First Lutheran Church of Boston Announces Special Bach Vespers Schedule for 2015-2016 Services Mark Start to Reformation Anniversary Celebration


FLC Bach Vespers Announcement

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Sept. 7 Labor Day Concert: Italian Wind Music from the 16-17th Centuries

Italian music for Cornetto and Recorder

Labor Day, September 7, 7:30 p.m.

First Lutheran Church of Boston


  • Nathaniel Cox, Cornetto
  • Heloise Degrugillier, recorder
  • Jacques Lee Wood, cello,
  • Bálint Karosi, harpsichord and organ

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Boston Early Music Festival June 7-13, 2015

FLC is a proud host of a series of events related to the 2015 Boston Early Music Festival, from June 7-13, 2015 . Founded in 1980 by a group of dedicated performers and instrument makers interested in promoting historical performance in the United States, the Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF) is now universally recognized as a leader in the field of early music. Through a wide array of acclaimed performances, exciting and educational events, and Grammy-nominated opera recordings, BEMF has earned its place as North America’s premier presenting organization for conservators and performers of music of the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical periods and has secured Boston’s reputation as “America’s early music capital” (The Boston Globe).

One of the most important features of each Festival is the remarkable array of Fringe Concerts—performances by nearly 100 soloists and ensembles from New England, North America, and Europe—that ilumine the the wonderful music and musicians of the Early Music field. The 2015 lineup will include concerts by Chatham Baroque, New York Continuo Collective, Pegasus Early Music with NYS Baroque, HESPERUS, and Musical Offering, to name but a few.

2015 BEMF Schedule at First Lutheran Church of Boston:


3pm Antico Moderno (Balint Karosi and Jacques Lee Wood, artistic co-directors)

New compositions by the winners of Antico Moderno’s first composers’ workshop. The Antico Moderno 2015 Composers Workshop offeres composers a chance to work closely with a professional period chamber ensemble so that they may enhance their knowledge of historical instruments  and performance practices and the musical/compositional possibilities these offer. Selected composers will have their works performed in this concert premiering the new works. FREE


4:30pm Infusion Baroque (Alexa Raine-Wright, Baroque flute & recorder; Sallynee Amawat, Baroque violin; Camille Paquette-Roy, Baroque violoncello; Rona Nadler, harpsichord). “Who Killed Leclair?” At six o’clock on the morning of October 24, 1764, the violin virtuoso and composer Jean-Marie Leclair was found stabbed to death in the entryway of his home in a suburb of Paris. No one was ever charged with his murder, and the mystery remains unsolved to this day. Infusion Baroque presents a dramatized telling of this intriguing story, alongside performances of chamber works by the great composer and hiscontemporaries. First Lutheran Church. $20 (discounts may apply).

6:30pm Friends of Tom Zajac (Boston Shawm and Sackbut Ensemble, Dünya, Boston Camerata, Piffaro, Blue Heron, Renaissonics, and others). Battaglia d’Amor: A Benefit Concert for Tom Zajac. Performers from Boston’s Early Music Scene present a gala concert to benefit Tom Zajac as he recovers from surgery. All proceeds will go directly to Tom. Please see the Artist Directory for the full list of ensembles. First Lutheran Church. $20 suggested donation.


10am Bálint Karosi, organ & harpsichord. J. S. Bach: The Art of Fugue. Bálint Karosi, First Prize winner of the 2008 International J. S. Bach Competition in Leipzig, performs the entire Art of Fugue. All proceeds go to the family of Rev. Ingo Dutzmann, who recently lost their home in a fire. First Lutheran Church. $20 suggested donation.




Among America’s most esteemed organists, William Porter has been a featured performer at each BEMF Organ Mini-Festival since its inception in 2003, and he has served as its director since 2009. In addition to continuing an active performing schedule, he has taught at Oberlin, Yale, and New England Conservatory, and is presently on the faculty of the Eastman School of Music and McGill University.


The only musician ever to win all major prizes at the Bruges Early Music Festival competition, organist David Yearsley is also an acclaimed musicologist and author praised for both his engaging communicative skills and his impeccable scholarship. He is a Professor of Music at Cornell University.


Hailed for his “perfect combination of technical virtuosity and intense musicianship” by Gramophone, organist John Scott has performed on five continents and alongside some of the most prestigious artists and ensembles. He is the Organist and Director of Music at New York City’s St. Thomas Church after serving in the same role for twenty-four years at London’s St. Paul Cathedral.

10am RUMBARROCO/La Donna Musicale. Latin Baroque Fusion. Haunting melodies from Spain, featuring a unique blend of Spanish, Jewish, and Arabic culture, spiced up with exuberant Latin American rhythms, and with a detour to Russian favorites, jazz, and women composers. Music by Narvaez, Pisador, Ortiz, Fernadez, Modesta Bor, and others. First Lutheran Church. $15 (discounts may apply).

2pm Antico Moderno (Balint Karosi and Jacques Lee Wood, artistic co-directors). Reflections. In line with the group’s mission, “Reflections” features three New England–based composers as they respond to seminal works of Bach and Vivaldi. Robert Honstein’s Night Scenes from Ospedale was written to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Vivaldi’s L’Estro Armonico, and imagines dark and dreamy nocturnal interludes to pair with the bright, active concerti. Balint Karosi’s Bach Studies fall between the movements of a Bach trio sonata, creating a dialogue within the piece itself. First Lutheran Church. $15.

3:30pm Ensemble Musica Humana (Corinne Byrne, soprano; Lidia Chang, flute; Andrew Kozar, trumpet; Dylan Sauerwald, harpsichord). Of Love/Of War. Ensemble Musica Humana presents a program of Alessandro Scarlatti, Melani, Handel, and Purcell, featuring vocal and instrumental repertoire on themes of “war” and “peace.” The trumpet and flute provide perfect duet partners to the voice, while contrasting with each other in timbre and connotation. These uniquely orchestrated musical selections will illustrate the duality between the two reigning Baroque aesthetics: Love and War. First Lutheran Church. $15 (discounts may apply).


12 noon Convivium Musicum. Sweelinck. Program features the music of Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, the most famous Dutch composer of the late 16th and early 17th centuries. First Lutheran Church. $10 suggested donation. 617-320-7445; ruthiegm [at] gmail [dot] com;

5pm Canto Armonico, directed by Dr. Ulf Wellner. Festive Vespers for Trinity from Lübeck’s Marienkirche, ca. 1660. A vespers service as it might have been performed in the Marienkirche under the direction of Franz Tunder, with music by Monteverdi’s successor at San Marco, Giovanni Rovetta, and his circle. All music from the Marienkirche’s choir library has been prepared by musicologist Kerala Snyder. First Lutheran Church. FREE (donations gratefully accepted).

For more events visit:

Preliminary 2015 Fringe Concert Schedule: updated May 22, 2015


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Bypassing the 19th Century

MAY 13, 2015

Bypassing the Nineteenth Century

at Boston Musical Intelligencer by 


The unexamined concert is not worth programming…

Music is a sensual delight, but for the philosophical mind it can also summon thickets of meaning and association. We submit that Antico Moderno (so named because it rhymes better than in English) will reveal an elegant concept with cerebral heft when our period-instrument ensemble, with its uniquely bifurcated focus presents “La Divisione” this Friday at Boston’s First Lutheran Church. Pairing works of the Baroque alongside contemporary compositions played on the same early instruments constitutes a fascinating and, we hope, illuminatingly rarefied and well-executed departure.

“La Division” explores the many meanings of “division” in music, inspired by theory, philosophy, theology, and literature. Antico Moderno’s mission as an ensemble is to explore one very basic division of the music scene: the line between “traditional” and “new.” Many people claim definite preferences, yet many more find that the one informs their understanding of the other. For those of us who, as the concept of period performance becomes more mainstream, regularly immerse their ears in the sounds of instruments calibrated to the standards of a different time, the sound world of the “period” ensemble weaves itself into the framework of music as we know it. The logical next step, then, is to explore the horizons of the period ensemble with new repertoire. Katherine Balch, Bálint Karosi, Ian Gottlieb, and Robert Honstein are four composers who take on this challenge, and Antico Moderno presents the results. As featured guest artist, countertenor Daniel Moody lends his experience and skill to the task—all four new works incorporate sung text.

Once you look at division as a central concept to music, multiple meanings abound. The program contains two Italian Baroque pieces, a Canzon by Giovanni Gabrieli (1554-1612), in which two sections of the orchestra are physically divided in space, and one of Arcangelo Corelli’s (1653-1713) classic Concerti Grossi, Op. 6 no. 1, with the soloists opposing the orchestra. This vivid piece already anticipates the dramatic potential of the great concerti of the 18th and 19th centuries, where the virtuosity of the soloist(s) counters the color and the volume of the entire orchestra.

The program also explores a theoretical meaning of “division” referring to musical time: dividing longer notes by a number of smaller note values. This type of ornamentation (often called Passaggi, or diminutioni) was popular in Italy in the 16th and 17th centuries, when young music students were taught to improvise fast notes over slow notes using various ornamentation charts. To recreate something of the immediacy of this improvised tradition, Antico Moderno will improvise diminutions on Thomas Morley’s “O Griefe, even on the bud,” and will also perform written-out diminutioni by the early 17th-century composer Riccardo Rognoni on Cipriano de Rore’s motet “Ancor che col partire” (whose sublime beauty spurred composers and musicians to many elaborate and expressive feats over the years).

One of the other “old” pieces on the program is Heinrich Biber’s (1644-1704) raucous Battalia, an alternately joyous, chaotic, and melancholy depiction of both the noble and dirty aspects of war—featuring frequently dueling instruments. Biber is well-known for his set of “Rosary” or “Mystery” Sonatas for solo violin, which brings us to another purpose of music—making sense of life’s often insurmountably confusing conflictions, reversals, and unknowables.

Our human existence is often a constant preparation for the future, using experiences, memories and influences from our past. We struggle to grasp the present, an elusive moment, which is not yet thwarted by our faulty memories. We occupy ourselves in preparing for the future, yet, we know that our existence will eventually come to an end. Religion, spirituality, art, music and philosophy have all struggled with these questions for centuries.

So, why not have a go at the hard questions through music, using the precedent of the many musicians who have struggled with these questions for centuries? Bálint Karosi’s The Final Wait for alto, baroque strings, bells and harpsichord expresses the progression of feelings and afterlife imaginings that beset one’s mind, taking as its influence “Schage doch, gewünschte Stunde” (“Haste to strike, oh longed-for hour”) BWV 53 (formerly attributed to J. S. Bach, but probably composed by Melchior Hoffman). In Audrey Fernandez-Fraser’s original text, a waiter journeys through territories of memory and imagination, fearsome and beautiful inventions of his mind, or perhaps visions of life to come. The journey moves from anxious waiting, into a mysterious light, then back to her lonely, deadening surroundings, with angels, demons, and heavenly landscapes along the way. By the end of the aria, he is “ready,” as the last bell-strike hits.

The theme of memory, and the division between fact and mental gloss, tie together new works by Ian Gottlieb and Katherine Balch. Gottlieb assembled a series of misquotations for the text of his haunting “Song of the Mosquito,” which uses the gut-stringed orchestra to render a sort of shimmering mosquito sound. Balch’s “Recordario,” chops up a Gregorian-based chant with improvised ornamentation and a virtuosic Ligeti-esque harpsichord cadenza. Robert Honstein’s “O Lucidissime Apostolum Turba” is based on a chant by Hildegard van Bingen, with wine glasses played by the audience.

The programming of new works stems from the idea that we play music from the past because we still find it relevant to our current lives, lives in which meaning is shaped by accumulated culture, experience, knowledge, and art. Engaging with musical tradition directly and actively is what we do every time we enter a concert hall—take a small leap and hear some new ideas on the subject next to those wise voices from the past.

antico-bAntico Moderno Presents “La Divisione”
May 15th at 7:30
First Lutheran Church
299 Berkeley St, Boston,

More information about the ensemble can be found here Tickets available here

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May 15, 7:30 p.m.: Antico Moderno presents “La Divisione”

Antico Moderno Flyer APR 2015 FINAL BORDERS-2 copyBoston, MA – Antico Moderno explores the many meanings of division in music inspired by philosophy, theology, and literature in their concert on Friday, May 15 – 7:30pm at First Lutheran Church, Boston.  In line with their mission, “La Divisione” features old works by Bach, Biber, Morley, and Corelli with newly written works for period instruments by Katherine Balch, Bálint Karosi, Ian Gottlieb, and Robert Honstein.  Countertenor, Daniel Moody is their featured guest artist.

7pm Pre-concert talk and open Q & A with composers and musicians.

For tickets visit:

Founded in 2014, the Boston-based Antico Moderno is a collective of musicians who are dedicated to expanding the repertoire of music written for period instruments, right up until the present day. They challenge twentieth-century composers to come to terms with the rich rhetorical sensibilities of the Baroque era, and to explore the sonic and stylistic possibilities that historical models open up.  Currently the ensemble-in-residence at First Lutheran Church in Boston, Antico Moderno has been visiting artists at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and the Yale School of Music.


Many developments in music are forward-looking, with composers searching for unique techniques that will help them stand out. Yet other times composers will turn to the distant past for inspiration, taking instruments or forms from bygone eras and giving them new voice in the present. Whether creating modern music for the harpsichord or lute, or providing fresh facelifts for centuries-old church traditions, composers continue to mine the past for revelation relevant today, a sort of resurrection that reveals the Old Made New.

– Naxos Music Library, April 1, 2015


Antico Moderno’s mission is to promote new music for period instruments, encouraging composers to rethink centuries-old forms, musical, literary and philosophical ideas, and make them relevant to today’s audiences. Our next concert program “La Divisione” on May 15, at First Lutheran Church explores the meaning of division, in music, philosophy, theology and literature in works by old composers such as Biber, Corelli, Melchior Hoffmann, and contemporary works by Catherine Balch, Bálint Karosi, Ian Gottlieb and Robert Honstein.


Our human existence is mostly spent as a constant preparation for the future, using experiences, memories and influences from our past. It is indeed hard to grasp and comprehend the present, a sort of short-term past of few seconds, which is not yet thwarted by our faulty memories. We occupy most of our time to prepare for our future, often ignoring the present, as if we were preparing for eternal existence. Yet, we all know that our existence will eventually come to an end. Religion, spirituality, art, music and philosophy have all struggled with these questions for centuries.

“La divisione” features works that explore divisions of past and present, the memories and facts, life and death in a program that explore different aspects of these questions with works spanning from the 11th to the 21st centuries.

7 p.m. Pre-concert talk and open Q & A with composers and musicians.

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Bach Birthday 330 Pictures and Audio Files

This gallery contains 15 photos.

Live Recording of BWV 214 on MArch 21, 2015 by the FLC Chorus and Orchestra Introduction to Bach’s Secular Cantatas by Brian McCreath and Christoph Wolff J. S. Bach: “Tönet Ihr Pauken” BWV 214 Opening Chorus J. S. Bach: “Tönet … Continue reading

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Boston Bach Birthday 330 (March 21, 2015)

Updated, final program can be downloaded here:

Program Bach Birthday 330.PDF

On March 21, the 330th anniversary of the birth of Johann Sebastian Bach will be celebrated throughout the world with performances of his music. In Boston this celebration centers in Boston Bach Birthday 330, the 7th annual, all-day (morning to late afternoon) series of Bach concerts, presented free and open to the public. Please join us on Saturday, 3/21, at the First Lutheran Church of Boston, 299 Berkeley St., in Back Bay. You may attend any or all of the concerts, from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Use Eventbrite to purchase tickets to the annual Bach Birthday German Lunch, served by First Lutheran and for prime seating in the balcony. This day of free concerts is entirely funded by donations, so your contributions for BBB330 expenses are truly welcomed.

Arguably the greatest composer this world has known (New York Times, 2011), Bach’s fame during his lifetime was primarily as an organist. Too, he was admirably proficient on violin and surely on other string and wind instruments. Boston Bach Birthday 330 presents music for these solo instruments: organ, violin, cello, harpsichord, and also a flute and harpsichord duo and a recorder trio. The organ recitalists—they hail from Hungary, Germany, Russia and the US—will perform on the Richards & Fowkes Op. 10 Baroque-style pipe organ, modeled after instruments from Bach’s time period.

In the 8-plus hours of concerts, our BBB330 musicians will treat listeners to the beyond-time realm of hearing Bach’s music today and, simultaneously, to inspiring wonderment at Bach’s compositional feats three centuries ago.

The opening event at 9:00 a.m. is Peep the Piper, especially for children. This story with musical accompaniment was written to introduce children to the wonderful, varied sounds of the pipe organ. The schedule of concerts and detailed programs may be found here. A flyer for BBB330 is available here. BBB330 is sponsored jointly by the Boston Chapter, American Guild of Organists and the First Lutheran Church of Boston, with thanks to WCRB Classical Music/99.5.

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Boston Bach Birthday 330 Program Listing

Boston Bach Birthday 2015 v4 final crop

March 21, 2015, 9 AM – 6:30 PM


Premium balcony seats, lunch tickets and online donations can be purchased at:


9:00 Peep The Piper, by Guy Bovet (Children’s Program)

Jonathan Wessler, organ; John Robinson, narrator (St. Paul’s Parish and Choir School, Cambridge)

9:45  Yevgenia Semeina-Maroyan, organ (Arlington Street Church, Boston)

    • Trio Sonata No. 2 in c, BWV 526
    • “Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ”, BWV 639 from Orgelbüchlein
    • Prelude and Fugue in E-flat (“St. Anne”) BWV 552

10:25  Kate Arndt, violin (New England Conservatory)

    • Violin Sonata No. 2 in a, BWV 1003

10:50 Hymn Sing with Arvid Gast, organ (St. Jakobi & Hochschule für Musik, Lübeck)

11:10  First Lutheran Church Choir, soloists & orchestra; Bálint Karosi, conductor

    • Cantata BWV 214 Tönet, Ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten!

Introduction by Brian McCreath, host, “The Bach Hour”, WCRB Classical Music/99.5

12:45  Stephan Griffin, organ (Boston University)

    • Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele, BWV 654 Leipzig Chorale
    • Trio super Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend, BWV 655 Leipzig Chorale
    • O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig, BWV 656 Leipzig Chorale
    • An Wasserflüssen Babylon, BWV 653 Leipzig Chorale
    • Prelude and Fugue in C, BWV 547

1:35  Dylan Sauerwald, harpsichord, & Héloïse Degrugillier, flute

    • Flute Sonata in e, BWV 1034
    • French Suite No. 5 in G, BWV 816

2:25  Bálint Karosi, organ (First Lutheran Church and Yale University)

    • The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080

3:35  Recorder Ensemble (Héloïse Degrugillier, Emily O’Brien, Roy Sansom) recorders

    • Trio Sonata No. 3  BWV 527

3:50  Allison Drenkow, cello (New England Conservatory)

    • Cello Suite No. 2 in d, BWV 1008

4:20  Hymn Sing with Bálint Karosi, organ (First Lutheran Church and Yale University)

4:35  Katelyn Emerson, organ (Oberlin College and Conservatory)

    • Concerto in a, RV 522, BWV 593
    • Trio Sonata V in C, BWV 529
    • Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, a 2 claviers et pedale, BWV 659 Leipzig Chorale
    • Trio super: Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, a due bassi e canto fermo, BWV 660 Leipzig Chorale
    • Prelude and Fugue in G, BWV 541

5:30  Arvid Gast, organ (St. Jakobi & Hochschule für Musik, Lübeck)

    • Trio Sonata VI in G, BWV 530
    • Prelude and Fugue in e, BWV 548
    • Partita “Was soll ich Sünder machen”, BWV 770
    • Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C, BWV 564

8:00  At Emmanuel Church: Emmanuel Music, Ryan Turner, Artistic Director

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Lübeck Organist Arvid Gast joins Bach Birthday Lineup as Special Guest

Lübeck Organist Arvid Gast joins Bach Birthday Lineup as Special Guest

Boston Bach Birthday, March 21, 2015 9 a.m.-6 p.m.



For the Boston Bach Birthday, we have a distinguished guest: organist and professor Arvid Gast, from Lübeck, Germany. He is making his first visit to the USA, and it is fitting that he start in Boston because he is well known to two members of the congregation, Balint Karosi and Cheryl Ryder. In 2008 he was a member of the jury during the three individual elimination events of the Leipzig Bach organ competition, hearing as many as 25 young organists play the same music over the course of each round, and of course preferring Balint Karosi all the way to first place! Some years earlier as a graduate student, he too played in the Bach competition.

Arvid Gast is director of the church music institute and principal teacher of organ at the conservatory in Lübeck up in north central Germany. He also serves as Titular Organist at Lübeck’s St. Jakobi, where he has oversight of four historic organs. These include two instruments dating from the 1600s. During a typical year there are over 100 concerts on these organs, given by visitors from all over the world, students from the conservatory, and church staff. Every three years, Professor Gast convenes the jury for the International Dieterich Buxtehude Organ Competition, which he founded in 2007. He was also Titular Organist at the concert hall “Kloster Unser Lieben Frauen” in Magdeburg from 2008 to 2014.

Arvid Gast concertizes, leads masterclasses, and chairs or serves on the juries for many international organ competitions in Germany and beyond, with notable engagements in Europe, Russia and the Far East. With trumpeter Joachim Pliquett, he performs regularly in concert with the renowned Windsbacher Boys Choir. Music of Bach and of the north German baroque and German Romantic periods are his specialties, as is evident from his numerous CD recordings.

Raised in Bremen, Arvid Gast studied organ performance and church music at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover, Germany. From 1990 to 1993 he held the position of organist and choirmaster at St. Nikolai Church in Flensburg. Appointed Professor of Organ Performance at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” and University Organist in Leipzig in 1993, he remained there until 2004 when he moved to Lübeck. His four teenaged children and wife are all musicians, and among his former students at the Leipzig conservatory is Canto Armonico’s frequent director Ulf Wellner, a regular visitor to First Lutheran since 2011.

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Antico Moderno Opening Concert Friday, December 5, 7:30 p.m.

Antico Moderno is a collective of musicians who are dedicated to expanding the repertoire of music written for period instruments, right up until the present day. We challenge twentieth-century composers to come to terms with the rich rhetorical sensibilities of the Baroque era, and to explore the sonic and stylistic possibilities that historical models open up. It’s a trippy, messy, complicated, adventurous process, and it shines new light on what it means to make music, both then and now.

Our first concert, “Reflections,” features three New England-based composers as they respond to seminal works of Bach and Vivaldi. Robert Honstein’s “Night Scenes from the Ospedale” was written to celebrate the 300th anniversary of “L’Estro Armonico” and imagines dark and dreamy nocturnal interludes to pair with the bright, active, concerti. Balint Karosi’s “Bach Studies” fall between the movements of a Bach trio sonata, creating a dialogue within the piece itself. And Daniel Schlossberg’s spectacularly creepy “Trill and Slow Gliss…” has to be heard to be believed.

Did we mention that along the way, we’ll be performing two of the most awesome Vivaldi multi-violin concertos out there?! Here’s the whole program:

– – –

Antonio Vivaldi / Robert Honstein
L’estro Armonico Op.3 #8 /Night Scenes

J.S Bach /Balint Karosi
Trio Sonata BWV 1039 /Bach Studies

Daniel Schlossberg
Trill and Slow Gliss after Bach’s Prelude in F# major, BWV 858

Antonio Vivaldi /Robert Honstein
L’estro Armonico Op.3 #10 /Night Scenes

– – –

Our opening concert is FREE! Because we love you.

In fact, we love you this much: EVERYONE who comes to this inaugural concert of ours is automatically in the Antico Moderno “Debut club” for life.

What does that mean? It could mean everything from access to exclusive downloads to rehearsal invites to comps for future shows – for you or your friends – or post-concert shindigs. It means you were right there with us when we started, and we enjoy your scintillating company.

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