Baroque Academy July 14-21, 2019

Baroque Academy at the Amherst Early Music Festival, on the campus of Connecticut College offers high-level, immersion classes for Baroque strings, winds, and voice. Students work closely with internationally renowned faculty members to expand their knowledge of Baroque style, ornamentation, and repertoire. Chamber music ensembles and Baroque orchestra work through the week in preparation for performances.

Pitch is A=415. Audition due date: April 1, 2019 for singers and instrumentalists.
Tuition: $625. Click here for room and board options.

Baroque Academy Instrumentalists have an intensive all-day program of master classes, chamber ensembles, topic classes, and the opera orchestra. Work closely with extraordinary artists on Baroque style, ornamentation, and technique, Baroque ensemble, dynamics, basso continuo, and more. String ensemble, Oboe band, Opera orchestra directed by Gary Wedow. Arrive on Sunday, July 14 for afternoon orchestra rehearsal starting at 3:30 p.m.

This year's Viol Intensive with Sarah Cunningham and Paolo Pandolfo will offer a week of diving deep into solo and ensemble viol music. In keeping with the Festival's Italian theme, viol players will have the opportunity focus on improvisation as well as on the viola bastarda repertoire and improvisation-based diminutions and Recercatas. The Corelli Opus V transcriptions for viol, Handel cantata and oratorio obligato parts, consort and Baroque ensemble playing are also on the menu.

There are two Programs for Singers within the Baroque Academy, the Opera Project, and the Vocal Soloist Program

Opera Project: #anch'io (#me too): Six Ariadnes tell their tales
A pasticcio of scenes by Haydn, Monteverdi, Conradi, Marais, Boismortier and Handel.
Perform a role in our fully staged production of #anch'io: Ariadne Scenes. Directed by Drew Minter and conducted by Gary Wedow, with Baroque orchestra and historical dance. Ariadne's "#me too" moment is dramatically depicted in six operatic retellings of the Greek myth by Monteverdi, Conradi, Handel, Haydn, and others. Sessions with Drew Minter on period acting and performance techniques. Master class and coaching with Laura Pudwell and Aaron Sheehan. Performance Friday, July 20. Audition by April 1. Drew Minter, Director; Gary Wedow, conductor; Lawrence Rosenwald, texts and translations; Aaron Sheehan, vocal coaching; Ronnie Snader, costumes; Paul Guttry, props.

Vocal Soloist Program Master classes and chamber music with Laura Pudwell and Aaron Sheehan and other Baroque Academy faculty. Students work towards developing a deep knowledge and understanding of Baroque style, recitative, ornamentation, and repertoire. Focus on rhetorical performance skills, analysis of the poetic texts, 17th century Italian diction, and effective rendering of 17th century aria and recitative. Explore chamber music with other singers and instrumentalists in small groups, and work towards performance in Saturday Baroque Academy concert.

Baroque Academy Daily Schedule: 9:00 Master classes, 11:00 Chamber ensembles, 1:30 String orchestra, Oboe band, Topic classes, 3:30 Baroque opera, Vocal Soloists Rehearsals. Opera Dress Rehearsal: Thursday evening, July 18, after the Faculty Concert.

Baroque Opera Project Daily Schedule: 9:00-10:30 Master class, 11:00-12:15 staging rehearsal, 1:30-3:00 musical rehearsal, 3:30 to 5:30 tutti rehearsal with orchestra.

Baroque Academy Concerts: 2019
July 18 Baroque Academy Faculty Concert 7:30 p.m.
July 19 Baroque Opera: #Anch'io Ariadne Project 8:00 p.m.
July 20 Performance: Baroque Academy Student Concert 1:00 p.m.
July 20 Performance: Baroque Academy Vocal Soloists 4:30 p.m.
Late evenings: salon concerts, drop-in sessions

2019 Baroque Academy Faculty
Saskia Coolen Program Director
Hsuan-Wen Chen Assistant Program Director
Laura Pudwell voice
Aaron Sheehan voice
Julie Andrijeski violin
Paolo Pandolfo viol
Sarah Cunningham viol
Phoebe Carrai cello
Heather Miller Lardin double bass
Xavier Diaz Latorre lute
Saskia Coolen recorder
Wendy Rolfe flute
Meg Owens oboe
Stephanie Corwin bassoon
Peter Sykes harpsichord
Drew Minter opera director
Gary Wedow opera conductor

Audition due dates: April 1, 2019 for singers and instrumentalists.
Audition Information
To audition, please visit our page on

You will need to submit:

1. $30 registration fee
2. Your resume or a brief description (one or two paragraphs) summarizing your musical background and experience, including formal and informal training and education.
3. 10-15 minutes of music showing your technique, expression, and understanding of baroque style. The piece need not be accompanied. For 2019, please include a selection from an Italian composer or source if possible. Please include composer and title information with your submission.
4. Singers auditioning for the Baroque Opera Project will also need to submit a head shot and a brief physical description: hair color, eye color, height, and weight. Photographs are accepted in any standard form. This information is required to be considered for a role in the opera.

Many file types for audio and video can be uploaded on the Acceptd website. 


Limited scholarship funds are available. To apply, email a letter to Marilyn Boenau at that details your experience, goals in the field of early music, and financial situation.  Early Music America also provides scholarships. You may also consider contacting your local arts and cultural societies about possible funding. We would be happy to provide documentation to assist you in obtaining a third-party scholarship. See also our Scholarship and Work-study page. Work-Study tuition assistance is available in exchange for help with various tasks around the festival.

Click here for information on Room and Board options.