Music Before 1800 Announces Season 48

Music Before 1800’s 48th season is filled with singing. We are presenting soloists and ensembles with repertoire ranging from the 12th-century Hildegard of Bingen to 19th-century spirituals, our new American Roots initiative.

We cannot wait for the return of Vox Luminis and Cappella Pratensis, whose absence we lamented during the pandemic. And after delays, at last we are hosting the North American debut of Tiburtina, an all-women ensemble from the Czech Republic, with six singers who specialize in medieval music. The program consists of music by the renowned mystic and multi-faceted genius, Hildegard of Bingen.

Of course, we do not slight our excellent home-bred performers.

The season begins on October 2 with the long-awaited MB1800 debut of Boston Camerata, inaugurating our American Roots focus with We’ll Be There: American Spirituals, Black and White, 1800-1900. We welcome Anne Azéma, director emeritus Joel Cohen, and seven singers plus a fiddle, guitar, bass, and keyboard.

Les Delices’s director and oboist Debra Nagy brings string players and the virtuoso flutist Emi Ferguson in a program of works from the eves of the French and Haitian Revolutions. A new work by Haitian composer Sydney Guillaume complements music by Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, and Luigi Boccherini.

Blue Heron’s diverse and imaginative programs always surprise and amaze us. This season’s offering is a musical valentine, celebrating Petrarch. The six singers are joined by two actors, one speaking Italian and the other English.

Twelfth Night is a new string ensemble of recent Juilliard alumni led by Rachell Ellen Wong, violin, and David Belkovski, harpsichord. The group’s Handel program features Aminta e Fillide, a cantata for two singers—Jessica Niles, soprano, and Xenia Puskarz Thomas, mezzo-soprano.

And we extend our traditional welcome to the latest iteration of baroque virtuosi from Juilliard’s Historical Performance Program. This year they celebrate The Splendors of Dresden under the guidance of British harpsichordist and conductor, Laurence Cummings.

We have eight Sunday afternoon concerts at Corpus Christi Church. Virtual concerts are presented a week after each respective in-person event and remain viewable for two weeks. See you then!

Sunday afternoon concerts at 4 p.m.
Corpus Christi Church, 529 West 121st Street, Manhattan

October 2—The Boston Camerata
We’ll Be There: American Spirituals, Black and White, 1800-1900

October 23—Vox Luminis
Bach: The Arnstadt Connection

December 11—Juilliard415 with Laurence Cummings
The Splendors of Dresden

January 15—Twelfth Night
Aminta e Fillide

February 5—Les Délices
Winds of Change

February 19—Blue Heron
Un Petrarchino cantato: Petrarch’s Canzoniere in Song

April 16—Cappella Pratensis
Canons of Beauty: Josquin and Mouton

May 7—Tiburtina Ensemble
Celestial Harmony: Music for the Heavenly Court by Hildegard of Bingen

Programs are subject to change.

Please note: Virtual concerts are released one week after each respective in-person event and remain viewable for two weeks.

Save the dates! Subscriptions go on sale May 26 and single tickets July 12.