Madison Early Music Festival – The Grand Tour: A 20th Anniversary Celebration, July 6-13, 2019

The University of Wisconsin–Madison Division of the Arts announces the 20th annual Madison Early Music Festival (MEMF) Workshop and Concert Series “The Grand Tour: A 20th Anniversary Celebration” from July 6–13, 2019 on the UW–Madison campus. Taking inspiration from “Coryat’s Crudities” (1611), an account of a five-month journey across Europe, with an unusual personal narrative, this ultimate gap year provides the inspiration for the 2019 MEMF Grand Tour, presenting music from England, France, Italy and Germany. MEMF is also presented in partnership with the Mead Witter School of Music.

Participants will experience a full week of music, history and culture from various parts of Europe through classes, lectures, dances and concerts taught and performed by some of the world’s finest early music artists with a musical focus from the 16th and 17th centuries. Guest artists for the concert series include Dark Horse Consort (July 6); Alchymy Viols (July 7), HESPERUS (July 9) and Calmus (July 12) from Germany.

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 (July 13), featuring participants and faculty performing together in the final concert.

MEMF Workshops

During MEMF, registrants have numerous instrumental, voice and dance classes to choose from ranging from beginner to advanced classes. Instruments include bagpipes, cornetto, dulcian, harp, lute, organ, percussion, recorder, sackbut, shawms, viola da gamba and violins. Participants learn from faculty, many who are artists in the guest ensembles. Registration is $600 ($475 for full-time college students). Learn more at

MEMF Concert Series

The MEMF Festival Concert Series features four Guest Ensemble Concerts and a culminating All-Festival Concert. These 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. unless noted otherwise. There are also two free participant concerts on Friday, July 12 at 1 p.m. in Mills Hall and on Saturday, July 13 at 2 p.m. in Morphy Hall.

Individual concert tickets are $22 ($12 students) unless noted otherwise. The week-long Festival Concert Pass is $90. Concert tickets are available at the Campus Arts Ticketing Box Office (Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St.), online, (608) 265-2787 or at the door. There will be a $4 convenience fee for phone and online orders.

Ticketed Concerts

Mills Concert Hall, 455 N. Park St. | 7:30 p.m. | $22/$12 (students) | General admission

Saturday, July 6

Dark Horse Consort | “Wanderlust”

Follow the misadventures of an English gentleman as he embarks on a continental Grand Tour adventure in search of love and fulfillment. Our hero’s travelogue includes springtime consort songs by Alfonso Ferrabosco and William Byrd, Erasmus Widmann’s beguiling German dances dedicated to women, the wooing songs of the Italian gondolieri, and sultry airs espangnol.

The early music ensemble Dark Horse Consort is dedicated to unearthing the majestic late Renaissance and early baroque repertoire for brass instruments and often expands to include vocalists and strings. Performers include Chelsie Propst, soprano; Kiri Tollaksen and Alex Opsahl, cornetto; Greg Ingles, Mack Ramsey, and Erik Schmalz, sackbut; and Charles Weaver, lute.

Sunday, July 7

Alychmy Viols | “American at Versailles”

An original ballet masque of French baroque music, dance, and drama written and choreographed by Sarah Edgar, featuring Carrie Hennemann Shaw, soprano; Sarah Edgar, director and dancer; with guest Paulina Francisco, soprano. The American on the Grand Tour encounters the exotic world of French baroque manners, dress, dance and love.

Alchymy Viols collaborates with some of the nation’s finest gambists and other soloists, choirs, and instrumentalists to present music from the 16th-18th centuries. Performers include Allison Edberg Nyquist, Janelle Davis, Martie Perry and Brandi Berry Benson, violin; Wendy Gillespie, tenor viol; Erica Rubis, bass viol; Philip Spray, violone; Tom Gerber, harpsichord; Mark Cudek, percussion; Sung Lee, oboe, recorder, traverso; Kali Page and Joe Caruana, dancers; Carrie Henneman Shaw, soprano; Sarah Edgar, director and dancer; and guest Paulina Francisco, soprano.

Tuesday, July 9

HESPERUS | “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”

HESPERUS creates the soundtrack for the 1923 silent film “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” with music from fourteenth and fifteenth century France. Compositions include French and Burgundian music from 1300-1500, featuring Guillaume de Machaut, Jehan l’Escurel, Guillaume Dufay, as well as lesser-known composers such as Jean Vaillant, Robert Morton and Borlet.

HESPERUS brings history alive with silent movie scores, cultural fusions and single-genre early music programs. Performers include Tina Chancey, vielle, rebec, kamenj, lyra; Grant Herried, tenor, medieval lute; Priscilla Herried, recorders, shawm; and Nell Snaidas, soprano.

Friday, July 12

Calmus | “Faith and Madness”

With a perfect blend of sound and precision, the vocal ensemble Calmus creates a program of a dialogue between sacred music masterpieces followed by madrigals that portray madness, love, war and loneliness. Composers include Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Heinrich Schütz, Claudio Monteverdi, Carlo Gesualdo, Clément Janequin and others.

Performers include Anja Pöche, soprano; Stefan Kahle, countertenor; Tobias Pöche, tenor; Ludwig Böhme, baritone; and Manuel Helmeke, bass.

Saturday, July 13

All-Festival Concert | “Musical Postcards from the Grand Tour”

Designed and directed by Grant Herreid, this program is inspired by the writings of Thomas Coryat, an English 17th century travel writer. The journey begins in London during the Stuart period. The music will transport people to Paris, Venice, Rome, Dresden, and return back to London during the reign of Charles II. Composers include Claudio Monteverdi, Giacomo Carissimi, Heinrich Schütz, and Henry Purcell. The All-Festival Concert will include all the participants and faculty.

Dance Event and Free Concerts

Thursday, July 11

MEMF Dance Event “Grand Tour Dance Excursions”

Great Hall, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St. | 7:30 p.m. | $10

Features music and dance instruction by MEMF Faculty. Suggested cash donation of $10 at the door, free to MEMF workshop participants and faculty.

Friday, July 12

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.

Saturday, July 13

Advanced Loud Band and Voice Intensive Concert

Morphy Recital Hall, 455 N. Park St. | 2:00 p.m. | Free

Ensemble participants perform a program based on this year’s theme. Loud band instruments include cornetto, shawm, sackbut and dulcian. No pre-concert lecture.

About the Madison Early Music Festival

A program of the UW–Madison Division of the Arts, the Madison Early Music Festival (MEMF) was established in 2000 to provide an opportunity for musicians, scholars, teachers and early music enthusiasts to gather and exchange information and ideas about medieval, Renaissance and baroque music – and to bring acclaimed early music artists and scholars to Madison. Each year, MEMF explores a different cultural, historical and regional theme and offers numerous workshops during the festival to correspond to that specific theme.

MEMF 2019 is presented by UW–Madison Division of the Arts in collaboration with campus partner Mead Witter School of Music. Leadership support provided by Springhill Suites. Generous program support is provided by the UW–Madison Anonymous Fund; The Evjue Foundation, Inc., charitable arm of The Capital Times; and Dane Arts with additional funds from the Endres Mfg. Company Foundation, The Evjue Foundation, Inc., charitable arm of The Capital Times, the W. Jerome Frautschi Foundation and the Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation.

Additional funds provided by the William J. Wartmann Endowment for the Madison Early Music Festival, the Jane Graff Bequest for Madison Early Music Festival and Friends of the Madison Early Music Festival.