2023 EMA Summit Presentations

The following sessions will presented at the 2023 EMA Summit. Visit the EMA Summit homepage for information about registration, concerts, and more.

Special Presentations

John Holiday. Photo by Shervin-Lainez

Keynote Conversation with John Holiday
Tuesday, October 24, 3:30-4:30pm

EMA Executive Director David McCormick sits down with countertenor John Holiday to discuss his career which straddles modern and historical performance. Holiday was the subject of an EMAg profile in 2022.

Panel Discussion: Membership Organizations Making Connections
Wednesday, October 25, 3:30-4:30pm

Representatives from the American Recorder Society, Early Music America, Lute Society of America, Historic Brass Society, Historical Keyboard Society of North America, and Viola da Gamba Society of America will discuss the connections they are making and possibilities for the future of historical performance and early music. We are excited to continue the conversation begun during the 2022 EMA Virtual Summit.

Performance & Workshop with ChamberQUEER
Thursday, October 26, 3:30-6:00pm

ChamberQUEER is a multifaceted organization with the mission of presenting and performing queer artists, highlighting historically underrepresented queer figures in classical music, and providing an intersectionally inclusive space within classical music for artists and audience.

Individual Interest Presentations

In alphabetical order by title. Visit the Summit homepage for a detailed schedule.

A Presenter’s Dilemma: Whose Stories are we Telling? (brown bag lunch presentation)
Guests: Byron Schenkman, Liz Kiger, Alvaro Ibarro
Moderators: Gus Denhard (IDEA TF/Early Music Seattle) and Monica Rojas
*Presented by the IDEA TF in partnership with Early Music Seattle

When the dominant culture controls the narrative of history, can the early music we present fully represent the audience we aspire to serve? This panel will center the conversation around best practices in programming decisions that seek to elevate diverse voices in early music in a sensitive, respectful and equitable manner.


Performance: BaroQUEER!
From sarabandes to contredanses and everything in between, CQ explores the influence of dance forms on the canon of early western classical music in Europe and its colonies, as well as their legacy in the music of today. The program recontextualizes “historically informed performance” as a critically conscious conversation with the past, highlighting the co-opting of French and English country dances by the French court as ground zero for a trajectory of musical evolution that includes the disco-influenced Stay on it by Julius Eastman.

CQ co-founders Jules Biber, baroque cello; Danielle Buonaiuto, soprano; and Brian Mummert, baritone, are joined by Keats Dieffenbach, baroque violin; Peter Lim, harpsichord; Elijah McCormack, male soprano; and Rafa Prendergast, baroque violin, with contributions from musicologist Isaac Jean-François.

What can a framework of queer liberation bring to the work that arts organizations are doing to enact progress in inclusion, diversity, equity, and access (IDEA) in early music? In this hands-on workshop, facilitated by ChamberQUEER, a panel of LGBTQ+ musicians, administrators, organizers, and advocates will lead an exploration of what it means to address IDEA from a policy/strategy level, centering the experiences of historically excluded groups. Through an interactive case-study, participants will employ an intersectional approach to these concepts while discussing their own experiences working in classical music. Participants will leave with a more experiential understanding of how IDEA concepts can be applied as values that guide strategic vision, along with helpful resources to aid discussion and policy implementation.

Beyond the Composer: Curating Concerts that Celebrate Overlooked Music-Makers (lecture-performance)
Presenters: Ashley Mulcahy and James Perretta (Lyracle)

While our field still has a lot to gain from celebrating a more diverse group of composers and their works, another way that we can present a fuller and more inclusive picture of historical music making is to look beyond the composer and curate concerts that focus on the experiences of other participants in the music-making process. Drawing on our experiences as a voice and viol ensemble, our presentation will explore strategies for curating programs that encourage audiences to make connections between repertoire and the experiences of a diverse range of historical figures who would otherwise remain overlooked.

Beyond Tokenism: Anti-racism and Gender Justice in Early Music Programming (workshop)
Facilitator: Byron Schenkman, Historical Keyboardist and Artistic Director of Sound Salon

This workshop offers an opportunity for Early Music performers and presenters to explore anti-racism and gender justice in Early Music programming, moving toward a richer and more inclusive field. There is always room for growth in this area and participants will be welcome at any stage of their journeys, whether this is a new concept or something they have been exploring for years. There will be opportunities to share successes as well as challenges, to give feedback on one another’s programming ideas, and to brainstorm new strategies for continuing this work.

Building on Bach: Six New Suites for Solo Cello (lecture-performance)
Presenter: Jessica Korotkin, cello

Inspired by the creative practices of the eighteenth-century performer-composer, I have written six cello suites drawing on the music and compositional methods of Bach. This process has enabled me to expand on my approach to historically informed performance practice through discovering the composer-performer within myself. This lecture-performance will showcase my Bach-inspired Suite in E Minor, and teach attendees how to construct their own Bach-inspired works.

Casting the Castrati Voice: Creating Safe Spaces for the Trans & Non-Binary Community within Early Opera (individual research presentation)
Presenters: Liz Kiger, Director of the Brooklyn Telemann Chamber Society

Casting the Castrati Voice: Creating Safe Spaces for the Trans & Non-Binary Community within Early Opera will explore the history of the Castrati singer and the biomechanics of their voices alongside their training regimens. It will also provide practical insights on inclusivity practices when working with singers who identify as trans or non-binary in a professional or educational environment. Additionally, the presentation will offer potential casting choices within several pieces in the Baroque opera repertoire. This will provide an opportunity to learn about promoting inclusivity and creating safe spaces for trans and non-binary performers in the early music world.

Commanding the Passions: Embodiment and Freedom in Historical Acting Techniques and Performance
Presenter: Eleanor Legault, student of The Juilliard School Historical Performance program, and an alum of the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague.

This presentation will explore the implications of a historical understanding of the passions and how they manifest in the body, and how musicians can use techniques typically prescribed for actors to unlock new understandings in interpreting baroque and classical era repertoire. I utilize acting treatises relating to the baroque period’s understanding of the passions and their expressions from performers onstage. This paper will demonstrate how a historically informed view of music’s connection to the body deepens the performance experience for performers and audience alike, as well as enrich our connection to personal authenticity within the framework of historically informed performance.

Everything You Need to Know About Performing 15th-Century Vocal Ensemble Music – in one hour!
Presenter: Scott Metcalf, Artistic Director of the vocal ensemble Blue Heron

Blue Heron’s artistic director Scott Metcalfe offers a concise lesson in the half dozen or so essential issues confronting the singer of Renaissance ensemble music – voice types and vocal scoring, pitch, chromatic inflections (“ficta”), underlay, tempo and proportions, and just intonation.

Fostering Access and Inclusion in Student Early Music Ensembles (workshop)
Presenter: Angela Mariani, Professor of Musicology and the founder and Director of the Texas Tech Collegium Musicum

Fostering access and inclusion in Student Early Music Ensembles requires us to develop strategies that are creative, flexible, and as diverse as the individual students we are trying to reach. In this workshop I will share some developing thoughts and ideas on this topic (15 min) ; create five breakout groups to discuss five specific questions (20-25 min); and bring everyone back together for a summary of the main insights and ideas generated in our groups (20 min).

The Inquisitive Performer (individual research presentation)
Presentation: Kathryn Cok, Head of Master Research and Teacher Basso Continuo, Historical Keyboard Skills, Royal Conservatoire The Hague

The realms of musicology and performance have historically been separated by a seemingly unbridgeable gulf. Musicologists researched and discovered the “why” behind the repertoire we listen to, and performers were vessels for presenting the same to the public. The past decade has seen a great shift in the way students, educators and especially institutions view the connection between musical artistry and research. This presentation will seek to highlight the current curricular developments in both second- and third-year conservatoire programs in the US and in Europe, highlighting current artistic research projects of students and as well as the presenter.

Music Appreciation as a Tool for Expanding Early Music Perspectives (lecture-performance)
Presenters: Lin Lao, Angelita Berdiales, and Patricía García Gil – Doctoral students, UNC-Greensboro

Born and raised in three different continents, Europe, Asia, and Latin America, we propose (and perform!) alternative possibilities for a potential Early Keyboard Course, by bridging it with a Music Appreciation approach that covers the Early Music realm from a wider perspective and includes a larger cultural background from all over the globe, encouraging diversity, equity, and accessibility.

NAGAMO: A Case Study in Collaboration & Decolonization (lecture-performance)
Presenters: Jacob Gramit, musica intima Artistic Manager, and Andrew Balfour, composer

In the words of Cree composer Andrew Balfour, “NAGAMO (sings in Ojibway) is a reimagining of history. Taking choral music of the Elizabethan masters, I have reshaped the thoughts behind the texts, by changing the Latin to Ojibway or Cree perspectives.” Presented jointly by Balfour and vocal ensemble musica intima, NAGAMO is an important step towards reconciliation between settlers and the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island. Explore the genesis, evolution, and lessons from this collaborative project, and question the role we can play in the decolonization of Early Music.

National commemorations, historical memory, their impact, and good practices for inclusion in cultural spaces (individual research paper)
Presenter: Alvaro Javier Ibarra Sosa

In the year 2021 in Mexico, a series of historic commemorations were organized by the government and different civil society organizations that implied revisionist ideas, which had consequences on society’s opinions on their identity and current human rights conditions in the country. Based on the research results obtained, the presenter will make a series of recommendations for best practices to foster inclusion within cultural management areas.

Renaissance Dance for Everyone (dance workshop)
Presenter: John Tyson, hosted by EMA’s Emerging Professional Leadership Council

Get your Renaissance groove on and trip the light fantastic in this fun, informal Renaissance dance for everyone. Elegant Pavans, energetic Galliards, Almans, Branles – including even a chance to do some acting games. No previous experience necessary. All danes will be called by acclaimed performer John Tyson with musicians Douglas Freundlich and Miyuki Tsurutani. Light refreshments will be provided.

Touring Music’s Stories (special format presentation)
Presenter: Bill Barclay, Artistic Director, Music Before 1800

Telling early music’s stories has never been more important. Yet incorporating narrative with actors, dance, projections, or puppetry can be expensive. Reaching new audiences requires amplifying successful projects by licensing and/or touring successful commissions that tell our stories in a way that is affordable to restage. A new network is required of presenters eager to learn how a successful product can best interface with their ensemble and audience. Drawing from international touring experience with Concert Theatre Works and Shakespeare’s Globe, Music Before 1800’s new Artistic Director Bill Barclay shares his approach with a call to work together on innovation.

Uniting through dance in the 18th Century (performance-workshop)
Presenters: Julia Bengtsson, dancer/choreographer, and Patricía García Gil, fortepiano

This presentation explores the development of the minuet in a combined workshop and performance. The audience will experience a journey through time and space by listening, watching and ultimately moving to music dedicated to the minuet – which dominated the dance floor for almost a century and spread from France across Europe and to the colonies.

The Viol at 430Hz: Making a Place for the Classical Viol (lecture-performance)
Presenter: Jane Leggiero, Doctoral student, Case Western Reserve University

The viola da gamba never “went extinct.” That narrative has been neatly disrupted by the last decade of scholarship documenting continuous interest that connects the viol traditions of the early 18th century through the 19th century into our own time. Focusing on late 18th century Germany and with a particular consideration of issues of performance practice, this lecture recital will consider the music and musicians who brought the viol from “high baroque” to Classical and created music for it that was stylistically up to date with that by better-known composers like CPE Bach, Haydn, and Mozart.

Virtuosity at Home in the 19th century (lecture-performance)
Presenters: Karin Cuellar, violin and Byron Schenkman, fortepiano

When nineteenth century virtuosity is referred to, the household names that most likely come to mind are all Western-European men. It is especially relevant then to challenge and confront head on the musical narrative we have been taught–that of the ontological supremacy of the European canon, which in turn is overwhelmingly male and white–and connect audiences with underrepresented repertories and composers. In this lecture recital, Byron Schenkman (fortepiano) and Karin Cuellar (violin) present Hélène de Montgeroult (1764-1836), Maria Szymanowska (1789-1831), and Pedro Ximenez Abrill Tirado (1784-1856), whose music–composed for the intimacy of the nineteenth century salon–displays unrestrained virtuosity and fantasy.

We’ll Be There!: American Spirituals Black and White 1800-1900 (lecture-performance)
Presented by the Boston Camerata

Separate and unequal were the races in nineteenth century America. Yet the musical evolution of American song cannot be understood, or experienced, without acknowledging the profound interdependency of White and Black repertoires. The deep connections between spiritual repertoires of both communities is the subject of the Boston Camerata’s We’ll be There!: American Spirituals, Black and White, 1800-1900 concert. Key participants in this innovative production will discuss this important music, its spiritual and social context, and our contemporary ways of keeping it alive. 

Scroll to Top