Welcome to the Madison Early Music Festival

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our 15th year celebration. We are already looking forward to next year.

MEMF 2015 will run July 11 through July 18. Our theme is Slavic Discoveries: Early Music from Eastern Europe.

New information will become available in the spring of 2015. In the meantime we leave all 2014 information here for your reference.

16th annual festival will feature a full week of concerts, expert lectures, special events, and a chance to perform with peers and faculty artists

The University of Wisconsin–Madison announces the 16th annual Madison Early Music Festival and Workshop (MEMF). In addition to a 7-event Festival Concert Series, lectures and workshops will provide opportunities to learn and practice instrumental and vocal skills, become familiar with historical performance practices and repertoire, learn about the featured music through the lenses of history and culture, and perform with other participants and faculty artists.

When: July 11-18, 2015

Concerts» 7-concert series open to the public

Lectures» Free pre-concert lectures by renowned musicologists, historians, artists, and linguists

Workshop faculty» Renowned performers and teachers in voice, strings, brass, musicology, and more

Special events» Costume ball and more

Handel Aria Competition» Encouraging emerging singers to explore the repertoire of Handel

Questions? Please see the contact page for detailed contact information»

Tickets for individual concerts are $20 (students $17). The All Festival Concert Pass is $75 and includes admission to all 5 evening concerts. Purchase tickets: online; at the Vilas Hall Box Office; at the Wisconsin Union Theater Box Office (Memorial Union); by calling 608-265-ARTS (2787); or at the door. Note: Due to the inability to process credit cards in the 2014 concert venues, please be prepared to purchase tickets at the door with cash or check; advance tickets may be purchased with a credit card or check.

The 2015 Madison Early Music Festival will take you on an exciting exploration of the elusive and exquisite early music from Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Experience the rich cultural and musical history of this region – from the early Russian Orthodox traditions, the Bohemian Crown Lands, the Polish Renaissance world of Copernicus, to the ancient lands of the Balkans and Armenia. The week will be packed with rarely heard music performed by our concert series scholar-artists who have uncovered, studied, and recreated these rich traditions, and fascinating lectures providing historical, social, and cultural context. Our MEMF faculty will lead more in-depth exploration of this splendid music and provide stylistic performance guidance and coaching in classes throughout the week.

Featured concert artists:
The Rose Ensemble»
East of the River»
Piffaro: A Renaissance Band»

The closing All-Festival Concert will feature instrumental and choral works by composers of the 16th through 18th centuries from the courts of Warsaw and Cracow, including a triple choir Magnificat by Mikołaj Zieleński , and movements from Missa La Lombardesca by Bartołomiej Pękiel for double choir and instruments, and excerpts from Harmonia Caelestis (1711) from Hungarian composer Pál Eszterházy’s Harmonia Caelestis for choir and orchestra. Plus a stunning a cappella Choral Concerto by Ukrainian composer Dmitri Bortniansky from the Imperial Court in St. Petersburg. Please join us for this week of historical sonic beauty from Eastern Europe!

MEMF 2015 Concert Series»

Saturday, July 11, 2015
The Rose Ensemble
Slavic Wonders: Feast and Saints in Early Russia, Bohemia and Poland

Sunday, July 12, 2015
East of the River

Tuesday, July 14, 2014
Piffaro: A Renaissance Band
Music of Jacob Handl

The Madison Early Music Festival is a program of the UW-Madison Division of Continuing Studies, presented in partnership with the UW-Madison School of Music.

MEMF Directors

Directors of the Madison Early Music Festival are Cheryl Bensman-Rowe (Artistic Director), Paul Rowe (Artistic Director), and Chelcy Bowles (Program Director). Click for bios»

Help support the Madison Early Music Festival»

Questions? Contact MEMF Program Director Chelcy Bowles at cbowles@dcs.wisc.edu or

Sponsors and Presenting Partners of MEMF 2014

Dane Arts Madison Concourse Hotel