Early Music Alberta was founded in 2010 by a group of early music enthusiasts in Edmonton under the direction of baroque cellist and viola da gambist Josephine van Lier

All of our concerts and events are performed on instruments and equipment such as strings, reeds, etc as they were used at the time the pieces were written. Our performances are based on extensive research into the background and context of the time and place. The musicians have researched the original manuscripts of the pieces they play, and base the performance interpretation on the available treatises and correspondence of the time. 

Our concerts are more than “just-a-concert”; they are an event. The concerts are intimate, professional, and accessible to everyone.

Early Music Alberta - concert 2
Early Music Alberta Marnie and Joachim


Early Music is medieval, renaissance, and baroque music, especially as revived and played on period instruments. Early music is a broad musical era for the beginning of Western art music.

Early music commonly designates either a repertory (European music written in a millennium that spans from roughly 800 to 1800, including Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and early Classical music) or an approach toward the idea of performing any old music more “authentically” on the basis of surviving instruments, treatises and other evidence (known as “Historical Performance”, “Period performance” or “Authentic performance”) including the use of period instruments. Frequently it is both.

Early music practitioners seek to discover and perform music from times past, to explore a repertory of music that is otherwise little known. We also aim to recreate the sound-worlds of earlier times through the use of period instruments and techniques. We base our interpretations on the accumulated evidence of original instruments, manuscripts, first editions, and the remarks of theoretical and instructional treatises, rather than on “received tradition” passed on by recent generations of performers and teachers.


JOSEPHINE VAN LIER – Artistic Director

Josephine van Lier is a Dutch cellist and viola da gambist who has called Edmonton, Alberta, Canada her home since 1995. Born with an insatiable passion for music and a profound dedication to historically informed performance practice, Josephine has built a remarkable career that encompasses both the “traditional” classical and early worlds of music.

A versatile musician and educator, Josephine’s repertoire is as diverse as her instrument collection. She is equally comfortable performing on historic instruments like the baroque cello, a 5-string violoncello piccolo, a 7-string bass viola da gamba, a violone, or a tenor or treble gamba, as she is on their modern counterparts. Her collection spans over 400 years of instrument design, construction, and materials. This extraordinary range of instruments and bows allows her to explore a vast array of musical repertoire, pushing the boundaries of music performance.

Josephine’s profound musicality and dedication to historical accuracy have earned her international acclaim. One notable achievement is her 4-disc recording of the Bach cello suites, which has received accolades in leading publications worldwide. Reviews in Strad Magazine, Oxford Early Music, and a prestigious “Editor’s Choice” five-star rating from London’s “Early Music Today” serve as a testament to her exceptional artistry and commitment to the authenticity of the music.

Beyond her performance career, Josephine van Lier is also a driving force in the world of early music. She is the founder and artistic director of Early Music Alberta, an organization dedicated to promoting and fostering historically informed performance practices. This institution has been instrumental in organizing concert series and an annual early music festival in Edmonton, showcasing the beauty and significance of early music.

As a passionate and active performer, Josephine continuously seeks out challenging and exciting projects. Her artistic journey has taken her across North America, Asia, and Europe, where she captivates audiences with her enchanting interpretations of both familiar and lesser-known musical masterpieces. Her excellence extends beyond the stage, as she is much sought after for performing, adjudicating festivals, teaching masterclasses, holding lectures, and directing workshops on historically informed performance practice.

Josephine’s contributions to the world of music and her tireless advocacy for early music have been recognized with the “Celebration of Women in the Arts Award” from the Edmonton Arts Council. This accolade underscores her significant impact on the local cultural landscape and her dedication to the arts.

For more information about Josephine van Lier and her musical journey, you can visit her official website at www.josephinevanlier.com. Through her unwavering dedication to early music and her extraordinary talent, Josephine continues to inspire and enrich the world of classical and baroque music.

DAVID OH – Secretary
MELISSA JONES – Member at Large