SEASON 2016/2017


Early Music Alberta presents:



FRIDAY, MAY 5, 2017
7:00-7:30 PM: Bonus artist talk by Oliver Munar is included with your ticket. Oliver Munar will talk about the music, its history, its historical context.



The Scona Chamber Singers under the direction of John Brough will perform:

Sacred and Secular music of Tallis, Byrd, and Gibbons; some of the greatest composers who worked in Tudor England.

The Tudor dynasty saw a series of monarchs that ruled England and Ireland from 1485 until 1603. The Tudor kings and queens reigned as England developed into a powerful and influential state, an important center of Protestant resistance to papal authority, and a leader in Renaissance letters, science, and art. The Tudor period started with the first monarch King Henry VII and saw two of the strongest monarchs ever to sit on the English throne: King Henry VIII and his daughter Queen Elizabeth I.

First Presbyterian Church
10025 105 St NW, Edmonton
General: $40
Students/Seniors/Members: $30


9:30 AM


Recorders, oboes, sackbuts, viola da gambas, vielles, violins, cellos, etc.:
All levels are welcome for a morning of playing. Ability to sight read some simple music required. Interested auditors welcome also. Pitch will be A-440


Bill Damur – Session Leader

First Presbyterian Church
10025 105 St NW, Edmonton


12:30 PM


Much secular Renaissance music has associated dances and songs. In this two-hour workshop participants will learn several period dances including bransles, pavans and almans from Itailian, French and English traditions. The class will conclude with dancing to live music performed by the Borealis consort and guests. No prior dance experience is required, however comfortable shoes are a must. Class size is limited to 24 people. Dance Mistress Cath Jackel has taught Renaissance dance for more than 25 years. The Borealis Consort is a group of Edmonton musicians with a particular interest in renaissance dance music.

Cath Jackel and Borealis Renaissance Consort


First Presbyterian Church
10025 105 St NW, Edmonton




  1. Divertimento Chamber Ensemble
  2. La Folia baroque string ensemble, Josephine van Lier, director
  3. Renee Perez, archlute, Stephanie Wong, harpsichord

First Presbyterian Church
10025 105 St NW, Edmonton
General: $15
Students/Seniors/Members: $10


7:00-7:30 PM: Bonus artist talk by Robert Iveson included with your ticket. Robert Iveson will talk about the music, its history, its historical context.



A program of Italian concerti grossi by Corelli and Geminiani.
During the end of the 17th century what we know today as the concerto grosso morphed into existence. In its basic form the baroque concerto grosso is a multi-movement work which contrasts a small group of solo instruments concertino i.e; two violins, cello, and harpsichord, against a full string orchestra and continuo known as the ripieno.

The concerto grosso was purely an Italian innovation from the mid 17th century. Alessandro Stradella (1639-1682) an important composer in the Italian peninsula at the time seems to have been the first composer to write a work of music which involved a group of solo instruments with orchestra. Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713) was the first well known composer to title his works for multiple solo instruments “Concerto Grosso” (Grand Concert). Correlli’s concerto works were to be extremely influential for later composers such as Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741), and George Frederick Handel (1685-1759).

The concerto grosso had a multiple movement form, usually: slow-fast-slow-fast-slow-fast. The titles of each movement would often be: Largo-Allegro-Adagio-Presto-Largo- Allegro.

Musicians from around the country will come together to play this spectacular concert of works that became some of the most influential music ever written.

Naomie Delafield, baroque violin
Laura Veeze, baroque violin
Gabriele Thielmann, baroque violin
Louise Stuppard, baroque violin
Ronelle Schaufele, baroque viola
Josephine van Lier, baroque cello
Joelle Morton, baroque bass
Marnie Giesbrecht, harpsichord

First Presbyterian Church
10025 105 St NW, Edmonton
General: $40
Students/Seniors/Members: $30


SUNDAY, MAY 7, 2017
2:00PM -4:00PM


Masterclasses led by Elizabeth Rumsey
A rare opportunity to receive instruction from world renowned experts in period performance practise. Professionals, students and serious non-professionals are invited to register to perform for a low fee.
The classes are offered in a welcoming and accepting atmosphere to encourage the pursuit of historically informed performance practise.
FREE for auditors
(Performers contact Josephine van Lier for more information ( – 780-240-9623)

First Presbyterian Church
Arthur Newcombe room
10025 105 St NW, Edmonton


SUNDAY, MAY 7, 2017
7:00-7:30 PM: Bonus artist talk by Joëlle Morton included with your ticket. Joëlle Morton, one of the musicians featured in the concert will talk about the music, its history, its historical context.



A program featuring works by Bach transcribed for viola da gamba consort. Bach’s flowing contrapuntal lines lie well on these instruments, and in terms of getting his counterpoint across, this setting works remarkably well!
This consort is a so called “low consort” with 2 tenors, two basses and a violone (as opposed to a “high consort” with trebles, tenors and basses). Since we do not have any violones in Alberta, the musician playing the violone for this concert will drive across the continent from Michigan to Alberta for this concert!
Given that there are very few professional viola da gamba players in Alberta and given the extreme difficulty of this program, musicians for this concert come from all over the world: Two from the USA, one from Toronto, one from Basel Switzerland and one from Edmonton.

Elizabeth Rumsey – treble and tenor viols
Joëlle Morton – tenor viol
Debra Lonergan – bass viol
Josephine Van Lier – consort bass viol
Marilyn Fung – G violone
Jeanne Yang – harpsichord

First Presbyterian Church
10025 105 St NW, Edmonton
General: $40
Students/Seniors/Members: $30


8:00 PM


Jolaine Kerley, soprano
Josephine van Lier, baroque cello, viola da gamba
Jeanne Yang, harpsichord

Back by popular demand is one of Edmonton’s premier early music sopranos Jolaine Kerley who will perform together with Josephine van Lier on viola da gamba and Jeanne Yang on harpsichord. This recital will bring you to England with music by composers like Dowland and his contemporaries, Purcell, Eccles…

First Presbyterian Church (Newcombe Room)
10025 105 St NW, Edmonton
General: $40
Students/Seniors/Members: $30


8:00 PM



Mélisande Corriveau is a distinguished performer on the viola da gamba, as well as on the baroque cello and recorder. In 2014 she received a Doctoral Degree with honors from The University of Montréal for performance on the pardessus de viole, becoming one of the few performers in the world specializing on this instrument. Her 2016 recording of music for the pardessus with Eric Milnes “Pardessus de Viole” (ATMA Classique) has just been named Radio Canada’s Album of the Year! Mélisande’s expertise is sought on both sides of the Atlantic, where she plays with numerous ensembles, including Les Voix Humaines viol consort, La Bande Montreal Baroque, New York Baroque, Capriccio Stravagante, and Ensemble Masques. She is artistic director of L’Harmonie des Saisons, which she founded in Québec in 2010 with Eric Milnes; they won a Juno award in 2016 for their recording ‘Las cuidades de oro.’ Mélisande has been a featured performer at numerous prestigious festivals world-wide, and recent tours take her to New York, San Francisco, Vancouver, Bolivia, Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Great Britain, Austria, Poland and Germany. Her discography numbers over forty recordings for ATMA Classique, Analekta, Harmonia Mundi, Paradizo, Zig-Zag Territories and Alpha.

Joëlle Morton performs as soloist and continuo player in leading period-instrument ensembles throughout the United States and Canada. She holds performance degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music and the University of Southern California. In 1990, she was the recipient of a Chalmers Fund award from the Ontario Arts Council, which funded a year of advanced solo studies in Vienna and Prague. Joëlle performed as a member of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra before deciding to pursue early music as a specialty. Since then, she has traveled the world, performing with Tafelmusik, the New York Collegium, La Monica, the Catacoustic Consort, the Violins of Lafayette, Artek, Parthenia-A Consort of Viols, the Dryden Ensemble, the Musicians in Ordinary, Baroque Music Beside the Grange, Philadelphia Classical Symphony, Brandywine Baroque, Philomel, Concert Royal, Musica Angelica, Los Angeles Baroque Orchestra and Ensemble de’ Medici. She may be heard on more than a dozen recordings in repertoire that dates from the early renaissance up to the modern day.

Eric Milnes has received critical acclaim as a keyboard player and conductor in North & South America, Europe and Asia, and is renowned as one of the most creative and dynamic early music performers of his generation. In recent seasons he has conducted L’Harmonie des Saisons (for which he is co-founder), La Bande Montréal Baroque, The Seattle Baroque Orchestra, New York Baroque, The Portland Baroque Orchestra, The New York Collegium and The Philharmonic Orchestra of Santiago, Chile. He has appeared as conductor or harpsichordist at the Utrecht Festival, The Regensburg Festival, The Potsdam Festival, The Bruge Festival, The Montreal Baroque Festival, New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival, and the Boston Early Music Festival. His discography numbers over fifty recordings, and he is the director of Montréal Baroque’s recordings of the complete Bach sacred cantatas for ATMA Classique. He has taught with the faculties of The Juilliard School, New York, and the Conservatory of Music in Oslo, Norway.

On Saturday, March 4 at 8:00 p.m. Early Music Alberta will present the third event of its 2016-17 season with a very special program, Délices de la solitude. The concert is centred on a seldom-heard member of the viola da gamba family, called the ‘pardessus de viole.’

A 28163


Initially, the high tuning of this instrument enabled violin and oboe music to be played without the player having to shift to stratospheric regions. But because the pardessus was held on the lap and played with an underhand bow technique, its ‘modest’ postural details were considered appropriate for women and it came to be a particularly beloved pastime for aristocratic French dilettantes, with a special repertoire all its own. In this program of high Baroque works by French composers, Montreal virtuosa Mélisande Corriveau will present gems of the French rococo, accompanied by Joëlle Morton (basse de viole) and Eric Milnes (clavecin).

The concert will take place at First Presbyterian Church, the Arthur Newcombe Room



Charles Dollé (1710-1755)
Sonata I, (1737)
adagio – allegro ma non tropo – sarabanda – giga allegro

Louis de Caix D’Hervelois (1680-1759)
Extraits en forme de suite (1753) 
prélude – La Tourolle – La Diligence – La Légèretè  – sarabande – 3 menuets

Michel Corrette (1707-1795)
Sonata V, (1739) 
preludio – allemanda allegro – sarabanda – presto

François Couperin (1668-1733)
Treizième Concert à deux violes (1724) 
vivement – air agréablement – chaconne légère


Jean Bodin de Boismortier (1689-1755)
Deuxiéme sonate, (1736)
gravement – courante – rondeau gracieusement – gigue

Pièces tirées de l’Oeuvre IVe (1737)
La Favoritte, Tendrement
Les Regrets, Affectueusement

Le phénix

The pardessus de viole: the “woman’s violin”

The smallest member of the viola da gamba family, the pardessus de viole was designed to meet the expressive needs of French society, was continually modified, and was ultimately abandoned. The instrument’s history is intriguing: its idiomatic repertoire spans a mere half century, although the instrument itself was in wide use for over a hundred years. Despite this brief appearance in the evolution of Western art music, it is the subject of a remarkably rich history, and many of the most distinguished viol players of the period performed on it. Composers of distinction wrote very beautiful music for it, and highly-skilled luthiers created marvelous exemplars, some of which survive to this day (including the one by Nicolas Bertrand, c1710, being played tonight).

The pardessus originated in France at the end of the seventeenth century. The earliest surviving instrument by Parisian maker Michel Collichon is dated 1690 at the latest. By this time, the viola da gamba (both dessus or treble, and bass) had reached the pinnacle of a fertile period as a solo and chamber instrument, and firmly occupied a place of privilege in music and spectacle at the court of Louis XIV. Because the Roi soleil himself loved and cherished the viola da gamba throughout his reign, his noblemen and courtiers showed a singular interest in it. This interest was revitalized with the introduction of the new member of the viol family, the pardessus.

What exactly was this new instrument? The pardessus, as its name indicates – the literal translation is: higher than the treble – and following the French habit of naming instruments according to their pitch range, extends the treble viol’s range upward. For performers, this resulted in easier access to higher- ranged musical passages, considerably reducing the need for shifting positions along the neck of the instrument. During the first twenty years following its appearance, the precise role of the pardessus in musical life is obscure. In the absence of any repertoire of its own during those years, music written for other treble instruments, including the newly-emergent violin, was appropriated to its use. The violin, present in France from the sixteenth century, was regarded as the emblematic Italian instrument and was mainly associated with the lower classes, suited to dance or strolling, and appropriate to light entertainment. More serious and refined music was, therefore, reserved for the viol family, which held a more prominent role in music at court. The dazzling success of Arcangelo Corelli’s (1653-1713) violin sonatas, as well as performances by Italian virtuosi in France would incite French composers – or sonatistes – to write for the violin. Esteem for this instrument rose to a point where it eventually entered a golden age that coincided with the popularity of the new sonata form. Passionate debates ensued between Italianist enthusiasts and French purists. This dichotomy caused the viol to be associated with a certain Ancien Régime conservatism, whereas violin-wielding Italianists considered themselves as more modern, free thinkers.

The violin’s early reputation as a “lowly instrument” made it unsuitable for performance by members of French high society, particularly noblewomen – a bias that persisted throughout the mid-eighteenth century. Proponents of the older French style remained faithful to traditional viol practice. Many of them excelled at the bass viol and the dessus, and thus a transition to pardessus would have been much more straightforward than attempting a whole new type of instrument such as the violin. Because of its range, mastery of the pardessus resulted in easier access to the growing violin repertoire, and in the mid-eighteenth century it had become the “woman’s violin”. As François-Alexandre-Pierre de Garsault wrote in 1761, “Ladies hardly ever play the violin whereas the pardessus de viole may serve in its place, since it is capable of playing nearly everything that may be executed on the violin”. Viols were especially popular with women and belonged to the category of “feminine instruments,” along with the lute, the harp, and the harpsichord. Socially, these instruments enabled their players to maintain a more dignified demeanor according to norms of propriety: “…ladies shall play the treble viol with five strings and never the violin, as the position involved in playing the violin in no way suits them. While their hands are too small to hold it, they also experience endless hardship in climbing to the high positions…. which can be done easily and without shifting on the first string of the quinton as well as on the pardessus de viole with five strings”. (Michel Corrette c.1748). Ladies would also have been troubled by neck marks caused by regular violin practice, and also by the ways in which playing a da braccio instrument could compromise costly and intricate hairdressings. Over time, the popularity of the instrument is seen to have extended beyond the confines of the nobility, and musical iconography from the period clearly shows bourgeois women adopting its use, demonstrating the instruments’ broader appeal.

Repertoire specifically composed for pardessus began to appear in the 1720s. The introduction of a five string pardessus in the 1730s (or 1740s, depending on opinion) ushered in a period of great popularity for the instrument (1730-1770). The pardessus was subjected to a series of transformations during this time: the removal of a string, the narrowing of the soundboard and other refinements to the neck rendered it visually similar to the violin, but a deeper commonality is found in the respective instruments’ tuning: from lowest to highest note, G-D-A-D-G on the five-string pardessus and G-D-A-E on the violin. Tuning in fifths on the lower three strings of the pardessus further opened up the instrument to the violinistic repertoire. Although removing a string did nothing to change the instrument’s range, it did free the soundboard of considerable pressure, resulting in a more resonant, pure, and flute-like sound. The link between pardessus and violin is clearly demonstrated by the existence of publications citing the interchangeable use of one instrument or the other. We see at this time a vast increase in the number of idiomatic works for the five string pardessus. For its part, the six string pardessus remained in use for many years, although its tuning, which includes a central major third, is less practical when playing music written for violin.

In the early 1760s, a four string pardessus was conceived with the object of imitating perfectly violinistic effects. Although no specimen has survived, evidence suggests it was simply a violin held vertically. Posuel de Verneaux reported in 1766 that “In Paris, many people play the pardessus de viole with four strings, the fingering and tuning being similar to that of a violin…

In the 1770s French composers continued to write for the pardessus until the instrument fell out of use by the end of the eighteenth century. Seen in retrospect, the pardessus’s physical resemblance to the violin resulted in its loss of singularity, and consequently, its raison d’être. Concurrently, evolving trends in public concerts favored the instrument less and less, relegating it to the salon. Finally, a relaxing of attitudes concerning the etiquette of da braccio playing of the violin, and its appropriateness for polite society, further accelerated the demise of the pardessus. It would be abandoned even by its most loyal defenders : the nobility, women, and bourgeois intellectuals who would come to know the dark times of the Revolution (1789) and would soon witness the destruction of “instruments of entertainment” at the hands of revolutionists.

Programme notes : Mélisande Corriveau

First Presbyterian Church (Newcombe Room)
10025 105 St NW, Edmonton
General: $40
Students/Seniors/Members: $30




Set in the magical, candle-lit Upper Hall of Holy Trinity Anglican Church this intimate evening will transport you to 17th and 18th century Italy. Music by Italian composers such as Fontana, Galli, Vitali, Vivaldi, Merci, Dall’ Abaco, Rufo, Supriano and more.

Prosecco-reception at 7:30 PM. Italian hors d’oeuvres and wine will be served throughout the evening. ​


Originally from Edmonton, Gabriele Thielmann holds a Master’s degree in modern violin performance from McGill University. Gabriele has studied baroque violin with members of the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra through their young artist training institutes and masterclasses. Gabriele is currently living in Edmonton where she teaches and plays with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

A versatile musician and educator, Josephine van Lier is equally at ease on a baroque cello, a 5 string violoncello piccolo, a 7 string bass viola da gamba, or a tenor or treble gamba as on their contemporary counterparts, using instruments and bows whose designs, construction and material span over 400 years in origin; from the gut strings of her baroque cellos and gambas to her 1870 cello and the space-age material of her carbon-fibre cello. She therefore covers a wide variety of repertoire utilizing the endless possibilities that this range of instruments, string set-ups and bows allow her.

Josephine has garnered much world-wide critical acclaim for her 4-disc recording of the Bach cello suites in leading publications around the world, such as Strad Magazine, Oxfort Early Music and including an “Editor’s Choice”, five-star rating from London’s “Early Music Today”.

Founding member, president and artistic director of Early Music Alberta, Josephine van Lier is a strong advocate for the historically informed performance practice of early music.

A passionate and very active performer, soloist and chamber musician, Josephine is always looking for challenging and exciting projects. She performs throughout North America, Asia and Europe.

She is much sought after across North America for adjudicating festivals, teaching masterclasses, holding lectures and for directing workshops on historically informed performance practice.

Josephine van Lier is the founder and artistic director/conductor of La Folia, Edmonton’s baroque string ensemble specialized in the historically informed performance of little known music of the Renaissance and baroque.

Josephine thoroughly enjoys teaching cello, baroque cello, viola da gamba, cello ensemble and viola da gamba consort out of her private studio. Her students are enthusiastic and active members of Edmonton’s rich music scene.

She is recipient of the “Celebration of Women in the Arts Award” from the Edmonton Arts Council.

Born and raised in Venezuela, Pablo begins his musical career at the age of 5. As part of El Sistema program, he was ask to pick an instrument by the age of ten. He began bassoon lessons with Andres Riera in his home town. El Sistema has been the foundation of his musical experience, providing him with the opportunity to meet world renowned conductors like Claudio Abbado and Sir Simon Rattle. As part of El Sistema program he began taking lessons from Berliner Philharmonik bassoonist Hening Trog, later, he participated on different master classes with world class bassoon players like Klaus Thunemann, Sergio Azzolini, Gustavo Nuñez, and Laurent Lefèvre.

In 2010 he was offered a scholarship at Canadian University College to complete his Bachelor in Music Performance degree. He graduated in 2014 and applied to different Canadian Universities to further his education. Pablo Montes was accepted at the University of Alberta to take a two year master’s degree with a full assistantship scholarship. He graduated in 2016. In the past year, he has performed with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, soloed with the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra, completed training with the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra in Toronto. Currently Pablo is taking conducting classes at the University of Alberta and working on his audition repertoire for the Julliard School of Music where he plans to do a graduate diploma on historical performance in baroque bassoon.


Recognized as musically gifted at a young age, Jeanne began piano lessons at the age of five. She received special education in Taiwan from the age of nine, where she started learning her secondary instrument – trumpet. Jeanne’s passion and dedication in music has earned her a Master of Music degree in piano from McGill University and a Master of Music in trumpet from the University of British Columbia. She is currently working on her Doctor of Music degree in piano at the University of Alberta.

Jeanne’s rare musical versatility has taken her to main stages in more than 30 cities in 17 countries, as a soloist, collaborative pianist, chamber musician, orchestra player and concert band member. A keen participant in international music events, music programs, master classes, and competitions, she has added to harpsichord and organ to her accomplishments. She recently performed, as the winner of the Concerto Competition, on harpsichord with the Alberta Baroque Ensemble and has received scholarships from the Royal Canadian College of Organists. Jeanne has been appointed as Organ Scholar at historic First Presbyterian Church in Edmonton since 2015. A winner of the Johann Strauss Scholarship for Advanced Music Studies in Austria for three consecutive years since 2014, Jeanne has furthered her knowledge and skills in German Lieder and historic keyboard instruments. Her recent appearances include piano solo recitals at the Austrian Residence and the St. Bartholomew’s Church in Ottawa; organ performance at the Salzburg Festival Opening Concert in Austria; harpsichord performance in “Catching Butterflies” Baroque Concert in the Department of Music Main Stage Concert Series and organ performance in “Prism” Concert at the Winspear Centre.

Jeanne’s passions extend far beyond music. She speaks seven languages, and is always keen on learning and absorbing new knowledge. Jeanne loves travelling and exploring the world, as well as meeting people from different cultures. A passionate advocate for animals and education, Jeanne also holds a Master of Veterinary Medicine degree in Animal Welfare from National Taiwan University and teacher’s licenses in Taiwan, British Columbia and Ontario. In her spare time, Jeanne volunteers playing the piano at local senior centers, where she feels happy to be able to put smiles on seniors’ faces.

Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Upper Hall
10037 84 Ave Edmonton
General: $150

Friday, October 28, 8:00PM


Strathcona String Quartet

Tessarini, Locattelli, Boccherini, Geminiani, Vivaldi

Unitarian Church of Edmonton
10804 119 Street, Edmonton