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Lee McRae (1923–2016)

Helping Others Discover Early Music The death of Lee McRae on June 1, a few weeks before her 93rd birthday, adds a bittersweet touch to the San Francisco Early Music Society’s 40th anniversary and to this year’s Berkeley Festival, just two of the many institutions to which she contributed, but it also gives us a […]

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Who We Are—What We Have Created

This is a quiet week for early music in the Bay Area—a late Spring Break, so to speak, after the regular seasons of our resident groups have ended and preparations for next week’s Early Music Bonanza are being finalized. The only concert, in fact, is a Festival preview Thursday noon by upcoming Fringe ensemble La […]

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THE READER

The Indispensable Guide to a Remarkable Week When you arrive at the Festival, one of the first things to do is pick up a copy of the 2016 BERKELEY FESTIVAL & EXHIBITION READER. This beautiful and comprehensive guidebook offers you—all in one place—everything you need to know to get maximum enjoyment from our week-long musical […]

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Keyboard Revelations

Time is short, so let me just say this flat out. If you don’t have tickets yet to hear Kristian Bezuidenhout at the 2016 Berkeley Festival, get them now. There are rare performances that go well past great, beyond memorable, surpassing even some ideal of “perfection.” They are revelations, fundamentally changing how we perceive music. […]

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Expose Yourself to Great Art

. . . at the 2016 Berkeley Festival Exhibition and Marketplace! Among the lost treasures lamented by those who remember the early days of SFEMS, the late Ken Johnson’s Musica Antiqua holds a high place. It was a wonderful, early music store on California Street in San Francisco, carrying a wide range of historical instruments—winds, […]

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Parthenia—Grace and Energy

One of the fine ensembles making their debut at the 2016 Berkeley Festival will be Parthenia, a consort of viols. They will be doing two different concert programs, one by the quartet that explores the gamba repertory from the time of Shakespeare, the other a greatest hits program with guests Robert Mealy and Shira Kammen, […]

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Luminous Voices Return

Another of Berkeley Festival Director Robert Cole’s string of perceptive picks will return to the Festival Main Stage this June. Award-winning Belgian vocal ensemble Vox Luminis, who made their American debut at the 2014 Festival, will again offer a pair of concerts, one focusing on the Bach dynasty and the other on two giants of […]

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