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 practices, 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, featuring works by Hugh Aston, Robert Jones, Nicholas Ludford, John Mason, and Richard Pygott and including many world premiere recordings; volume three will be released in October 2013 and volume four in 2014. All of Blue Heron’s recordings have received international critical acclaim and the first Peterhouse CD made the Billboard charts.

Blue Heron presents a subscription series of four programs in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The ensemble has appeared at the Boston Early Music Festival; in New York City at The Cloisters (Metropolitan Museum of Art), 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 2012-13 Blue Heron was appointed ensemble in residence at the Center for Early Music Studies at Boston University and performed for the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Highlights of the 2013-14 season are a return to The Cloisters and debut appearances at the Library of Congress, at Yale University, and in Seattle, Kansas City, and Cleveland.

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