Saturday, April 29, 2017 • 9 am – 4:30 pm

Partbook image

MS 471, Folio 033v
Copyright holder: Peterhouse College, Cambridge

Taking Apart the Partbooks

A Day of Music & Talks Celebrating the Peterhouse Partbooks

First Church in Cambridge, Congregational
11 Garden Street (next to the Sheraton Commander)

We celebrate the completion of our 5-CD series Music from the Peterhouse Partbooks with a special day of events devoted to this source and its historical context. We are thrilled and deeply honored to be joined for the occasion by Nick Sandon, the world’s leading expert on the Peterhouse partbooks and the restorer of their missing parts, without whose astonishing and utterly persuasive recomposition of missing lines (principally the tenor, whose partbook was lost centuries ago) none of the unique Peterhouse music could be sung in modern times. Prof. Sandon has recently completed a decades-long project to reconstruct the missing tenor parts of fifty works.

This symposium-like event will feature talks by Nick Sandon (University of Exeter, retired), and James Simpson (Harvard University), an expert on iconoclasm during the Reformation; a lecture-demonstration by Scott Metcalfe and Blue Heron; and an hourlong Blue Heron concert. More details below.

General admission for the entire day $95
Free with student ID

Blue Heron is committed to making our events accessible to all, regardless of ability to pay. Simply inquire about free admissions by calling (617) 960-960-7956 or emailing us at

Schedule (subject to change without notice):

8:30 AM Coffee and Pastries (Margaret Jewett Hall)

9:00 AM Introductory Remarks: Scott Metcalfe (Margaret Jewett Hall)

9:10 AM Talk: “Tradition and iconoclasm in England on the eve of the Reformation,” given by James Simpson (Harvard University) (Margaret Jewett Hall)

9:45 AM Scholarly talk TBA

10:15 AM Questions and discussion (Margaret Jewett Hall)

10:45 AM Coffee Break

11:15 AM Lecture-demonstration: “Rhetorical strategies and rhetorical performance in the votive antiphons of the Peterhouse partbooks,”  with Scott Metcalfe and Blue Heron (Sanctuary)

12:15 PM Lunch (on your own)

1:45 PM Concert: Special Blue Heron performance including works not offered in April 28 concert (Sanctuary)

3:00 PM Talk: “The History of the Peterhouse Partbooks and the Reconstruction of Missing Parts,” given by Nick Sandon (University of Exeter, retired) (Margaret Jewett Hall)

Questions and discussion.

4:30 PM End