Berkeley Festival and Exhibition of Early Music
No matter what type of music you love, there is a good chance that a music festival exists devoted solely to its celebration. From Pitchfork to Electric Forest to everything in between, almost every nook and cranny in the country seems to lay claim to its own massive gathering of musicians and fans. Not to be outdone, San Francisco is home to many such events, and we are proud to say that we have compiled quite a collection of articles on the Bay Area’s various sonic happenings throughout the years. Today, we want to highlight yet another of these events, and one that takes us to a somewhat unusual page from the musical festival playbook.
For 15 years, the Berkeley Festival and Exhibition (BFX for short) has come to the Bay Area with its historical catalogue of instruments and musical styles. A biennale event (taking turns with the Boston Early Music Festival), BFX is one of most important and enjoyable celebrations of early music in the country, and has been widely hailed throughout the country by such venerable publications as The New York Times.
The BFX features 19 concerts happening on the main concert stage over the course of eight days. Focusing on a wide variety of early music, these concerts will provide both the connoisseur and the amateur with virtuosic performances of pieces representative of:
- Music from the Middle Ages
- Renaissance songs
- Baroque music
- Classical music
- Romantic music
As you time travel over several hundred years of musical creation, you can also wander through the festivals Exhibition and Marketplace. Here, you will have the chance to pursue and purchase such wonders as:
- Specialty made bows for string instruments like violin and viola
- A wide variety of early music recordings on Compact Disc (both new and used)
- Handmade instruments like cellos, violas, Cornetti, harpsichord, and clarinets
- Numerous museum pieces available for your close inspection
Put on by the San Francisco Early Music Society, the BFX will take place throughout June 3rd—June 10th. Tickets for all of the shows, lectures, and masterclasses (excluding the Exhibition and Marketplace which is totally free) are currently on sale.