About Primary Source

The 2014-15 Season of Primary Source features the String Quartet, featuring the newly-formed Simrock Quartet. Original artifacts, manuscripts and editions related to the programs will be on display at each performance, but in order to present a wider variety of repertoire there will generally not be any pre-concert discussion of these items as we have done in the past.

Primary Source is a chamber music concert series at the Goethe-Institut in Boston. Each concert is built around rare artifacts or manuscripts or original editions of a particular work or works, supplied by Schubertiade Music, antiquarian music and manuscript dealer based in Boston.

Original materials related to the programs are on display at each performance and, when available, the performers use the original manuscripts or editions involved to perform. In every concert, some early printed or manuscript edition or program or ephemera has guided the programming of the work or works to be performed.

The series seeks to create a new type of dialogue around great music, placing it in conversation with musical artifacts and their historical contexts. Rare items like the ones on display at these concerts are usually destined for the vaults of libraries and museums. Primary Source performances offer Boston's listeners a chance to experience music and music history together in an intimate setting.

Primary Source in the News!

Lloyd Schwartz, critic of the Boston Phoenix, had this to say of our recent concert:

A wonderful new series, Primary Source, presented by violinist Gabriel Boyers's Schubertiade Music, was inaugurated at Boston's Goethe-Institut with a contemporary 18th-century string quartet arrangement of numbers from Mozart's Magic Flute (14 of which were performed) and Beethoven's rarely-performed early Septet for Winds and Strings. The Mozart was pure delight, with violinist Gabriela Diaz getting all the great tunes, whether originally sung by soprano, coloratura soprano, baritone, or basso profundo. The Beethoven got a splendid reading, but made for a long evening. The unique twist is that Boyers, who's also a dealer in rare music books, manuscripts, and ephemera, had some spine-tingling documents on display, such as the first piano-vocal score of The Magic Flute, published the year after Mozart's death, with a fronstispiece depicting two angels weeping over Mozart's grave; and a broadside program for an 1801 performance of The Magic Flute with a cast that included Emmanuel Schikaneder, Mozart's librettist, repeating his original role of the birdcatcher Papageno.


Please visit our programs page to see complete details of the performances.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 8pm
Works by Mozart and Haydn
Thursday, April 2, 2014, 8pm
Works by Britten

All performances at: