Two years ago I made the observation that there were so many (ahem) mature people at the Boston Early Music Festival, especially in the audience. So it is particularly gratifying that Early Music America sponsors the Young Performers Festival here at BEMF. Yesterday’s concert by the University of North Texas was part of that, apparently the largest early music department in the country with 70 students enrolled, 60 of whom are here. Can you believe that Dick Sparks, the choral director, said that the university pays for the students’ airfare to Boston and housing here as part of their tuition?
Today I attended the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University concert in the same YPF series. I was especially invited by someone I met two years ago standing in line at BEMF, Aik Shin Tan, a baroque flutist from Malaysia. Two years ago, Carl did not want to attend the last recorder concert so I decided to try to find a student to give his ticket away to someone who might be standing in line. After the concert we became Facebook friends and have kept in touch with each other ever since.
The name of the ensemble is Different Birds, a new addition to Baltimore’s early music scene. The name is taken from the chanson by Étienne Moulinié. They focus on French repertoire and are some of the best of the new generation of historical players. They are musicians who have performed internationally, won numerous awards, and have made audiences both in Baltimore and across the world laugh, dance and cry. Needless to say, they were absolutely superb, especially the soprano Abigail Chapman, who not only had a clear expressive voice but sang, danced, and acted out all the emotions of the cantata: rage, anger, pain, happiness and elation.Another young person I met here in Boston is Katelyn Emerson, who is an organist interning at the Church of the Advent and happens to be a friend of Joey Fala! (The organ world is very small!) She says she has been receiving my blog for sometime now, but never met me until Sunday. She played an excellent performance of Bach’s Fantasy and Fugue in G minor; the fantasy for the prelude and the fugue for the postlude. Katelyn just graduated from Oberlin with a double major in organ and French. That will come in handy when she goes on a Fulbright scholarship for further study in France.
Let’s hear it for young people who like early music!