Back Bay - Midtown neighborhood notes

Staff Writer
Link Boston Homes
John Singleton Copley is considered to be one of the finest artists of the Colonial era in Boston. This statue is in Copley Square. To learn more about Copley’s life, visit the Friends of Copley Square’s website at

Classical afternoon

The Musicians of the Old Post Road will perform in concert at 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 10 at the Old South Church, 645 Boylston St.

The program will explore melodic variations atop beautiful base lines that circle their way through the works of Couperin, Telemann, Purcell and more.

Soprano Teresa Wakim will return as soloist in this program.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit or call 781-466-6694.

DNA in genealogy

The New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99-101 Newbury St., will present “DNA in Genealogy: How Genetic Testing Can Enrich Your Family History” from 1 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 10.

Advances in DNA research over the last decades have had huge implications for the field of genealogy. Genealogist Tom Dreyer will present “Genetics and Genealogy: How DNA Testing Can Enhance Traditional Research” and Shellee Morehead will discuss “Using DNA to Solve a Mystery: Hamiltons in Colonial New England.” Attendees should already have a basic understanding of DNA tests available to family historians.

Admission is $25. Register in advance at or by calling 888-296-3447.

‘Love Letters’

The Chamber Orchestra of Boston will present “Love Letters” at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 10 at the First Church in Boston, 66 Marlborough St.

The program will feature works by Howard Hanson, Oliver Caplan, Maurice Ravel, Heinrich Raermann, Gyorgy Ligeti, William Walton, Marcel Grandjany and Edward Elgar. Soloists will include Sarah Brady, flute; Aline Benoit, clarinet; and Ina Zdorovetchi, harp.

A complimentary reception will follow the concert. Tickets are $25 to $50, $15 for students.

To order tickets and for more details, visit or call 617-266-1626

Mansion tour

Public one-hour tours of the Ayer Mansion, 395 Commonwealth Ave., which showcases the striking interior and exterior embellishments designed and created by Louis Comfort Tiffany, will be offered at 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 10 and at noon on Wednesday, March 14.

Built between 1899 and 1902 for businessman and art collector Frederick Ayer, the mansion is the only surviving residence created by American artist and designer Tiffany. It was named a National Historic Landmark in 2005.

Reservations are required and a $10 donation is requested to help with the ongoing restoration costs.

To make a reservation, send an email to or call 617-536-2586.

Introduction to genealogy

The New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99-101 Newbury St., will host a New Visitors Day at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 10.

This free orientation and tour will introduce resources available at the NEHGS research facility, home to more than 15 million artifacts, books, manuscripts, microfilms, journals, photographs and records to help research family histories. Tour attendees are welcome to use the resources following the tour. Registration is not required.

Further information can be found at or by calling 888-296-3447.

Jewish food festival

Jewish Arts Collaborative Boston will host the ninth annual Jewish Food Festival at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 11 at the Back Bay Events Center, 180 Berkeley St.

Boston’s hottest chefs will bring a modern twist to global Jewish cuisine. Attendees can sample dishes from over 15 local restaurants, including Mei Mei, La Morra, Mamelah’s, Craigie on Main, the new Our Father’s Deli and many more. There will also be a selection of beer, wine and specialty cocktails.

Tickets are $45 and can be purchased online at or by calling 617-531-4610.

Jane Austen superfan

Ted Scheinman will be the guest speaker from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, March 12 at the Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St.

The son of a devoted Jane Austen scholar, Scheinman spent his childhood summers eating Yorkshire pudding, singing in an Anglican choir and watching Laurence Olivier as Mr. Darcy. Determined to leave his mother’s world behind, he nonetheless found himself in grad school organizing the first ever UNC-Chapel Hill Jane Austen Summer Camp, a weekend-long event, part academic conference and part superfan extravaganza. In his book “Camp Austen: My Life as an Accidental Jane Austen Superfan,” he tells the hilarious story of his indoctrination into this world.

Admission is free.

Call 617-536-5400 for more information.

Latino identities

The Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St., will welcome David Hernández discussing “From Perpetual Indians to Perpetual Foreigners – Racial Construction and Enforcement of Latina/o Migrant Identities From 1790 to Present” from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 15.

Hernández will address the racial treatment of Latina/o immigrants and communities through the lens of immigration enforcement politics from 1790 to today.

He is an assistant professor of Latina/o studies at Mount Holyoke College. His research focuses on immigration enforcement, in particular the U.S. detention regime. He is completing a book on this institution “Alien Incarcerations: Immigrant Detention and Lesser Citizenship.”

Admission is free.

For more details, call 617-536-5400 or visit

Bach birthday celebrations

The First Lutheran Church, 299 Berkeley St., will host the 10th annual Bach birthday celebrations from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 17.

The day will feature concerts, organ recitals, a Vespers service and the famous German lunch.

This year’s celebration will be presented as a day in the life of Bach’s house in Leipzig around 1739. At 10:15 a.m. there will be a drama “Waiting for Cousin Sebastian” performed by students and Youth Pro Musica.

There will be three organ recitals, with Colin Lynch at 8 a.m. Arvid Gast at 3 p.m. and Heather Krikconnell at 4:15 p.m. Additional solo recitals will be presented by Denise Fan on Baroque cello at 9 a.m. and guitarist Aaron Largent-Caplan at 2 p.m.

Also featured will be two ensembles: FLC’s ensemble-in-residence Canto Armonico at 12:45 p.m. and a small chamber ensemble playing music of JS Bach’s son Carl Philipp Emanuel at 1 p.m.

The day will conclude with Vespers for the fifth Sunday in Lent at 5 p.m.

All musical events are free and open to the public and concertgoers may come and go as they please. An authentic German lunch will be served at noon. Tickets for the luncheon are $15.

For further details, visit or call 617-536-8851.

Stopping a highway

The Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston St., will welcome guest speaker Dr. Karilyn Crockett from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20. A reception will be held at 5:30 p.m. with the talk at 6 p.m.

Crockett, the director of Economic Policy and Research, Small Business Development with the City of Boston, will reflect on “Stopping a Highway,” the story of how an unlikely multiracial coalition of urban and suburban residents, planners and activists emerged to stop an interstate highway. She is the author of “People Before Highways: Boston Activists, Urban Planners and a New Movement for City Making.”

Admission is free for members and EBT cardholders and $10 for non-members.

Registration is required, by calling 617-646-0578 or online at

Boston’s South End

The Gibson House Museum, 137 Beacon St., will present a talk on the South End at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20. A reception will be held at 6 p.m. with the lecture at 6:30 p.m.

Lauren Prescott, executive director of the South End Historical Society, will discuss her new book, “Boston’s South End,” which traces the history of this dynamic area of Boston from its 19th century inception as a wealthy residential district to its development in the early 20th century as a vibrant immigrant community.

Admission is $10 for members and $15 for non-members.

Call 617-267-6338 or visit for more information and to purchase tickets.

Art of Haiti

The French Cultural Center, 53 Marlborough St., is displaying “Migrating Colors,” artworks by Haitian artists, now to April 2.

This impactful and beautiful exhibit features the work of several artists from the Haitian Artists Assembly of Massachusetts. Artwork of various influences and mediums depict the daily lives, Haitian landscapes, spirituality, vaudou and memories of its artists and the resiliency, creativity and sustainability of the Haitian people.

This exhibition follows the release of the art book “Migrating Colors: Haitian Art in New England,” which features the artwork of more than 30 artists of the association.

The exhibition is free, but reservations are required. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

For more information and to make a reservation, call 617-912-0400 or visit

Bach cantatas

Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St., is presenting its 42nd season of the J. S. Bach Cantatas at 10 a.m. on Sundays now through May 20.

The orchestra and chorus of Emmanuel Music will present weekly performances of the cantatas and motets of J.S. Bach and others, conducted by Ryan Turner.

For more information, call 617-536-3356 or visit

Collections tour

The Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston St., will host tours of the collections of the society at 10 a.m. on Saturdays.

Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the 90-minute tour focuses on the history and collections of the MHS.

The tour is free and open to the public. Reservations are not required for individuals or small groups. Parties of eight or more should contact the MHS.

Further information can be found at or by calling 617-646-0560.

Library tours

Boston Public Library volunteers will give art and architecture tours of the McKim Building, a National Historic Landmark, in its main building, constructed in 1895, throughout the week.

Highlights include the murals of John Singer Sargent, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes and Edwin Austin Abbey and the work of architect Charles Follen McKim.

Self-guided tours are available as well, and literature describing the architectural highlights is available on the web at

For tours by appointment, call 617-536-5400.