Early Music America celebrates 25 years of service to the field in 2010-11

8 Sep 2010 (SEATTLE, WA) The 2010-2011 season marks the 25th Anniversary of Early Music America (EMA), the North American service organization for the field of early music. Anniversary celebrations will feature a year-long series of activities intended to strengthen the field of early music, to raise public awareness, and to enhance EMA’s ability to carry out its core mission of service to the field. Special events during 2010-11 will include the launch of the EMA Young Performers Festival, which will include the world premiere of a fanfare commissioned by EMA from University of Southern California Thornton School of Music’s Director of Early Music, Adam Knight Gilbert. For updated information throughout the year, see Early Music America's 25th Anniversary page.


Young Performers Festival
EMA will launch the EMA Young Performers Festival in Boston in June 2011. The EMA Young Performers Festival will have two components. The select Festival Ensemble comprised of 25-30 outstanding students from university/conservatory ensembles around the US and Canada (chosen through a juried process) will learn, rehearse, interact, and perform together in Boston under the direction of Scott Metcalfe (director of Blue Heron Renaissance Choir). In addition, EMA will present up to 10 additional concerts by university-based early music ensembles, and offer special coaching and events to the participating students. The festival is being planned in conjunction with the Boston Early Music Festival. EMA has commissioned a fanfare to be played at the Festival Ensemble concert. Composer Adam Knight Gilbert, Director of Early Music at USC will compose a short Monteverdi-style fanfare scored for the instrumentalists in the select Festival Ensemble.

Early Music America Members Offer Special Concerts
It is anticipated that over 100 concerts in at least 25 different states and provinces will be offered by individual and organizational members in honor of EMA’s 25th anniversary. From Boston, MA to San Diego, CA and from Vancouver, BC to Bradenton, FL, concerts in the spring of 2011 will be designated as part of EMA’s 25th anniversary celebration, in an effort to raise awareness of the widespread and vibrant activity in early music in North America. Participating member organizations to date include the American Bach Soloists (San Francisco); Ann Arbor Academy of Early Music (MI); Carolina Pro Musica (NC); Early Music Guild of Seattle; Early Music in Columbus (OH); Early Music Vancouver (BC); Folger Consort (Washington, DC); The Governor’s Musick (VA); Handel and Haydn Society (Boston); Lyra Baroque Orchestra (MN); Mercury Baroque (Houston); Music Before 1800 (NY); Piffaro (Philadelphia); Portland Baroque Orchestra (OR); San Diego Early Music Society; and Texas Early Music Project (Austin). (The complete list of concerts will be available on September 15, 2010 at Early Music America's 25th Anniversary Page.)

New and Enhanced Scholarships, Grants and Competitions
During the 25th anniversary, EMA will undertake a sustained outreach program aimed at fostering the development of younger performers, including the expansion of scholarships, grants, and competitions. University Collegium musicum grants for festival performances by university-based early music ensembles will be increased from one grant to five in 2011. Past recipients of these grants include ensembles from USC Thornton School of Music, directed by Adam Gilbert; University of North Texas, directed by Lyle Nordstrom; Indiana University, directed by Linda Pearse; and SUNY Stony Brook, directed by Arthur Haas. Outreach grants for early music artists performing in schools and for non-traditional audiences will also be increased from one grant annually to three; recent recipients of outreach awards include Phillip Serna (Viols in our Schools, Chicago), Nina Stern (S’Cool Sounds, NYC), and Sarasa Ensemble (Boston). The number and size of EMA summer workshop scholarships will be increased. Over the past 12 years, EMA has presented 54 scholarships for use at North American summer early music workshops to outstanding high school, college, and graduate students, including such up-and-coming young stars as harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani and soprano Yulia Van Doren. EMA will offer a second recording competition in spring 2011 with the Naxos label; winners will record a debut CD which will be distributed by Naxos. The first Naxos/EMA competition (in 2003) was won by the Catacoustic Consort, directed by Annalisa Pappano (Cincinnati, OH); runner-up was Ciaramella (now based in Los Angeles). EMA will also introduce a Baroque performance competition for emerging artists in 2011-12, to complement its Medieval/Renaissance performance competition. Previous winners of the Med/Ren competition include Asteria (NY), Ensemble La Rota (Montreal), and Plaine & Easie (Seattle).

Commemorative publications
Celebrating the silver anniversary, EMA will produce a special 25th-anniversary commemorative issue of Early Music America magazine, to be published in November 2010, highlighting the achievements of the field, and exploring the challenges of the future. Special contributors to this issue will include Ben Bagby (Sequentia), Joel Cohen (Boston Camerata), Kathy Fay (Boston Early Music Festival), Wendy Gillespie (Indiana University), Bruce Haynes (McGill University), Jeanne Lamon (Tafelmusik), Steven Lubin (SUNY Purchase), Catherine Turocy (New York Baroque Dance Co.), John Rockwell (critic), Stephen Stubbs (BEMF and Pacific Musicworks). To increase awareness of the field of early music, EMA will circulate a special EMA edition of Thomas Forrest Kelly’s new book, Early Music: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press), which will also be distributed widely to EMA members in March 2011.

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 provides its 3,000 members with publications, advocacy, and technical support. Individual and organizational members hail from all over the U.S. and Canada and from at least 16 other countries. EMA publishes the quarterly magazine Early Music America.

EMA was founded in December 1985 at a winter meeting of Chamber Music America in New York, NY by Benjamin Peck (a member of the New York Cornet and Sackbut Ensemble) and a number of other professional early music performers. For its first eight years, EMA was based in New York and led by Daniel Nimetz (now director of the ACMP Foundation—The Chamber Music Network). In fall 1993, Early Music America moved to Cleveland, OH, where it spent nine years under the direction of Beverly Simmons (now director of Chapel, Court, and Countryside, Cleveland’s early music series). And, since September 2002, EMA has been based in Seattle, WA, under the leadership of Maria Coldwell, former college professor and director of the Early Music Guild of Seattle. EMA has an outstanding board of 30 members from the U.S. and Canada, who are committed to the field through their performance, scholarship, advocacy, and patronage.

The history of the early music movement in the U.S. began in the mid-20th century. As defined by EMA, early music is western music from the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical periods, performed on period instruments in historically-informed styles. Noah Greenberg founded the New York Pro Musica in 1952 and the Boston Camerata was founded in 1954. Both organizations led to a groundswell of interest in Medieval and Renaissance music in North America. The Baroque revival gained prominence in the 1970s, with the founding of a number of Baroque orchestras, including Boston Baroque (originally called Banchetto Musicale) in 1973 and Tafelmusik (Toronto) in 1979.

In the international world of early music, Early Music America is uniquely positioned as the largest national service organization dedicated to serving professionals, amateurs, and enthusiasts. For more information, contact Early Music America or visit our web site at www.earlymusic.org.

Patrick Nugent, Director of Public Relations
(206) 720-6270 or 888-SACKBUT
ads@earlymusic.org; www.earlymusic.org
or Nikki Scandalios, Nikki Scandalios Public Relations
(704) 340-4094; nikki@scandaliospr.com