Emmanuel Music, founded in 1970 by Craig Smith, has served as the ensemble-in-residence for Boston’s Emmanuel Church for fifty years. The two organizations maintain a close, symbiotic relationship that is crucial to each entity’s individual success. The primary activity of the ensemble is the weekly presentation of the sacred cantatas of J.S. Bach in the liturgical context for which they were written. In addition, the Ensemble presents a series of evening concerts which include oratorio and operatic works, large ensemble works, and chamber music. Emmanuel Music has released recordings of works by Bach and Schütz, and has collaborated with Mark Morris and Peter Sellars on operatic works by Mozart.
For the past ten seasons, the Ensemble has been under the artistic leadership of Ryan Turner who has overseen the expansion of the group’s performance activities to include “Late Night at Emmanuel” as well as performances of works by John Harbison (principal guest conductor), Benjamin Britten, and Kurt Weill in venues such NEC’s Jordan Hall, Rockport’s Shalin Liu Performance Center, and Harvard University’s Sanders Theater. Also, over the past ten years, Emmanuel Music has offered an annual Bach Institute for emerging professional musicians to work intensively with members of its ensemble.
The desire to be part of Emmanuel Music, either as a musician or as one who witnesses the results of the Ensemble’s hard work, has held true over the years. The sense of pride in belonging permeates through to the current day with Artistic Director Ryan Turner, now in his eleventh year at the helm, bringing the Ensemble to greater artistic heights.