Tutors 'Baroque music in 415 Hz: Montéclair's biblical opera Jephté'
Bechyně, Czech Republic, Thursday 18 - Sunday 28 July 2019
Enrique Gómez-Cabrero Fernández (baroque violin & viola) was born in Spain. After getting his violin degree with Francisco Comesaña in the Conservatorio Profesional de Música de la Comunidad de Madrid in 2005, his interests about historical performance drives him to take several couses and masterclasses, and in 2006, he started studing baroque violin in the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague with Ryo Terakado. He studied and received masterclasses with some of the best profesionals in the early music stage like Enrico Gatti, Hiro Kurosaki, François Fernandez, Elisabeth Walfisch, Mira Glodeanu, Ton Koopman etc.
His musical collaborations includes conductors like Jacques Ogg, Michael Chance, Jaap ter Linden, Patrick Ayrton, Peter Van Heygen, Oscar Gershenshon... He played with groups like the Orquesta Barroca de la Universidad de Salamanca, Orquesta y coro Viamagna, La Ritirata and has been invited as a concertino several times by Contrasto Armónico, with whom he recorded the opera Acis, Galatea e Polifemo, the oratorio La Resurrectione, and Roman Cantatas by Handel (Brilliant Classics). He has also been invited as concertino of the Damascus Baroque Soloists. He had performed in some of the best concert halls in Europe, like the Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, Teatro Comunale di Modena and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and had been broadcasted in national radios like the Dutch Radio 4 or the Spanish RTVE.
He is tutor at the Summer course of La Pellegrina in Bechyně, and was a guest teacher in Damascus Conservatory. He has taken part in festivals like Utrecht Oude Muziek Festival, Styriarte Festival Graz, Grachten Festival Amsterdam, Early Music Celebration in New York etc.
He is the founder and artistic director of La Villanesca Baroque Ensemble. In January 2012 La Villanesca was awarded with the medal of the President of the Italian Republic.
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, Amer Consort Amersfoort, and 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.
Since winning the prize for Best Individual Performer at the 1998 Van Wassenaer Competition for Early Music in Den Haag, Cassandra Luckhardt has established an international reputation as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician and teacher on both cello and viola da gamba. In performance, Cassandra has played and recorded as principal cello and gamba with The Academy of Ancient Music, Il Complesso Barocco, Apollo Ensemble and the King’s Consort. As a chamber musician, Cassandra is in equally high demand, demonstrating her flexibility as soloist with Musica ad Rhenum and La Suave Melodia. She has performed all over Europe as well as in China, Australia, Japan, Russia, Israel, the U.S. and throughout her adopted home of The Netherlands. In 2015, she was the gamba soloist in the highly-acclaimed performance by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Richard Egarr of the St. John Passion.
Cassandra's recording with Musica ad Rhenum of the Suites for viola da gamba as part of the complete chamber music of Francois Couperin has been highly acclaimed as “magnificent and indispensable” and “... a particular highlight.” Her recording of the Bach Sonatas for Viola da Gamba exhibits “a give and take full of playfulness, sensitivity, musicality and collegiality” as well as “a beautiful performance which leaves no wish unfulfilled.”
Cassandra received her Bachelor of Music and her Bachelor of Arts degrees cum laude from Oberlin College, Ohio, in 1992 and her Master of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory in 1994. She moved to Paris in 1994 to study at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique under the auspices of a Harriet Hale Woolley grant, awarded that year to only three other artists in the United States. In 1996, she received third prize at the Early Music Competition for Ensembles in Bruges and in 1999 won the Public Prize at the Utrecht Early Music Festival. In 2001, Cassandra finished her studies at the Royal Conservatory in Den Haag, graduating with degrees on both viola da gamba and baroque cello.
Cassandra plays a cello built by Sebastian Kloz, Mittenwald ca. 1760 and a gamba after Guillaume Barbey, Paris 1690 by John Pringle, USA 1987. She also plays an instrument awarded by the Nationaal Muziekinstrumentenfonds, a cello built by Roger Hargrave after Montagnana, 1736.
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 T'ai Chi instructor.
Marco Vitale was born in Palermo (Italy) in 1980. He studied piano, organ, harpsichord and composition at Palermo’s “V. Bellini” Conservatory, where he took the piano diploma in 2001 and the organ diploma in 2002 with full marks and “Cum Laude”. He took part in many international master-classes where he developed his skills and taste for baroque music. His concert life began at age of 15, with performances as a soloist and chamber musician. In 2002 he moved to The Netherlands where he studied at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. He took a Bachelor’s degree in organ with Jos van der Kooy and a Master in Early Music (harpsichord) with Ton Koopman.
His musical activity brought him to play in the most prestigious venues and festivals in Europe and Middle East: The Netherlands (Concertgebouw Amsterdam, De Doelen Rotterdam, Philipszaal Eindhoven, Utrecht Oude Muziek Festival), Italy (Teatro Massimo and Teatro Politeama of Palermo, Rome, Milano, Teatro Nuovo in Udine), Austria (Styriarte Festival in Graz), France (Salle Pleyel in Paris, Opera of Versailles, Arsenal Metz), Luxembourg (Philarmonie), Spain (Fundación Juan March in Madrid, L’Auditori in Barcelona), Germany (Festival Mitte-Europa), Poland, Czech Republic (Festival Mitte-Europa), Hungary (Budapest), Syria (Damascus Opera House and High Institute of Music), as a soloist/continuo player or director of his Contrasto Armonico.
Marco Vitale is the co-founder and musical director of “Contrasto Armonico”, baroque orchestra specialized in the performance of music in Italian style and baroque operas, using original instruments and historical performance practices. He is currently involved in the recordings of the Complete Italian Cantatas by Handel (Brilliant Classics), a thrilling project that will bring light on many undiscovered jewels of Handel which are neither edited nor recorded. He appeared in radio and TV broadcasts (often invited to speak about his Handel project) in Netherlands (AVRO), Germany, Austria (ORF), Spain, Poland (Polskie Radio), Italy (RAI), UK (BBC) and Syria (Syrian National Television).
Since 2005 he works as harpsichordist with Jordi Savall's ensemble "Le Concert des Nations". He has participated in radio and television broadcasts in the Netherlands (AVRO), Germany, Austria (ORF), Spain, Poland (Polskie Radio), Italy (RAI), United Kingdom (BBC) and Syria (Syrian national television), and has recorded for Alia Vox, Naïve and Brilliant Classics.
In 2012 he founded his own label "ayros", with which he continues the project of Handel's cantatas and launches new exciting record projects.
Alongside his concert activity, he is teaching, organizing at workshops in Europe, Canada and the Middle East. From 2008 to 2011 he worked at the Higher Institute of Music in Damascus (Syria) for a project on early music.
Also active as a composer, in January 2018 he completed his first work in seventeenth-century style (based on the libretto of 'Il ratto di Helena' from 1638) which was performed at the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, in Vilnius in autumn 2018.