Early Music Now was named an Affiliate Member of UPAF (The United Performing Arts Fund) in the fall of 2013. We are grateful for this acknowledgement of the unique role that EMN plays in the cultural life of Milwaukee.
On November 19, 1986, Thallis Hoyt Drake and a group of visionary friends met at the Milwaukee Public Library's Centennial Hall for the purpose of founding an organization "dedicated to the enrichment and expansion of musical offerings in southeastern Wisconsin by presenting historically informed performances and educational experiences by recognized artists and ensembles that specialize in music before 1800." Early Music Now has enjoyed a stellar reputation with its artists and audiences from the very beginning.
As the only presenter in the entire state that focuses exclusively on historically informed, period instrument performances of Medieval, Renaissance, and early Baroque music, EMN aims to ensure the continued vitality of the arts in Wisconsin. Other presenters may offer some early music programs, short-term festivals, or modern-instrument adaptations of this special repertoire. But no other presenter carries this banner consistently, or maintains EMN's intense and exclusive focus on early music.
EMN is widely regarded as one of the most creative and successful early music presenting organizations in the United States, and attracts the finest and most creative period musicians for concerts and outreach events. Each ensemble has its own individual appeal for our audiences, but all of them are engaging, warm, and truly human representatives of music and history. Over the past 26 years, EMN has presented world-class artists from England, Brazil, Japan, China, Germany, Holland, Spain, and from the major early music centers of the United States -- often contributing to the launching of the reputations of artists new on the scene, as well as participating in the continued presentation of established artists.
The music of past centuries carries within it the culture and character of all the peoples of the world. Just as, in the past, music's development informed and helped shape humanity across entire regions, so does our experience of the musical expressions of earlier times put us back in touch with the basic needs, hopes, and dreams of our shared humanity.
A recent updating of the original mission statement reads: "Early Music Now is dedicated to the creation of lively connections with the past through historically informed presentations of music composed before 1800." This statement summarizes EMN's unique role in the cultural fabric of the region:
♦ To present the best performances of Medieval, Renaissance, and early Baroque music from all over the world;
♦ To trace the evolving rhythms of music over the past 10 centuries and more, through the tantalizing sounds of authentic instruments and glorious voices;
♦ To experience the flow of history through the vitality of carefully researched and brilliantly executed performances; and
♦ To bring this delightful and amazing music to a growing audience in Milwaukee and beyond.
Executive & Artistic Director Charles Q. Sullivan began his work at the helm of Early Music Now, the highly successful Milwaukee presenter of Medieval, Renaissance and early-Baroque programming, on September 1, 2001. His background includes undergraduate and graduate degrees in music performance, teaching in public and private institutions from kindergarten through the graduate level, and extensive experience in the business world. His professional positions have included work in Minnesota, Ohio, and Massachusetts. From 1972 through 1982 and again in 1988, he formed and directed a semi-professional choral/instrumental ensemble that performed over 120 varied choral and orchestral concerts, solo and chamber recitals in the Milwaukee area and in neighboring states.
He served as Executive Producer & Director of Liturgical Drama at The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Milwaukee from 1985 through 1992, producing fully staged performances of The Play of Daniel and Nicholas Plays to large audiences and critical acclaim. Since joining Early Music Now as general manager in September 2001, he has led the organization to expanded programming and educational outreach, and to a prominent role in promoting early music activities throughout the region. He recently completed a three-year term on the board of Early Music America, a national organization that serves as an advocate for the field of early music throughout North America.
Early Music Now ■ 759 N Milwaukee Street - Suite 420 ■ Milwaukee, WI 53202-3750 email@example.com ■ 414.225.3113 ■ 877.546.8742 ■ fax 414.225.3787