annual concert series that brings early music’s brightest stars to the Boston and New York concert stages, and a biennial week-long Festival and Exhibition recognized as the “world’s leading festival of early music” (The Times, London). The 22nd Boston Early Music Festival will take place from June 4-11, 2023, and will feature the fully staged North American premiere of Henry Demarest’s Circé. BEMF’s Artistic Leadership includes Artistic Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, Opera Director Gilbert Blin, Orchestra Director Robert Mealy, and Dance Director Melinda Sullivan.

For more information, images, press tickets, or to schedule an interview, please contact Kathleen Fay at 617-661-1812 or email [email protected].


BEMF Vocal & Chamber Ensembles
Paul O’Dette & Stephen Stubbs, 
Musical­­ Directors
Danielle Reutter-Harrah & Teresa Wakim, soprano; Cecilia Duarte, mezzo-soprano;
Jason McStoots & Aaron Sheehan, tenor; Jonathan Woody, bass-baritone
Saturday, October 16, 2021, 7:30pm
New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall (30 Gainsborough Street, Boston, MA)
Monteverdi: Here I am, ready for kisses!
Tickets: $80 – $50 – $30; Virtual Tickets: $15
VIRTUAL PREMIERE: Saturday, October 30, 2021 at 8pm (ET)
Available to watch until November 13, 2021 at 11:59pm (ET)

Joan Kimball & Bob Wiemken, Artistic Directors
Sunday, November 14, 2021, 4pm
First Lutheran Church (299 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA)
Point/Counterpoint: Fuguing in Renaissance Music
Tickets: $80 – $50 – $30; Virtual Tickets: $15
VIRTUAL PREMIERE: Friday, November 26, 2021 at 8pm (ET)
Available to watch until December 9, 2021 at 11:59pm (ET)

BEMF Chamber Opera Series presents
Telemann’s Pimpinone and Ino
Paul O’Dette & Stephen Stubbs, Musical Directors
Gilbert Blin & Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière, Stage Directors
Robert Mealy, Concertmaster; Melinda Sullivan, Dance Director
Danielle Reutter-Harrah, Vespetta; Douglas Williams, Pimpinone
Amanda Forsythe, soprano
Saturday, November 27, 2021, 8pm
Sunday, November 28, 2021, 3pm
New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall (30 Gainsborough Street, Boston, MA)
Tickets: $80 – $50 – $30; Virtual Tickets: $15
VIRTUAL PREMIERE: Saturday, December 11, 2021 at 8pm (ET)
Available to watch until December 25, 2021 at 11:59pm (ET)

The Tallis Scholars
Peter Phillips, director
Friday, December 10, 2021, 8pm

St. Paul Church, Cambridge (29 Mt. Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA)
Josquin 500: Music of Josquin, Palestrina, and Byrd
Tickets: $80 – $50 – $30; Virtual Tickets: $15
VIRTUAL PREMIERE: Friday, December 17, 2021 at 8pm (ET)
Available to watch until December 24, 2021 at 11:59pm (ET)

Stile Antico
Friday, February 18, 2022, 8pm

St. Paul Church, Cambridge (29 Mt. Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA)
Toward the Dawn: A musical journey from evening to sunrise
Tickets: $80 – $50 – $30; Virtual Tickets: $15
VIRTUAL PREMIERE: Friday, March 4, 2022 at 8pm (ET)
Available to watch until March 18, 2022 at 11:59pm (ET)

Jordi Savall, director, Le Concert des Nations
Friday, February 25, 2022 at 8pm
St. Paul Church, Cambridge (29 Mt. Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA)
Les fêtes royales in Baroque Versailles
Tickets: $80 – $50 – $30; Virtual Tickets: $15
VIRTUAL PREMIERE: Friday, March 11, 2022 at 8pm (ET)
Available to watch until March 25, 2022 at 11:59pm (ET)

Juilliard415 & Royal Early Music
Paul Agnew, director
Saturday, March 26, 2022, 8pm
First Church in Cambridge, Congregational (11 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA)
C. P. E. Bach: Der Israeliten in der Wüste
Tickets: $80 – $50 – $30; Virtual Tickets: $15
VIRTUAL PREMIERE: Friday, April 8, 2022 at 8pm (ET)
Available to watch until April 22, 2022 at 11:59pm (ET)

Carolyn Sampsonsoprano & Kristian Bezuidenhoutfortepiano
Saturday, April 2, 2022, 8pm
New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall (30 Gainsborough Street, Boston, MA)
Songs of Parting: Music by Mozart, Haydn, and others
Tickets: $80 – $50 – $30; Virtual Tickets: $15
VIRTUAL PREMIERE: Saturday, April 9, 2022 at 8pm (ET)
Available to watch until April 23, 2022 at 11:59pm (ET)

Ensemble Correspondances
Sébastien Daucé
Friday, April 29, 2022, 8pm
St. Paul Church, Cambridge (29 Mt. Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA)
Septem verba & Membra Jesu Nostri: Music of Buxtehude and Schütz
Tickets: $80 – $50 – $30; Virtual Tickets: $15
VIRTUAL PREMIERE: Friday, May 13, 2022 at 8pm (ET)
Available to watch until May 27, 2022 at 11:59pm (ET)

Dates, times, venues, artists, and programs are subject to change.


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