Early Music America Conference: Schedule of Events

    On this page you will find comprehensive information pertaining to the Early Music America Conference Sessions. Use the quick links to the right for easy navigation through the page.


    Day 1; Thursday, June 10
    The Roots of Vespers: Chant and Medieval Vespers

    Morning: Lecture/demos (Ballroom, Berkeley City Club)
    9-10am Singing Divine Praises: the Liturgy of Vespers. A talk on the liturgical structure of the Vespers service by William Mahrt
    10-11am Singing Psalms: Plainchant mode/psalm tone singing and review. A participatory singing session led by Susan Hellauer.
    11-12pm Vespers at Notre Dame circa 1210 with Rebecca Baltzer. This talk on the Vespers of 1210 will focus upon Vespers for the Assumption of the Virgin at Notre-Dame of Paris during the time of Perotin, a liturgy that she has edited for performance. Who did what in the service, and how do we know? When and where could polyphony be included? How does the liturgy differ from that in Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610? And how did people react to music at Notre-Dame in the first quarter of the 13th century?
    Afternoon Participatory Workshops (various locations)
    Choir Rehearsal Room, UC Berkeley
    Chant Camp: Vespers of 1210 with Susan Hellauer and Marsha Genensky of Anonymous 4. If you know and love Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, you’ll know, love and understand it even more deeply after learning the model upon which Monteverdi based his monumental work. Come learn and sing a medieval plainsong Vespers service in honor of the Virgin: versicles, antiphons, psalms, canticles, and the great "Ave maris stella" hymn.
    Upstairs room at FCCB
    Chant and instrumental music: two directions, a workshop by Margriet Tindemans. We'll use the 8th-c hymn Ave maris stella (the same one Monteverdi uses in his Vespers) to compose a two- or three-part clausula in the style of the Notre Dame school, and a two-part version in the highly ornamental style of the Faenza Codex. Musical examples and worksheets will be provided. Bring your instrument and a pencil!


    Day 2; Friday, June 11: Vespers in the Renaissance

    Morning: Lecture/demos (Berkeley City Club)

    A Brief History of Vespers in the Renaissance, with special focus on Dufay at Cambrai by Alejandro Planchart. The lecture begins with a brief description of Roman vespers in the 8th century and how that traveled north, then passes lightly over the middle ages (referencing the Thursday lectures) and picks up again with the first polyphonic vespers repertory after the Notre Dame school (late 14th century) and describes the growth of vespers polyphony in the 15th century and the first systematic cycles of vespers music at the time. Planchart will describe how vespers were done at Cambrai: most of the "who did what" can be described quickly, but he will highlight the special practices of the cathedral. He will then describe the systematization of the vespers repertory in the papal chapel in the late 15th century and early 16th century and the shift in what texts were set to polyphony in northern Italy in the sixteenth century.
    Spanish Renaissance Vespers: Morales and Victoria by William Mahrt.

    Creating a liturgically-based Portuguese Advent Vespers by Joan Kimball and Bob Wiemken. So-called “liturgical reconstruction” as a concert programming idea has become quite popular over the last decade or so, and success in designing and producing such an event depends on several factors, including (1) proper research into historical practice, (2) careful selection of repertoire, (3) thorough knowledge of liturgy, its function and design, (4) sufficient collection and distribution of performing forces, and (5) awareness of the role of theater and drama in the liturgy, among others. Piffaro’s Portuguese Advent Vespers is an example of one such successful product and will serve as the basis of this lecture on building a liturgically-based concert event.
    Afternoon Participatory Workshops (various locations)
    Upstairs Room, FCCB 
    Instrumental workshop on Iberian Vespers with Joan Kimball and Bob Wiemken. Instrumental music served a variety of functions in the festal masses and vespers services on the Iberian peninsula and in the New World. In this workshop we’ll take a look at the music, performed by instruments, that adorned these liturgies, such as the fabordones, tientos, processionals, motets and occasional music that survive in both old and new world sources. Open to all instrumentalists, especially wind players, and to those interested in pursuing these repertoires for their liturgical uses and functions.  
    Choral Rehearsal Room, UC Berkeley
    Choral Workshop on Vestpers by Victoria with William Mahrt.
    Upstairs Room, FCCB 
    Instrumental workshop with Sarah Mead on Instrumental Roots of the Monteverdi Vespers, Part 1. Monteverdi's 1610 Vespers are often approached as vocal music with instrumental accompaniment, but an examination of the partbooks reveals an integrated whole. The instrumentalists who first played Monteverdi's new work would have recognized elements drawn from the rich sound-world of their time, from dances and ricercares to motets and madrigals. Our two afternoon workshops will look at the kinds of music that instrumentalists of Monteverdi's time would have played and how that tradition of consort-playing would have informed their understanding of their role in the Vespers, including excerpts drawn from the Vespers themselves.
    Choral Rehearsal Room, UC Berkeley
    Choral Workshop on Vespers by Dufay with Alejandro Planchart. More than a century before Monteverdi, Du Fay was the first composer ever to undertake a systematic setting of music for vespers. He produced three complete "sets" of vespers, one in plainsong for the Virgin Mary and two in polyphony for St. Francis and St. Anthony, which survive only as fragments. I will bring four or five pieces (all quite short and one long) showing all the kids of things he wrote for vespers: a hymn (Ave maris stella), a Magnificat, a processional, and a Benedicamus plus one of the vespers motets from Cambrai. If people can sight read really well and time permits I will have an "off-topic" piece for the very end, a vespers work from 1545 from this side of the Atlantic.
    Ballroom, Berkeley City Club
    Annual EMA Membership Meeting, Awards Ceremony and Reception


    Day 3; Saturday, June 12; Monteverdi Vespers of 1610

    Morning: Lecture/panels (Berkeley City Club)
    9-10am Clifford Bartlett: Editing the 1610 Vespers for scholars and performers.
    10-11am Instrumentation in the Monteverdi Vespers by Herbert Myers. This presentation will begin with a short review of the instrumentations specified by Monteverdi in the 1610 print; it will then move on to examine in greater detail some of the puzzles left by Monteverdi’s terminology, especially those concerning pitch, the “Fifara/Pifara” problem, and the meaning of “trombone doppio.”  It will conclude with a discussion of the implications for modern performance of some of the inconsistencies of instrumentation found in the Vespers.
    11-12pm Panel discussion about performance decisions in the Monteverdi Vespers of 1610 moderated by EMA Executive Director, Maria Coldwell. Topics will include pitch, high/low clefs; instrumentation; liturgical vs. concert performance; size of chorus; etc. Panelists:  Clifford Bartlett, Herbert Myers, Alejandro Planchart, Gwendolyn Toth, Warren Stewart, Jeffrey Thomas
    Afternoon Participatory Workshops (various locations)
    Upstairs Room, FCCB
    Instrumental workshop with Sarah Mead on Instrumental Roots of the Monteverdi Vespers, Part 2. 
    Choral Rehearsal Hall, UC Berkeley
    Choral reading session of the "other" Magnificat a 6 from the Vespers of 1610 led by Gwendolyn Toth. Generally neglected in favor of the more festive Magnificat a 7 voci & 6 instruments, participants will familiarize themselves with this hidden masterpiece, and will discuss the similarities and differences between the two versions.
    Choral Rehearsal Hall, UC Berkeley
    Reading session of the psalm Nisi dominus from the Vespers of 1610, led by Warren Stewart, using his own edition (prepared for Magnificat’s presentation of the Vespers this spring). Choral & Instrumental together.
    Choral Rehearsal Hall, UC Berkeley
    Reading session of the psalm Lauda Jerusalem from the Vespers of 1610, led by Jeffrey Thomas

    Back to top

    Location Information


    Conference Registration

    • Conference Brochure (PDF file; 112KB)
    • Registration Form (printable) (PDF file; 105KB)

    • Presenter Biographies

      Rebecca A. Baltzer, Professor Emerita of Musicology at the University of Texas at Austin, does research and editing on the music and manuscripts of the Notre-Dame School and Ars Antiqua.

      Clifford Bartlett read English Literature at Cambridge, was a librarian for 20 years (over half with the BBC Music Library), and an early music publisher since 1983. He first heard the Monteverdi Vespers in 1959, first played in it in 1976, produced an edition based on corrected Malipiero for Andrew Parrott's Prom concert and recording. In 1990 he edited and published one from scratch, which has been widely used, and in the UK is the one favored by most 'authentic' ensembles. His edition opened the first Berkeley Festival in 1990. He has edited most of Monteverdi’s church music and the three operas, as well as much Purcell and Handel. He has reviewed music, books and CDs monthly from 1976 in Early Music News and began his own magazine Early Music Review in 1994. He has been involved in various UK early music organizations for forty years.

      Marsha Genensky is a founding member of the vocal ensemble Anonymous 4 with an advanced degree in folklore and folklife from the University of Pennsylvania. Marsha Genensky handles the American music research (American Angels and Gloryland), as well as early language pronunciation and other historical research, for the group. Marsha spent a year as a visiting assistant professor, followed by an additional year as a visiting scholar, at Stanford University. She frequently assists colleague Susan Hellauer in leading West Coast Chant Camps and teaches performance classes and workshops on Anglo-American sacred and secular song.

      Susan Hellauer is a founding member of the vocal ensemble Anonymous 4, who have presented more than 1,000 performances and sold almost 2 million cds worldwide. She holds advanced degrees in musicology from Queens College and Columbia University, and is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music at Queens College, CUNY, teaching courses in the history and performance practice of medieval and Renaissance music, and directing the Collegium Musicum. Under the banner of ChantVillage.com, Susan leads Chant Camps throughout the U.S. and is a frequent guest instructor at early music workshops and college master classes.

      Joan Kimball, co-director and founding member of Piffaro, Joan teaches recorder and early winds to children and adults, and is on the music faculty of The Philadelphia School, an elementary and middle school, where she has a full roster of private recorder students and recorder ensembles. Joan teaches bagpipe, recorder and double reed classes at summer music workshops and festivals.

      William Mahrt, associate professor of music at Stanford University, directs the Stanford Early Music Singers and the St. Ann Choir (a 25-member group that participates in weekly lauds, vespers and compline, as well as the great polyphonic Renaissance Masses sung on some dozen feast days a year). He has published numerous articles on medieval and Renaissance music and has served President of the Church Music Association of America, and editor of Sacred Music.

      Sarah Mead, 2007 winner of Early Music America's Thomas Binkley Award, is Associate Professor of the Practice at Brandeis University, where she directs the Early Music Ensemble and is a frequent guest choral conductor. A sought-after clinician and lecturer at early music workshops throughout North America, she has also been an international guest tutor in the UK and Australia. Her writings on the practical application of 16th-century music theory are widely used in university classrooms. She is Music Director for the annual Conclave of the Viola da Gamba Society of America.

      Herbert Myers is Lecturer in Early Winds at Stanford University; he is also curator of Stanford’s collections for musical instruments. AS a member of the Concert Ensemble of the New York Pro Musica from 1970-1973 her toured extensively throughout North and South America, performing on a vairetiy of early winds and string; currently he performs with The Whole Noyse and Jubilate.

      Alejandro Planchart is Professor Emeritus of Music at UCSB. He is a music historian, composer, and conductor, whose main fields of work as historian are Latin plainsong and the music of the 15th century, and as a performer the entire repertory from pre-Gregorian chant to Mozart and Haydn. He received the Howard M Brown award from EMA in 2006 and the Arion Award from the Cambridge Society for Early Music in 2009.

      Warren Stewart, director of Magnificat, has established a reputation for expressive and thought-provoking interpretations of standard repertoire and modern premieres of forgotten masterworks. He has prepared modern editions of numerous works and reconstructions of historic Roman and Lutheran liturgies.

      Margriet Tindemans has performed, recorded, and taught early music on four continents, with many of the leading ensembles performing medieval music, including Sequentia, the Huelgas Ensemble, and Anonymous 4. She has been called a rare combination of charismatic performing and inspiring teaching, a scholar with a profound knowledge of music, poetry and art of the Middle Ages – “a national treasure”. She directs the Medieval Women’s Choir of Seattle.

      Jeffrey Thomas, Artistic and Music Director of the American Bach Soloists, is recognized worldwide as one of the foremost interpreters of the music of Bach and the Baroque. He is professor of music (Barbara K. Jackson Chair in Choral Conducting) at the University of California, Davis, where he was a Chancellor's Fellow from 2001 to 2006.

      Gwendolyn Toth is a conductor and early keyboard player. She directs the New York City ensemble ARTEK and teaches at Hunter College, Montclair State University, and Manhattan College, and is music director at Immanuel Lutheran Church in NYC.

      Bob Wiemken is Artistic Co-Director of Piffaro, The Renaissance Band with which ensemble he performs on Renaissance and early Baroque double reed instruments, recorders and percussion. For Piffaro’s concert series, celebrating its 25th anniversary next year, he has researched, designed and produced over 100 programs, including several liturgical reconstructions. He spent 20 years as director of Early Music Ensembles at Temple University’s Esther Boyer College of Music and Dance and currently teaches in workshops and festivals throughout the country.

      Return to the Complete Guide to the 2010 Berkeley Festival page.

      Back to top