Madison Early Music Festival “Quixotic Musical Treasures from the Golden Age of Spain,” Concerts, Workshop & Events July 8-15, 2017

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Arts Institute announces the 18th annual Madison Early Music Festival (MEMF) Workshop and Concert Series, “Quixotic Musical Treasures from the Golden Age of Spain.” Celebrating the 400th anniversary of the novel “Don Quixote de la Mancha” by Miguel de Cervantes, MEMF will explore the wealth of references to the music, art and literature that flourished and illuminated Renaissance Spain during the political rise and fall of the Spanish Habsburg Dynasty. MEMF takes place July 8-15, 2017 on the UW–Madison campus.

Participants will experience a full week of music, history and culture from Renaissance Spain, through classes, lectures, dances and concerts taught and performed by some of the world’s finest early music artists. Guest artists for the concert series include Xavier Díaz-Latorre, Daphna Mor & Kane Mathis Duo, Sonnambula and Piffaro, The Renaissance Band.

The Madison Early Music Festival is internationally recognized as a top early music festival that features music from medieval, Renaissance and baroque eras from award-winning performers (including Grammy Awards) and distinguished faculty. Unique to MEMF is the culminating All-Festival Concert, featuring participants and faculty performing together in the final concert.

MEMF Workshops

During MEMF, registrants have over 30 classes to choose from ranging from beginner to advanced classes in instrumental, voice and dance. Instruments include bagpipes, dulcian, harp, lute, percussion, recorder, sackbut, shawms, viola da gamba and violins. Participants will learn from award-winning faculty, many who are artists in the guest ensembles. Registration is $575 ($250 for full-time college students) with a $25 early bird discount for registration before June 15.

MEMF Concert Series

The MEMF Festival Concert Series features four Guest Ensemble Concerts, two MEMF Participant Concerts and a culminating All-Festival Concert. All evening concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. in Mills Concert Hall (Humanities Building, 455 N. Park St.) with free pre-concert lectures at 6:30 p.m.

Individual concert tickets are $20 ($10 students) unless noted otherwise. The week-long Festival Concert Pass is $90. Convenience fees apply for online and phone orders. Concert tickets are available through the Campus Arts Box office at (608) 265-2787, Vilas Hall Box Office (821 University Ave.) or Wisconsin Union Theater Box Office (Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St.), online or at the door.

Saturday, July 8

Piffaro, The Renaissance Band |
Mills Concert Hall, 455 N. Park St. | 7:30 p.m. | $20/$10

Cervantes’ “Don Quixote,” regarded as the first truly modern novel, explored an emerging sense that humans have a central role to play in the universe. This iconic work provides the narrative arc of Piffaro’s program, “The Musical World of Don Quixote,” which offers a musical parallel, taking listeners into the sound world of the Spanish Golden Age. Piffaro recreates the “soundtrack” to one of the best stories ever written with the help of a star-studded roster of special guests: Nell Snaidas, soprano; Glen Velez, percussion; Charles Weaver, guitar; Erik Schmalz, sackbut; and some members of The Rose Ensemble.

Sunday, July 9

Xavier Díaz-Latorre |
Mills Concert Hall, 455 N. Park St. | 7:30 p.m. | $20/$10

Xavier Díaz-Latorre, from Barcelona, performs “Fantasías & Danzas del Siglo de Oro,” a solo recital featuring music of the vihuela and the five-course guitar by composers Luis Narváez, Alonso Mudarra, Gaspar Sanz and Santiago de Murcia.

Tuesday, July 11

Daphna Mor & Kane Mathis Duo| &
Mills Concert Hall, 455 N. Park St. | 7:30 p.m. | $20/$10

Daphna Mor (recorders, ney, voice) and Kane Mathis (oud) with guest musicians Shane Shanahan (percussion) and Eylem Basaldi (violin) perform “Hamsa,” a program featuring music from the geographic regions of Andalusia, North Africa, the Ottoman Empire and the Sephardic Diaspora. Based on the monophonic music of modes referred to as the makam, the audience will be drawn to distinct beauty and great similarities of music from the courts, liturgical forms, dances and folk music.

Friday, July 14

MEMF Participant Concert
Mills Concert Hall, 455 N. Park St. | 1:00 p.m. | Free

Madison Early Music Festival workshop participants perform in ensembles that have been coached by faculty artists throughout the week of the Festival. No pre-concert lecture.

Sonnambula |
Mills Concert Hall, 455 N. Park St. | 7:30 p.m. | $20/$10

Vocal and instrumental music flourished in Spain at the dawn of the Renaissance period. The program “Splendors of the Spanish Renaissance” will feature intimate canciones (popular tunes with poetic texts), joyful villancicos (songs with rustic themes) and virtuosic instrumental pieces drawn from over 450 works in the Cancionero Musical de Palacio, a manuscript at the Royal Palace of Madrid which exemplifies music from the Golden Age of Spain.

Saturday, July 15

MEMF Advanced Loud Band and Early Opera & Continuo Workshop Concert
Music Hall, 925 Bascom Mall | 2:00 p.m. | Free

Participants from the Advanced Loud Band Intensive and the Early Opera & Continuo Workshop will perform a program of works by Tomás Luis de Victoria, Francisco Guerrero and several cancioneros plus scenes from “La púrpura de la rosa” by Tomás de Torrejón y Velasco. No pre-concert lecture.

MEMF All-Festival Concert
Mills Concert Hall, 455 N. Park St. | 7:30 p.m. | $20/$10

The All-Festival Concert will feature participants, faculty and guest artists in a program created for MEMF by Grant Herreid and Bob Wiemken. “Iberian Tapestry: Music and Conquest from the Spanish Golden Age” includes sacred and secular compositions by Spanish Renaissance composers and music of the Moors of the Reconquista and Sephardic Jews.

MEMF Additional Events

Additional events during the week include free lectures and the MEMF Dance featuring music and dance instruction on Thursday, July 13 at 7:30 p.m. (location TBD). Tickets are $10 each (cash only) and are available at the door on the night of each event. For more information about MEMF, guest ensembles, lectures and other special events, please visit