Boston Baroque Announces 40th Anniversary Season: “A Season to Sing About”

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Three-time Grammy®-nominee Boston Baroque, under the direction of Martin Pearlman, one of this country’s leading interpreters of Baroque and Classical music on period and modern instruments, has announced its 40th anniversary season program for 2013 – 2014. The season is packed with masterpieces such as Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Handel’s Messiah, Rameau’s opera La Guirlande and Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos. And, with Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, Boston Baroque continues a tradition of presenting rarely-performed operas from the Baroque and Classical periods.

“To celebrate our 40th birthday, Boston Baroque will expand its repertoire to open with the spectacular Ninth Symphony of Beethoven – the only Beethoven symphony that we have not yet performed,” said Martin Pearlman. “This will be a season spanning two centuries, from the early Baroque – Monteverdi’s opera Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria in our new performing version – through the French Baroque and Handel’s Messiah to Beethoven. Our superb chorus will be center stage for three of the programs, and each concert will feature some of today’s foremost vocal soloists, making this a season to sing about.”

The 40th anniversary season will feature a rich assortment of world-renowned operatic and concert singers, including the award-winning Portuguese tenor Fernando Guimarães, who will make his U.S. debut with Boston Baroque. Also performing this season are Metropolitan Opera artists soprano Leah Partridge, mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey and tenor William Burden. In addition, Jennifer Rivera, one of the most sought-after and versatile mezzo-sopranos of her generation, will perform. Bass Kevin Deas and soprano Amanda Forsythe, both Boston Baroque favorites, return again this season. Tenor Nicholas Phan, soprano Kiera Duffy, haute-contre tenor Lawrence Wiliford, mezzo-soprano Ann McMahon Quintero, baritones Jesse Blumberg and Andrew Garland, soprano Sara Heaton (a Boston native), countertenor Christopher Lowrey and tenor Daniel Shirley will each contribute luster to the 40th anniversary season.

2013 – 2014


The season begins on Friday, November 8 and Saturday, November 9 at 8:00 PM, at NEC’s Jordan Hall, with an all-Beethoven program that features the rarely-encountered Elegischer Gesang (Elegiac Song) alongside the monumental Symphony No. 9. Soprano Leah Partridge, mezzo-soprano Ann McMahon Quintero, tenor William Burden and bass Kevin Deas are the soloists in these performances, with the acclaimed Boston Baroque chorus performing the immortal “Ode to Joy.”

In time for the holidays, Boston Baroque will present its annual standing-room-only performances of George Frideric Handel’s best-known work, Messiah, on Friday and Saturday, December 13 and 14, in NEC’s Jordan Hall, at 7:30 PM. Soloists include soprano Kiera Duffy, mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey, tenor Nicholas Phan and bass Jesse Blumberg.

Following an annual tradition, Boston Baroque once again will “pop the cork” in grand style on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day with an all-Bach program featuring his Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 3 and 4, and Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht, better known as the Coffee Cantata. Concerts, which will include Champagne and chocolates at intermission, will take place at Cambridge’s Sanders Theatre on Tuesday, December 31 at 8:00 PM and Wednesday, January 1 at 3:00 PM. Soloists for the Coffee Cantata will include some of Boston’s own favorites: soprano Kristen Watson, tenor Matthew Anderson and baritone Andrew Garland.

For Valentine’s Day weekend, Boston Baroque has planned a French Baroque program, with concerts on Friday, February 14 at 8:00 PM and Sunday, February 16 at 3:00 PM at NEC’s Jordan Hall. Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s Te Deum, a grand polyphonic motet in D major, will showcase the Boston Baroque chorus. Jean-Philippe Rameau’s opera La Guirlande, with soprano Amanda Forsythe, haute-contre tenor Lawrence Wiliford and baritone Andrew Garland, relates a pastoral story in song and dance.

Boston Baroque’s operatic tradition continues with the 2013 – 2014 season grand finale, the Monteverdi masterpiece Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, on Friday and Saturday, April 25 and 26 at 7:30 PM at NEC’s Jordan Hall. Semi-staged and directed by highly-regarded director Mark Streshinsky, Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria has a cast of splendid voices. Tenor Fernando Guimarães and mezzo-soprano Jennifer Rivera star as Ulisse and Penelope; mezzo-soprano Leah Wool sings the role of Minerva, tenor Daniel Auchincloss sings Eumete, mezzo-soprano Abigail Nims sings Melanto, tenor Aaron Sheehan sings Telemaco, tenor Daniel Shirley sings Eurimaco, tenor Marc Molomot sings Iro, soprano Sara Heaton is Amore and countertenor Christopher Lowry is L’humana fragilità. This production will present Martin Pearlman’s new performance version of this rarely produced masterwork from 1639 – 1640.


Priority Season subscriptions go on sale Wednesday, March 13 at 10:00 AM EDT at or by telephone at 617/987-8600. Individual reserved-seat tickets will be available at a later date. Jordan Hall and Sanders Theatre are wheelchair accessible.


(Programs and Artists Subject to Change)


Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony

Friday, November 8, 2013, 8:00 PM • Saturday, November 9, 2013, 8:00 PM

Pre-concert talk with Laura Stanfield Prichard at 7:00 PM

NEC’s Jordan Hall • 30 Gainsborough Street, Boston, MA 02115

Beethoven: Elegischer Gesang (Elegiac Song)

Beethoven: Symphony No. 9

Leah Partridge, soprano • Ann McMahon Quintero, mezzo-soprano

William Burden, tenor • Kevin Deas, bass • Boston Baroque Chorus



Handel’s Messiah

Friday, December 13, 2013, 7:30 PM • Saturday, December 14, 2013, 7:30 PM

NEC’s Jordan Hall • 30 Gainsborough Street, Boston, MA 02115

Handel: Messiah

Kiera Duffy, soprano • Kate Lindsey, mezzo-soprano • Nicholas Phan, tenor

Jesse Blumberg, bass • Boston Baroque Chorus



New Year’s Eve and First Day Concerts

Tuesday, December 31, 2013, 8:00 PM • Wednesday, January 1, 2014, 3:00 PM

Sanders Theatre, 45 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA02138

J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concertos No. 3 and No. 4

J.S. Bach: Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht (Coffee Cantata)

Kristen Watson, soprano • Matthew Anderson, tenor • Andrew Garland, baritone



French Baroque

Friday, February 14, 2014, 8:00 PM • Sunday, February 16, 2014, 3:00 PM

Pre-concert talk with Laura Stanfield Prichard at 7:00 PM (Friday) and 2:00 PM (Sunday)

NEC’s Jordan Hall • 30 Gainsborough Street, Boston, MA 02115

Rameau: La Guirlande

Charpentier: Te Deum

Amanda Forsythe, Zelide/soprano

Lawrence Wiliford, Myrtil/haute-contre tenor

Andrew Garland, Hylas/bass

Boston Baroque Chorus



Monteverdi’s The Return of Ulysses

Friday, April 25, 2014, 7:30 PM • Saturday, April 26, 2014, 7:30 PM

Pre-concert talk with Laura Stanfield Prichard at 6:30 PM

NEC’s Jordan Hall • 30 Gainsborough Street, Boston, MA 02115

Monteverdi: Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria

(semi-staged opera)

New performing version by Martin Pearlman

Directed by Mark Streshinsky

Fernando Guimarães, Ulisse/tenor

Jennifer Rivera, Penelope/mezzo-soprano

Leah Wool, Minerva/mezzo-soprano

Abigail Nims, Melanto/mezzo-soprano

Daniel Auchincloss, Eumete/tenor

Aaron Sheehan, Telemaco/tenor

Daniel Shirley, Eurimaco/tenor

Marc Molomot, Iro/haute-contre tenor

Christopher Lowrey, L’humana fragilità and Sailors/countertenor

Sara Heaton, Amore/soprano

Teresa Wakim, Giunone and La Fortuna/soprano

TBD, Nettuno/bass

Owen McIntosh, Giove and Pisandro/tenor

KristaRiver, Ericlea/mezzo-soprano

Jonas Budris, Anfinomo and Sailors/tenor

Ulysses Thomas, Antinoo/bass-baritone



Priority Season Subscriptions go on sale Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 10:00 AM EDT

Call 617/987-8600 or go to for a priority subscription form

Boston Baroque

Boston Baroque is the first permanent Baroque orchestra established in North America, producing lively, emotionally-charged, ground-breaking performances of Baroque and Classical works for today’s audiences – performed on instruments and using performance techniques that reflect the eras in which the music was composed.

Founded in 1973 by Music Director Martin Pearlman, and celebrating its 40th anniversary in the 2013 – 2014 season, Boston Baroque’s orchestra is made up of some of the finest period-instrument players in the United States, and they are frequently joined by the ensemble’s professional chorus and by world-class, top instrumental and vocal soloists from around the globe. The ensemble presents an annual subscription series consisting of five programs that are performed at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall in Boston, Massachusetts or at Harvard University’s Sanders Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

In addition, the ensemble inaugurated New Directions – a chamber music series mixing music of the Baroque and modern eras played on both modern and period instruments – in the 2012 – 2013 season.

Boston Baroque’s many career milestones include the American premiere of Rameau’s Zoroastre in honor of the composer’s 300th birthday in 1983; a Mozart opera series including The Marriage of Figaro and Così fan tutte as well as the American period-instrument premieres of Mozart’s Don Giovanni and The Magic Flute. The orchestra also presented a revelatory exploration of the Beethoven symphonies on period instruments. In 1998 – 1999, the ensemble gave the modern premiere of The Philosopher’s Stone, a singspiel newly discovered to include music by Mozart which shed fresh light on his canon.

In recent years, Boston Baroque presented Boston’s first complete cycle of the surviving operas of Monteverdi, with new performing editions of L’incoronazione di Poppea and Il ritorno d’Ulisse by Martin Pearlman, and an internationally acclaimed series of Handel operas which include Agrippina, Alcina, Xerxes, Giulio Cesare, Semele, Amadigi di Gaula and Partenope. In May 2012, its performances of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, which incorporated dancers and original choreography, met with outstanding critical acclaim.

Boston Baroque has performed at major music centers across the United States including Disney Hall in Los Angeles, New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine and festivals at Ravinia and Tanglewood. Boston Baroque was also the first period-instrument ensemble to be invited to participate at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico, and the ensemble made its European debut in 2003, performing Handel’s Messiah in the cities of Krakow and Warsaw in Poland.

Boston Baroque reaches an international audience with its nineteen critically acclaimed recordings on Telarc Records, heard by millions on classical radio stations in North American and Europe. In 2011, Boston Baroque became the first American orchestra to record with the UK audiophile label Linn Records, and the August 2012 release of Haydn’s The Creation met with great critical acclaim. Three Boston Baroque recordings have received Grammy® Award nominations: Handel’s Messiah (1992), Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 (1998) and Bach’s Mass in B Minor (2000).

Martin Pearlman Martin Pearlman is one of this country’s leading interpreters of Baroque and Classical music on period and modern instruments, acclaimed for close to forty years in the orchestral, choral and operatic repertoire from Monteverdi to Beethoven. Mr. Pearlman is the only conductor from the period-instrument field to have performed live on the internationally-televised Grammy® Awards show. Since 2002, he has been a Professor of Music at the BostonUniversitySchool of Music, where he directs Baroque ensembles and teaches in the Historical Performance Department.

Highlights of his work include the complete Monteverdi opera cycle, with his own new performing editions of L’incoronazione di Poppea and Il ritorno d’Ulisse, the American premiere of Rameau’s Zoroastre, the Boston premiere of Rameau’s Pygmalion, the New England premieres of Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride and Alceste, and an exploration of the Beethoven symphonies on period instruments.

Mr. Pearlman is also known for his internationally acclaimed series of Handel operas including Agrippina, Alcina, Giulio Cesare and Semele among others, and a series of Mozart operas including The Abduction from the Seraglio, The Magic Flute, The Marriage of Figaro, Così fan tutte, The Impresario and Don Giovanni, the last of which was broadcast nationally on public radio. His completion and orchestration of music from Mozart’s Lo Sposo Deluso, his performing version of Purcell’s Comical History of Don Quixote, and his new orchestration of Cimarosa’s Il Maestro di Cappella were all premiered by Boston Baroque.

Martin Pearlman made his KennedyCenter conducting debut with The Washington Opera in Handel’s Semele. Other guest conducting highlights include the Monteverdi Vespers with the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Ottowa, and performances with the Minnesota Orchestra, Utah Opera, Opera Columbus, Boston Lyric Opera, San Antonio Symphony, Springfield (Massachusetts) Symphony and the New World Symphony.

Mr. Pearlman is also a composer, and his work has been influenced by, among others, Carter and Boulez and certain composers of the following generation. His recent works have included an “Operoar” based on James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, as well as chamber music, piano works and The Creation According to Orpheus for solo piano, harp and percussion with string orchestra. His music for three Samuel Beckett plays – Words and Music, Cascando and …but the clouds… – was commissioned by and premiered at the 92nd Street Y in New York City for the Beckett Centennial in 2006 and produced both there and at HarvardUniversity in Cambridge in 2007.

Martin Pearlman grew up in Oak Park, Illinois, where he received training in composition, violin, piano and theory. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from CornellUniversity, where he studied composition with Karel Husa and Robert Palmer. In 1967 – 1968, he studied harpsichord in Amsterdam with Gustav Leonhardt on a Fulbright Grant, and in 1971, he received his Masters of Music in composition from YaleUniversity, studying composition with Yehudi Wyner and harpsichord with Ralph Kirkpatrick. In 1971, he moved to Boston and began performing widely in solo recitals and concertos. It was 1973 when he founded Banchetto Musicale, the first permanent Baroque orchestra established in North America, which was renamed Boston Baroque in 1992.