ARTEK: The Art of the Early Keyboard
“All the performances held a listener rapt with their spirit, conviction and intelligence.”
— James Oestreich, The New York Times
Audiences love ARTEK concerts for their exciting, dramatic performances of baroque music, with compelling musical settings of beautiful poetry and infectious dance rhythms that infuse the performances with vitality and spirit. Founded by director Gwendolyn Toth in 1986, ARTEK features America’s finest singers and instrumentalists in performances of historically informed early music.
ARTEK gave acclaimed performances of the theater show, I’ll Never See the Stars Again, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, on Off-Broadway, and on the Peak Performances (NJ) series. “New York early music company ARTEK provides a stark reminder of just how rich and passionate, as well as achingly sad, Monteverdi’s songs can be. Martin Platt and Gwendolyn Toth’s imaginative reinvention of Monteverdi’s music…not only delivers virtuoso playing from its 14 actor-musicians but also marries the music to some evocative images, using the pieces as a soundtrack to the story of a group of Italian refugees’ entangled love lives.” (Chris Bartlett, The Stage, UK)
International festival highlights include standing ovation performances of Monteverdi to sell-out crowds at the Regensburg (Germany) Tage Alter Musik Festival; performances at festivals in Utrecht, Italy, Hungary, and the Czech Replublic, and in the US performances at prestigious American festivals in Boston, Berkeley, Bloomington, and Indianapolis.
ARTEK toured internationally from 1997 to 2002 with the Mark Morris Dance Group, in the dance “I Don’t Want to Love,” visiting major venues in the United Kingdom, Italy, and Canada as well as more than 50 of America’s premier theaters. “It is beautiful, sensuous music, vibrantly given here by early music specialists, led by Gwendolyn Toth.” (Clive Barnes, The New York Post)
ARTEK made its Lincoln Center debut in spring 2010 and has appeared at Symphony Space, the Metropolitan Museum, Kaye Playhouse, and many other venues. ARTEK’s 30th anniversary concert of the Intermedii from La Pellegrina 1589 in 2016 brought together sixty distinguished artists for New York City’s first complete performance of this great masterpiece. ARTEK’s latest theatrical triumph is Artemisia: Light and Shadow, a new musical show on the life of Italian baroque artist Artemisia Gentileschi, now touring across the USA.
ARTEK released the first American recording of Monteverdi’s Orfeo to international acclaim. “A luminous account of this magical opera in its first American recording. Toth’s fine period-instrument ensemble lets the music dance and breathe, yet her expansive, almost Romantic conception of the piece sacrifices no emotional detail.” (Heidi Waleson, Billboard) ARTEK’s other recordings include Loveletters from Italy, I Don’t Want to Love, Monteverdi: Madrigals Book V and Soli Dei Gloria: Cantatas of Johann Rosenmüller. Artek’s latest landmark recording: Monteverdi: Madrigals, Book VII (complete) was released in November, 2020.
Staff & Board
Artistic Director: Gwendolyn Toth
Administrative Intern: Maki Nientao
Marketing Assistant: Nicole Karrs
Madrigal Madness Administrator: Christina Kay
Box Office services: Gotham Early Music Scene (GEMS)
Office phone number: contact through email below to to schedule a phone conversation
Board of Directors
Gwendolyn Toth, Chairman
ARTEK is a New York State non-profit organization that exists to present historically-informed concerts of music and educational activities, to stimulate interest and develop appreciation for early music in our society.
Like to become an ARTEK Board member? Board members give their time and financial support to ARTEK in various ways. The first step is usually volunteer involvement, or other sign of special interest. If you’d like to know more, contact Director Gwendolyn Toth at 212-967-9157 or firstname.lastname@example.org.