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Boston Early Music Festival All Week

Celebrating centuries-old music and instruments


The shawm is a medieval and Renaissance musical instrument dating back to the 12th century. Photo by Flickr user Jeff Hardcastle

If you know or want to know what a shawm is and how to use it, then Boston is the place to be this week.

The weeklong Boston Early Music Festival, running through Sunday, June 19, features Agostino Steffani’s opera Niobe, Regina di Tebe, multiple concerts around the city, and an exhibition celebrating centuries-old music and instruments. Lectures and demonstrations, dance workshops, and an educational family day are also part of the fun.

Metamorphoses: Change and Transformation is the theme of the 16th biennial festival. Events are happening at venues around Boston, among them the Cutler Majestic Theatre at Emerson College, New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, Emmanuel Church, and the Radisson Boston Hotel, where festival organizers are manning an information booth throughout the week.

Tickets are subject to availability and can be purchased at the Radisson Hotel Boston, 200 Stuart St., Wednesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or at the door of each event. A 10 to 20 percent discount is available for those purchasing tickets to four or more events.

Early music fringe concerts will also be held around Boston throughout the week. Ideal for the budget-conscious,  they either cost less or are free. Tickets to these concerts cannot be purchased in advance. The full festival schedule is here.

Take the T’s Green Line to the Boylston, Hynes Convention Center, and Arlington stops for festival events.

Leslie Friday can be reached at lfriday@bu.edu; follow her on Twitter at @lesliefriday.

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