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First, Do No Harm

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What We Do

Since 1975, Boston's Emmanuel Music has been performing the cantatas of J.S. Bach. I founded Emmanuel Audio Recording (EAR) to capture these wonderful performances which have since been heard on WGBH, National Public Radio and Performance Today. 

Today, EAR supports a wide spectrum of projects from solo recitals, and chamber music to orchestral and choral performances, theater, and opera. We record in venues such as Boston's Emmanuel Church, Boston's Symphony Hall, NEC's Jordan Hall, the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, MA, and the Schwartz Center in Atlanta, GA. 

EAR is also a frequent contributor to Performance Today, the most listened to nationally syndicated classical music radio program.

Tom Stephenson

EAR Founder

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Chamber Orchestra Session

The goal of the Bach Arias project is to record many of the wonderful Bach cantata arias and duets featuring soprano Kendra Colton and oboist Peggy Pearson, two of the veteran members of Emmanuel Music. Most of the recordings were made at Emmanuel Church (shown here).  To date there have been 5 CDs released with a 6th on the way.

Here is a link to Wie zittern und wanken" an aria from Cantata 105.   

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Solo Piano Session: Wagner, Liszt, Brahms

This was my first CD recording project with the superb pianist David Deveau at the Shalin Liu Performance Hall (shown here) in 2015. It received rave reviews from the NY Times, Fanfare, and the Boston Globe. Here is a excerpt from a review by John Marks, a well known audiophile and writer for Stereophile Magazine.  

"This completely musical and unusually thoughtful recital program by David Deveau is not only a feast of pianistic tonal beauty and artistic phrasing. For my always-increasingly-meager shekels, of all the recent Steinway & Sons CD solo-piano releases, this is the one that most closely approximates my ideal of what a great piano recording should sound like."

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Chamber Music Recording Session

This project featured the wonderful violinst and conductor, Andres Cardenes in two works, the Chausson Concerto for violin, piano, and string quartet, and the Faure violin sonata in A Major.  The other artists were Elizabeth Pridgen and the Vega String Quartet. We recorded these works at the Emory / Swartz Center for Performing Arts (shown here) in Atlanta GA.

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Live Opera Recording and Streaming

For many years the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra (BYSO), conducted by Federico Cortese, has annually presented semi-staged operas in Sanders Theater, Harvard University. It has been my privilege to record these productions along with a multi-camera video crew.  Here is a link to a scene from Bizet's Carmen recorded in 2018.

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Chamber Music Series

The Gardner Museum in Boston has had one of the longest running chamber music series in the country.  Led by the legendary violist, Scott Nickrenz, the series has featured artists such as Musicians from Marlboro, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, pianist Jeremy Denk, and A Far Cry chamber orchestra, to name a few. From 2007 until 2016 the Gardner streamed a podcast known as  "The Concert" which, during its lifetime, had over eight million downloads and was heard all over the world. 
All of these podcasts were recorded and mastered by EAR.  Fortunately, they are still available for streaming and downloading from the Gardner website.

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Quality microphones are essential for capturing the nuances of classical music. EAR has a large number of DPA microphones including 4006, 4011, 4015, 4023, 4028, 4041, and 4060 which are considered among the finest mics for classical music recording. We also utilize  Neumann, Schoeps, and the Sennheisser MKH800 (multipattern) mics which are also outstanding for classical music.

High channel count is important for orchestral and opera recording.  We utilize both RME (24 channels) and JoeCo Bluebox (48 channels) to support large track count projects such as orchestra or opera.

Today, video is an important part of many recording projects.  EAR has state of the art wireless equipment (Shure ULXD4Q) to capture a performance when the microphones must be invisible. We routinely partner with videographers who specialize in opera and theater recording.

Monitoring in the field is done with reference quality headphones and Genelec powered monitors.  Our reference headphones include Sennheiser HD800 and HD820, Audeze LCD-3, HiFiman HE1000, and Heddphone.  Monitoring in the studio is done with B&W 802 floor standing reference monitors.

Our recording and editing Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) is CohlerClassical - Reaper which provides a very powerful track-group paradigm for fast, efficient multitrack editing. 

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Each project has its own unique requirements. Contact me to discuss your project in detail, and I will provide you with some options and approaches as well as an estimate of the costs.  You can provide contact information if you wish in the form on this page.

Tom Stephenson

617 816-8049

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