Current Performance Ensembles
Blue Heron Renaissance Choir
Personal Summary / Bio
About BLUE HERON
The vocal ensemble Blue Heron, directed by Scott Metcalfe, has been acclaimed by The Boston Globe as “one of the Boston music community’s indispensables” and hailed by Alex Ross in The New Yorker for the “expressive intensity” of its interpretations. Combining a commitment to vivid live performance with the study of original source materials and historical performance practices, Blue Heron ranges over a wide and fascinating repertoire, including 15th-century English and Franco-Flemish polyphony, Spanish music between 1500 and 1600, and neglected early 16th-century English music, especially the rich and unique repertory of the Peterhouse partbooks, copied c. 1540 for Canterbury Cathedral. Blue Heron’s first CD, featuring music by Guillaume Du Fay, was released in 2007. In 2010 the ensemble inaugurated a 5-CD series of Music from the Peterhouse Partbooks; three discs have been released so far, of music by Hugh Aston, Robert Jones, Nicholas Ludford, John Mason, and Richard Pygott, including many world premiere recordings; volume 4 will be recorded this fall for release in 2014 and volume 5 will follow in 2015. All of Blue Heron’s recordings have received international critical acclaim and the first Peterhouse CD made the Billboard charts.
Blue Heron presents a concert series in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The ensemble has appeared at the Boston Early Music Festival; in New York City at The Cloisters (Metropolitan Museum of Art), the 92nd Street Y, and Music Before 1800; at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C., at Festival Mozaic in San Luis Obispo, California, and at the Berkeley Early Music Festival. In 2012-13 Blue Heron took up a new position as ensemble in residence at the new Center for Early Music Studies at Boston University and performed for the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Highlights of the 2013-14 season are a return to The Cloisters and debut appearances at the Library of Congress, at Yale University, and in Seattle, Kansas City, and Cleveland.
“One of the Boston music community’s indispensables...sets the standard for the presentation of Renaissance vocal music.” —The Boston Globe
“There is always something in this choir to make you listen more deeply, to lean forward and witness the inner voices. Their contrapuntal nuance is at times astounding... [Blue Heron is] a fantastic model for the fully-realized potential of early music performance in the 21st century.” —Boston Musical Intelligencer