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About the Ensemble
Blue Heron is a professional vocal ensemble that combines a commitment to vivid live performance with the study of original source materials and historical performance practice. Blue Heron's principal repertoire interests are fifteenth-century English and Franco-Flemish polyphony, ranging from Dunstable and Du Fay through Ockeghem to Josquin; Spanish music between about 1500 and 1575; and neglected early sixteenth-century English music, especially the rich and unexplored repertory of the Peterhouse partbooks (c. 1540). Founded in 1999, Blue Heron presents its own series of concerts in Cambridge, Massachusetts and New York City; it has appeared as part of the Boston Early Music Festival, travelled all over the Northeast, and sung at the Festival Mozaic in San Luis Obispo, California. In 2009 Blue Heron presented the opening concert of the Boston Early Music Festival Concert Series and ended the season with a performance at the Connecticut Early Music Festival. Last season the ensemble performed with Piffaro in Philadelphia, at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC, and on the Music Before 1800 series in New York City. This season they will appear at the Cloisters in New York City and on the Renaissance and Baroque series in Pittsburgh, PA.
Blue Heron's first CD, featuring music by Guillaume Du Fay, was released in 2007, to wide critical acclaim. A second CD, of music from the Peterhouse partbooks by Aston, Jones and Mason, was released in 2010. The Aston recording has received high praise from reviewers on both sides of the Atlantic, was featured in an article by Alex Ross in The New Yorker discussing new developments in the performance of Renaissance polyphony (January 10, 2011), was recently named WGBH's CD of the month, and hit the Billboard chart.
Scott Metcalfe, Music Director of Blue Heron since its founding in 1999, is a specialist in music between 1400 and 1750 whose career as a violinist and conductor has taken him all over North America and Europe. He holds a master's degree in historical performance practice from Harvard University and is a lecturer in choral repertoire and performance practice at Boston University. In January 2010 he directed the Green Mountain Project in an all-star 400th anniversary performance of Monteverdi's 1610 Vespers at St. Mary the Virgin in Times Square which the New York Times called "simply terrific"; the production was revived in January 2011 for a sell-out crowd.