Baroque Performance Institute participants in recital.
Baroque Performance Institute participants in recital. Photo credit: Julie Gulenko

BPI 49

June 22-28, 2020

Register Here

In order to protect the health of our guests and community during the Covid-19 pandemic, the 49th annual Baroque Performance Institute will be held virtually, rather than on campus. We are planning a rich selection of online programming during this seven-day institute, which will focus on the music, life, and milieu of Johann Sebastian Bach.
Access to programming will be offered at three levels.

Level One (registration required, but no charge):

On-line access to a daily “concert” (Monday through Saturday) drawn from the rich recorded archives of previous summers of BPI, plus access to the streamed final student concert (Sunday).

Level Two (registration required, $200 fee):

Level One access; access to the pre-recorded content offered each morning (see below); plus “auditor” status for all master classes and pre-recorded content. Two late-afternoon classes are also included in Level Two:

Mary Anne Ballard will hold her ever-popular beginning viola da gamba class. (Details about how to obtain an instrument will be given at the time of registration.)

Mark Edwards will hold a class in elements of Baroque style for pianists.

Level Three (registration required, $300 fee):

Level Two access, plus access to all classes, including technique classes for various instruments and continuo class; two 30-minute on-line lessons; and first-come, first-served opportunity to play or sing in one or more master classes (depending on the size of enrollment); and an invitation to participate in the Sunday student concert (details provided at registration).


Programming content:

Live (synchronous) sessions

The traditional BPI master classes will this year take place in the afternoons, to facilitate participation by our West Coast applicants, using the Zoom platform. Technical details and a list of the classes will be sent to all Level 2 and 3 participants.  

Baroque violin
Baroque viola
Baroque cello
Viola da gamba
Baroque oboe
Baroque bassoon
Natural trumpet
Lute, theorbo, and Baroque guitar

Level Three registrants will also be able to participate in several technique classes (for bowed strings) or reed-making classes, and “attend” the innovative evening continuo classes offered by Joe Gascho and Lucas Harris 7:00-9:00 pm EDT, Monday through Saturday.

Recorded (asynchronous) content

Each morning (Monday through Saturday), several hours of high-resolution recorded content will be made available to Level Two and Level Three participants. Once posted, the content will be available 24/7 through July 4, 2020. That schedule is to be announced and will include:

  • lectures (on topics such as Bach’s life, works, and milieu; Baroque stage gesture; and consideration of instrument-specific Bach sub-repertoires, such as the cantatas he wrote for the French flutist Buffardin, or the role of oboe-family instruments in the Passions);
  • virtual tours of specific instrument collections (including the Oberlin harpsichord and clavichord collections, the Caldwell Collection of Antique Viols, and a “distance petting zoo” of Lucas Harris’s battery of plucked stringed instruments);
  • a daily close-up look at various dances as used in Bach’s solo instrumental music; and
  • concerts of Bach works especially recorded for BPI 2020 by faculty members.

More details will be made available here as BPI approaches.

Additional lessons

Level Three participants may purchase lesson tickets (at $55 for each 30-minute lesson), which can be used either during BPI, or, with the consent of the specific teacher, at any time before September 1, 2020.

Student concert

In place of the festive marathon ensemble concert that traditionally caps each BPI week, Sunday afternoon there will be a high-res stream of a succession of solo performances by Level Three participants. (Technical details to follow)

Social engagement

Julie Andrijeski will host a daily series of interviews with BPI faculty members, eliciting their thoughts on teaching philosophies, influences, favorite repertoire, advice to young HIP performers, and answers to pre-posted questions from BPI students.

The “BPI Rendezvous Lounge” will offer an uncurated place to interact with your fellow students. Faculty members may drop in, at their convenience, to take questions or simply to “hang out.”


The deadline for registration is 10 June 2020.

Keep checking this page for more detailed information on the offerings as they become available, and for technical suggestions on maximizing your online BPI experience.

EMA logoThe Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute is Early Music America’s 2020 recipient of the Laurette Goldberg Award. Named for teacher, performer, author, and musical innovator Laurette Goldberg, this award recognizes ongoing, outstanding achievement in educational or outreach endeavors by individual performers, teaching artists, or ensembles.

Time listed - Eastern Daylight Time

Noon-1:00 – Beginning Viol

1:00-1:30 – Violin/Viola Technique
1:30-4:00 – Violin
1:30-3:00 – Viola

1:00-2:00 – Beginning Baroque Cello
2:00-3:30 – Cello/Viola da Gamba

1:00-2:00 – Flute
2:00-3:00 – Recorder
2:30-4:00 – Double Reeds

2:00-4:00 – Voice 

1:30-3:00 – Harpsichord
3:30-4:30 – Fortepiano/Clavichord
4:30-5:30 – Elements of Baroque Style for Pianists

7:00-9:00 – Continuo Class