French Harpsichordist to Open San Diego Early Music Society’s 37th Season

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Cappella Pratensis, masters of vocal polyphony. Courtesy San Diego Early Music Society

The San Diego Early Music Society has announced its 37th year of concerts exploring the musical treasures of Europe’s medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods.

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The nonprofit will open the season on Oct. 12 with the French ensemble Les Talens Lyriques and harpsichordist Christophe Rousset performing 350-year-old music by François Couperin. The concert is at 7:30 p.m. at St. James by-the-Sea in La Jolla.

Other concerts this season are:

Sunday, Nov. 18Cappella Pratensis, a Dutch group that specializes in the vocal polyphony of its namesake, Josquin des Prez, who lived from 1450 to 1521. The concert is at 7:30 p.m. at St. James.

Sunday, Jan. 6Quicksilver Baroque with early music from England, Italy, Poland, Germany and Spain. The concert is at 3 p.m. in the Samuel M. Ciccati Theatre at Cuyamaca College.

Saturday, Feb. 9 — The Italian Accademia Bizantia will devote an evening to the great master Vivaldi and his city of Venice. The concert is at 7:30 p.m. at St. James.

Friday, March 8Ensemble Caprice from Montreal will use the Baroque chaconne technique to create variations on works by Bach, Purcell and Vivaldi. The concert is at 7:30 p.m. at St. James.

Friday, April 5 — The Constantinople ensemble with tenor Marco Beasley presents Italian, Persian, and Ottoman songs from the early 17th century, music bridging East and West. The concert is at 7:30 p.m. at St. James.

Sunday, May 5Hopkinson Smith plays Elizabethan music by John Dowland, John Johnson and Athony Holborne on the lute, a popular instrument of the era. The concert is at 3 p.m. in Samuel M. Ciccati Theatre at Cuyamaca College.

Tickets are available at www.sdems.org or by calling 619-291-8246.

The society was established in 1981 and has presented concerts in churches, small halls, museums, and homes—settings for which the music was composed.

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