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Tutors 'Baroque music in 415 Hz: Buxtehude & his potential son-in-law Bach'

Bechyně, Czech Republic, Thursday 15 - Sunday 25 July 2021

Dirkjan Horringa
Dirkjan Horringa

Dirkjan Horringa, initiator and already 27 years artistic director of La Pellegrina, is originally a clarinettist by training. He studied both musicology and choral and orchestral conducting at the Utrecht University and the Utrecht Conservatoire. He now specializes in conducting semi-professional choirs and orchestras, which have a rather high musical level in Holland. This makes the work of leading these ensembles a fascinating combination of musical education and serious music making, which is a challenge to a professional musician. His main field of interest is music of the 16th, 17th and early 18th century, from Monteverdi's Vespers and Schütz to the world of renaissance and baroque music theatre. Mainly in the field of madrigal comedies (Banchieri's Barca di Venetia per Padova and Festino di Giovedi grasso) and baroque opera's by Purcell (Dido and Aeneas, The Fairy Queen) and Monteverdi (L'Orfeo) he has been active. Not long ago he staged a theatrical production of Bach's St. John's Passion. Dirkjan Horringa works with the vocal ensembles Trajecti Voces, projectkoor Festina Lente Arnhem, the string orchestra WAKO Leeuwarden and the La Pellegrina ProjectOrkest.  As a guest conductor he worked with the Czech vocal ensemble Vaganti, the Ukrainian vocal ensemble Musitchnyj Asamblej, the choir Confido Domino from Minsk, Belarus and ensemble Brevis from Vilnius, Lithuania. He has been a tutor in several summer schools in Italy, Poland and the Czech Republic. He is privately active as a singing tutor and vocal coach and teaches conducting. In 2016 the Czech Antonin Dvořák Association granted him an award for the promotion of Dvořák's music in the amateur music world.

Antoinette Lohmann
Antoinette Lohmann

Baroque violinist and violist Antoinette Lohmann has been active in a variety of musical areas. As a freelance player, Antoinette has performed and recorded with many orchestras and ensembles all over the world. Currently her repertoire extends from the early 17th to the 21st century, always performed from a historically informed perspective. She has a special interest in unusual instruments such as the viola d'amore, the violino piccolo and their repertoire. She also has a particular fascination with folk elements found in classical music.

In recent years Antoinette has focussed primarily on chamber music, with special emphasis on Dutch repertoire. She has recorded the complete sonatas for piano and violin by Joseph Martin Kraus and Margarethe Danzi, bassoon quartets by Franz Danzi and Krommer, chamber music works by Belle van Zuylen and 17th-century repertoire from the Netherlands.

Antoinette teaches principal study baroque violin and viola at the Utrechts Conservatorium and the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. She regularly teaches as a guest lecturer at conservatories throughout the world. For more information, please visit

Mitchell Sandler
Mitchell Sandler

Bass Mitchell Sandler studied at the University of California at Berkeley, before singing for five years with the renowned vocal ensemble Chanticleer, with whom he made many recordings and TV and radio appearances. Moving to the Netherlands in 1989, he did a graduate specialisation in Baroque music at the Royal Conservatory in the Hague.

Mitchell is a soloist in oratorio and opera. Dutch composer Michel van der Aa wrote a role especially for him in his new opera 'Afterlife', a work commissioned by the Dutch Opera (DNO) and the Holland Festival. Mitchell was also heard as one of the Deputati Fiaminghi (Flemish deputies) in Don Carlo by Verdi, and in the opera Tea by Tan Dun.

On a recent CD of Handel's Aci, Galatea e Polifemo Mitchell sings the role of Polifemo; he sings Lucifero on Handel's La Resurrezione with Contrasto Armonico conducted by Marco Vitale. 

With ensemble La Primavera he recorded the CD Dolci Sospiri: songs, duets and dance music of the 17th-century Neapolitan composer and lutenist Andrea Falconieri. In June 2015 Mitchell released a new CD of Handel's cantatas for solo bass with the ensemble Contrasto Armonico.

In addition to singing, Mitchell also composes and arranges. In 2013 the choir Voces Trajecti sang his Madrigals of Mirth and Melancholy,conducted by Dirkjan Horringa. Medusa, the University of Utrecht's women's choir, commissioned a work from Mitchell for their 25 year Jubilee concert in 2014.

Mitchell Sandler is a member of the Netherlands Radio Choir and the opera ensemble 'Pocket Opera' Since July 2016 he is also a certified Taijiquan instructor.

He loves to walk and cook. Together with his wife Anne Hodgkinson, he takes gastronomic walks such as "Boots and Bowtie" -

Marta Semkiw
Marta Semkiw

Polish cellist Marta Semkiw was born in Elbląg and graduated at the Academy of Music in Łódź. She has always shown a particular interest for early music and its performance practice, thanks to which she started participating at courses and masterclasses with Jaap ter Linden and Simon Standage in Warsaw, as well as Christine Kyprianides in Görlitz. In 2002 she moved to The Hague to study at the Royal Conservatoire with Jaap ter Linden, where she graduated in baroque cello in 2006.

She has performed with many musicians including Simon Standage, Jaap ter Linden, Ton Koopman, Charles Toet, Enrico Gatti, Elizabeth Wallfisch, Marcel Beekman, Mitchell Sandler, Dirkjan Horringa, Dario Luisi and Susanne Scholz. In 2004, together with Marco Vitale, she founded the early music ensemble Contrasto Armonico, with whom she performed in many venues around Europe, Middle-East, Canada and recorded several CDs for Brilliant Classics and ayros.

Besides performance she has been involved also in education, working as a music teacher in schools since 2011, tutoring children and adults (often amateurs) and guiding them in the beautiful world of music. Although it’s her first year at La Pellegrina as a tutor, she has been artistically linked with La Pellegrina’s tutors team since many years, performing and recording with all of them.

Marco Vitale
Marco Vitale
Harpsichordist, organist and music director Marco Vitale was born in Palermo, Italy. After finishing studies in his hometown, he attended the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague where he studied harpsichord with Ton Koopman and organ with Jos van der Kooy, graduating with a master’s degree in Early Music. Throughout his career Marco has performed at the most prestigious venues and festivals throughout Europe, the USA, Canada, South America, the Middle East and Asia.  From 2008-2011 Marco Vitale worked at the Higher Institute of Music in Damascus, Syria, where he taught early music performance practice and performed concerts together with Syrian musicians.

He is the co-founder and musical director of Contrasto Armonico, an ensemble specializing in Baroque operas and the performance of music in the Italian style, using period instruments and historically informed performance practices. In 2012 he founded his own record label ayros, which features recordings by Contrasto Armonico and other artists. In a collaboration with ayros, Marco is currently involved in recording the Complete Italian Cantatas by Handel, a thrilling project that will bring to light many undiscovered jewels of Handel’s which have yet to be either edited or recorded. Marco has appeared on several radio and TV broadcasts, including the specialized music channel In addition to ayros, he has recorded for Alia Vox, Naïve, and Brilliant Classics.

Marco appeared as a guest conductor of the Warsaw Chamber Opera between 2015 and 2017, performing a variety of repertoire from Monteverdi madrigals to Mozart symphonies. In 2016-2017 he revived the opera Semiramide riconosciuta by Leonardo Vinci, conducting from the harpsichord at the Baroque Opera festival in Warsaw. This was the first time in three centuries that this opera had been performed.

In 2018 he composed Il ratto di Helena, an opera in 17th century style based on a libretto written by Virgilio Puccitelli (1636). The opera was commissioned by The Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, and performed in Vilnius in celebration of 100 years of Lithuanian independence.

Marco gives masterclasses in harpsichord and Early Music performance practice. He is the artistic director of the Arcadia Early Music Academy workshop in Poland and teaches at La Pellegrina summer school in the Czech Republic. He gives masterclasses, lectures and workshops at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, Fondazione Paolo Grassi in Martina Franca (Italy), ESMUC in Barcelona, the Higher Institute of Music in Damascus, the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and the University of Victoria, BC (Canada).
Since 2017 Marco has been the music director of the Denman Baroque Workshop & Festival which takes place every spring on Denman Island, British Columbia. 
Marco performs regularly with Jordi Savall’s ensembles Le Concert des Nations & Hespèrion XXI.
Since 2020 he is the artistic director of the Salt Spring Baroque Music Society in Canada.



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