Evelyn Dunbar Memorial Early Music Festival

The Evelyn Dunbar Memorial Early Music Festival was founded in 1998 through the generous support of Ruth Dunbar Davee and her husband, Ken M. Davee. Its purpose is to combine informed performance and scholarly inquiry. The festival was established in memory of Ruth’s sister, Evelyn Dunbar, who was an enthusiastic participant in early music ensembles at Northwestern University.

The Evelyn Dunbar Memorial Early Music Festival has provided exceptional opportunities for performers to prepare important masterworks with the guidance of leading scholars. Each festival has included masterclasses, pre-concert presentations, and lectures

Mrs. Davee earned her MA in 1937 and her Ph.D. in English Literature in 1942, graduating with honors, from Northwestern University’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. After her husband’s death in 1998, Mrs. Davee took over as president of The Davee Foundation. She was a member of the Bienen School of Music Advisory Board. Mrs. Davee passed away on April 19, 2011, at the age of 99.

Past Festivals

1999: Bach’s St. John Passion

Featuring:
Stephen Alltop, conductor
Stanley King, guest performer (oboe)
Kenneth Slowik, guest conductor/scholar

2000: Scarlatti’s La Giuditta

Featuring:
The Newberry Consort, Bienen School’s ensemble-in-residence

2001: Haydn’s The Creation

Featuring:
Stephen Alltop, conductor
A. Peter Brown, guest scholar
Diane Heffner, guest performer (clarinet)
Charles Kaufmann, guest performer (bassoon)
Marilyn McDonald, guest concertmaster

2003: Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus

Featuring:
Stephen Alltop, conductor
Elizabeth Blumenstock, guest concertmaster
Ellen Hargis, guest performer (soprano); The Newberry Consort

2004: Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine

Featuring:
Stephen Alltop, conductor
David Douglass, concertmaster; The Newberry Consort
Jeffrey Kurtzman, guest scholar

2006 (spring): CantataFest

Featuring:
Stephen Alltop, conductor
Ingrid Matthews, guest performer (violin)
Kathryn Montoya, guest performer (oboe)
Carl Schalk, guest scholar

2006 (fall): Niccolò Piccinni’s La Buona Figliola

Featuring:
Stephen Alltop, conductor
Noel Koran, stage director
James Turner, guest scholar
Dinko Fabris, guest scholar

2008: Handel’s Joshua

Featuring:
Stephen Alltop, conductor
David Douglass, concertmaster; The Newberry Consort
Wendy Heller, guest scholar

2010: Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine

Featuring:
Stephen Alltop, conductor
David Douglass, concertmaster; The Newberry Consort
Jonathan Glixon, guest scholar

2013: Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea

Featuring:
Stephen Alltop, conductor
Michael M. Ehrman, director

2015: Kile Smith’s Vespers

Featuring:
Piffaro, The Renaissance band
Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble
Donald Nally, conductor

2016: Handel’s Messiah

Featuring:
The Callipygian Players
Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble
Donald Nally, conductor