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Recent Highlights: Jan – Mar 2021

Katherine Blodgett  ·  Posted March 30, 2021

Early Music


Photo courtesy of HopeBoykinDance
Powerful. Stunning. Inspiring. These are just a few of the words our audiences have shared with us since the spring digital season began in early February. It’s always great to hear such praise for the artists who have given a superlative performance. But in the past year, as we transitioned to livestreamed performances, it is particularly meaningful. And when we read that “the production team stars along with the dancers,” we get excited at the thought that perhaps that invisible barrier, across the virtual divide, just might be dissolving, bringing our virtual audiences so much closer. As one of only a couple of venues in the Philadelphia area to stream live performances in real time, this is a wonderful affirmation of the artists and their art and our staff learning to work in completely new ways. Here are a few highlights from the first weeks of our spring season.

Preserving the live experience has been our overriding goal for our 20/21 season. For debut artists, the dramatic tension of the live experience lends an extra level of energy, even in a virtual setting. For the audience, hearing new artists such as rising jazz stars Samara Joy and Pasquale Grasso gives a peek into the future of the art form. These fresh voices and musicians were a great kickoff to the spring season. You can read more about Samara Joy and her connection to Philadelphia in The Philadelphia Tribune and hear from both artists on our blog in our 5 Questions series. Read more...

Celebrating Early Music Month

Posted March 10, 2021

Early Music


Photo from our November 15, 2020 performance by Meg Bragle, Mezzo-soprano & Richard Stone, Lute
Early music enthusiasts would know that the month of March is also Early Music Month, an awareness campaign created five years ago by Early Music America. Here at the Annenberg Center, we are joining the Early Music Month celebration by spotlighting our recent early music livestreams. At the end of February, we welcomed Gwyn Roberts and Richard Stone, co-founders of Philadelphia’s Tempesta di Mare, for a program that explored the works of baroque composers who stayed close to home. Stone also performed in the fall alongside mezzo-soprano Meg Bragle in an intimate meditation on the meaning of solitude. See below for photo highlights from these marvelous performances. Read more...

5 Questions with Meg Bragle

Posted October 20, 2020

Early Music


Photo by Tatiana Daubek
Discover more about Annenberg Center artists and others whom we find interesting in only five questions. Mezzo-soprano Meg Bragle returns to our stage on November 15 alongside lutenist Richard Stone, co-director of Philadelphia’s Tempesta di Mare. Meg also happens to be a Penn Department of Music Artist-in-Residence and we are thrilled to welcome her to our stage for an evening of music by Purcell, Dowland, Encina and other beloved early music composers. But first, read on to learn more about Meg and how she grew up with impactful music experiences. Read more...

Our fall 2020 digital season takes the performance to you

Posted September 1, 2020

Early Music


Martha Graham Dance Company, Photo by Hibbard Nash Photography
We are excited to announce our fall 2020 digital season! Curated and created just for our patrons, our exclusive live performances will bring some of the best dance and music artists from our stage to your home. Also, new for this season, we are pleased that films will be returning to our line-up, broadening our programming and supporting independent film on campus and in West Philadelphia.

Each one-night-only music and dance performance will be broadcast live from our theatre and be followed by a Q&A with the artists. Viewers will have the opportunity to chat live with each other and the performers, forging connections at a time when we all feel so apart. Read on to discover what’s coming to our virtual stage! Read more...

A feast of digital content from the Dunedin Consort

Posted July 13, 2020

Early Music


Over the past few months, the Dunedin Consort has taken to many formats of the virtual stage. Within the first weeks of quarantine, the Gramophone Award-winning baroque ensemble hosted a lighthearted and casual livestreamed Q&A with its Music Director, John Butt. In April, Dunedin’s musicians honored Good Friday with a socially distanced recording of Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben from Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. The video, along with Dunedin’s corresponding podcast episode, took the place of the group’s annual performances of the work that were cancelled. Since then, we’ve enjoyed Dunedin’s educational video series, Making Music with Dunedin Consort, and fun introductions to instruments such as the baroque horn, the oboe and the theorbo.

We were also very excited to see Dunedin release its performance at the Library of Congress (LOC) in Washington, D.C. This video brought us right back to January of this year when we presented Dunedin’s Philadelphia debut just two days before the LOC concert. Read more...

ListenUp: Early Music Playlist

Posted April 22, 2020

Early Music

Our 19/20 season featured several early music artists from around the world. Vox Luminis (Belgium) made its Annenberg Center debut in November and the Dunedin Consort (UK) made its Philadelphia debut with us in January. Since we won’t get to present Les Violons du Roy (Canada) in their own Philadelphia debut this weekend, this week’s ListenUp playlist includes some of the best early music heard in our theatres this season plus other stunning recordings by these remarkable early music ensembles.