Schola Antiqua is a Chicago-based professional early music collective, which prepares and performs insightful and wide-ranging programs of pre-modern music. A group that executes ancient repertories with “sensitivity and style” (Early Music America), Schola Antiqua takes pride in providing the highest standards of performance, informed by research on historical musics from the European Renaissance and earlier. Founded in 2000, the organization has received invitations to perform from an array of institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Morgan Library & Museum, the Newberry Library, the Memorial Art Gallery, plus other festivals, universities, and concert series across the country. The ensemble is currently Artist-in-Residence at the Lumen Christi Institute and formerly a resident artist at the University of Chicago.
In 2012, Schola Antiqua received the Noah Greenberg Award from the American Musicological Society for outstanding contributions to historical performing practice. Its connections to the academic community can be seen in collaborations with scholars from around the United States. The ensemble has recorded music accompanying Theodore Karp’s Introduction to the Post-Tridentine Mass Proper, 1590-1890 (American Institute of Musicology, 2005) and Margot Fassler's Music in the Medieval West (W.W. Norton, 2013). It has further provided live and recorded music in connection with major art exhibitions around the United States.
Schola Antiqua has released four commercial CDs on the Naxos of America and Discantus labels. Much of this music had not seen a modern recording. The group's music has aired on the national broadcasts of With Heart and Voice, Harmonia, and Millennium of Music, and has been widely reviewed. Culture Catch named Schola Antiqua's 2014 recording Missa Conceptio tua (Naxos) one of the year's best classical albums of that year. BBC Music Magazine placed the ensemble's “Tiding True” concerts among the top 20 recommended music performances in the United States for December 2012, and the group was nominated for "Best Classical Group" of 2020 by the Chicago Reader.
the artistic director
Michael Alan Anderson was named Artistic Director of Schola Antiqua in 2008 and is a founding member of the ensemble. He currently chairs the Musicology Department at the Eastman School of Music (University of Rochester), where he specializes in music and devotion in the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. Anderson is author of Music and Performance in the Book of Hours (Routledge Press, 2022) and St. Anne in Renaissance Music: Devotion and Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2014). He is a two-time winner of the Deems Taylor Award (American Society for Composers, Authors, and Publishers) for outstanding writing about music, and his achievements with Schola Antiqua earned him Chorus America’s 2016 Louis Botto Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal. Other awards have come from the American Musicological Society, the Medieval Academy of America, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.