GEMAS: Early Music of the Americas

series co-curators Nell Snaidas and Sebastián Zubieta

GEMAS is a collaboration of Gotham Early Music Scene (GEMS) and Americas Society (AS). The concert series' mission is to present the finest early music repertoire and artists of the Americas. The series was founded in 2012 as part of GEMS' milestone Fifth Anniversary celebrations, and is co-directed by the celebrated soprano Nell Snaidas and Americas Society Music Director Sebastián Zubieta.

The mission of GEMAS is to bring remarkable early music from the Americas and the best early music performers from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada to New York audiences. Since 2012, the series has presented lutenist Paul O'Dette, Ars Subtilior specialists Mala Punica, Furio Zanasi, Eduardo Egüez, Meridionalis, and The Bishop's Band, among others, at Americas Society's own Salón Bolivar, The Hispanic Society of America, and Trinity Wall Street, as well as the Italian Academy and St Paul's Chapel at Columbia University. Spanish ensemble Musica Ficta released the recording of their New York debut concert at The Hispanic Society of America on the Euromusic label in 2015.

Newberry Consort

Ellen Hargis and David Douglass,  Directors

Sacred Love: "Songs of the Sephardim" with guest curator Nell Snaidas

Music of faith and longing from Renaissance Spain and the Ladino oral tradition of the Sephardic Jews. Presented in partnership with Newberry Library Center for Renaissance Studies and Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership.

“Sacred Love — Songs of the Sephardim” offered aural rewards of many sorts...compelling little tales of courtship and exile, songs of faith and family, funny ballads and wistful laments. The program painted a vivid portrait of secular and sacred everyday life in medieval Spain and beyond, at once Iberian and Middle Eastern in flavor."

Chicago Tribune

"The concert was led by guest curator and performer Nell Snaidas — a captivating storyteller and crystalline singer in everything she sang — Everything was executed with a stylish exuberance so infectious that audience members gladly sang and clapped along."

Chicago Tribune

Dallas Bach Society

James Richman, Conductor

Nell created two programs for the Dallas Bach Society:

"Around the Mediterranean" (Nell Snaidas, soprano, James Richman, harpsichord) was awarded "Best Classical Concert of the Year" by Theater Jones

"Repertorio Español" (Nell Snaidas, soprano with the Dallas Bach Society )was curated for the Meadows Museum of Spanish Art

Bach Collegium San Diego

Ruben Valenzuela, conductor

"An Empire of Silver and Gold:Music of 18th century Latin America" co-directed Daniel Zuluaga, Nell Snaidas
Included in top 10 Classical concerts of the year by San Diego Story (2016)

"Musical thrills also came from local organizations. Ruben Valenzuela’s Bach Collegium San Diego gave us “An Empire of Silver and Gold,” a revelatory concert of choral, vocal, and instrumental music from Latin America’s Baroque efflorescence. European choral and instrumental practice intermingled with indigenous dance rhythms and even local humor. Combining the Bach Collegium’s customary historical insights and polish with unstinting verve, this concert, co-directed by Nell Snaidas and Daniel Zuluaga in the University of San Diego’s opulent Spanish colonial Founders Chapel, astounded at every turn."

Apollo's Fire

Jeannette Sorrell, conductor

Co-directed and co-created with conductor, Jeannette Sorrell the highly-acclaimed program, "Sephardic Journey" for Apollo's Fire:The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra.

Debuted #2 on Billboard World Music Chart, #7 on Billboard Classical Music Chart 
Included in St. Louis Dispatch's Highlights of 2016

"Sephardic Journey certainly has the potential to be the ensemble's biggest hit ... Sorrell and company have a new favorite on their hands"
Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Innovative and brilliant new program"
Cool Cleveland

“Revelatory… convivially theatrical… The soloists and instrumentalists are first-class.”
BBC Music Magazine

Bishop's Band

Nell Snaidas, artistic director

The Bishop's Band, is named for the Bishop of Trujillo del Perú, Baltasar Jaime Martínez Compañón who compiled, in the late-18th century, a fascinating collection containing watercolor depictions of life in the region and 20 popular songs and dances.  The group was gathered together in 2013 by Tom Zajac and Nell Snaidas to perform repertory from this collection as well as other 18th-century Latin American music.  The ensemble is made up of some of the leading early music singers and instrumentalists from across the US and has presented Tom Zajac's "CODEX Trujillo del Perú" at the Hispanic Society in New York City, at the Pittsburgh Renaissance and Baroque Society and as a part of Trinity Wall Street's "Twelfth Night Festival" as well as "Christmas Music of Latin America" with the ensemble Meridionalis.

Madison Early Music Festival Workshop 2017

Nell Snaidas, stage director, vocal and diction coach

La Púrpura de la Rosa

Queens College Opera Workshop 2018

Nell Snaidas stage director

Scenes from the Monteverdi Trilogy “L’Incoronazione di Poppea” “L’Orfeo” “Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria”

Bloomington Early Music Festival 2019

Nell Snaidas, stage director, vocal and diction coach

Scenes from La Púrpura de la Rosa