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Blue Heron announces an adventurous season of early music and more for 2024-25

Tickets are on sale now for the Gramophone Award-winning ensemble’s 25th Birthday Concert,
the return of a beloved holiday program, and more from the 14th, 15th, 16th centuries, plus a special new commission by Turkish-American composer Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol.

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Bobby Pape, Executive Director
(617) 960-7956 (office)
(585) 739-5265 (cell)

July 10 – Boston – Blue Heron, New England’s premier early music vocal ensemble, announces its 26th season of historically informed performances of medieval and Renaissance music. Led by Artistic Director Scott Metcalfe and featuring a roster of many of America’s leading early music vocalists and instrumentalists, Blue Heron’s 2024-25 season features five programs from October 2024 to April 2025 at the group’s subscription series home, First Church in Cambridge, Congregational.

“We open the season with a grand celebration of our 25th birthday,” said Metcalfe. “The program features favorite selections from the Peterhouse Partbooks alongside the world premiere of a new work by Boston’s Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol fusing traditional Turkish music and instruments with Renaissance compositional techniques. This concert and the entire 2024-25 lineup celebrate Blue Heron’s uniquely adventurous programming, and offer vivid performances of music you won’t hear sung anywhere else.”

Blue Heron has championed the Peterhouse Partbooks (an extensive and otherwise neglected set of manuscripts of English polyphony copied around 1540 for Canterbury Cathedral) for over a decade through concerts and five commercial recordings, the fifth of which earned a Gramophone Classical Music Award in 2018. In celebration of Blue Heron’s first 25 years, the ensemble’s Oct. 19 season opener pairs “something old” from the Peterhouse repertoire with “something new,” a world premiere by Sanlıkol, a Grammy-nominated Turkish American composer and faculty member at New England Conservatory. “We are Blue, of course,” said Metcalfe. “Who knows what we may borrow?” After the performance, patrons are invited to join in a special birthday celebration with Blue Heron’s musicians.

In December, Blue Heron reprises Christmas in 15th-Century France & Burgundy, a beloved holiday candlelight concert, with performances on Friday, Dec. 20, at 8 pm, and Saturday, Dec. 21, at 3 pm and 8 pm. This month, patrons can purchase tickets to these concerts at 15% off as part of a Christmas in July special promotion by calling (617) 960-7596 or using the code JULY at

In the spring, Blue Heron’s season continues with The Armed Archangel: Johannes Regis’s Missa L’homme armé, a brilliant Mass displaying Regis’s unique sense of sonority (Feb. 1), A More Subtle Art: the Late 14th-Century Ars subtilior, a new program featuring stories of mythological characters and deities set to jazzy, intoxicating polyphony (March 1), and Song of Songs / Songs of love, a program juxtaposing sacred settings of texts from the Song of Songs with Spanish love songs and poetry in Spanish and Hebrew, including performances by two guest actors (April 5). 

Single tickets ($90-$32, $10 students, under 18 free) to all Blue Heron 2024-25 concerts are on sale now at (617) 960-7956 and Four- and five-concert subscriptions are also available starting at $145 for adults and $117 for seniors. Free and discounted tickets for those who might otherwise be unable to attend are available, and Blue Heron is proud to participate in the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Card to Culture program. 


Concerts at First Church in Cambridge, Congregational
11 Garden Street, Cambridge (Harvard Square) MA

Order tickets ($90-$32, $10 students, under 18 free) at (617) 960-7956 or

25th Birthday Concert: something old, something new …
Saturday, October 19, 2024 at 3:00 PM
Blue Heron returns to its origins, singing the glorious music of Hugh Aston from the Peterhouse Partbooks, and looks to the future with two works by Boston composer Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol: Devran and a new piece written for the occasion. Blue Heron’s 25th Birthday Party Reception to follow!

Christmas in 15th-Century France & Burgundy
Friday, December 20, 2024 at 8:00 PM
Saturday, December 21, 2024 at 3:00 PM
Saturday, December 21, 2024 at 8:00 PM
One of Blue Heron’s most beloved programs, presented for the first time since 2018, with music by Du Fay, Regis, Obrecht, Josquin, Brumel, and others.

The Armed Archangel: Johannes Regis, Missa L’homme armé
Saturday, February 1, 2025 at 3:00 PM
Regis’s Mass based on the song L’homme armé is one of the very first in a series of L’homme armé works stretching across musical generations, and the only one whose origins are clearly understood. Written for the celebration of the feast of St. Michael at Cambrai Cathedral in 1462, the Mass is a tour de force setting multiple plainchant cantus firmi and featuring Regis’s brilliant and unique sense of sonority.

A More Subtle Art: The Late 14th-Century Ars subtilior
Saturday, March 1, 2025 at 3:00 PM
A new program featuring the head-spinningly complex music of the generation after Machaut – stories of mythological characters and deities set to jazzy, intoxicating polyphony. 

Song of Songs / Songs of Love
Saturday, April 5, 2025 at 8:00 PM
Two actors join Blue Heron’s singers for a revival of a dramatic program last performed in 2012: sacred polyphony setting texts from the Song of Songs, Spanish love songs, and poetry in Spanish and Hebrew.


Blue Heron has been acclaimed by the The Boston Globe as “one of the Boston music community’s indispensables” and hailed by Alex Ross in The New Yorker for its “expressive intensity.” The ensemble ranges over a wide repertoire from plainchant to new music, with particular specialties in 15th-century Franco-Flemish polyphony and early 16th-century English sacred music, and is committed to vivid live performance informed by the study of original source materials and historical performance practices. Blue Heron offers a catalog of 13 recordings and is the only group outside of Europe to receive the Gramophone Classical Music Award for Early Music (2018). Blue Heron’s most recent release, Johannes Ockeghem: Complete Songs, Volume 2, launched to critical acclaim in Spring 2024. The ensemble’s multi-season project to perform the complete works of the great 15th-century composer Johannes Ockeghem, Ockeghem@600, made Blue Heron the only ensemble in North America—and quite possibly the world—to have accomplished this feat.

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