Early Music Guild (EMG) is Seattle’s largest presenter of early music and related educational programs. Its mainstage events include the International Series and Seattle Baroque Orchestra at Nordstrom Recital Hall with occasional performances at Town Hall Seattle, Bastyr University Chapel, and other venues.
EMG was formed in 1977 as a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to promote early music in Seattle. Focusing on historically informed performances of music from the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and early Classical periods, EMG presents concert series by both internationally known and local artists, sponsors educational activities, and provides support services to Seattle’s performers.
The International Series brings the finest early music performers from all over the world to Seattle. Frans Brüggen, Gustav Leonhardt, The English Concert, Tafelmusik, Jordi Savall, Andrew Manze, The King’s Singers, and the Tallis Scholars are just a few of the artists who have made the International Series one of Seattle’s best-loved chamber music series over its 40 year history.
Seattle Baroque Orchestra (SBO) was founded in 1994 by violinist Ingrid Matthews and harpsichordist Byron Schenkman, and it quickly established itself as one of the most vibrant of the American early music ensembles. Now under the direction of Alexander Weimann, SBO performs four concerts every season, each designed specifically for the Orchestra by Weimann. The Orchestra has appeared across North America from California to Vermont, been featured extensively on National Public Radio, and garnered rave reviews for its six recordings, while winning loyal fans in Seattle for the excitement and intimacy of their live performances.
EMG frequently partners with local venues and artists to program innovative and multidisciplinary projects, including the presentation of fully staged Baroque operas, educational workshops, and contemporary choreography to Medieval and Renaissance music. Artistic partners have been Meany Center for the Performing Arts (previously UW World Series), ACT, Seattle Theatre Group, Spectrum Dance Company, and Seattle Early Dance, among many others. The last two years have seen a fruitful collaboration with Early Music Vancouver and Victoria, B.C.’s Early Music Society of the Islands to create large-scale works performed in Seattle, Portland, Victoria, and Vancouver, B.C. Productions to date have included Handel’s Theodora and Michael Pratorius’ Christmas Vespers.