Message from the Director
On September 7, the revamped Bloomington Early Music Festival kick-starts IU’s and the EMI’s performance activity, and this year’s fall festival season in Bloomington. A highlight of this short but intense early music festival will be the performance of Monteverdi’s Madrigali Guerrieri et Amorosi by the San Francisco Bay Area based ensemble Magnificat. On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the Bloomington Bach Cantata Project will officially close the festival with its first performance of the 2011-2012 season. The BBCP began its mission to perform all of J. S. Bach’s cantatas in the fall of 2010 under the direction of Wendy Gillespie. The performances by Magnificat and the Bloomington Bach Cantata Project are part of the IU Fall Themester entitled Making War, Making Peace.
The EMI plans to end the academic year in fine style with a performance of French Baroque operatic excerpts, complete with acting, movement and dance, on April 21 and 22, 2012. This Baroque Orchestra production will be in collaboration with the Ballet and Choral departments, Catherine Turocy, Director and co-founder of The New York Baroque Dance Company, and researchers in the French and Italian department of the College of Arts and Sciences. Something all these events have in common is the deep involvement of past and present EMI students and faculty – a legacy of which we can justly be proud. In between these major events, there will also be much to enjoy this coming year - I guarantee it!
Visitors to the EMI this Fall will include Gus Denhard, Executive Director of the Seattle Early Music Guild in September, the fortepianist Malcolm Bilson, who will give a talk at the weekly EMI Symposium on October 3, and Professor Robert Toft of the University of Western Ontario, who will give a workshop and talk entitled Foundation of bel canto: Re-Creative Performance, on November 7 and 8. On February 25, 2012, the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra will give a free full-length concert in Auer Hall under its principal conductor, the baroque flutist Barthold Kuijken. A highlight of this concert will be a performance by the EMI student winner of a concerto competition to be held in January and organized on our behalf by the IBO.
In academics, IUJSoM undergraduate majors on “modern” instruments and in Voice may take a challenging 15-credit Minor in Early Music as part of their degree. The experience gained, we believe, makes students more rounded and versatile musicians, and potentially more employable.
The EMI continues to offer an Outside Field of 6 credits for graduate majors outside the EMI, which will require at least one performance practice course. A little known fact is that, in common with all departments in the IUJSoM, non-EMI graduates may opt for a full 12-credit Minor in Early Music by taking extra courses beyond their degree requirement. This allows those who take advantage of this option to build a more secure foundation for a future professional career in music.
In research, the EMI continues to oversee a series published by Indiana University Press: Publications of the Early Music Institute. A highlight of 2011 was the publication of the late James Tyler’s last book, A Guide to Playing the Baroque Guitar. Other recent publications in this series include Yonit Kosovske’s Historical Harpsichord Technique: developing la douceur de toucher. Available shortly will be Stanley Ritchie’s guide for modern violinists to baroque violin style, intriguingly entitled Before the Chinrest.
Focus, the recording label of the Early Music Institute, has been examining new ways to market itself and its products, and plans to produce more recordings shortly. Downloads, through an agreement with CDBaby, are likely to become another way to obtain and enjoy this rare and interesting series of recordings.
As the 2010/11 academic year closed we were concerned that hard economic times might force us to cut down on our adjunct faculty – a situation that would have had a very serious negative impact on the range of the EMI’s activities. I am pleased to report that for 2011/12 we will, in fact, have part-time faculty to teach baroque flute, early oboe and clarinet, baroque trumpet and cornetto, and early trombone. The EMI relies on our part-time faculty, in a way not duplicated elsewhere in the IU Jacobs School of Music, to flesh out the performance teaching and courses offered by our six full-time faculty members in voice, harpsichord and fortepiano, violin and baroque ‘cello, baroque bassoon and recorder, viols and medieval strings, lute and, with Rick Seraphinoff, early horns. Full details of all our academic and performance activities are on our web site.
Yes, there is much to be thankful for, despite straitened times. There will continue to be great challenges ahead for us in our mission to “make old music new again”. As ever, I am optimistic that we are up to the task!