Three-time Grammy-nominee Boston Baroque-the first permanent Baroque orchestra established in North America and is conducted by Martin Pearlman.
Three-time Grammy-nominee Boston Baroque-the first permanent Baroque orchestra established in North America-is now widely regarded as ‘one of the world's premier period-instrument bands' (Fanfare). The ensemble's performances and recordings of the Baroque and Classical repertoire have been acclaimed from Boston to London, from New York to Vienna to Sao Paulo for their freshness, virtuosity, and exuberant appeal.
Founded in 1973 by Martin Pearlman, Boston Baroque presents an annual subscription concert series in Greater Boston and reaches an international audience with its now-twenty critically acclaimed recordings on Telarc. Boston Baroque made its European debut in 2003, performing Handel's Messiah to sold-out houses and standing ovations in Krakow and Warsaw, Poland. The ensemble celebrated its thirtieth anniversary in 2004 with a tour of the Monteverdi Vespers to major American music centers, including Los Angeles' Disney Hall, Ravinia and Tanglewood. In 2009, Boston Baroque made its debut with two programs at the international Casals Festival in Puerto Rico-the first period-instrument orchestra and chorus invited to perform there. In March 2010, the ensemble gave a triumphal performance of the Monteverdi Vespers in New York's world-famous Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
Boston Baroque's many career milestones include the American premiere of Rameau's Zoroastre; a Mozart opera series including Marriage of Figaro, Così fan tutte, and the American period-instrument premieres of Mozart's Don Giovanni and The Magic Flute; and a revelatory exploration of the Beethoven symphonies on period instruments. In 1998-99, the ensemble gave the modern premiere of The Philosopher's Stone, a singspiel newly discovered to include music by Mozart and to shed fresh light on his canon. In recent years, Boston Baroque has presented Boston's first complete cycle of the surviving operas of Monteverdi, with new performing editions of L'incoronazione di Poppea and Il ritorno d'Ulisse by Martin Pearlman; and an internationally acclaimed series of Handel operas including Agrippina, Alcina, Xerxes, Giulio Cesare, Semele, and Amadigi di Gaula. The company most recently concluded its 2010-2011 season with a rare and pathbreaking production of Rameau's Les Indes Galantes.
Boston Baroque's recordings-of which Fanfare magazine wrote ‘each one is an incomparable gem'-are heard by millions on classical radio stations in North America and Europe. Opera Britannia said of the most recent release, Mozart Arias for Male Soprano, with Michael Maniaci (2010), ‘A disc of this importance should be a pre-requisite for all vocal connoisseurs and admirers of Mozart alike.' Gramophone said of the 2009 release of Vivaldi's Four Seasons, ‘Boston Baroque's playing combines supreme technical precision with unexpected psychological depth;' and it cited the Bach Orchestral Suites, which was an Editor's Choice, for their ‘virtuosity and élan.' Fanfare called Boston Baroque's recording of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos ‘A set to treasure...it belongs on the shelf of every lover of the Baroque.' The premier recording of The Philosopher's Stone was an Opera News Editor's Choice, and was called by Fanfare ‘a valuable and utterly fascinating release' in which ‘the standard of performance...rises frequently to the level of the spectacular.' Boston Baroque's recording of Messiah was Classic CD's number one recommendation in its 1997 review of the crowded field of Messiah recordings. Billboard magazine called Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride ‘a superb production [and] cause for celebration...takes pride of place among readings of Iphigénie en Tauride, if not among all Gluck operas on record.' Three Boston Baroque recordings have been Grammy finalists: Handel's Messiah (1992); Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610 (1998); and Bach's Mass in B Minor (2000).
Boston Baroque is the resident professional ensemble for Boston University's Historical Performance Program, where it is helping to train the next generation of period-instrument performers.