Early Music Performance


Over the past several decades, the performance of early music has undergone a remarkable transformation. What was once a highly specialized activity is now a major facet of professional music making, garnering the attention of an ever-growing, international audience. Specialists in early music are consistently involved in a dynamic range of activities, including solo and ensemble performance, research and writing, program planning, preparation of performing editions and historically-informed arrangements, and ensemble direction and teaching. USC Thornton’s graduate degree programs in Early Music Performance immerse students in all facets of the profession, ensuring that graduates possess ample knowledge and expertise to launch their own careers in early music anywhere in the world. Students in the Early Music program rehearse 6-8 hours per week, perform in 4-6 ensemble programs per year, and collaborate in student recitals. In addition to the core curriculum, they take courses in performance practice topics and musicology and pursue individual research. They are also encouraged to perform in the professional early music community.

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event calendar

Upcoming events

  • Faculty Recital with the Early Music Program

    Inspired by the watershed year of 1517, members of the Early Music faculty offer a program of music from before and after the German Reformation, featuring polyphony by Henricus Isaac and Ludwig Senfl, and improvisations on dances from Michael Praetorius' beloved Terpsichore. The recital features faculty members Adam Gilbert (shawm, recorder, bagpipe), Rotem Gilbert (shawm, recorder, bagpipe), Jason Yoshida (guitar, theorbo, percussion), and special guests Adam Bregman (sackbut), and Malachai Bandy (shawm, viola da gamba).

    Newman Recital Hall (AHF)

  • Griot! African and European Improvisations with Jalli Lamin Kuyateh and the USC Thornton Baroque Sinfonia

    African musician Jalli Lamin Kuyateh joins music director Adam Gilbert and the USC Thornton Baroque Sinfonia for a fascinating meeting of musical styles, time periods, and instruments. The improvisational concert will blend Gambian and Baroque songs to create a riveting fusion of African griot and Euro-Baroque music. Kuyateh stands in a long tradition of Gambian bards, performing the African gourd harp (or kora) while singing birimintingo and kumbengo, improvised songs and stories that tell history, sing in praise and love, and offer sage advice. Kuyateh lives in the Netherlands, where he blends traditional and modern African music to collaborate with European ensembles. Presented by USC Visions and Voices; the Arts & Humanities Initiative.

    Newman Recital Hall (AHF)

  • USC Collegium Workshop presents 1517: Singing & Dancing Toward A Dangerous Year

    The USC Collegium Workshop explores devotional music from before and after the Reformation, including works by Henricus Isaac, who died in 1517, and music inspired by ideas in Johannes Reuchlin's 1517 book, Art of the Kabbalah. The program will reflect the cataclysmic changes set into motion in that pivotal year.

    United University Church (UUC)

  • Baroque Sinfonia: Strike the Viol, Touch the Lute: Music of Restoration England

    The USC Thornton Baroque Sinfonia performs music from the bawdy to the sublime—pleasant ditties, grand anthems, and dancing tunes—in an engaging concert featuring viols, voices, and sundry instruments. The return of Charles II and the monarchy brought a resurgence of pomp, pageantry and the salacious to Restoration England, which is expressed in music by Jenkins, Locke, Lawes, Humfrey, and Purcell. Seating is first-come, first-served, and RSVPs are not available.

    Newman Recital Hall (AHF)

  • news archive


    Remembering Brian Asawa

    April 20, 2016

    Brian Asawa, a celebrated countertenor and non-degreed alumnus, died on April 18. He was 49. Asawa’s international career was studded with “firsts” — he was the first countertenor to be named Grand Prize Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, win Seattle Opera’s Artist of the Year Award, earn… read more

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