Founded and run by its singers, Convivium Musicum has been dedicated to concerts of uplifting beauty since 1987. Praised in The Boston Musical Intelligencer for our ” . . . radiant and full sound . . . complete interpretive assurance and a palpable sense of dedication to this music,” Convivium is known for performances of Renaissance choral music that shimmer with precision, fine intonation, rhythmic accuracy, and lively attention to text. Over nearly three decades we have offered rarely-heard gems alongside stirring masterworks, and have collaborated with the Boston Camerata, the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, The Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra, and the Viola da Gamba Society of New England. Under Music Director Michael Barrett, our programs are informed by careful research and scholarship, and our performances are devoted to bringing to life the complex and profound emotional texture of this repertoire. Early Music America has acclaimed our performance as “the kind of transforming experience that concert junkies are always seeking.” This is what Convivium strives for in every concert program.
Over the past three decades our programs have ranged from the earliest polyphony to the 1991 world premiere of Richard St. Clair’s Missa Syllabica. Convivium’s adventurous programming ranges from Josquin and Mouton to Sweelinck and Le Jeune, from Peñalosa to Victoria, from the Song of Songs to Dido’s lament, and from Europe to New Spain, including masterworks by Byrd, Guerrero, Praetorius, and many other lesser-known composers. We have brought this music to concert series, benefits, and special events such as First Night Boston and the Boston Early Music Festival.
Convivium is proud to be a corporation run by its singers, who serve on the Board of Directors, manage the group’s business affairs, design its programs and publicity materials, and seek out opportunities to perform Renaissance polyphony for new audiences.
The group traces its origins to the Longy Chorus for Early Music, founded in 1982 by Andrew Waldo. The Chorus separated from the Longy School in 1987 and embarked upon an independent existence. Working with many conductors, including some drawn from its own ranks, the group performed throughout the Boston area under the name Ars Canticorum. In 1990 the choir became a non-profit corporation and adopted its current name. Since 1990, we have had the opportunity to work with several of Boston’s most talented conductors, including David Hodgkins, David Tiedman, Scott Metcalfe, and, since Summer 2007, Michael Barrett. From 2012-2015 we were also delighted to have Sarah Riskind as our Assistant Conductor.
Convivium Musicum released two CDs under Scott Metcalfe’s direction: Song of Songs: Music of Renaissance Spain and the New World, a CD with pieces based on texts from the Song of Songs; and Dido’s Lament and other music by Franco-Flemish Composers, c. 1500-1600. A third CD, Orlandus Lassus: Prince of Music, with director Michael Barrett, was released in May 2014. Please visit our Recordings page for more details, and check out our Concert History page to see repertoire and programs from past seasons!
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Convivium Musicum is incorporated in Massachusetts as a non-profit with 501(c)(3) status, IRS Tax-Exempt ID 04-3150290.