Music Before 1800 Announces Season 46

We will have four intimate, hour-long virtual concerts: 

May 2: Diderot String Quartet will launch the season with From Russia with Love: String Quartets for Catherine the Great. You will be introduced to the composer Anton Ferdinand Titz and have the opportunity to enjoy a string quartet by Haydn.

May 23 & June 13: Harpsichordist Aya Hamada’s Portraits et Caractères: Couperin, Rameau, Duphly will be complemented by Peter Sykes’s Byways and Backwaters: German Harpsichord Music Not By J. S. Bach.

June 27: The final event, Plein Jeu, will introduce two virtuosos: Martin Bernstein, recorder, and Justin Taylor, harpsichord, sharing music ranging from Louis Couperin and Jacques Boyvin through François Francœur and Jean-Baptiste Forqueray.

We will also have three Sunday afternoon free virtual lectures:

February 14: Louise Basbas with Henry LeeForty-five Years of New Performances of “Music Before 1800” 

March 7: Tina ChanceyMachaut Meets Fairbanks: Making Early Music Scores for Silent Films

April 11: Susan Hellauer with Clifton BoydJim Crow and Zip Coon: Racial Stereotypes in American Popular Music

To be sure, the immediate and long-range future will have familiar and new elements but will include both live and virtual components. For MB1800 that means the full spectrum of repertoire, beginning with medieval music. We look forward to engaging wonderful artists whose events were cancelled in the upcoming seasons: Machaut by the Czech Republic’s Tiburtina, Ockeghem by Boston’s Blue Heron, Christmas music from the Western Hemisphere by Houston’s Ars Lyrica, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Lon Chaney, 1923) with a medieval live music “soundtrack” by Tina Chancey’s Hesperus.

The board and staff have been hard at work and are committed to the future of the series. The budget for the 46th season is lean and without frills. Earned income from ticket sales will be greatly reduced so your personal contributions as well as foundation, city and state funding are crucial. Your support is our lifeline, enabling us to continue working and to create these events.

Tickets for our virtual four-concert season will go on sale in March 2021. In the meantime, save the dates and consider endorsing our work with a coveted donation.

(Updated March 2021)