Our Mission

The San Diego Early Music Society is a non-profit organization founded to showcase the musical treasures of the medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods, as performed on period instruments and in accordance with historical practice. The Society was established in 1981 and has presented concerts in churches, small halls, museums, and homes—settings for which the music was composed.

Artists internationally renowned for their performances and recordings are presented in concert each season. World-class vocal and instrumental soloists, ensembles, and chamber orchestras perform an exciting repertoire from various periods and countries.



The Academy of Ancient Music
Academia Bizantina
Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin
Benjamin Alard
Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra
Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet
Anonymous 4
Artaria Quartet
Guido Balestracci
Baltimore Consort
Chiara Banchini
Rachel Barton Pine
Benvenue Fortepiano Trio
The Boston Camerata
Anner Bijlsma
Fabio Bondi
Cappella Pratensis
Capella Artemisia
Michael Chance
The City Musick
Collegium Vocale Gent
Concerto Italiano
Concerto Köln
Concerto Palatino
The Concord Ensemble
Gary Cooper
Bertrand Cuiller
Lucy van Dael

Lea Desandre
Diabolus in Musica
Doulce Memoire
The Dufay Collective
The Dunedin Consort
Ensemble 415
The English Concert
Ensemble Clement Janequin
Ensemble Correspondances
Ensemble Project Ars Nova
El Mundo
Mahan Esfahani
Europa Galante
I Fagiolini
Fortune’s Wheel
Freiburg Baroque Orchestra
Galateo Trio
Enrico Gatti
Il Giardino Armonico
Julia Gooding
The Gesualdo Six
Maude Gratton
Arthur Haas
Marcia Hadjimarkos
Pierre Hantaï
Harp Consort
Wilbert Hazelzet
Philippe Herreweghe
Hespèrion XXI
John Holloway
House of Time
Monica Huggett

Konrad Junghänel
Andrew Lawrence-King
The King’s Consort
The King’s Noyse
Emma Kirkby
Kuijken Quartet
La Venexiana
Dan Laurin
Suzie LeBlanc
Le Concert des Nations
Les Talens Lyriques
Les Voix Humaines
Liber Unusualis
Jakob Lindberg
Jaap ter Linden
London Baroque
Lars Ulrik Mortensen
Musica Ad Rhenum
Musica Ficta
Musica Pacifica
My Lord Chamberlain’s Consort
The Netherlands Bach Society
Newberry Consort
New York Baroque Inc
New York Polyphony
Dorothee Oberlinger
Orlando Consort
Paul O’Dette
Jacques Ogg
Paolo Pandolfo
Palladian Ensemble
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
Trevor Pinnock

Rachel Podger
Le Poème Harmonique
Profeti della Quinta
Quatuor Mosaïques
Quicksilver Baroque
Blandine Rannou
Derek Lee Ragin
Rebel Consort
La Reveuse
Ricercar Consort
Jean Rondeau
Christophe Rousset
Gonzalo Ruiz
Les Sacqueboutiers
Jordi Savall
Richard Savino
The Sixteen
Hopkinson Smith
Hélène Schmitt
Stile Antico
Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra
The Tallis Scholars
Daniel Taylor
Theatre of Early Music
Colin Tilney
Tanya Tomkins
Trio Sonnerie
Lisa Tur Bonnet
Marion Verbruggen
Jory Vinikour
Vox Luminis
Kenneth Weiss
Jed Wentz
Matthew White
Pietr Wispelwey

Our History

Since its founding, the Society has maintained a special place in the musical life of San Diego. We are a community of people bound together by the love of music from about 1200 on until roughly 1800, either sung or played on instruments.

We are best known for presenting concerts by renowned visiting artists. The Society embarked on this role in 1981 and, through us, San Diego has become known as a place to see some of the best performers of early music. And what a rich roster! Starting with Emma Kirkby and Anthony Rooley, we have presented such notables as Jordi Savall, Kuijken Quartet, Trevor Pinnock, Paul O’Dette, The Tallis Scholars, Baltimore Consort, Piffaro, Concerto Köln, the Academy of Ancient Music, Orlando Consort, Ensemble Caprice, Jean Rondeau, Le Poème Harmonique, and Europa Galante among many, many others.

SDEMS also has a long tradition of grassroots music making among members. For many years, we assembled for a weekend workshop every May on Mount Palomar that involved master classes, impromptu sessions, conversations, and a lot of fun. Among beautiful surroundings, though in prosaic buildings, the music bubbled out all day Saturday and most of Sunday. People brought along and played amazing instruments they had made.

We not only love early music, but also share it. Both members and performers have visited schools or attended group gatherings around San Diego. They played and sang, explained, demonstrated their instruments, and answered questions. At one school, our visiting performers asked the kids, “How many of you play the recorder?” and were amazed when the entire group raised their hands. At another such event, a performer explained the concept of falsetto singing, using examples from Michael Jackson and Justin Bieber, surprising and delighting the kids. SDEMS has also presented outreach on the university level, and to women’s clubs.