Early Music Foundation 50th Anniversary – October 2024

Month-Long City-Wide NEW YORK EARLY MUSIC CELEBRATION to Include Golden Anniversary Concert by Early Music New York – Frederick Renz, Director

Early Music Foundation (EMF) and Frederick Renz, Founding Director of both EMF and its performance ensemble Early Music New York (EM/NY), will host and promote a month-long series of events in connection with the 50th anniversaries of both entities this fall.

2024 also marks the 20th anniversary of the first EMF-coordinated city-wide NEW YORK EARLY MUSIC CELEBRATION, which established New York as an international center for historically informed performance. EMF, through its service-to-the-community arm New York Early Music Central (NYEMC) will manage the eighth Celebration for October 2024.

Key events during the Celebration will include:

  • A PANEL DISCUSSION co-hosted with Early Music America: “Early Music in New York, Then and Now,” at First Church of Christ, Scientist on Tuesday, October 1
  • A 50th ANNIVERSARY CONCERT by Early Music New York – Frederick Renz, Director, at First Church of Christ, Scientist on Saturday, October 26
  • The first FREDERICK RENZ HISTORICALLY INFORMED PERFORMANCE (HIP) AWARD
  • An ONLINE AUCTION OF HIP MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

“Five decades with EMF is only part of the story,” says Mr. Renz. “My involvement in HIP performance in New York City actually extends back six years further to 1968, when I joined New York Pro Musica as harpsichord soloist. I am gratified to have played a significant role in the integration of historically informed performance into the fabric of New York’s musical life, though hundreds of concerts with Early Music New York, both here and on tour worldwide; as well as the work of the Early Music Foundation and New York Early Music Central. The 2024 Celebration will serve to acknowledge this legacy in the richness of HIP performances available throughout the city, not only in October but year-round.”

The service organization Early Music America, an integral participant in the first two Celebrations in 2004 and 2007, will help kick off the 2024 edition. Executive Director David McCormick says, “Early Music America is so pleased to partner with Early Music Foundation to celebrate the vibrant and eclectic early music scene in New York City. We are excited to co-present a panel discussion that will examine the evolving early music ecosystem in New York, with an eye towards what this history can tell us about the bright future of the movement.”

Robert Aubry Davis, producer and host of the public radio programs ”Millennium of Music” and “Baroque and Beyond,” will moderate a panel representing a wide range of New York’s early music community of performers and presenters. The event, open to the public, will take place at First Church of Christ, Scientist, Central Park West and 68th Street in New York City, on Tuesday, October 1 at 7:30 PM.

Early Music New York’s chamber orchestra will perform a landmark 50th anniversary concert on Saturday, October 26 at 7:30 PM at First Church of Christ, Scientist. Detailed information will be announced over the summer.

A benefit auction of HIP musical instruments acquired by EMF throughout its existence will be mounted online as part of the Celebration. Catalogue and bidding details will be available July 1.

EMF’s first Frederick Renz Award for Historically Informed Performance will be granted to an ensemble (or ensembles) presenting a concert during the 2024 Celebration. Further eligibility criteria and other details will be announced soon.

All artists, ensembles and presenters of historically informed performance events in New York City during the month of October are invited to participate in the New York Early Music Celebration. NYEMC will provide a promotional/marketing ‘umbrella’ to supplement their efforts.

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Background Information

FREDERICK RENZ – DIRECTOR

Frederick Renz, Founder/Director of the Early Music Foundation, is internationally acclaimed for his work as a conductor, producer, director, performer and scholar, presenting music and music drama from the eleventh through the eighteenth centuries. He has received commissions from the Spoleto Festival, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and individual grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ingram Merrill Foundation. A doctorate honoris causa was conferred upon Mr. Renz by the State University of New York, Fredonia. Detailed bio available on request; comprehensive bio also accessible via the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians / Grove Music Online.

EARLY MUSIC FOUNDATION

Early Music Foundation (EMF) is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1974. Under the leadership of Frederick Renz, EMF’s mission is to foster public understanding and appreciation of music and music drama from the eleventh through the eighteenth centuries.

Early Music Foundation’s presenting arm, Early Music New York – Frederick Renz, Director, was established in 1974 and invited as Artist-in-Residence by the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City. EMF manages the recording label Ex cathedra Records, and administers the service-to-the-field project “New York Early Music Central” (NYEMC), sponsoring/managing city-wide festivals serving the NYC historically informed artist community.

About the New York Early Music Celebration

An EMF Service-to-the-Field project, this festival is designed to showcase New York’s historically informed performance artists, ensembles and presenters.


In the Celebration’s 2004 inaugural year, EMF organized a city-wide early music celebration that spawned sixty-plus events. In 2007, the number of participants grew to more than ninety. In 2010, EMF together with the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Concerts & Lectures and Musical Instruments Departments combined resources to co-produce a day-long Early Music Festival.


In 2013, the festival concept was enhanced by introducing a national theme, Pro Musica Polonica, with select foreign guests. The 2015 festival’s national theme was titled El Nuevo Mundo, showcasing music and ensembles from Latin America and Iberia; and the 2017 festival was titled The Low Countries, featuring music and guest artists from Flanders and Holland. Ex Borealis (2019) focused on repertoire from the Nordic and Baltic regions, not often heard in New York, and included artists and ensembles from those areas.


2024 will mark both the 50th anniversary of the Early Music Foundation, and the 20th anniversary of the first New York Early Music Celebration. The forthcoming festival, as in previous years, is open to all NYC historical performance artists, ensembles and presenters, as well as touring HIP artists appearing in New York during that time period. EMF’s principal role will be to augment promotional efforts of all participants via an umbrella marketing budget for the full Celebration, encompassing a brochure, radio ads, social media and public relations.


This eighth Celebration endeavor will be another noteworthy event – an opportunity for the New York Early Music Community to reinforce its presence, qualitative and quantitative, on the City’s cultural scene.

For additional information, photos/graphic images and interview requests, contact:

Daniel Guss, Public Relations:

[email protected], phone 212-749-6600

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