Skip to main content

September 21, 2023

Dear friends,

Autumn begins with the equinox early this Saturday morning, the official start to a season many New Englanders love best of all. The weather, the changing light, and the hints of color in the leaves always make this Vermonter yearn for the Green Mountains!

The end of summer was unusually busy for Blue Heron. In August we made our in-person debut at the wonderful festival Laus Polyphoniae in Antwerp (following up on a virtual appearance in 2021—see our performance of Josquin’s Missa Fortuna desperata in the Misse Josquin series on Alamire TV).  In Antwerp we sang two programs, the first centered on Johannes Okeghem’s Missa Caput (presented here as part of our series Ockeghem@600 in 2017 ). The second program was a new one of chansons published in Antwerp, with superb music by international superstars (Sweelinck, Le Jeune, De Monte) alongside works by brilliant locals (Cornet, Pevernage, Verdonck). We are thrilled to open our 2023-24 season by bringing that program, “The Musical Nightingale,” to our audience here at home in Cambridge on October 14th.

Introducing Blue Heron’s New Executive Director: Bobby Pape

Come meet Bobby at our post-concert reception October 14, 2023!

Read More Get Concert Tix

To celebrate the beginning of our 25th season, we hope you will all join us for a reception in First Church’s Margaret Jewett Hall immediately following the concert. Please come and enjoy light refreshments and wine, some bonus musical performances, and the chance to talk to Blue Heron musicians, board members, volunteers, and fellow listeners. We’ll also be introducing someone new to the Blue Heron team—our new Executive Director, Bobby Pape, who starts in the job that very week. Sarah Radcliffe-Marrs, who moved from our board to become Executive Director in January, is taking up a position as E.D. of Boston Baroque in October. While we are very sad to see Sarah go, we are very pleased that she will return to serve on our board, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome Bobby Pape, who is returning to Boston after a two-year stint with the Albany Symphony, bringing with him nearly a decade of experience as E.D. of the pioneering new music ensemble Boston Musica Viva—as Bobby puts it, “another organization that, as Blue Heron does, excelled performing challenging and under-represented music.”

Our season opener exemplifies what we hope you always discover at a Blue Heron concert—a program filled with wonderful music you may have never heard a note of before, by composers who may be completely new to you (Pevernage, anyone?), sung by an ensemble of expressive soloists who love singing chamber music together. We invite you to come along with us for an entire season of more!

Explore Our Concert Season

In December our much-loved program “Christmas in Medieval England” returns, revised and refreshed with new carols, plainchant, and polyphony. January’s “Renaissance Portraits” offers a musical complement to a magnificent exhibition presented at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2011-12. This exhibition featured a sumptuous catalogue and ties directly in to our online Spotlight Session with BU professor of art Jodi Cranston, who will also give a pre-concert talk at our January performance. The concert itself features musical portraits of a range of Renaissance personalities: popes and nobles, lovers and spouses, patrons and friends, a cocky cook, and a desperately self-absorbed lover.

In March join us for the next installment in our exploration of the Italian madrigal. Following on our program of settings of Petrarch and our world-premiere recording of the complete First Book of Madrigals by Cipriano de Rore, we turn to the poetry of Torquato Tasso, especially his epic, at once dramatic and lyric, Gierusalemme liberata, which includes the heart-stopping story of the duel between Tancredi and Clorinda. This program, too, will be preceded by an extended introduction in a Spotlight Session with the world’s leading expert on Tasso in music, Emiliano Ricciardi from UMass Amherst.

In April our season will wind up with a weekend-long celebration of the music of Johannes Okeghem, every note of whose surviving music Blue Heron has now sung. Our mainstage concert on Saturday, April 13th, will be surrounded by talks, lecture-demonstrations, a master class, and a pub concert featuring Belgian food and drink—watch your email for an announcement with all the details, coming soon!

I hope you won’t miss a single one of these events. For now, put October 14th in your calendar and we’ll see you in Cambridge for the concert and reception. (And by the way, you’ll want to hear the pre-concert talk, too, by Harvard professor Kate van Orden.) Until then, enjoy the glorious fall!


Scott Metcalfe

Artistic Director


Concert Season  Spotlight Sessions  Blue Heron on Tour  Recordings