SF EARLY MUSIC SOCIETY – Season Opens with the Catacoustic Consort and Wildcat Viols

Sean Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

The San Francisco Early Music Society opens its 2011-12 concert season with a splash of vivid vocal color. Two renowned early music groups, Cincinnati’s Catacoustic Consort and the Bay Area’s Wildcat Viols, combine forces in a thrilling chamber music concert highlighting the sacred cantata. Two of today’s brightest emerging vocal sensations, soprano Youngmi Kim and baritone Mischa Bouvier, deliver this collection of powerfully theatrical songs, beautifully accompanied by period instruments, in an emotional musical dialogue. Kim and Bouvier are steadily gaining recognition in their blossoming careers; Kim is returning to the SFEMS series, and Bouvier was lauded at the American Back Soloist’s Professional Training Academy in 2010.

Click on the photo to order CD on-line

Catacoustic artistic director Annalisa Pappano is a highly sought after performer of the lirone, pardessus, and viola da gamba. She regularly collaborates with the very virtuosic Wildcat Viols, recently as invited guests of the Ojai Music Festival in 2010. WQXR Radio called their music “Spellbinding…fantastic.”. The concert is the first on the 2011-12 SFEMS series, which offers only the finest historically informed chamber music.

Friday, September 9th – First Lutheran Church, 600 Homer Street, Palo Alto, 8:00 pm
Saturday, September 10th – St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 2727 College, Berkeley, 7:30 pm
Sunday, September 11th – St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 1111 O’Farrell Street, San Francisco, 4:00 pm

“We hang Our Harps upon the Willows” – 17th Century German vocal cantatas, by Franz Tunder, Matthias Weckmann, Christoph Bernhard and others.
Click here to order tickets on-line: SFEMS


THE CATACOUSTIC CONSORT — Annalisa Pappano, director, treble viol; Youngmi Kim, soprano; Mischa Bouvier, baritone; David Morris, bass viol; Katherine Heater, chamber organ — presents a variety of vocal and instrumental music from Renaissance chamber music to Baroque opera, with the intent of recreating the sound of the music when it was originally performed. The music is performed on period instruments such as the viola da gamba, theorbo, organ, harpsichord, Baroque guitar, and lute.


In addition to a historically informed approach to performing music, Catacoustic is dedicated to approaching music with an understanding of the life and times of when it was originally played, including an informed humanities presentation to accompany its programs. Some of the composers of early music include J.S. Bach, William Byrd, Giulio Caccini, and Boismortier. Grand Prize Winner of the Early Music America Live Recording competition in 2003, Catacoustic released a CD on the Naxos label of their award winning Italian Dramatic Laments program internationally in January 2006. A result of winning this national competition, artistic director Annalisa Pappano was also featured on the cover of Early Music America magazine.


WILDCAT VIOLS was formed in 2003, bringing together three of the San Francisco Bay Area’s favorite early string specialists – Joanna Blendulf, treble viol; Julie Jeffrey, tenor viol; Elisabeth Reed, bass viol. Praised for their musical rapport and the shared enjoyment that radiates from their performances, they have been hailed as “refreshing”, “sensuous”, “gutsy”, “incredible artists”, “breathtaking ensemble.”

Elisabeth Reed, Julie Jeffrey, and Joanna Blendulf

Early Music America magazine called their debut concert at the 2004 Berkeley Early Music Festival a “wonderful offering…beautifully played.” In 2010 Wildcat Viols, at the invitation of Artistic Director George Benjamin, performed the complete 3- and 4-part Fantazias of Henry Purcell at the Ojai Music Festival, receiving lavish audience and critical praise. In May 2010 Wildcat Viols released their first recording, “Fairest Isle”, of music by Purcell, Locke and John Hingeston.

Click on the photo to listen to samples and order MP3s on-line
CD includes: Fantazia No 2 in F Major (Purcell); Suite in F Major from The Little Consort – Pavan (Locke); Almande in G Major (Hingeston), and more.

About San Francisco Early Music Society
SFEMS, founded in 1975, is the leading early music community-based service and membership organization. Under the direction of Harvey Malloy, it is the focal institution in Northern California for the advancement of historically informed performance of early music. Through its concert series, publications, outreach activities, affiliate support and educational programs, SFEMS encourages the development of amateurs, supports professionals, and increases public involvement and participation in early music. SFEMS is the lead presenter of the Berkeley Festival & Exhibition.


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Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Seán Martinfield, who also serves as Fine Arts Critic, is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: sean.martinfield@comcast.net.

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