2020-2021: LISTEN IN PLACE
Join the Byrd Ensemble for a series of online broadcasts in the comfort of your own home as we explore lesser-known treasures from the Renaissance. This polyphonic tasting is bound to please the senses and lift the spirits through a sampling of Mexican, Portuguese, and English polyphony. Paired with these rarely performed works is an intimate look into who the Byrds really are—no doubt this will reveal some interesting Byrd ‘notes.’
In addition to the newly-produced content this season, we will be broadcasting some of our favorite performances and recordings over the years.
WED DEC 19 at 7:00 p.m.
Rebroadcast of Messiah performance from March 2019
We are pleased to announce that we will be broadcasting Handel’s Messiah from our 2018-19 season with the Seattle Baroque Orchestra. This concert was originally performed in Saint Mark’s Cathedral in March, 2019. We hope you will join us again, or perhaps for the first time, to celebrate the holiday season. Donations collected at this performance will benefit both EMS and the Byrd Ensemble. More information.
WED DEC 23 at 7:30 p.m.
Allegra from the Seattle Girls Choir under the direction of Sarra Sharif Doyle and the Byrd Ensemble will broadcast their annual performance of A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols popularized by the King's College Chapel. The program consists of nine readings, each followed by a traditional carol performed by the choir, and another sung by the audience. More information.
BRITTEN'S Ceremony of Carols
SAT DEC 26 at 2:00 p.m.
Rebroadcast of performance from November 2017
Our performance of Benjamin Britten’s (1913—1976) A Ceremony of Carols (1942) featuring harpist Catherine Case. A Ceremony of Carols is a collection of short pieces based on carols written in the 15th and16th centuries. Britten wrote the eleven movement work while on a transatlantic voyage from the United States to England. While stopped in Nova Scotia, Britten obtained a copy of “The English Galaxy of Shorter Poems,” a set of lyrical poems in Middle English, where he found the text for the piece.
These are challenging times.
While we can't perform for you on a stage, we are just as committed to producing and sharing with you the beauty of Renaissance vocal music that we all love.
Your donations help offset lost ticket revenue we need to keep our organization running.
Consider making a monthly contribution! Having a predictable income stream makes financial planning much easier.
Thank you for your support. I look forward to when we can meet again, on stage, where the beauty and magic of this ancient music is best experienced.
- Markdavin Obenza
This project was supported, in part, by 4Culture/King County Lodging Tax
ARVO PÄRT: Sunset at Joshua Tree
SAT JAN 23 at 4:06 p.m.
Premiere broadcast of remastered disc Arvo Pärt (2013)
Come hear our entire Arvo Pärt CD recording over a beautiful sunset at Joshua Tree National Park. Immerse your ears in the mysticism of Pärt's sound world while you witness, real time, one the most stunning sunsets on the planet.
NEW WORLD POLYPHONY: Treasures from the Cathedral of Mexico City
SAT MAR 27 at 7:00pm
This program features sacred music from the Two Mexico City Choirbooks of 1717. We will perform music by composers Antonio Rodríguez Mata, Antonio de Salazar, and Miguel de Sumaya, alongside music by old world icons that had an unmistakable influence on the Mexican polyphonic style—Tomás Luis de Victoria, Alonso Lobo, and G.P. da Palestrina. More information.
By the 17th century, the transition to the Baroque style was well under way, but Portuguese Renaissance composers were not quick to change with the times. Rather than adopting to Baroque writing techniques, they kept developing the Renaissance style, but with a some new harmonic flavors from the emerging Baroque movement, yielding some of the most exotic sounding Renaissance motets of the era. This program features Duarte Lôbo and Manuel Cardoso.
A special program featuring our namesake, English Renaissance composer William Byrd. As a devout Catholic, Byrd had the challenge of composing for the Protestant church. We can hear his longing for the return of Catholicism in his writing, and perhaps it was this inner conflict that allowed him to produce some of the most beautiful compositions of Renaissance vocal music ever written. This program will unveil some of these hidden moments in his music.