Historical Performance

Historically informed performance plays a central role in Longy's artistic and academic life. The curriculum focuses on both repertoire and research in its approach to music composed before 1800, featuring some of the most unique and thorough course offerings in early music in the United States. Our commitment to individual attention from faculty mentors, ensemble playing, and small class sizes creates a uniquely collaborative conservatory.

Programs Available

Program Highlights

Studio Lessons: Collaboration with a faculty mentor is the cornerstone of conservatory education at Longy. Together you will explore your unique artistic and professional goals while expanding technical and musical insight. Early music faculty members include renowned performers and musicologists, all of whom maintain active roles in the field.

Masterclasses and Seminars: Through workshops, masterclasses, discussions, and presentations, weekly seminars allow early music students to explore a wide range of technical, historical, theoretical, and aesthetic issues.

Chamber Music: Georges Longy's belief in the power of collaboration inspires the central role of chamber music in our conservatory. You will work closely with faculty coaches every semester and will explore ensemble playing through coursework, informal readings, and community outreach.

Performance Practice: Topics courses allow students to research specialized areas of study focusing on the intersection of performance and scholarship. Recent offerings have included Baroque Ornamentation, Rhetoric of Baroque Performance, and Culture and Convention of Mozart's Operas.

Performance Courses: Classes include the study of original sources and theoretical materials, culminating in a public performance. Recent courses include:

  • 12th-Century Vocal Repertories of Germany and France
  • Early opera project: Orontea by Cesti
  • English Theatre Songs
  • J.S. Bach for Viols
  • Medieval Masters of Italian Trecento
  • Music from Odhecaton
  • The Intimate French Baroque

Longy students collaborated in the Boston Camerata's production of The Play of Daniel (November, 2015):

In the Spring of 2016, Longy students capped off a semester-long collaboration with the Boston Camerata with a co-production of The Night's Tale, A Tournament of Love. Performed on April 16 and 17, 2016 in Longy's Pickman Hall, the concerts earned rave reviews in the The Boston Globe and Boston Musical Intelligencer. View pictures from rehearsals and the performances here.

Figured Bass Practicum: Students learn continuo playing while developing flexibility within collaboration and exploring a wide spectrum of repertoire.

Historical Dance for Musicians: Exploring both Renaissance and Baroque Styles, students learn dances including the sarabande, galliard, and menuet to better comprehend similarly titled pieces of the period. Students also play and sing for dancers, paying particular attention to tempo, articulation, character, and form.


Sean Yung-Hsiang Wang, acting chair

Anne Azéma, voice

Phoebe Carrai, baroque cello

Pamela Dellal, voice, topics classics

Libor Dudas, historical performance, music history and interdisciplinary studies, voice

Douglas Freundlich, lute

Stephen Hammer, baroque oboe

Jane Hershey, viola da gamba

Greg Ingles, sackbut

Sonja Lindblad, recorder

Na'ama Lion, baroque flute

Dana Maiben, baroque violin

Laurie Monahan, voice

Vivian Montgomery, harpsichord

Ken Pierce, period dance

Gonzalo Ruiz, oboe

Andrew Schwartz, baroque bassoon

Anne Trout, baroque bass, violone

Ryan Turner, voice

A Day in the Life: William Farrell, Historical Performance

Name: William Farrell
Hometown: Northwood, NH
Area of Study: Historical Performance, Voice
Degree Program: Master of Music
Expected Graduation: May, 2017 

Describe your ideal career: As of now, my ideal career is to dive in and develop connections within the Boston music community, so that I can have the opportunities to have gigs singing professionally around the city.

Why did you choose to attend Longy?
I chose to attend Longy for the great faculty and the opportunity to develop connections with students and faculty, and also to begin a professional career, here in Boston...

Read more about William's experience studying Historical Performance at Longy.