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SFCM Brings Berkeley Early Music Festival to the City for the First Time

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SFCM will be hosting concerts for the San Francisco Early Music Society's 2022 festival, uniting generations of the music's stars.

June 6, 2022 by Alex Heigl

By Alex Heigl

It's no longer just East Bay-roque. 

SFCM will be playing a pivotal role in the San Francisco Early Music Society's Festival this year, bringing some traditionally Berkeley-based events to the city for the first time and sending two recent grads to perform in a competitive showcase across the bay.

"This is the first time the Early Music Festival has come to SFCM," Jamason said. "We wanted to expand the festival and bring it to a San Francisco audience in our amazing facility. It's a lovely opportunity for students to network, hear each other, and chat. They're the next generation of this music; the stars of tomorrow."

Faculty members Elizabeth Blumenstock (violin), Corey Jamason (harpsichord), and Elisabeth Reed (viola de gamba) will be performing alongside Bay Area violinist Cynthia Keiko Black on June 8 at SFCM's Hume Concert Hall. Subtitled "Teutonic Titans," their program includes music from 17th-century Germany and Austria for solo and duo violins, viola da gamba, and harpsichord. 

"There's a tremendous amount of variety to the program—while all written by German and Austrian composers, the pieces on this program demonstrate the incredible variety of the music from this era. And it gives a wonderful picture of the types of pieces a young J.S. Bach would have been exposed to as a child. But the real reason we perform this music is because it is truly great music that we love to play."
SFCM will also be hosting Early Music America’s (EMA) Young Performers Festival on campus on the 8th and 9th, with programs from ensembles from Juilliard, USC, and UCLA, along with SFCM's Baroque Ensemble (performing the 9th). Additionally, SFCM grads Rocío López Sánchez (cello, PSC '22) and Pauline Kempf (violin, '22) earned spots in EMA's competitive Emerging Artists Showcase and will be performing at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Berkeley on June 10. 

The history of the Early Music Society is inextricable from SFCM: One of its founders, Laurette Goldberg, taught at SFCM for decades, and so with the festival, "Audiences are getting the opportunity to come and see the lineage of early music performers in San Francisco," Jamason said. "Professors Blumenstock and Reed, the students: It's the current and future generations, all at once." 

Learn more about SFCM's Historical Performance program.