John Ma is a musician specialising in Early Music living in The Netherlands. As a flexible freelancer, he plays Violin, Viola and Viola d'amore in various styles and time periods from Western Art Music. He completed his Masters of Performance at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music studying Baroque Violin and Viola with Anna McDonald, finished his Bachelor of Music (1st Class Honours, CSM) and Bachelor of Science (National Undergraduate Scholar, Physics and Theoretical Physics, ANU) in 2002 and in 2003 he was a full scholarship holder at the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne. In 2009, he completed his training in Early Music at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in Den Haag with Pavlo Beznosiuk.
As a modern and period instrument player, John has performed and recorded with various groups including Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra (NL), Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (UK, Jerwood Scholar 2010), Pinchgut Opera (AUS), Academia Montis Regalis (IT), Bach Collegium Japan (JP), Australian Brandenburg Orchestra (AUS), Helsinki Baroque Orchestra (FIN), Trondheim Baroque Orchestra (NOR), B'Rock (BG), Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (AUS), Orchestra Victoria (AUS), Sinfonia Australis (AUS), Aark New Music Ensemble (AUS) and Young Australian Concert Artists (AUS). He has also appeared as a soloist in Brahms’s Violin Concerto with the National Capital Orchestra (AUS). In the Netherlands, John has also appeared with groups such as Musica Poetica (Concertmaster), Farinelli’s Ground, de Utrechtse Spelers, Concerto d’Amsterdam, Apollo Ensemble, Florilegium Musicum, BarokOpera Amsterdam, Opera Studio Nederland and Barokorkest de Swaen.
He retains an avid interest in scientific developments and tries to stay up to date with the latest news and advances from his previous studies.
Chris Berensen is a freelance performer of early keyboard instruments. He has worked intimately with baroque music since he was fifteen years old, at which age he had his own concerto grosso prepared and recorded by the British-based ensemble Florilegium as the result of a competition he had won. He received a University Postgraduate Award scholarship in 2007 and 2008 whilst studying at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music under the supervision of Dr. Alan Maddox, Philip Swanton and Dr. Neal Peres da Costa, and has completed a Master's Degree at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” where he studied with Nicholas Parle and Tobias Schade. Notable ensembles he has performed with include the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Leipziger Concert, the Sächsischen Barockorchester, the Neuen Bachischen Collegium Musicum, Merseburger Hofmusik, the Mendelssohn Kammerorchester Leipzig, the Marais Project and Salut! Baroque. He has also participated in masterclasses with such celebrated early music personalities as Jordi Savall, Lars Ulrik Mortensen, Wieland and Barthold Kuijken, Eduardo Eguez, and Genevieve Lacey. One reviewer has written “Berensen’s playing throughout was a revelation. The harpsichord, which can so often come across as one-dimensional in concert performance, yielded a whole range of tones and textures. Berensen’s energy and commitment to the music was at all times elevating essentially supportive musical writing into surprisingly substantial artistic dialogue.” (4th April 2008 TimeOut Sydney). In 2012 he founded the Rosentaler Barock Ensemble, which is regularly invited to perform at festivals in central Germany, and in 2014 premiered a hitherto unknown english opera, "The Honour of Arbaces", by Lady Mary Stuart, the Countess of Bute. With Violinist Leopold Nicolaus and recorder player and bassoonist Claudius Kamp, he has performed since 2014 with Tempora Felicia. an ensemble dedicated to the chamber music of the early seventeenth century. Tempora Felicia won the second prize and audience prize at the International Marini Competition in 2014. Chris is also an official accompanist to the international Bach Competition in Leipzig, harpsichord teacher and repetiteur at the City Conservatorium of Halle „Georg Friedrich Händel“, and the Kleinmachnow Regional Music School, „Engelbert Humperdinck“ in Berlin.
Born in Perth, Australia, Anton Baba started his music studies on the cello at the age of 6. In conjunction with his cello studies, Anton also received invaluable musical experience as a member of the St George's Cathedral Choir which he joined at the age of 7. It was here that he discovered a love for baroque and renaissance music. After being admitted to the University of Western Australia in 2001 studying with Suzie Wijsman, Anton was awarded the Sylvia Davey Memorial Award and the Pauline Steele Memorial Award for excellence in performance. Continuing his studies at the Eastman School of Music in New York, USA with Steven Doane and Rosemary Elliot, he worked with acclaimed artists including Anner Bylsma, George Crumb, Paul O'Dette and Paul Katz. Currently finishing his studies at The Royal Conservatory in the Netherlands with baroque cellist Jaap ter Linden, Anton regularly plays in concerts and festivals across the Netherlands, France, Germany and Italy. He is a founding member of ensembles Nobody's Jigg and Den Haag Piano Quintet, and has also been invited to perform with ensembles such as Baroque Ensemble De Swaen (Netherlands) and The Wallfisch Band.
Harpsichordist Jörn Boysen was born in Lübeck, Germany, in 1976. During his studies at the Musikhochschule Lübeck he founded the ensemble Musica Poetica which he lead from the harpsichord in numerous concerts in Germany, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and on live radio broadcasts. Boysen studied with Tini Mathot and Ton Koopman at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. As a conductor, soloist or continuo player he works and plays regularly with ensembles and choirs in Germany, the Netherlands and France. Boysen performed on European festivals as the Festival Mitte Europa, Göttinger Händel Festspiele, Delft Chamber Music Festival, Itinéraire Baroque and the Utrecht Festival Oude Muziek. He worked with Alina Ibragimova and Lisa Ferschtman and regularly performs with Johannette Zomer (Tulipa Consort) and Antoinette Lohmann (Furor Musicus). Critics describe his harpsichord playing as „… affective…, dynamic…“ and „… of délicatesse…“. Boysen conducted productions of the O.T. Opera Rotterdam (Orfeo Intermezzi, 2005) and the Utrechtse Spelen (Molière’s/Charpentier’s Imaginary Invalid, 2009 and 2011) for whose productions he has also composed music. In 2012 he was music director of Opéra Mosset in France. For that production he arranged J. Offenbach’s Belle Hélène for salon orchestra. In addition, Boysen composed various orchestral, chamber and vocal works music for harpsichord. His song cycle Schattenwind on texts from the eponymous collection of poems by German painter and writer Rainer Erhard Teubert has been premiered in March 2010 in Boysen’s home town Lübeck. For the Concert Series Oude Muziek Nieuw (Early Music New) he completed Bach’s St Mark Passion by composing all missing recitatives, turba-choirs and arias. The press wrote about this completion: “Finally a convincing alternative to all the other reconstructions. It is even a serious alternative to Bach’s own St John and St Matthew Passions.” Boysen’s works have been performed by Musica Poetica and soloists of the Berlin Philharmonics and the Residentie Orchestra in The Hague, amongst others
Lute player Earl Christy was born in the United States. He studied with Edward Martin and Nigel North at Indiana University in Milan with Paul Beier begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting and in The Hague with Toyohiko Satoh at the Royal Conservatory, where he obtained his Bachelor and Master degrees. Earl Christy is mainly active in rediscovering long-neglected music of the baroque lute. As a soloist he has performed in various countries of Europe and North America. Also at festivals such as Early Music Festival in Utrecht. As a composer for his instrument, Christy is active. His CD "Neue Lautenfruchte", was enthusiastically received by the international press. He currently lives in the Netherlands.
Erin commenced her tertiary music studies at the University of Western Australia under Paul Wright, one of Australia’s leading violinists and baroque exponents. During this time she was finalist in the Vose Memorial Prize, awarded the Jean Rogerson Studentship, winner of the Fremantle Open Concerto Competition and winner of the Waveney Wansborough Prize. After completing her degree with First Class Honours in 2002, she was also awarded the Lady Callaway Medal for the most outstanding final-year music student at UWA.
Whilst turning her focus to historical performance practice, Erin completed a successful audition for The English Concert in 2008 to play in future projects, and later that year was chosen as a member of the European Union Baroque Orchestra which involved four tours across the continent. She graduated from the Royal Conservatory in The Hague (mark 9/10), under the guidance of Ryo Terakado, and has performed in several festivals and projects in Edinburgh, Saintes, Barcelona, Salamanca and Buenos Aires.
Erin has performed, recorded and toured with various ensembles in Europe, Australia and Asia including Den Haag Piano Quintet, New Dutch Academy, Concerto d'Amsterdam, Australian Classical Era Orchestra, Ensemble Arcangelo and West Australian Symphony Orchestra, in venues including the Concertgebouw, Royal Albert Hall and Sydney Opera House. Earlier this year she was also successful in her application to the National Instrument Foundation (Stichting Nationaal Muziekinstrumenten Fonds) and is currently playing on a Verbeek violin made in 1682.
Australian violinist Emily Dupere has performed as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player throughout Europe, the USA and Australia. She has collaborated with artists such as Malcolm Bilson, Bart van Oort, Petra Somlai, Elizabeth Wallfisch, Shunske Sato, Jaap ter Linden, Sigiswald Kuijken, Maasaki Suzuki, Jos van Immerseel and Sir John Eliot Gardiner. Emily studied under Paul Wright at the University of Western Australia, graduating with first class honours and was awarded the Lady Callaway Medal for the most outstanding graduate. She completed her studies in baroque violin at The Royal Conservatoire in The Hague with Ryo Terakado, Kati Debretzeni and Walter Reiter. In Australia, Emily performed with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Australian Classical Era Orchestra, as an Emerging Artist with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and with the award-winning Sartory String quartet. Emily now performs with many of the most important period groups in Europe including The Wallfisch Band (UK), Les Passions de l’âme (Switzerland), Les Inventions (France), Haagsche Hofmuziek (NL), Collegium Musicum Den Haag (NL), The English Baroque Soloists (UK), Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique (UK), Bach Collegium Japan and Anima Eterna Brugge (Belgium). Emily has performed in many of the world’s most significant concert halls including Sydney Opera House, Royal Albert Hall (London), Versailles (Paris), Salle Pleyel (Paris), Köln Philharmonie (Cologne), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Carnegie Hall (New York) and Buckingham Palace. She has also appeared as soloist with the St Cecilia Baroque Orchestra in Austin, TX and the Arizona Bach Festival Orchestra. Emily’s particular interests include the sacred music of Bach and classical and romantic chamber music on period instruments.
Jonathan den Herder is a versatile musician with a broad range of interest. After studying cello with Colin Carr and chamber music with the Emerson String Quartet, Jonathan has been working towards a degree in historical performance practice with Viola de Hoog. Some high points in his diverse carreer are world premiere performances and subsequent cd-releases of chamber music works by Scott Wheeler and Peter Winkler, and performances with the Cha Dan piano trio in Carnegie Hall. 2011 has seen Jonathan performing Ligeti cello concerto with the Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players as well as appearing as continuo player at the Boston, Brugge and Utrecht early music festivals.
James Holland was born in Sydney, Australia, and began his musical life with the electric bass guitar, later switching to the classical guitar in which he graduated with a Bachelor of Music with Honours from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2003. As a classical guitarist James was always interested in transcriptions of lute and vihuela music, and his gravitation towards lute playing was quite a natural one. James is an exciting young player of the next generation of performers of historical plucked instruments, always searching for the marriage between historically informed performance and his own personal interpretation. James studied in Den Haag with Nigel North, Joachim Held and Mike Fentross, and took further lessons with Hopkinson Smith and Elizabeth Kenny. He now performs in solo recitals, as a continuo player for chamber ensembles, opera and accompanying singers. These activities have taken him across Europe, to North America and Australia. James plays renaissance and baroque lutes, vihuela, theorbo and baroque guitar. James has performed in the various festivals around Europe including the Festival Classique in Den Haag, and the fringe concerts of the Barcelona and Utrecht Early Music Festivals, both as a continuo player and in solo recital. He has performed with the Pinchgut Opera Company, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Collegium Musicum Den Haag, de Swaen Ensemble, La Nuova Musica, Canzona, among others, and has worked with conductors such as Attilio Cremonesi, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Patrick Ayrton, Peter van Heyghen, David Bates, Erin Helyard, Charles Toet and Sebastian Marq. During their recent tour in Australia, James recorded a disc of French baroque music with baroque flautist Sophie Ardiet entitled “L’Inspiration Poetique’. James is now based in Paris and frequently performs all around Europe.
Rie Kimura is a baroque violinist from Japan. She won the 2010 Premio Bonporti Baroque Violin Competition in Italy where she was also awarded the public prize. Her solo violin playing has been praised for it’s “strong personality imbued with expression and rhetoric,” (The Strad) while her outstanding skills as a chamber musician mean that she is a violinist very much in demand. Alongside Fantasticus Rie plays regularly with the likes of the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Bach Collegium Japan and De Nederlandse Bachvereniging. Her first solo recording, "Tartini & Veracini" will be released in June 2015 on Resonus Classics. Rie Studied baroque violin with Lucy van Dael at the Amsterdam Conservatory where she graduated “cum laude”. She has won numerous prizes throughout her career including the top prize in the 2008 Yamanashi Early Music Competition (Japan) and various ensemble prizes at the Bruges and Amsterdam Early Music Competitions.
Angelika Miklin was born at Steyr (Austria). She studies modern Violoncello at the Brucknerkonservatorium Linz and later at the Mozarteum Salzburg, where she finishes her studies with both a Concert- and a Teaching Diploma in 2005.
From 2005, she intensifies her engagement in the interpretation on historical instruments at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München with Kristin von der Goltz. Being awarded with a post-graduate Concert Diploma in 2008 she now continues to study at the Koninklijk Conservatorium Den Haag with Jaap ter Linden. Additionally, Angelika participates in master classes with Viola de Hoog, Ruben Dubrovsky, Barbara Kernig as well as the Freiburger Barockorchester and the Venice Baroque Orchestra.
Her musical activities lead her to give concerts in Europe and Asia with various formations of chamber music or orchestra. She plays in several festivals such as Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele, the Innsbrucker Festwochen der Alten Musik and the Barock-Tage München, as well as in ensembles like the Wiener Akademie, Ensemble 1800 and La Banda.
Zdenka Prochazkova studied modern viola at Conservatorium in Brno (graduated 2007), Janacek’s Academy Brno and Utrecht’s Conservatory with Richard Wolf. Now she directs her studies at studying baroque viola with Antoinette Lohmann. She attended L´Académie Franco-tcheque de Musique de Telc in Vladimir Bukac’s class in 2006, 2007 and masterclass with Mikhail Zemtsov in Utrecht 2009. With ensemble Hof Musici participated International conference ‚The World of Baroque Theather‘ Cesky Krumlov in 2005, 2006, 2008. Her permanent cooperation is with ensemble Hof Musici, Musica Figuralis, Czech Ensemble Baroque (CR), Luthers Bach Ensemble , Bach Orchestra of the Netherlands and Cordevento (Netherland).
The Austrian vocalist Michaela Riener began her musical training with piano and flute. She studied Musik- und Instrumentalmusikerziehung at the University for Music and Performing Arts Vienna and connect this study with distinction. In 2010 she joined the Masters course Early Music at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague away, where she studied with Jill Feldman, Gerda van Zelm, Michael Chance and Peter Kooij. Her love of chamber music has ensured that Michaela is closely involved in several ensembles.Samen Stefanie True (soprano) and Constanze Lee (fortepiano) they form the Trio Luscinia, which mainly deals with the classical and romantic song repertoire. The Oosternijkse ensemble Calamus, which primarily deals with historical performance practice, she took first prize at the international competition in May 2009. Biber also be heard Michaela with ensembles such as L'Arpeggiata, the Huelgas Ensemble and the Egidius College. Michaela also sings in Cappella Amsterdam and the Dutch Bach Society, which she has worked with conductors such as Rinaldo All Sandrini, Frans Bruggen, Marcus Creed, Richard Egarr, Daniel Reuss, Masaaki Suzuki and Jos van Veldhoven. The Anstatt dass Trio we find Michaela Riener in a totally different direction. In a special chamber music of Singing, Saxophone and Marimba Trio plays music from the 20s and 30s mostly on texts by Bertolt Brecht. In parallel with the old music is Michaela's intensive study of contemporary classical music. In 2006, singer Michaela at ELECTRA. A contemporary ensemble works closely with the composers whose music they play. They also walk the paths of musical and audiovisual arts. She is also a singer of Contemporary Music band Hexnut. As a soloist she performed at the Prague Spring Festival and the Birmingham Frontiers Festival Louis Andriessen's "La Passione", performed with Martijn Padding's work "Speculum Inversum" with Ensemble Klang, and sang compositions by Steve Reich and Hanns Eisler with the ASKO -Ensemble. Under the direction of David Robertson's charge them in Louis Andriessen's opus TAO performed by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Before the show [purgatory] Popopera she works with the dance company Emio Greco / Pieter C.Scholten which the American composer Michael Gordon wrote the music. Michaela Riener has focused on the historical performance practice of Early Music, where she obtained her Masters in 2010 at the conservatory in The Hague and the implementation of Contemporary Music. With her interest in different musical styles, her background as a pianist, and her search for new performance forms they come in ELECTRA into its own as a soloist and ensemble musician. As a soloist she performed at the Prague Spring Festival and the Birmingham Frontiers Festival Louis Andriessen's "La Passione", performed with Martijn Padding's work "Speculum Inversum" with Ensemble Klang, and sang compositions by Steve Reich and Hanns Eisler with the ASKO -Ensemble. Before the show [purgatory] Popopera they collaborated with the dance company Emio Greco / Pieter C.Scholten which the American composer Michael Gordon wrote the music.
Cellist María Sánchez Ramírez, born in Toledo, Spain, earned her master's degree in cello and chamber music in 1999 Itziar Atutxa at the Conservatorio Superior de Música Jesús Guridi in Victoria. In the same year she began her studies baroque and modern cello in the class of Jaap ter Linden and Lucia Swarts at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. During this time the name she participated in master Quirine, Mihael Strauss, Rainer Zipperlin and Anner Bylsma. She graduated in 2003, baroque cello and modern cello in 2005. María is a member of Musica Poetica and Le Tendre Amour (Barcelona) and continues to work with ensembles and orchestras in Germany, Spain and Netherlands. She gives regular concerts in halls and festivals throughout Europe and the United States (including Graz Festival Itinéraire Baroque, Lübeck Buxtehude Festival, Van Wassenaer SoHip Boston Early Music Festival and Festival). In the past, María worked with conductors such as Jos van Veldhoven, Macus Creed, Jacques Ogg and Federico Maria Sardelli. In 2007 she founded her own group Las Esferas, which focuses on the implementation of Spanish baroque music. She has recorded for CD labels Challenge Records, Verso, K617 and Brilliant and made recordings for radio and television in several European countries. María was a teacher at the Conservatorio Profesional de Salamanca. Today, she regularly gives workshops and master baroque cello in Spain as the "Curso de Música Barroca de Denia (Alicante).
Cello, Viola da gamba
Robert Smith is an English baroque cellist and viola da gambist. In 2012 he won the Bach-Abel Viola da Gamba Competition in Köthen, taking the 1st Prize, Audience Prize and Special Prize. His performance of a heavy-metal transcription was especially noted. Robert's ensemble, Fantasticus, has received wide critical acclaim for its recent recordings of stylus fantasticus and French baroque music. In 2013 his playing was described by The Strad as, "Intensely expresive, highly dramatic." In 2014 Robert released his first solo recording of music for viola da gamba, 'Tickle the Minikin'. The recording received many enthusiastic reviews and was BBC Music Magazine's Instrumental Choice in August 2014. Robert lives in Amsterdam.Robert studied Viola de Gamba with Mieneke van der Velden (Amsterdam) and Paolo Pandolfo (Basel). He also studiedbaroque cello with Wouter Möller, Jaap ter Linden and Viola da Hoog. He was principal cellist for the European UnionBaroque Orchestra in 2005/6. Robert plays with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and the ensemble Fantasticus, amongst many others. In 2010 he won the second prize in the International Baroque Soloist competition in Brunnenthal, Austria. In ensembles he recieved several prizes in the Bruges Musica Antiqua Competition and the Van Wassenaer Competition (Amsterdam)