Early Music America's 2013 Annual Award Winners Announced

16 May 2013

[PITTSBURGH, PA]. Early Music America, the national service organization for the field of early music, announces the winners of its 2013 awards recognizing outstanding accomplishments in early music. These awards will be presented at the EMA Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony after the Young Performers Festival (coinciding with the Boston Early Music Festival) on June 14, 2013 beginning at 4pm in the First Church Auditorium in Boston.

Robert Eisenstein will receive the Thomas Binkley Award for outstanding achievement in performance and scholarship by the director of a university or college early music ensemble. This award is named for the legendary lutenist and educator Thomas Binkley, who taught at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, made ground-breaking recordings with the Studio der Frühen Musik, and served as founding director of the Early Music Institute at Indiana University.

As an undergraduate at Antioch College, Eisenstein met his future Folger Consort colleagues Scott Reiss and Christopher Kendall. He attended the graduate program in the performance of early music at Sarah Lawrence College, and studied viola da gamba with Judith Davidoff and then Richard Taruskin. He is a founding member, co-artistic director and programming director of the Folger Consort, early music ensemble in residence at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC since 1977. Recent projects with the Folger Consort include a recording of English anthems centered on the 400th Anniversary of the King James Version of the Bible, an evening of recited Shakespeare and music for the Tempest with Sir Derek Jacoby and countertenor David Daniels, a fully staged musical version of the 15th-century Second Shepherds Play and collaborations with Anonymous 4, Piffaro, and French violinist Julien Chauvin. Although his primary instrument is viola da gamba, Eisenstein performs regularly on medieval fiddle, violin, and recorder as well. He has performed with many ensembles including the Washington Bach Consort, the Newberry Consort, the National Symphony, Western Wind, Arcadia Players and recently at Tanglewood, Amherst Early Music, and other summer festivals.

Since 1989 he has been the director of the Five College Early Music Program, for which he coaches and directs student ensembles including the Five College Collegium, Euridice Baroque Orchestra and various chamber ensembles. He teaches music history at the University of Massachusetts and Mount Holyoke College as well as a course in Music and Technology at Mount Holyoke, and performs regularly with colleagues in the Mount Holyoke Baroque Ensemble and elsewhere in New England. He directs The Medieval Lyric, Projects for Teaching Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and Mount Holyoke College.

James Nicolson will receive the Howard Mayer Brown Award for lifetime achievement in the field of early music. This award is named in memory of the renowned and beloved musicologist from the University of Chicago, Howard Mayer Brown, and recognizes lifetime achievement in the field of early music.

James Nicolson, harpsichordist and virginalist, after attending Harvard College, entered the New England Conservatory of Music where he earned his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in harpsichord performance as a student of Helen Keaney. A member of the Conservatory's Collegium Musicum under Daniel Pinkham, and a Fellow at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, he has also attended master classes with Igor Kipnis, Kenneth Gilbert, Mark Kroll, Marleen Montgomery, Paul O'Dette, and Peter Sykes. Formerly on the faculties of the Longy School of Music in Cambridge and the Powers Music School in Belmont, Massachusetts, Nicolson has taught at Northeastern University, Smith College and the New England Conservatory of Music. He has been a soloist at the Rhode Island Bach Festivals and has had numerous solo and ensemble performances in the Eastern and Midwestern States. In addition, he has appeared occasionally on East Coast radio and television. During the last several years, Nicolson has made annual recital tours in Europe, playing for audiences primarily in the German-speaking countries. He has produced a compact disc devoted entirely to the keyboard music of William Byrd (1543-1623) rendered on his double virginal and on an ancient European organ (The Passinge Mesures, Titanic Ti-225). In the realm of volunteer cultural organizations, Nicolson serves as an Overseer of the Boston Early Music Festival, as a Governor of the Shirley-Eustis House Association, as a member of the Alumni Council of the New England Conservatory of Music, and as President of The Cambridge Society for Early Music.

Grant Herreid is the recipient of the Laurette Goldberg Award for lifetime achievement in early music outreach. The Laurette Goldberg Award is named for Laurette Goldberg, a teacher, performer, author and founder of musical enterprises in the San Francisco Bay area. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in outreach and/or educational projects for children or adults by ensembles and individual artists.

Originally a jazz and classical trumpeter in Portland, Oregon, Herreid has toured much of the world as a singer and multi-instrumentalist on early reeds, brass, strings and voice with Hesperus, Piffaro, Early Music New York, Mr. Jones and the Engines of Destruction, My Lord Chamberlain's Consort, and ARTEK. He has also been a featured guest artist with such groups as Sinfonia NY, the Newberry Consort, King’s Noyse, Tapestry, the Folger Consort, Brandywine Baroque, New York State Baroque, Concitato Baroque, and Apollo’s Fire.

Active as an educator and coach, he directs the New York Continuo Collective, a 30-member group exploring the performance of 17th century continuo song. He performs and teaches at many workshops, including Amherst Early Music Festival, Madison Early Music Festival, the Longy Medieval Institute, San Francisco Early Music Society’s Medieval/Renaissance workshop, and the Western Wind Workshops in A Capella Singing at Smith College.

On the faculty of Yale University, Herreid is director of the Yale Collegium Musicum. He has been involved with the Yale Baroque Opera Project since its inception in 2007, performing in Ardo, Ardo and Monteverdi’s Orfeo. He has been music director of their productions of Cavalli’s Giasone, Scipione affricano, and La Calisto; Sacrati’s La Finta Pazza, and Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse. Last fall he played the role of Feste in Shakespeare's Twlefth Night. He devotes much of his time to exploring the esoteric unwritten traditions early music as a founding member of the ensembles Ex Umbris and Ensemble Viscera.

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 (412) 642-2778, or visit our web site: www.earlymusic.org