Houston Early Music is a chartered, non-profit, organization whose purpose is to present historically-informed performances of early music from the European traditions and other world cultures in concerts featuring internationally renowned vocal, instrumental, and chamber musicians. In addition, we reach out to new and diverse audiences through a cross-disciplinary educational program on the elementary, secondary, college, and community levels that reflects the issues and concerns of the community as a whole.
As the citys only presenting organization dedicated to covering the large historical span of early music in all of its forms, Houston Early Music epitomizes a movement that has swept the world of classical music: we offer performances of vocal, instrumental, and chamber music from the Middle Ages through the eighteenth century using historically appropriate instruments.
Formed in 1965 as a small group that met in peoples homes, the organization was officially incorporated in 1969. From this humble beginning it has grown to become an organization that now provides performance opportunities for major early music artists from around the world in an annual concert series. A successful and growing educational outreach program introduces a future generation to a broad range of music.
The organization also expanded its concert repertoire to include performances ranging from Gregorian chant to presentations on original instruments of the music of the 19th century; in particular, its concerts of the music of Beethoven represented the first time Houstonians had the opportunity to hear Beethovens music as he would have heard it. In recognition of this evolution, the organization changed its name in 1997 to Houston Early Music.
The board has identified the following objectives for the organization: First, to enable audiences to hear early music through a concert season featuring world-class musicians. Second, it increase the understanding and knowledge of early music through an educational and community outreach program placing particular emphasis on underserved inner city communities. Third, to spotlight the cultural achievements of the Americas during the 16th-18th centuries. As an organization representing early music in the Southwest, there is a unique opportunity to present what is truly the early music of this region; therefore, the organization has developed the Hispanic Heritage Series as an ongoing feature of each season