Bill Barclay Named Artistic Director of Music Before 1800

By Afton Wooten

New York’s longest-running early music series Music Before 1800 has announced Bill Barclay as its first Artistic Director.

Bill Barclay, an American composer, stage director, and curator,  begins his new charge by overseeing the current season. He will take on planning the 49th and 50th seasons.

Music Before 1800’s founder Louise Basbas transitions from her role as executive director to board president. She praises Barclay in a press release by saying, “he is an innovative and imaginative producer with amazing experience in the theater. He is a composer who is steeped in early music…We know he will broaden our horizons with his programs, pleasing our traditional audience and luring newcomers to early music.”

Before his new appointment, Barclay spent seven years as director of music at Shakespeare’s Globe, created the Candlelit Concert series in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, and work on international tours and filming, as well as produced a record label, Globe Music.

Barclay will continue to serve as artistic director at his company, Concert Theatre Works which merges symphonic works with puppetry, dance, film, acting, and design. Throughout 2023 he will tour new eight projects.

Music Before 1800’s 48th season opens on Oct. 2 with “We’ll Be There: American Spirituals Black and White 1800-1900,” featuring the Boston Camerata.