University Baroque Ensemble

University Baroque Ensemble

Exploring the repertoire of early composed music

Background image: A student performing in the Early Music Ensemble

Description and History


A member of the Early Music Ensemble performs in Hertz Concert HallThe University Baroque Ensemble is dedicated to exploring the repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries and the performance practices of those periods. What can we learn from using gut strings and baroque bows? How do the various bowing options enliven this music? How can Baroque instruments and techniques inform how we play Bach, Handel, Vivaldi and Mozart on our modern instruments? This ensemble is for adventurous and curious musicians looking to deepen their relationships with the amazing music of these periods. Unique among other college baroque ensembles, many students participating in this ensemble play on instruments from the 17th and 18th centuries. All participating students will be provided with baroque instruments.

This conductor-less ensemble combines the commitment and attentiveness of chamber music with the discipline of orchestral playing. Regular attendance at twice weekly rehearsals, and participation in all public performances is required.

Participation and Audition Information


The University Baroque Ensemble is open to students, non-enrolled students, and community members. Instruments include violin, viola, cello, bass, recorder, flute, keyboard and guitar (or lute); vocal performers also are welcome. Interested double reed or brass players should contact Professor Miller directly.  Instruments are provided by the University. Lessons and coaching are provided to aid in bridging the differences inherent in the instruments and techniques.

New students must audition. Preference is given to enrolled students who will join for both Fall and Spring semesters. Those interested in Music 168H (Early Music Performance) lessons likewise should arrange for an audition.

To audition, complete the audition form for the University Baroque Ensemble. Players and singers should prepare a solo piece of baroque music by Handel, Bach, Vivaldi, or something comparable that demonstrates fast and slow playing/singing.  Excerpts from two different pieces, movements or composers are acceptable.

For more information about the group, please contact David Miller at dhmiller@berkeley.edu.

Early Music Ensemble performing