Ensemble in Residence: Blue Heron

The vocal ensemble Blue Heron, directed by Scott Metcalfe, has been acclaimed by The Boston Globe as “one of the Boston music community’s indispensables” and hailed by Alex Ross in The New Yorker for the “expressive intensity” of its interpretations. Combining a commitment to vivid live performance with the study of original source materials and historical performance practice, Blue Heron ranges over a wide and fascinating repertoire, including 15th-century English and Franco-Flemish polyphony, Spanish music between 1500 and 1600, and neglected early 16th-century English music, especially the rich and unique repertory of the Peterhouse partbooks, copied c. 1540 for Canterbury Cathedral. Blue Heron’s first CD, featuring music by Guillaume Du Fay, was released in 2007. In 2010 the ensemble inaugurated a 5-CD series of Music from the Peterhouse Partbooks. Three discs have been released so far, of music by Hugh Aston, Robert Jones, Nicholas Ludford, John Mason, and Richard Pygott; volume 4 will be released in April 2015. Blue Heron has also recorded a CD of music to accompany the book Capturing Music: The Story of Notation by Thomas Forrest Kelly, which will be released in November 2014 by W. W. Norton. All of Blue Heron’s recordings have received international critical acclaim and volume one in the Peterhouse partbooks series made the Billboard charts.

Blue Heron presents a subscription series in Cambridge. The ensemble has appeared at the Boston Early Music Festival; in New York City at The Cloisters, the 92nd Street Y, and Music Before 1800; at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C., at Festival Mozaic in San Luis Obispo, California, and at the Berkeley Early Music Festival. In September 2012, Blue Heron took up a new position as ensemble in residence at the new Center for Early Music Studies at Boston University. Highlights of the 2013-14 season included a return to The Cloisters and debut appearances at the Library of Congress, at Yale University, and in Seattle, Kansas City, and Cleveland. In 2014-15 the ensemble will inaugurate a long-term project to perform the complete works of Johannes Ockeghem and tour to St. Louis, Chicago, and Milwaukee.

For more information, please visit Blue Heron’s website.