About the Artists

Director Gwendolyn Toth   is one of only a few American conductors of historical performance ensembles and orchestras.  Currently, she is the director and founder of New York City's virtuoso period instrument ensemble, ARTEK.  Ms. Toth has also conducted at Sadler's Wells Theater in London with the Mark Morris Dance Group; the Skylight Theater in Milwaukee; Kaye Playhouse, Merkin Hall, and BAM in New York City, and for the German Radio Broadcasting system.  She is recognized as an outstanding performer on early keyboard instruments, performing in early music festivals in Boston, Utrecht, Holland; and the Czech Republic and on radio networks in Holland, Germany, France, and America's National Public Radio.  Her discography includes a CD of Bach's Goldberg Variations on the lautenwerk, and a CD of organ works by Heinrich Scheidemann on the meantone organ in Zeerijp, Holland.  In contemporary music, Ms. Toth has worked and recorded with eminent composer/performers such as John Cage, Rhys Chatham, Petr Kotik, Dave Soldier, Louis Andriessen, and Elliot Sharp at BAM Next Wave Festival, The Kitchen, Bang on a Can Festival, Cage Nachttage in K¥ln, and others.

Praised for her "sparkle and humor, radiance and magnetism" and hailed for "a voice equally velvety up and down the registers", soprano Laura Heimes is widely regarded as an artist of great versatility, with repertoire ranging from the Renaissance to the 21st century. She has collaborated with many of the leading figures in early music, including Andrew Lawrence King, Julianne Baird, Tempeste di Mare, The King’s Noyse, Paul O’Dette, Chatham Baroque, Apollo’s Fire, The New York Collegium, The Publick Musick, Brandywine Baroque, Trinity Consort, and Piffaro – The Renaissance Band, a group with whom she has toured the United States. She has been heard at the Boston, Connecticut and Indianapolis Early Music Festivals, at the Oregon and Philadelphia Bach Festivals under the baton of Helmuth Rilling, at the Carmel Bach Festival under Bruno Weil, and in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Brazil in concerts of Bach and Handel. With the Philadelphia Orchestra she appeared as Mrs. Nordstrom in Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music. Ms. Heimes has recorded for Dorian, Pro Gloria Musicae, Plectra Music, Sonabilis, Albany and Avian records.

Soprano Clara Rottsolk has been lauded by The New York Times for her “clear, appealing voice and expressive conviction.” In a repertoire extending from the Renaissance to the contemporary, her solo appearances with orchestras and chamber ensembles have taken her across the United States, the Middle East, Japan and South America. She has sung with the American Bach Soloists, Tempesta di Mare, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Les Délices, Pacific MusicWorks, St. Thomas Church 5th Avenue, Magnificat Baroque, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Piffaro, Colorado Bach Ensemble among many. She has performed at the Carmel Bach Festival, Indianapolis Early Music Festival, Berkeley Early Music Festival, Philadelphia Bach Festival, Whidbey Island Music Festival, Boston Early Music Festival, and the Festival de Música Barroca de Barichara (Colombia) as well as on myriad concert series across the country. Her recordings are Myths and Allegories, French Baroque cantatas with Les Délices and “supple and stylish… and unflaggingly attractive” (Gramophone Magazine) Scarlatti Cantatas with Tempesta di Mare on the Chandos-Chaconne label. Currently Ms. Rottsolk is based in Philadelphia and teaches voice at Swarthmore, Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges.

Sarah Chalfy, soprano,is an active performer on a variety of musical stages, from theatres to concert halls to cabaret and rock venues.She specializes in premiering new worksby some of today’s most esteemed composers, including the title role in ADA, Nellie Bly in Stunt Girl, Lori in Terezin, and Madeleine X in the LA world premiere of Michael Gordon’s opera What to Wear,
conceived, designed, and directed by avant garde theatre legend Richard Foreman. She also performed Gordon’s chamber opera Van Gogh, which she recorded on the Cantaloupe label with Alarm Will Sound. She was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, where she was soloist in Berio’s Sinfonia with Robert Spano and Vivaldi’s Gloria with Craig Smith and the Mark Morris Dance Company. Ms. Chalfy is the recipient of numerous awards, including top prizes in the Lotte Lenya, Rosa Ponselle, Canticum Dominum, and Bach Society of Baltimore competitions, and study grants to the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg and the Académie Internationale d’Été de Nice.

Barbara Hollinshead, mezzo-soprano, has been a member of ARTEK since 1995. A popular soloist in the Washington, DC area, the Washington Post has described her singing as "precise in pitch, varied in color as the occasion requires, agile in the ornaments intrinsic to baroque music and deeply expressive of intense, conflicting emotions." She has appeared with many of the finest early music groups in eastern North America including Tafelmusik, Chatham Baroque, and the Four Nations Ensemble, and she is a regular guest artist with the Folger Consort, Opera Lafayette, and the Washington Bach Consort. She has also traveled with the Washington Bach Consort on a two-week tour of Germany, performing at a festival in Thuringia and at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig. Ms. Hollinshead rounds out her musical contributions with educational endeavors as a professor of voice at American University and a cast member in the Washington Bach Consort's much-celebrated program "Bach to School," which brings Bach's music to elementary school students. When not singing, you can find her listening to her sons sing evensong services and judging diving competitions.

Eric S. Brenner, countertenor, has been hailed for his “penetrating eloquence,” “astonishing solo singing” (NY Times), and “auto-tuned Mr. Roboto majesty” (Stage Mage). A fervent proponent of very old and very new music, Mr. Brenner’s current engagements include: Tolomeo in Handel’s Giulio Cesare with Opera Roanoke; Volpino in Haydn’s Lo Speziale with Rochester Lyric Opera; Doodle in Stefan Weisman’s and David Cote’s Scarlet Ibis with American Opera Projects; Riccardo in Scarlatti’s Il Trionfo dell’Onore at Symphony Space; Giuliano (cover) in Cavalli’s Eliogabalo with Gotham Chamber Opera; The Poet in Virko Baley’s Holodomor (NYC and Ukraine); Beast in Hannah Lash’s Blood Rose, with New York City Opera’s VOX program; D.A.V.E. in Kamala Sankaram’s Miranda; countertenor soloist in Orff’s Carmina Burana and Bernstein’s The Lark at Avery Fisher Hall; soprano and alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah at Alice Tully Hall, Trinity Wall Street Church, St. Thomas Church, and the Cathedral of St. John’s in Albuquerque, NM. Mr. Brenner also sang soprano for three seasons with the Grammy Award winning ensemble Chanticleer, is cocomposer with Matt Shloss of music for Rob Reese’s Yahweh’s Follies, and is hard at work on his second novel and his first play.

Among the world's premiere countertenors, Drew Minter has appeared in leading roles with the opera companies of Brussels, Toulouse, Boston, Washington, Santa Fe, BAM, Wolf Trap, Glimmerglass, Nice, and Marseilles, as well as Skylight Opera, Opera/Omaha, and the Berkshire Opera Festival, and at the Halle, Karlsruhe, Maryland and G¥ttingen Handel festivals.  Mr. Minter is a founding member of the Newberry Consort and performs regularly with My Lord Chamberlain's Consort, ARTEK, and Folger Consort. With Trefoil, he performs 14th century music from original notation as a singer and instrumentalist. Mr. Minter is represented by over 40 recordings on Harmonia Mundi, Decca/London, Newport Classics, Lyrichord, and Hungaroton.  Mr. Minter is also a lauded opera director; this past year he directed productions of Mozart's Cosi fan tutte for Boston's Opera Aperta, Pauline Viardot's Cendrillon for the Boston University Opera Institute, and Purcell's Fairy Queen at Vassar College. In addition to master classes and workshops at Amherst Early Music and the San Francisco Early Music Workshops, he teaches on the voice faculties of Vassar and Smith Colleges.

Born on St Cecilia's day, countertenor Ryland Angel has performed with William Christie, Nicholas McGegan, Rene Jacobs, Ivor Bolton, Roy Goodman, Christophe Rousset, Philippe Herreweghe, Jane Glover, Herve Niquet, Graeme Jenkins, SPCO, Artek and PBO. Performances include Orfeo, Doctor Ox's Experiment and Fairy Queen (ENO, Barcelona),Amadigi (Karlsruhe), Dido and Aeneas (Paris), The Play of Daniel (Spoleto), Doux Mensonges (Paris), Radamisto (St Louis), Agrippina (NYCO),Tolomeo (Belgium), Semele (Cologne), Rodelinda (Holland), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Kansas, Milwaukee), Julius Caesar (Utah, Boston Baroque, Denver), Sant Alessio (Paris, London, NYC), Ulysses(Toulouse), and Messiah with the SSO, Handel and Haydn Society and Musica Sacra at Carnegie Hall. Recordings include discs of Charpentier, Scarlatti, Lorenzani, Peri, Handel, Beaujoyeux, Purcell, Bach, Buxtehude, Monteverdi, Spears, film soundtracks of Le Petit Prince, La Peau, Henry 4th and Machete.

Tenor Philip Anderson is in the cast of the Philip Glass opera, Einstein on the Beach, which is currently touring the world. Hailed for his “voice of liquid warmth and easy stage presence,” he is much in demand among early music ensembles. In New York he sings regularly with ARTEK, My Lord Chamberlain’s Consort and has been a guest artist with Chatham Baroque, Lionheart, Mark Morris Dance Group, The New York Collegium, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Piffaro, and The Waverly Consort. For three seasons he toured the United States in the title role of The Play of Daniel with New York’s Ensemble for Early Music. In Europe he has sung at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Tage Alter Musik Festival in Regensburg and Festival Scarlatti in Sicily. In the spring of 2007 he appeared on Broadway in Coram Boy. His recordings include the Grammy nominated O Magnum Mysterium with the Tiffany Consort, John Dowland’s First Book of Songs with My Lord Chamberlain’s Consort, Madrigals of Monteverdi with ARTEK, Jane’s Hand - The Jane Austen Songbooks with Julianne Baird, and Music of Kapsperger with Chatham Baroque.

A native of Kansas City, MO, tenor Andrew Fuchs recently made his Lincoln Center debut in Bach’s Magnificat with the American Classical Orchestra. Other concert performances include the Evangelist in Bach’s St. John Passion and St. Matthew Passion, Haydn’s The Creation, Britten’s Saint Nicolas, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah. An avid recitalist, Andrew spent two summers as a Vocal Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center where he worked closely with Dawn Upshaw, Håkan Hagegård, and Mark Morris. He was also a Stern Fellow at SongFest, and attended the Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar, a highly-competitive, week-long program that focuses on American art song by living composers, led by Stephanie Blythe. Highlights from his operatic credits include Belmonte (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Ferrando (Così fan tutte), Carissimi’s Jephte, Acis (Acis and Galatea), Zotico (Cavalli's Eliogabalo), and Tom Rakewell in abridged performances of The Rake's Progress. Recent engagements include Saint Nicolas and Messiah with the Saint Andrew Chorale, the Evangelist in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Canticum Novum Singers, Bach’s St. John Passion with the Canterbury Choral Society, and Brahms’s Liebeslieder and Neue Liebeslieder Waltzes with the Mark Morris Dance Group.

Michael Brown, tenor, started musical life listening to classical and show music via phonograph and radio. After receiving first music lessons from his father and a stint as a chorister in Bethlehem PA, he earned music degrees from The Manhattan School of Music and Mannes College of Music. He has been a member of ARTEK since the 1992 production of Orfeo where he performed the role of Apollo, and he has toured extensively with ARTEK and the Mark Morris Dance Group singing madrigals of Monteverdi. He has sung Haydn and Mozart operas with the Connecticut Early Music Festival, Mozart's C minor Mass with the American Bach Soloists, and in the Glimmerglass production of Coronation of Poppea at BAM. Recent highlights include performances of Schubert's Winterreise with Harvey Burgett and the music of contemporaries Wendy Griffiths and Chris Berg. He and his wife soprano Phyllis Clark have concertized and taught workshops together in Japan and have successfully assembled 15 pieces of IKEA furniture.

Peter Becker, bass-baritone, began his musical training in Bombay, India at the Kinnara School of Music, where he studied tablas at the feet of Ravi Shankar. He began his professional singing career in Chevy Chase, MD as a paid boy soprano, thereby supplementing the income from his paper route. Since then he has performed on stages throughout the USA, Europe, Asia, and South America in repertoire ranging from medieval to contemporary. Theater credits include performances with the Canadian Opera Company, Glimmerglass Opera, Teatro Opera di Roma, the New York Shakespeare Festival, the 20th Century Consort, the Metropolitan Opera Education Program, the Eugene O'Neil Center, and New York's Lyric Theater. He has been a featured guest artist with Tafelmusik, the Smithsonian Chamber Players, Magnificat, the Newberry Consort, and at a number of festivals including Spoleto, Caramoor, Aldeburgh, Utrecht, Hong Kong, Jerusalem, and Lille. He has recorded for the Decca-London, New Albion, Dorian and Bard labels.

Cynthia Miller Freivogel received a BA in musicology at Yale University and an MM in violin performance at the San Francisco Conservatory. In addition to being the leader and concertmaster of the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado, Ms. Freivogel plays with Brandywine Baroque in Wilmington, Delaware, and is a tenured member of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, based in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. She is a founding member and second violinist of the Novello Quartet, which is dedicated to the performance of the string quartets of Haydn and his contemporaries on period instruments. Ms. Freivogel frequently performs at Bay Area early-music venues with ensembles such as Magnificat, Voices of Music and American Bach Soloists, and on concert series at Old First, San Francisco Early Music Society and MusicSources. Ms. Freivogel spends summers playing violin in the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra in Boulder. She also played with the Tanglewood Music Center Fellowship Orchestra, San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, the State Orchestra of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Apollo’s Fire, Portland Baroque, American Russian Young Artist’s Orchestra, and Amerus chamber players. Ms. Freivogel studied principally with Camilla Wicks and Marylou Speaker Churchill, and is a dedicated and certified Suzuki teacher.

Vita Wallace is known as a powerful, sensitive, and versatile musician. She is a sought-after baroque violinist: a member of ARTEK and Philomel, founding member of the Gotham City Baroque Orchestra, and guest artist with Parthenia, Concert Royal, the Dryden Ensemble, Festival Scarlatti in Sicily, and numerous other baroque ensembles and festivals. She has performed and recorded extensively as violinist of the Orfeo Duo, with which she also teaches improvisation and plays the piano in four-hand repertoire. The Duo’s latest CD, described as "daring and fresh" by the National Post, features the complete Schumann sonatas on period instruments, on the unedited Unacorda label. Their other recordings have been described as "impassioned and deeply involving…strangely moving" (American Record Guide), "excellent" (BBC Music Magazine) and "magnificent" (Classics Today).Ms. Wallace is also a member of the medieval ensemble Sendebar, in which she plays vielle and percussion. Her teachers included Louis Krasner, Julius Levine, Lorand Fenyves, and Nancy Wilson. She graduated from the Mannes College of Music with the Felix Salzer Award, and performs on a copy of an Amati made by Samuel Zygmuntowicz in 1991.

Theresa Salomon received her musical education in her native Germany, the Netherlands and in Austria. Her teachers have included Philip Hirshorn, Wolfram Konig and Todd Philips. She played her solo debut concert in New York at Weill Recital Hall presented by Artists International. Since 1991 she has been a member of the Goldberg Ensemble of Vienna and has toured with the string quartet of the Ensemble in Austria, Germany, France and Italy. She has performed as a soloist with the Jupiter Symphony, the Metamorphoses Orchestra in New York, the Orchestra of the Chambermusic Society in Vienna, Wiesbaden Orchestra in Germany and at the Ostrava Days Festival in the Czech Republic. Ms. Salomon has appeared in many European festivals including the Gulbenkian Festival in Portugal, the Festival Presence in Paris, the Prague Spring Festival and the Takemitsu Memorial Festival. As a performer of contemporary chamber music she has worked with many ensembles including the STX Ensemble Xenakis in the USA, S.E.M. Ensemble and the Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble. She has recorded for Vandenburg and Tzadik Labels.

Motomi Igarashi, a native of Japan, has played the double bass since she was 12. She received first prize at the Aspen Music Festival Double Bass competition, has given double bass solo recitals and appears as a concert soloist with orchestras in the USA, England and Japan. Motomi studied double bass with Eugene Levinson at the Juilliard School. After graduating from the Juilliard school in 1992, she went to France to study viola da gamba. She traveled throughout Europe and spent several years in intensive study with Marianne Muller, Wieland Kuijken, and Paolo Pandolfo and lirone with Erin Headley. Since returning from Paris in 1997 she has been playing the viola da gamba, violone, the baroque double bass and lirone with various groups such as The American Classical Orchestra, the Concert Royal, Anima, Arts Antiqua, BEMF, Foundling Orchestra, Handel and Haydn Society, Long Island Baroque, Philomel, and Bach Collegium Japan, both on the East coast and in Japan in addition to ARTEK.

Grant Herreid is a versatile musician/director/teacher on the early music scene. As a multi-instrumentalist and singer he performs frequently with Hesperus, Piffaro, My Lord Chamberland's Consort and the Folger Consort, and New York City Opera, and this year he will make his debut with Tafelmusik and the Newbury Consort. A noted early music educator, Grant conducts classes in Renaissance music and 17th century song at Mannes College of Music in New York, and directs the New York Continuo Collective. He has created and directed several theatrical early music shows, but mostly he devotes his time to exploring the esoteric unwritten traditions of early music with the groups Ex Umbris and Visceral Reaction. He has recorded for Archiv, Dorian, Lyrichord, Musical Heritage Society, Newport Classics and others.

Lutenist Daniel Swenberg concentrates on Renaissance and baroque performance practices, with special devotion to the role of basso-continuo playing and the instruments central to its practice: the theorbo/chitaronne, renaissance and baroque lutes, early guitars, and the gallizona/callichon.  Among the ensembles in which he performs are: ARTEK, Rebel, Visceral Reaction, The New York Collegium, The Metropolitan Opera, Staatstheater Stuttgart, New York City Opera, the Mark Morris Dance Group, Stadtstheater Klagenfurt, Tafelmusik, Opera Atelier, Les Violons du Roy, Piffaro, Spiritus Collective, and Lizzy and the Theorboys. He has received awards from the Belgian American Educational Foundation (2000) for a study of 18th-century chamber music for the lute, and a Fulbright Scholarship (1997) to study in Bremen, Germany with Stephen Stubbs and Andrew Lawrence King, at the Hochschule fuer Kuenste. He studied previously with Pat O'Brien at Mannes College of Music (New York City), receiving a Masters Degree in Historical Performance-Lute. Prior to his concentration on lutes, he studied Musicology at Washington University (St. Louis) and received a B.M. in classical guitar from the North Carolina School of the Arts.

Christa Patton has served as baroque harpist most recently with the Seattle Baroque Orchestra, ARTEK, the  New York City Opera's production of Monteverdi's Ulisse at Lincoln Center and The Wolf Trap Opera Company's production of  Monteverdi's  L'Incoronazione di Poppea in Washington DC.  As a multi-instrumentalist Christa has performed in the US, Europe and Japan with New York's Ensemble for Early Music since 1993 and has recorded Istampitta on the Lyrichord label.  She has been a regular guest with Piffaro and appears on their latest compact disc, Trionfo d'Amore e della Morte, on Dorian Records.  Ms. Patton has also performed and recorded with Ex Umbris and can be heard on their compact disk entitled Chacona. In Milan, Italy Christa has performed with with the Laboratorio permanente sulla Musica vocale del XVII secolo at the Palazzo Reale in Milan, the Barbarini Palace in Rome and at the Tempio dell'Incoronata in Lodi under the direction of Roberto Gini.  A recipient of the prestigious Fulbright scholarship, Christa studied the Italian baroque harp at the Civica Scuola di Musica in Milan with historical harp specialist Mara Galassi.

Charles Weaver, lute, theorbo, baroque guitar, and voice, performs as a member of New York¥based ensembles ARTEK, Repast, and Ensemble Viscera. He has also appeared in concert with Hesperus, Piffaro, the Orchestra of St. Luke¥s, and the Yale Schola Cantorum. With his duo partner, soprano Elizabeth Baber, he has created programs of Renaissance song praised for their ¥imagination in programming.¥ The Washington Post has described his performances as ¥captivating¥ and ¥splendid.¥ He is on the faculty of the New York Continuo Collective, a semi-professional workshop that explores the courtly tradition of reciting Italian poetry to the lute and its relation to early opera. Last summer, he taught at the Western Wind choral workshop and was assistant music director of the Amherst Early Music Festival's Theater Project. This season will include recordings with Early Music New York and the Dryden Ensemble, concerts with Parthenia and the Yale Early Opera Initiative, and a medieval mystery play with the Folger Consort.

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ARTEK Early Music Ensemble in NYC
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