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Texas Early Music Project
13915 Burnet Road, Suite 402 
Austin, TX 78728
(512) 377-6961

For ticket and concert venue inquiries, email the Box Office

TEMP is a performing ensemble and not a presenting organization or an agency. Please do not contact TEMP about hosting other early music groups.
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13915 Burnet Road, Suite 402
Austin, TX 78728
United States

(512) 377-6961

Founded in 1987 by Daniel Johnson, the Texas Early Music Project is dedicated to preserving and advancing the art of Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and early Classical music through performance, recordings, and educational outreach. 

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Explore more than 700 years of musical transformation

Filtering by Tag: La Pellegrina

Earworms, Mysteries, and Memories

Danny Johnson

Photograph by Cecily Johnson

I sort of thought that the earworms from La Pellegrina would go away while I was deep into research for the Madrigal Mystery Tour concert. I was sort of wrong. Jenifer Thyssen’s opening aria still resonates in my head; Ryland Angel’s “Arion” aria still catches me off-guard; the final half of Meredith Ruduski’s aria from the 5th intermedio just will not take an exit bow!! Not to mention many magical moments from the choral and/or instrumental parts and the finale, especially, that still enter my consciousness … and you know what, they can all stay for as long as they’d like! It was such a thing!

La Pellegrina photographs by Cecily Johnson

La Pellegrina photographs by Cecily Johnson

But, onward! Such is the joy of my job that I’m surrounded by a whole passel of Italian madrigals for the 2nd of our Italia Mia: That’s Amore! concert season. (And, in our never-ending effort to make things more confusing, half the title of the upcoming concert is Italia Mia — tricky, eh? But you’ll know why at the concert, if you don’t already…) I’m listening, reading, deciding on parameters, choosing, scoring, formatting Italian madrigals 45/8. Or something like that. More on the concert soon; In the meantime, I'm not giving away any info on which madrigals we're doing, so it will have to remain a mystery! Get it? Madrigal Mystery Tour?

There is sad news to impart: the early music world has lost two extraordinary teachers and performers: keyboard artist and orchestra director Christopher Hogwood passed away this week in Cambridge. Earlier this summer, American lutenist and master pedagogue Patrick O’Brien passed away as well. Both of them touched countless lives through teaching, recording, and concerts.



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Once again — From the top!

Danny Johnson


Well, alrighty then. I, for one, would like to do our La Pellegrina concert about 10 more times in a few choice locations around the US—not to mention a few places elsewhere—but I think I would have to get some more sensible shoes if we did. Alas, I think we must be finished, because I don't see any rehearsals or concerts on my calendar. Drat. it was great fun, it was lots and lots and lots of work for the TEMP Board—good thing they're used to working hard to promote TEMP and work around problems that arise—and for Allison, Meredith, Jonathan, and Tiffany. Lots and lots of work. 

We might do this again. Who knows? But it can never again be the first time that it's been done in Austin, or in Texas, or in the U.S. [in at least 30 years and maybe longer]. That's a lot of 'first times' that the media missed, but, oh well. That's why we love Austin—there are always lots of artistic things going on. 

To all of the Board and staff and performers and supporters: A most solemn, sincere, and sacred Thank You! Grazie mille! We can all still continue to "Be a Medici - but Nicer" by supporting the arts and, of course, by not defenestrating people. 

And now on to the Madrigals. Eeeek. Only 6 weeks! 


P.S. You can pre-order the La Pellegrina CD here:

P.P.S. Check out the Time Warner Cable News 8 Austin segment on La Pellegrina below! 

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Ferdinando + Christine for 625 years!

Danny Johnson

Ok, we are now three weeks out from dress rehearsal for our first concert of the new season, Let’s see here, what needs to be done? Take a nap? Check. Have some coffee? Check. Maybe another nap? Nah, not really! We’re brimming with excitement (and also with activity: there is indeed so much to do!) about this Texas premiere, all the very cool friends who will be assembling here in a couple of weeks for this concert, and the fact that it’s presented by KMFA Classical 89.5! Our very own Medici patrons! And the fact that we got so much very generous support from so many folks from all over the nation (and the UK!) in our Indiegogo campaign. Thanks so much! This would not be happening without you. 

I’ll be back soon with an update or two or three. In the meantime, here’s a reminder about the concert and the details! Stay cool! Sorry, couldn’t help but have a little wishful thinking….


Our Opening Concert:

 La Pellegrina: Music for a Medici Wedding
presented by KMFA Classical 89.5

 Saturday, September 13, 2014 at 8PM
Sunday, September 14, 2014 at 3PM
St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, 606 W.15th, Austin 

Texas Early Music Project’s opening concert of the 2014-2015 season will be a unique and extraordinary event: the performance of La Pellegrina: Music for a Medici Wedding. Created by some of the greatest composers of the Italian Renaissance for the spectacular wedding celebration of Ferdinando de Medici to Christine de Lorraine in 1589 Florence, La Pellegrina consists of six musical intermedi or acts for vocal soloists, small ensembles, full chorus, and a full orchestra of Renaissance period instruments.

 Not only will this be the Texas premier of the entire work but our research shows that this will be the first U.S. performance of the complete work since at least the early 1980s, and our September performance will generate the first American CD recording of La Pellegrina. This will be a unique opportunity and experience not just for TEMP and all the artists involved, but also for classical music fans and history buffs both within and outside the Austin community. This will be of interest to students of all ages, from those in middle school and high school to those who are lifelong devotees of education, the fine arts, and cutting edge experiences.

 We have gathered a stellar ensemble of over fifty voices and early music instrumentalists from across the country and there will be a full orchestra of period instruments, including viols, cornetto, sackbuts, harps, and lutes, authentically recreating the sounds of the Italian Renaissance. We have commissioned a poetic narrative written and performed by Lawrence Rosenwald, Anne Pierce Rogers Professor of American Literature at Wellesley College, revealing the mythology behind the six stories. Sara Hessel Schneider, producer of KMFA’s Ancient Voices, will provide the pre-concert lecture for both performances.

 TEMP soloist Jenifer Thyssen (soprano) opens the concert with one of the most simultaneously haunting and acrobatic arias imaginable, and TEMP regular Meredith Ruduski (soprano) and guest soloist Ryland Angel (tenor, New York) both have show-stopping arias in the 5th intermedio. TEMP newcomer Ariadne Lih (soprano, Canada) joins Meredith Ruduski and mezzo-soprano Erin Calata (Seattle) as the Three Graces in the charming and invigorating finale. All the soloists are also among the 26 voices that comprise the ‘core’ chorus. The 21-piece, period-instrument orchestra includes special guests Stephen Escher (cornetto, California), Mary Springfels (viola da gamba, Santa Fe), Phillip Rukavina (lutes, Minnesota), Tom Zajac (recorder & percussion, Boston), and more. TEMP regulars in the orchestra include harpists Therese Honey (Houston) and Elaine Barber, organ/continuo master Keith Womer, lutenist Scott Horton, sackbut (Renaissance trombone) players Nathaniel Brickens, Blair Castle, and Steven Hendrickson, viol players Jane Leggiero, John Walters, and Stephanie Raby, violinist Bruce Colson, and more.

Experience the beauty, brilliance, innovation, and passion of some of the best composers from Italy in the late Renaissance joined with the expertise, talents, and joy of TEMP and its guests in this momentous and celebratory concert, presented by KMFA Classical 89.5.

For more information, call 377-6961 and leave a message,
or email

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TEMP's Red-Letter Day!

Danny Johnson


August 6, 2014 was a red-letter day for TEMP! We surpassed our goal of $15,890 in our Indiegogo campaign for September's season-opener,  La Pellegrina: Music for a Medici Wedding, and then we had a party at Fino's to celebrate Allison Welch and Jonathan Riemer, who got the new TEMP website operational AND beautiful --- in fact, this very website you're looking at right now!


More soon! Really!


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