As another Blue Heron season draws to a close – and with it, our monumental survey of the complete works of Johannes Ockeghem – we are taking a moment to reflect on the many amazing moments of music-making this season has brought, and to turn our gaze to the future.
In addition to the final two programs of Ockeghem@600, we explored themes of Fortune and Fame in February and took a trip to Renaissance Spain in our Christmas program. In the Fall, we continued our fruitful musical partnership with Debra Nagy and Les Délices with our CD release of Machaut’s Remede de Fortune. We welcomed guest instrumentalists in December, and closed out the season with a stellar line-up of international virtuosi, delving into the world of Isabella d’Este – again in partnership with Les Délices. Collaborations like these are deeply enriching to Blue Heron’s work, opening avenues and leading us down pathways that are sometimes unexpected, and always rewarding. We are so pleased and grateful to have had you with us on the journey this year.
We are committed to bringing the artistry of Blue Heron to as wide an audience as possible and building on the ensemble’s successes by seeking out new opportunities. One such opportunity is coming up this summer: Blue Heron has been invited to perform two programs at Laus Polyphoniae in Antwerp, the world’s most important festival of Renaissance music, now in its thirtieth year. We are very honored to have been invited to join a fabulous international array of musicians and ensembles at this year’s edition – and even more so because Blue Heron is the only US ensemble to have been invited in 2023.
To tell you more about Laus Polyphoniae and what it would mean for us to perform there, here’s Blue Heron musician David McFerrin:
In addition to presenting two programs in Antwerp, we will also perform one of them as our season opener at First Church in October: The Musical Nightingale, a selection of late 16th-century French chansons published in Antwerp. We can’t wait to share this glorious music with you in a performance that will surely be enriched by the ensemble’s experiences in Antwerp.
While the opportunity to showcase the talent of Blue Heron at a European festival brings many potential rewards, it is not without cost – and those costs are substantial. We are committed to undertaking this tour – and a successful Spring Appeal will be a huge boost to our plans!
We have an ambitious fundraising goal of $20,000 to meet for this year’s Spring Appeal, and many ambitious plans for the future to go along with it! As always, our ability to bring these plans to fruition relies on the generosity and commitment of the many patrons and donors who make up the Blue Heron community. We hope you will join with us in realizing these ambitions by making a donation to our Appeal.
With grateful thanks,