SFEMS announces its first summer Mini-Festival

Join The San Francisco Early Music Society on June 3 for a full day celebrating the Bay Area’s rich and diverse early music scene.

One of the nation’s leading organizations for the advancement of early music, the San Francisco Early Music Society (SFEMS), has announced it will host its first-ever Summer Mini-Festival. SFEMS’ first-ever Summer Mini-Festival will not only showcase leading performers from the Bay Area’s celebrated early music scene, but also invite audiences to expand their definition of what early music might be.

The Summer Mini-Festival will be held at First Church Berkeley UCC (First Congregational) on Saturday, June 3, and include an all-levels choral workshop with Magen Solomon (San Francisco Bach Choir; San Francisco Choral Artists); a lecture on Johann Sebastian Bach by Kip Cranna (San Francisco Opera); and performances by Harmonia Felice, Beneath a Tree, Nash Baroque, Sikh Heritage Symphony, and by musicians from the Junior Bach Festival.

“I hope our Mini-Festival encourages audiences to expand their definition of what early music is, but also how they may actively participate in our community,”  –Derek Tam, SFEMS executive director 

“I’m particularly excited about the Sikh Heritage Symphony, who will show us how historically informed performance is not merely a Western art music phenomenon. I’m also pleased that we’re supporting our field’s future with performances from two amazing young musicians from the Junior Bach Festival, as well as encouraging amateur participation through our choral workshop.”

The Mini-Festival will conclude SFEMS’ 46th season of concert performances, as well as set the stage for five weeks of summer workshops. So don’t miss SFEMS’ Summer Mini-Festival, Saturday, June 3—a whole festival’s worth of early music in a single day! Tickets are available at sfems.org.

When: June 3, 2023, 11:00 am to 6:30 pm


11:00 am Choral Workshop with Magen Solomon

Warm up your vocal cords with a selection of sacred and secular early music gems! Magen will lead you through an early music singing romp featuring three- and four-part music from the Renaissance to the present day.  

2:00 pm – Concert: Harmonia Felice, Beneath a Tree, and Junior Bach Festival’s Emil Ma 

From the noble sonorities of Harmonia Felice to the Baroque-to-folk stylings of Beneath a Tree, you’ll enjoy an eclectic sampling of music across time and space. 

3:30 PM Lecture by Kip Cranna—If Only He Had Written an Opera: Johann Sebastian Bach Ever wondered why Bach never wrote an opera? Find out, in a FREE lecture by San Francisco Opera Dramaturg Emeritus Kip Cranna.

5:00 pm– Concert: Nash Baroque, Sikh Heritage Symphony, and Junior Bach Festival’s Shuxian Ding

Immerse yourself in two very different, but equally compelling musical cultures: 18th-century France and classical Sikh music. 

Where: First Congregational Church of Berkeley (2345 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA 94704)

Pricing: Ticket prices range from $20 to $35; Kip Cranna’s lecture is free. (registration required)

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: sfems.org or call 510-528-1725. 

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