Early music—music of the medieval, Renaissance, and early Baroque periods – is a nerdy subfield within classical music, a genre that already struggles with a nerdy reputation. So it’s perhaps not a surprise that if there’s any city in which it thrives, it’s in Nerdtown, U.S.A., the nation’s capital. D.C. enjoys a bounty of excellent early music ensembles, from Opera Lafayette to the Bach Sinfonia, Washington Bach Consort, Washington’s Camerata, Arco Voce, Armonia Nova, and the Suspicious Cheese Lords, who at least openly embrace their dorkiness. The longtime standard-bearer, however, has been the Folger Consort. Normally in residence at Folger Shakespeare Library, the group puts on a much-adored annual concert at the National Cathedral based around a specific theme—last year was music from the period of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. This year the consort throws a curveball and performs a new work by rising star composer Nico Muhly with English vocal group Stile Antico, one rooted in the era and based on texts from Henry IV. It’s a treat for those of us who haven’t outgrown memories of the Renaissance faire. Stile Antico and the Folger Consort perform at 8 p.m. at Washington National Cathedral, 3101 Wisconsin Ave. NW. $30–$60. (202) 544-7077. folger.edu.