Houston Early Music opens 2021-22 season with compelling cross-cultural presentation


After a “season of interlude” of self-assessment and strategic planning at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Houston Early Music is now presenting live performances. The 2021-2022 season, Finding Enchantment and Renewal with Houston Early Music, reflects the organization’s new start and the innovative vision that guides its programming.

“This season’s offerings are deeply engaging and enchanting: an essential part of keeping spirits up through this next level of global angst,” said Houston Early Music Artistic Director and Executive Deborah Dunham. “While challenges persist, Houston Early Music firmly maintains our mission as a presenting organization to bring the best artists on an international tour of historically informed performances to Houston.”

Houston Early Music presented the first in-person performance of the season, The Baroque-Carnatic Music Connection: Cross-Cultural Musical Discoveries, in collaboration with Silambam Houston last month. The performance explored the parallels and differences between classical music from South India and pieces from the European Baroque era (1600-1750). This provocative event was also broadcast live to viewers in India and received overwhelmingly positive responses.

The 2021-2022 season will continue at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 6, when Houston Early Music presents Kleine Kammermusik, an ensemble known for its inventive programming and imaginative use of space to create fresh and entertaining events with a historic flavor. distinctive.

During its concert at Lambert Hall in Houston Heights, the ensemble will present the jewels of the wind chamber of two high baroque figures: Johann Sebastian Bach and Jan Dismas Zelenka. Each composer has a heritage of deep counterpoint – putting different melodic lines against each other – and also for brilliant melody, skillful harmonic interaction and musical drama.

“Most know Bach, but not everyone knows Zelenka,” Dunham said. “He grew up in Bohemia (now in the Czech Republic) and spent his professional life in Dresden, Germany. There is an exotic touch in Zelenka’s music; it is extremely attractive.

Houston Early Music’s full 2021-2022 season is described below.

KLEINE KAMMERMUSIK – The Art of Counterpoint: Bach & Zelenka

Kleine Kammermusik is dedicated to reviving the richness of Baroque chamber music for winds and basso continuo (a basic group of instruments, typically comprising a harpsichord and a bowed bass instrument).

The ensemble’s first recording, Fanfare and Filigree: Chamber Music from Paris and Dresden, was recently released on the Acis label and received accolades from Early Music America Magazine, Colorado Public Radio and BBC Radio.

Kleine Kammermusik’s upcoming concert in Houston shows how the distinctive personalities of Bach and Zelenka – who knew and admired each other – led to equally complex and dazzling styles of counterpoint.

The show will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 6 at Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Blvd. in Houston, 77008.

ISTANPITTA and KINDER HSPVA MADRIGAL SINGERS – Bonus concert: Now let’s celebrate!

Join Houston Early Music for “madrigals, music and fun,” followed by wassail and holiday treats.

General admission is $ 35; tickets are $ 10 for students and FREE for Houston Early Music Gold Level members.

The performance begins at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 12 at the University of Houston Chapel, AD Bruce Religion Center, 3841 Cullen Blvd., Houston, 77004.

SEVERAL FRIENDS and reader JONATHAN RICHARDS – The shadow of the night: mysticism and magic in medieval music

This presentation incorporates excerpts from contemporary diaries, plays, poetry and music dating back to 17th century England, revealing a widespread interest in magic of all kinds.

Manyl Friends is a consortium of musicians based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, who play a wide range of early music. Actor Jonathan Richards has appeared in leading roles on the Santa Fe stage and is a founding member of the New Mexico Actors Lab.

The concert is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 22, 2022 at the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center at the Kaplan Theater in Houston, 5601 S. Braeswood Blvd., Houston, 77096. The Moore School of Music at the University of Houston will host a lecture -demonstration by Mary Springfels and the members of Manyl Friends on January 20th. The time will be announced closer to the event.

TABEA DEBUS, recorder, and ALON SARIEL, archilute – Presentation of Tabea Debus: Recorder Extraordinaire

Described as a “charismatic virtuoso,” Tabea Debus constantly explores the horizons of recorder music and has performed widely in Europe and Asia, as well as Colombia and the United States. The award-winning artist is a regular guest on BBC Radio 3’s “In Tune and Early Music Show” and has released five solo records. In 2019, Debus won the International Concert Artists Guild (CAG) Competition and she is now on the CAG’s list.

Debus’s American tour, Ohrwurm, explores how popular arias and dances “found their way” into many aspects of musical creation in 17th and 18th century Europe.

Debus will be accompanied by lutenist Alon Sariel, also mandolinist and conductor. Sariel has toured in Asia, Europe, United States, Mexico, South America and South Africa. He resides in Hanover, Germany, where he is musical director of the international baroque orchestra Concerto Foscari and founding member of the PRISMA quartet.

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 29, 2022 at the Live Oaks Friends Meeting House, 1318 W. 26th St., Houston, 77008. Tickets for the concerts in the 2021-2022 season are $ 50 for the public, 20 $ for students, and $ 40 for people aged 60 and over.

Tickets for the Houston Early Music Special Event, ISTANPITTA and KINDER HSPVA MADRIGAL SINGERS – Now Make We Joy !, are $ 35 for audiences, $ 10 for students, and FREE for Houston Early Music Gold members.

Buy tickets at https://houstonearlymusic.ludus.com.

Seasonal subscriptions and Discovery subscriptions are also available. Visit https://www.houstonearlymusic.org for more details.

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