Early Music America Announces Annual Awards

1 Jun 2008

(SEATTLE, WA)—Early Music America, the national service organization for the field of early music, announces the winners of its 2008 awards recognizing outstanding accomplishments in early music. These awards will be presented at the EMA Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony at the Berkeley Festival on June 6, 2008 at 3 p.m. in the Homeroom at International House, 2299 Piedmont Ave., Berkeley, CA.

Robert Cole will receive the Howard Mayer Brown Award for lifetime achievement in the field of early music. Mr. Cole has been Director of Cal Performances at the University of California, Berkeley, since 1986. In 1990, he founded the Berkeley Festival & Exhibition, an international festival of early music, which has become one of the premier events of its kind. Hundreds of concerts and performances have taken place under the aegis of the Berkeley Festival, including such highlights as the first modern-day performance of Alessandro Scarlatti’s L’Aldimiro (1996); the American premiere of choreographer Mark Morris’s reinvention of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s comic opera-ballet Platée (1998); and the historically reconstructed equestrian pageant Le Carrousel du Roi (2000 and 2002). Prior to his appointment at Cal Performances, Cole served as Director of several performing arts centers in New York, and as Music Director and Executive Director of the Ballet Society of Los Angeles. Mr. Cole has an MA in music from the University of Southern California, and studied conducting with Richard Lert and Ingolf Dahl in California, with Leonard Bernstein and Leon Barzin at the Tanglewood Music Center, and with Hans Swarowsky in Europe. In 1995, Cole was made Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by France’s Minister of Culture. In 1997, he received the Berkeley Citation, the campus’s highest administrative award, and in 1998, the William Dawson Award for Programmatic Excellence from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters. He has served as a board member of Early Music America, the San Francisco Early Music Society, and the International Society of the Performing Arts.

Hank Knox will receive the Thomas Binkley Award for outstanding achievement in performance and scholarship by the director of a university or college Collegium Musicum. Mr. Knox directs the Early Music program at McGill University, Montreal, where he teaches harpsichord and figured bass accompaniment, coaches chamber music ensembles, and conducts the McGill Baroque Orchestra. He has been a William Dawson Scholar in recognition of his work in Early Music since 2003. In collaboration with Opera McGill, he has directed productions of Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas, Handel’s Giulio Cesare, Alcina, Semele, and Radamisto, Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, Telemann’s Don Quichotte, Les sauvages from Rameau’s Les indes galantes, and Peri’s Euridice. Mr. Knox studied harpsichord with John Grew at McGill and with Kenneth Gilbert in Paris. He has given numerous harpsichord recitals and is a founding member of Ensemble Arion, with whom he has toured Europe, the Americas, and Japan. He has performed, recorded, and toured with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra of Toronto. He has released solo recordings on ATMA Classique and the early-music.com labels.

Arcadia Players is the recipient of the Early Music Outreach Award, which honors ensembles or individual artists for excellence in early music outreach and/or educational projects for children or adults. The Arcadia Players was founded in 1989 by Margaret Irwin-Brandon to perform the music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in the spirit and style of the period in which the music was composed. Now in its nineteenth season, Arcadia Players is directed by Ian Watson and presents a series of ten concerts each year in several communities in western Massachusetts. Arcadia Players is in residence at the Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. In the fall of 2007 Arcadia Players launched a pilot Concert Education Program. In conjunction with Springfield Public Schools, the ensemble developed a detailed curriculum for 5th graders introducing Baroque music and culture, provided teacher training sessions, and brought the students to a special performance of Handel’s Messiah.

Tina Chancey is the recipient of the Special Early Music Outreach Award in recognition of her lifetime achievement in early music education and the unique contributions she has made to the broad dissemination of early music through an unusual medium. Dr. Chancey is a performer, educator, and scholar. For the past two decades, she has given workshops and assemblies in the Washington, DC public schools through the Washington Performing Arts Society’s “Concerts in Schools” program. She plays early and traditional bowed strings and is a founding member and director (with her late husband, Scott Reiss) of Hesperus, an early/traditional music ensemble that tours nationally and internationally; she is also a former member of the Folger Consort and the Ensemble for Early Music. In 2003, Hesperus began its “History’s Soundtrack” project, providing live early music scores for silent films. To date, this project has included live “soundtracks” for Robin Hood (1922), The General (1927), Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), and The Golem (1920). A former chair of Early Music America’s Education Committee, Dr. Chancey has been a presenter at national conferences of Orff-Schulwerk, ASTA, MENC, and Chamber Music America.

About Early Music America
Early Music America serves and strengthens the early music community in North America and raises public awareness of early music. EMA was founded in 1985 and provides its 3,000 members with publications, advocacy, and technical support. EMA publishes the quarterly magazine Early Music America. “Early music” includes western music from the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical periods, performed on period instruments in historically-informed styles. For more information, contact Early Music America at 206-720-6270 or 888-SACKBUT, or visit our web site at www.earlymusic.org.

Contact: Maria Coldwell
(206) 720-6270 or 888-SACKBUT