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The Early Music Society of the Islands

Victoria is home to The Early Music Society of the Islands (EMSI), a unique not for profit group dedicated to providing residents and visitors alike the opportunity to experience the performance of early music. This is truly historical musical entertainment.

Internationally distinguished soloists and ensembles as well as talented local musicians are invited to showcase historically informed music.  These concerts are defined by a commitment to historical performance practices, the use of original instruments and accurate scores.

The Early Music Society of the Islands was founded in 1985 and has since produced concerts by a long list of renowned early music performers including:

  • Anonymous 4;
  • Nancy Argenta;
  • Ensemble Anonymus;
  • Julianne Baird;
  • The Baltimore Consort;
  • Camerata Köln;
  • Marc Destrubé;
  • John Holloway;
  • Monica Huggett;
  • Ton Koopman;
  • La Venexiana;
  • London Baroque;
  • The Orlando Consort;
  • Andrew Manze;
  • Ronn McFarlane;
  • Paul O’Dette;
  • Simon Standage;
  • Tafelmusik and many others.

All of the performances produced by EMSI are at Alix Gooden Hall, one of the Victoria Conservatory of Music’s concert spaces.  The wonderful acoustics and historical ambience of this venue are very appropriate and enhance the experience of listening to early music.

The Early Music Society of the Islands also supports the nurturing of early music in its mandated region of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands through annual bursaries that promote early music concerts, recitals, extra-curricular studies and community education projects.

Outside of the great cities of the world it is rare to find the opportunity to experience such historically accurate performances of early music.  We are lucky to be living in Victoria, where we can enjoy such exceptional musical entertainment.

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