Three guests from Europe’s most distinctive folk ensemble, the Early Folk Band, join forces with three Apollo’s Fire favorite musicians in this new transatlantic encounter. Folk ballads from the Old World weave tales of distant countries – from the mysteries of the sea to King Arthur and Robin Hood.
Coming from England, Sweden and Germany, the musicians of Early Folk Band bring with them the traditional music of their own countries as well as deep experience with Medieval and Renaissance music. They have won several awards including Germany’s top World Music prize, the Globale Ruth.
Hear the Music
The Early Folk Band Robin Hood
The Early Folk Band Robin Hood
Meet the Artists
These concerts are generously sponsored by
“The U.S.A.’s hottest baroque band.” –CLASSICAL MUSIC MAGAZINE (UK)
EARLY FOLK BAND TRIO
Ian Harrison | Steve Player | Gesine Bänfer
The musicians of The Early Folk Band, all leading performers of ‘early’ music, have come together for a new project: the reconstruction of early folk music. Coming from England, Sweden and Germany the musicians bring with them the traditional music of their own countries as well as an enormous practical experience of the music of the middle ages, Renaissance and Baroque.
They have won Grammys, Globale Ruths (Germany’s top World Music prize), the Anders Zorn silver badge, and prizes from the Bruge Early Music Festival, the Rencontres des Maîtres-Sonneurs (France) and the German Rock and Pop Awards.
Ballads, songs and dances from the British Isles, Scandinavia, Germany, Spain and Italy form the basis of the group’s repertoire. Sources include early printed editions and manuscripts from the 13th to the 19th centuries as well as material learnt from traditional singers and the group’s own compositions and arrangements. ‘Folk music’ has always influenced ‘art music’ and vice versa. The vision of the band is to bridge the gap between early and folk music for the 21st century. Renaissance and Baroque music from the south and traditional music from the north join in a unique European musical experience. Like the wind, music knows no boundaries in space and time.
has been praised as “the star of the evening” (Seen and Heard International, UK) and “charismatic and theatrically arresting” (San Francisco Chronicle). A highly versatile musician, she is at home in repertoire from Monteverdi to Mozart to Ravel, and has toured internationally as soloist in baroque opera, oratorio, and crossover folk programs. Her tour performances with GRAMMY®-winning baroque orchestra Apollo’s Fire (Jeannette Sorrell) include such venues as the National Concert Hall of Ireland in Dublin, the Irish National Opera House, the Aldeburgh Festival (UK), the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the National Gallery in Washington, and Zellerbach Hall in San Francisco, among others. Her 2019 debut as Messiah soloist with the Calgary Symphony won kudos as “the soloist of the night… singing to perfection.”
As a recording artist, Ms Powell has been featured on several Apollo’s Fire albums including Sugarloaf Mountain, Sephardic Journey, and Christmas on Sugarloaf Mountain, all of which received rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic and debuted in the top ten on the BILLBOARD Classical Chart. Her 2015 solo debut album, Beyond Boundaries, is an intimate program of folk, jazz, and global music. She is a fluent improvisor and has collaborated with such artists as Bobby McFerrin and Sheila Jordan.
is a modern-day troubadour. He holds a Master’s degree in music from Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, where he studied lute and theorbo. He specializes in historical plucked instruments and ancient songs of various world traditions. He is a songwriter and poet, and also paints and plays a variety of percussion and wind instruments. Cleveland Classical.com called him “far-ranging,” “brilliant,” and “exciting,” and Early Music America called his work “phenomenal.” His newest album, Three Ravens, was released in January 2015.
is one of the world’s leading exponents of the instrument and was described by folk musician Pete Seeger as “the best hammered dulcimer player I’ve heard anywhere.” Playing in the aural tradition as a child, she made her solo debut at age 12 and led her first string band at age 16. Since then, she has been in demand at folk festivals and has performed as soloist with several symphony orchestras. Her contradance bands, Strings & Things and Hu$hmoney, have explored traditional American and Celtic music. She can be heard on the Apollo’s Fire CDs Come to the River, Scarborough Fayre, and Sacrum Mysterium: A Celtic Christmas Vespers.