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GEMS is pleased to celebrate the re-emergence of live early music in New York!
 Throughout the pandemic, streamed concerts without in-person audiences have become the norm, and necessarily so, in order to protect the health and well-being of our musicians and patrons. The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program, established in 2020 as part of the American Rescue Plan Act, has become essential in supporting arts organizations across the country present public performances after a long hiatus. This generosity allowed us to re-imagine a time when GEMS musicians and patrons could once again come together and experience the unmatched wonder of live early music performances.

GEMS is thrilled to announce New Beginnings, a special series celebrating repertoire from Machaut to Haydn and beyond – all performed with renewed vigor and purpose by our period instrument ensembles.


The Concerts

Please note: Many of these concerts are self-produced, despite being a part of this series. Click on the "more info" link or the ensemble name to be taken to the correct website for more information and tickets.

 


Wednesday, May 25th at 7:30 pm
The Church of the Transfiguration, 1 East 29th Street, Manhattan
Abendmusik
Maister Byrd, “Sweetnesse, Repose, and Recreation”
The fantasies for viols

William Byrd was one of the most prolific composers during the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods. Byrd, along with his contemporary Thomas Tallis, was awarded a monopoly on publishing by Queen Elizabeth I and he did not disappoint. Byrd contributed to the Cantiones Sacrae and published his own collection, Songs of Sundrie Natures, Psalmes, Songs, and Sonnets, and instrumental fantasies composed for viols. His compositions make up a robust collection of works which came to define the golden age in English music. We will present fantasias in 3, 4, 5, and 6 parts.

More info and tickets

Queens ConsortSaturday, June 11 at 7 pm
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 33-50 82nd Street, Jackson Heights, Queens
Queens Consort and Friends
German Splendor

The concert features Handel’s Trio Sonata in G Major, Op. 5, No. 4, Telemann’s Sinfonia Spirituoso in D Major and Bach’s Air on a G String from the fourth Orchestral Suite as well as his third Brandenburg Concerto, featuring Claire Smith Bermingham and Margrét Hjaltested, violins, Dan McCarthy, viola, Anneke Schaul-Yoder, violoncello, and Aya Yamada, harpsichord. The ensemble is based in Queens and will present this celebratory performance in its home borough.


TwelfthNightSunday, June 26 at 5 pm
St. Ignatius of Antioch Episcopal Church, 552 West End Avenue, Manhattan
Twelfth Night
Rivalry

Whether petty or life-altering, rivalries persist throughout music history, consuming even the most well-known composers. Exploring feuds between Handel and Porpora, to Leclair and Guignon, this Twelfth Night program allows the listener to hear both sides of the story.

More info and tickets 

 

Past Concerts


Concodian Dawn Promo Album Release Concert webTuesday, February 1, 2022 at 8:00 PM
Church of St. Luke in the Fields, 487 Hudson Street, Manhattan
Concordian Dawn
Fortuna Antiqua et Ultra

Join Concordian Dawn for a debut album release concert that celebrates transcendence and hope despite life’s turmoil. Fortuna Antiqua et Ultra features songs of struggle, coping, and resilience through the whims of Fortune from a medieval perspective – a topic no less relevant today than it was in the Middle Ages. With Christopher Preston Thompson, director, tenor, medieval harp; Karin Weston, soprano; Clifton Massey, countertenor; David Dickey, countertenor and recorder; Thomas McCargar, baritone; and Niccolo Seligmann, vielle.

More info and tickets


PARTHENIA Wendy Steiner squareFriday, February 25, 2022 at 7:30 PM
Church of St. Luke in the Fields, 487 Hudson Street, Manhattan
Parthenia Viol Consort
House of Habsburg

View the program

A wealth of riches for viola da gamba quartet from the magnificent Habsburg dynasty, with pavanes and fantasias by Antonio de Cabezón, Josquin des Prez, Jacob Obrecht, Ludwig Senfl and others performed by Beverly Au, Lawrence Lipnik, Rosamund Morley and Lisa Terry.

Watch the pre-concert lecture here

More info and tickets


Sonnambula_10 webFriday, March 11, 2022 at 7:00 PM
First Church of Christ Scientist, 10 W. 68th Street (at Central Park West), Manhattan
Sonnambula
Tenth Anniversary Concert

Join Sonnambula at the juncture of two special moments: our return to the New York City stage following the onset of COVID-19, and to celebrate the occasion of our tenth anniversary together as an ensemble. On this program we'll play some of our favorite works – masterpieces of the English Renaissance, proto-Baroque dances from Spain, Franco-Flemish love songs, and works by lesser-known composers we have championed over the years. Some of this music you might know well from concerts you have attended in the past, and others might become new favorites. We'll showcase the diversity of our repertoire and the most important aspect of our job, which is playing beautiful music – for you, our devoted audience, whom we have missed so much over these last two years. Come celebrate with us on this very special night.

Jude Ziliak ~ violin
Toma Iliev ~ violin
Elizabeth Weinfield ~ viols/direction
Amy Domingues ~ viols
Caroline Nicolas ~ viols (guest)
James Kennerley ~ harpsichord
with Nola Richardson ~ soprano

Online sales availabe until 12pm on 3/11; Tickets also available at the door.


AbendmusikWednesday, March 23 at 7:30 pm
Church of the Transfiguration, 1 East 29th Street, Manhattan
Abendmusik
Violins and Viols in Restoration England

Featuring works by Matthew Locke, Henry Purcell, Thomas Lupo, John Dowland, Robert Johnson, Thomas Simpson, Thomas Brewer, Orlando Gibbons and others. With Vita Wallace and Claire Smith Bermingham, violins; Lawrence Lipnik and Patricia Ann Neely, violas da gamba.

More info and tickets


CramerQuartet1 by Lauren DesbergSunday, April 3 at 7 pm
Advent Lutheran Church, 2504 Broadway, Manhattan
Cramer Quartet
Haydn: Dialogues

The Cramer Quartet is thrilled to launch Haydn: Dialogues, an ambitious multi-year cycle combining Haydn’s 68 string quartets with sixteen new commissions by composers of marginalized identities. The inaugural concert will feature the world premiere of a new work by American composer Alexandra du Bois to be performed alongside Haydn’s Op. 20, Nos. 2 & 3. With this project the quartet marries its passion for historical performance with a commitment to rebalancing the string quartet canon by centering the voices of women, non-(cis)males, BIPOC, LGBTQ+ folx and other communities historically underrepresented in classical music.

More info and tickets


NYBIThursday, April 7 at 7:30 pm
National Sawdust, 80 North 6th Street, Brooklyn
New York Baroque Incorporated
Double Trouble

Double the trouble, double the fun! NYBI brings together a program of double concertos by Bach and Vivaldi for pairs of harpsichords, violins, violas (da braccio and da gamba), and cellos. Two by two, NYBI superstars showcase their virtuosity in some of the Baroque’s most beloved concertos, including J.S. Bach’s Concerto for 2 harpsichords in c minor, BWV 1060, Concerto for two violins in d minor, BWV 1043, Brandenburg Concerto No. 6, BWV 1052 and Vivaldi’s Concerto for two cellos in g minor, RV 531.

More info and tickets


Blake.Ayton.BowerFriday, May 6 at 7:30 pm
The Church of St. Luke in the Fields, 487 Hudson Street, Manhattan
Parthenia Viol Consort with Cody Bowers, countertenor
A Reliquary for William Blake

Music for countertenor, viols and recorder by American composer, Will Ayton, featuring his song cycle setting the poetry and prose of William Blake.
Pre-concert event, hosted by Tea Arts & Culture at 5:30 pm. Meet composer Will Ayton and enjoy an intimate hour-long conversation hosted by Wenting Zhang of Tea Arts & Culture. Tea will be served. 
View the program

More info and tickets


House of TimeSaturday, May 14 at 2 pm
St. Paul's Chapel, 209 Broadway, Manhattan
House of Time with Clara Rottsolk, soprano
The Power of Music: A Celebration of the Handel House

House of Time’s performance will benefit the ongoing renovation of 25 Brook Street in Mayfair, London – Handel’s residence from 1723 until his death in 1759. The project seeks to return the architectural layout of the house to the way it was during the second quarter of the 18th century, including the ground floor parlor where Handel sold subscriptions and rehearsed. House of Time’s Ode to Music program will include compositions which were composed in that house.

More info and tickets

GEMS is a non-profit corporation that supports and promotes the artists and organizations in New York devoted to early music— the music of the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and early Classical periods.