Staff report written from e-mail:
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Bloomington Early Music is gearing up for its annual festival focusing on “Early Music in Exile.”
There is a rich history behind Bloomington Early Music, tracing its origins to 1992. The festival was initially established by Stanley Ritchie and associates through a community concert series in Bloomington. Over three decades, it has grown, now boasting a week-long event slated for May 19-25, 2024.
This year’s festival, titled “BLEMF 2024: Early Music in Exile,” aims to explore the musical expressions of communities and individuals subjected to exile, spanning forced migration, expulsion, diaspora, and the complexities of being in a state of “exile in place.” The thematic focus encapsulates experiences of extreme political oppression, religious persecution and forced conversion.
Marketing and Publicity Director Maggie Eronimous outlined the festival’s diverse program, which includes a lineup of six in-person concerts scheduled in downtown Bloomington, complemented by six virtual concerts and seven workshops designed for individuals of all ages.
“BLEM aims to highlight the many ways that the conditions of exile—found in seemingly countless histories across regions and religions, throughout medieval times to the end of the early modern era—have been expressed through music that displays resistance, defines identity, expresses fear, loss, hope, and joy, and communicates faith and convictions,” said Eronimous.
“This year’s lineup features musicians from around the globe and local talents from Bloomington, ensuring a diverse and culturally rich experience,” Eronimous stated.
The Bloomington Early Music Festival attracts thousands of attendees both locally and globally, fostering a widespread appreciation for early music. Eronimous extended an invitation to explore further details about the event via the official festival website, www.BLEMF.org.