Arcadia Players Founder and Artistic Director Emerita, Margaret Irwin-Brandon, a specialist in early keyboard instruments, is a concert recitalist in the Americas and Europe. Her harpsichord performances of J.S. Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall were received with critical acclaim. She has been a soloist in European and American festivals and has performed in national and regional conventions of the American Guild of Organists and the Organ Historical Society. As founding artistic director of the Arcadia Players Baroque Orchestra, Chorus and Chamber Ensembles, she produced “Arcadia Players – a Baroque Celebration,” presented by WGBY TV in1992.
She also produced and directed Arcadia Players’ first fully staged Baroqueopera, Montezuma, premiered Richard Einhorn’s score, Voices of Light, for the classic film, La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc and directed over 250 diverse programs of Baroque music.
As a Fulbright Scholar in Germany, Ms. Irwin-Brandon studied organ with Karl Richter, and continued harpsichord studies with Gustav Leonhardt in Holland. She is an associate fellow at Davenport College, Yale University and has served on the faculties of the Oberlin College Conservatory, the University of Oregon, Portland State University, and Mount Holyoke College, and is a member of the Board of Advisors to the Boston Clavichord Society. She holds the B.A. degree from Pacific Lutheran University, and the M.M. degree from the New England Conservatory, Boston, MA. In November, 2017 she will lead her eighth cultural/organ tour in Italy, this tour focusing on organs of Rome and Sicily.
Ketil Haugsand, professor emeritus of harpsichord at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne, counts as one of the important harpsichordists and Early Music personalities of today – appearing in several prestigious festivals and concert series in most European countries, U.S.A., Israel and in the Far East, both as recitalist, in chamber music, soloist, or conductor from the harpsichord, with the Norwegian Baroque Orchestra, the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Lyra Baroque Orchestra, the Arte Real Ensemble and at the Komischer Oper Berlin. Important chamber music partners have been i.e., Laurence Dreyfus, Wieland Kuijken, Richard Gwilt, Peter Holtslag and several others.
His recordings on CD with works by Jean-Babtiste Antoine Forqueray, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Louis Marchand, Carlos Seixas, João Sousa Carvalho and others, for Simax Classics, Virgin Veritas and Linn Records have won significant international acclaim – and his interpretations of the Clavierübungen by J.S. Bach, especially the Goldberg Variations, have been singled out as highly original and outstanding landmark performances. Released on Simax Classics in 2013 were the six English Suites by Bach and last year, a complete recording of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Pieces de Clavecin.
The Norwegian born musician studied with Gustav Leonhardt at the Amsterdam Conservatory, where he was awarded the coveted Prix d’Excellence in 1975. Later he was laureate at international harpsichord competitions in Paris and Brûges and held position as harpsichord and chamber music professor at the Norwegian State Academy of Music, in Oslo, between 1974 and 1995.
Prof. Haugsand is a highly demanded harpsichord teacher, one of the most experienced in the academic field, gives regularly summer courses in Norway and Italy – and is frequently invited as jury member at international harpsichord competitions.
Harpsichordist James Dorsa is a native of Southern California’s San Fernando Valley as well as a CSUN Music alumnus. He performs harpsichord concerts both locally and abroad, strongly favoring the seldom performed modern repertoire. The majority of his appearances are based on presenting the harpsichord, with its long and antiquarian history, as a living organism capable of portraying the nuances of the 21st Century. His “maximalist” style has met with resounding interest.
He is known for his original composition Jupiter’s Moon’s which enjoyed the first place award at the 2008 Alienor Composition Competition and was selected for the semi-final round at the 2012 Jurow Harpsichord Competition. His piece Martinique won the third place award at the 2014 Alienor Competition. All his compositions feature idiomatic writing for the harpsichord in a very “maximalist” setting. He is a regular performer at the Alienor Competition and frequently represents modern composers during the Boston Early Music festival “fringe” concerts.
Currently serving as the President of the Historical Keyboard Society of North America, scholar-performer Sonia Lee maintains an international schedule that covers four continents. Her performances have been praised by critics as “nicely rendered” (Early Music America Magazine) and “full of elegance and expression” (Cleveland Classical). She is a laureate of the Mae and Irving Jurow International Harpsichord Competition and the Montréal Baroque Galaxie-CBC Rising Star Competition.
A performer on both historical and modern keyboard instruments, she has performed at festivals and venues in Argentina, Canada, China, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Japan, South Korea The Netherlands, and the United States. Her discography includes premiere recordings of rediscovered music of Bembo, Weigl, Kozeluch, and Berg. She has served on the jury of the Aliénor International Harpsichord Composition Competition and has taught master classes in the US and abroad. As a scholar, she is a contributor to such publications as “Musicians and Composers of the 20th Century” and “Great Lives from History: Latinos.”
Sonia Lee holds advanced degrees in music from McGill University and the University of Illinois, with additional study in public leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education. Her performance teachers include Charlotte Mattax, Hank Knox, Luc Beauséjour, Joyce Lindorff, and Kenneth Gilbert. She has studied in masterclasses with Arthur Haas, Andrew Willis, David Kreitman, and Malcolm Bilson. A resident of Pasadena, CA, she recently held artist/scholar residencies at La Napoule Art Foundation, France, and La Piccola Academia di Montisi, Italy.
Charles Metz studied piano at Penn State University, beginning his harpsichord studies through private lessons with the legendary Igor Kipnis. In the process of earning a Ph.D. in Historical Performance Practice at Washington University in Saint Louis Missouri, he studied with Trevor Pinnock. More recently, Charles has worked with Webb Wiggins and Lisa Crawford at the Oberlin Conservatory.
Charles has performed across the country with concerts in Chicago IL, Saratoga NY, Bennington VT, Louisville, KY and Liberty Mo in their Baroque music JEMS Fest. He has performed solo recitals at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., Oberlin Conservatory and appeared as guest artist in Kansas City for the “Bach Aria Soloists” and the KC Symphony’s summer program “Summerfest”.
In 2014, he appeared with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Ars Antigua Chicago and the Newberry Consort of Chicago in the Música Barroca Mexicana program. In the spring of 2015 he again played with the Newberry Consort in the Mr. Dowland’s Midnight program with Paul O’Dette. In addition to his performing activity, he serves on the Board of Directors of Chamber Music Society of St. Louis, The Newberry Consort and Early Music America.
At age 17 I heard and saw my first harpsichord in a public demonstration at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. It was a transformative moment as I remember so many details of the experience and knew that was the instrument I wanted to dedicate myself to. Ironically the first harpsichord I had built for me was a copy of that instrument I heard at the Smithsonian, a late 18th French Harpsichord. In 2010 I was invited to play at the Smithsonian in a solo recital which gave me the opportunity to play the original 1760 French instrument and explain to the audience that the instrument had changed my life. I had come full circle!
Elaine Funaro is “regarded as one of the leading performers of new music for harpsichord” (Classical Music: The Essential Listening Companion). She is a popular presence at contemporary and early music festivals around the world, is past President of the Historical Keyboard Society of North America (HKSNA) and the Artistic Director of Aliénor, the American-based international competition for new harpsichord music. She has studied the harpsichord at Conservatories in Florence, Italy, Oberlin, Ohio, New England Conservatory, Boston and Amsterdam’s Sweelinck Conservatory. Her teachers have included Ton Koopman, John Gibbons, Lisa Crawford, and the late Gustav Leonhardt.
She has premiered pieces on five continents including concerts in Amsterdam, Rome, Sydney, Boston, Hong Kong and Tokyo. In addition to her solo recitals at the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress, Funaro has been a frequent collaborator with symphonies and chamber ensembles. Her appearances often present modern compositions in the context of old and new musical traditions from around the world, yet her impassioned solo and chamber interpretations of traditional scores for her instrument remain a core element in an exceptionally active career. Elaine Funaro has recorded for Arabesque, Centaur, Gasparo, Wildboar, and Classic Concert.
During one of my high school summers in the 1960’s I signed up for an introduction to the harpsichord class given by George Lucktenburg at Interlochen Music Camp. Little did I know that that summer was planting the seed for my future career. Twenty years later George started the Southeastern Historical Keyboard Society (SEHKS) and the Aliénor competition for new harpsichord compositions. The first competition was in 1982 and George asked me to perform a premier of a local NC composer. That was a first for me, contemporary music on the harpsichord!? He asked me again, four years later. Then would I be a judge and before I knew it I was helping him run the competition and eventually took it over all together. I have now performed winning compositions on five continents and have deposited over 700 scores in the Duke Music Department library. Thank you George. (He is the only person who ever called me ‘honey’).
Webb Wiggins, recognized and lauded internationally for his innovative and musical continuo realizations, has performed and recorded with many US ensembles. They include the Folger Consort, the Dryden Ensemble, Kings Noyse, Chatham Baroque, the Oberlin Baroque Ensemble, Apollo’s Fire, The Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, the Smithsonian Chamber Players and Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra. His collaborations with soloists, both vocal and instrumental, have earned him high respect among his colleagues in the world of baroque music and earlier.
Wiggins is also one of the foremost teachers of harpsichord as well as a coach for baroque chamber music and as musical director of baroque opera. He was associate professor of harpsichord at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music for eleven years and was coordinator of the early music program at the Peabody conservatory of Music for twenty years. On multiple occasions, Webb has given concerts, classes, lectures, and coachings to students at the Shanghai Music Middle School and at the Franz Liszt Conservatory in Quito Ecuador. His recordings can be heard on the Smithsonian, Dorian, EMI, Bard, and PGM labels.
Webb holds degrees in organ performance from Stetson University and the Eastman School of Music and has done additional harpsichord study at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam. He is perhaps the only harpsichordist in modern times to have given multiple performances on trans-Atlantic voyages.
My first harpsichord experience was in undergraduate school which had acquired an instrument my senior year. I was the first to use it on a colleague’s degree recital. I thought, “Oh, an interesting toy.” Later, I bought a “toy” and then decided I needed to learn something about it; another undergraduate colleague suggested attending Oberlin’s Baroque Performance Institute. I did, and my life was changed.
Gilbert Martinez is the Artistic Director of MusicSources, Center for Historically Informed Performance (www.musicsources.org). MusicSources is based in Berkeley, California and has been internationally recognized for its presentations of early keyboard concerts, as well as its collection of early keyboard instruments.
He studied harpsichord wth Laurette Goldberg (the founder of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and MusicSources) at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He subsequently lived in Italy to further his studies, upon the invitation of the distinguished baroque opera specialist and harpsichordist Alan Curtis.
Gilbert was Alan Curtis’ assistant conductor for a successful production of Handel’s “Serse”. In the following seasons, he conducted two wildly popular productions of Monteverdi’s “L’Incoronazione di Poppea” and “Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria” for Berkeley/West Edge Opera.
In 2007, Gilbert Martinez directed a collaboration between MusicSources and U.C. Santa Cruz in an unprecedented exploration of a late renaissance intermedio “Le Delizie di Posilipo, 1620.” This led to a major recreation and fully staged production involving over 60 musicians, dancers, actors and theater historians over a semester long project, which included a detailed recreation of the “special effects” documented in the original eyewitness accounts from 1620.
As a recitalist and soloist, he has performed the complete works of Jean-Philippe Rameau, entirely from memory, in the USA, Canada, and in Scandinavia. This past season he appeared with Early Music Alberta as a soloist with Elizabeth Wallfisch in the complete Brandenburg Concerti, and as a guest soloist with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra under Jeffrey Kahane.
Making his new home in Copenhagen, Denmark, he is a regular collaborator with a young baroque orchestra, Copenhagen Soloists, and has appeared frequently with Tidlig Musik i Danmark (Early Music Denmark), The Copenhagen Renaissance Festival, and MidsommerBarok Festival. This past summer he taught masterclasses in Ljubljana, Slovenia at the ACADEMIA MVSICÆ ANTIQVÆ LABACENSIS.
Gilbert Martinez currently serves on the board of directors for Tidlig Musik i Danmark.
BUON TEMPI STRING QUARTET
Alice Wrate is a violinist with the Pacific Symphony. She studied with Daniel Heifitz at the University of Maryland where she received her Bachelor of Music degree. While she was there she was coached by members of the Guarneri String Quartet and so began a lifelong love of chamber music. She won several competitions and was named a Pressor Scholar. She attended Rice University for her Master’s degree and studied with Kathy Winkler. During the summers, she has attended festivals such as National Repertory Orchestra, Garth Newell Chamber Music Festival, and the Sarasota Music Festival. Since moving to California, Mrs. Wrate has been involved with the movie studios in Los Angeles, recording numerous soundtracks for feature films and commercials. She was a founding member of the California Quartet and now enjoys playing with the Arroyo Quartet.
Bridget Dolkas, Principal Second Violin of the Pacific Symphony, enjoys life as an innovative musician of the 21st century. For the 100th anniversary of Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring”, she co-wrote and directed a ground-breaking and “frighteningly funny” mash-up music video, “Frite of Spring”. As first violinist and founding member of the California Quartet, she co-founded the critically acclaimed Connections Chamber Music Series, of which Tim Mangan of the Orange County Register wrote, “a worthy series”.
Bridget rocks out in the jazz-classical fusion band, the Peter Sprague Consort, an intriguing ensemble combining string quartet and jazz trio. Recently, she has performed as soloist with the Pacific Symphony and the Poway Symphony and was a featured performer at the 2015 and 2016 International Villa-Lobos Festivals. She is also a frequent artist at the La Jolla SummerFest. Since the year 2000, Ms. Dolkas has performed with the California Quartet in Europe and the United States to great acclaim, and has performed world-wide since the age of ten. As a chamber musician, she performs regularly on Pacific Symphony’s chamber music series, Café Ludwig, and has shared the stage with such greats as Mark O’Connor, Orli Shaham, Peter Sprague, and Paul Katz.
Ms. Dolkas performed for eight years in the San Diego Symphony and the San Diego Opera Orchestra. Studying chamber music under such masters as Joseph Silverstein, Kim Kashkashian, Fred Sherry, Toby Appel, as well as the Juilliard, Alexander, and Miro Quartets, has made a tremendous musical impact on Ms. Dolkas.
As a student of Alice Schoenfeld, she earned her BM degree at the University of Southern California, where she was awarded Chamber Musician of the Year. Continuing her studies with Isaac Malkin, she completed an MM degree from the Manhattan School of Music. She is near completion of a DMA degree from UCLA, where she studied with Mark Kaplan. Ms. Dolkas performs on a cherished 1798 Lupot violin.
Krista Haslim enjoys the adventures of being a professional violist, having played for many years with the Pacific Symphony, San Diego Symphony and Opera Pacific. She was a founding member of the California Quartet and has been blessed to perform and travel with them over the years. As a student of John Graham, she completed her Bachelor of Music degree at the Eastman School of Music. She went on to study with Wayne Brooks at Rice University where she earned a Master of Music. Currently, she maintains a large private teaching studio, and is also teaching over 50 fourth and fifth-grade string students at a local public elementary school. She resides in the quiet East Bay town of San Ramon in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, Bill, and their two daughters, Sarah and Becca.
American cellist Lars Hoefs is an internationally active performer, teacher, and scholar, professor of cello and music history at Sao Paulo State University in Campinas, Brazil, performs regularly in Brazil, the United States, and Europe. 2015 highlights included solo performances with the Collegium Musicum Orchestra in Berlin, recitals in Poland, appearances in Buenos Aires and Montevideo, the Ipalpiti Festival at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and numerous solo performances throughout Brazil. At Unicamp, Lars leads a cello ensemble of his students that tours regularly, and will release the album “Violoncelos sem Fronteiras” in 2016.
Lars has established himself as a leading expert on the cello repertoire of Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos. He was the first cellist to perform together in one program the complete works for cello and orchestra by Villa-Lobos with the Orquestra Sinfonica da Unicamp. In 2012 he was invited to perform Villa-Lobos’ complete works for cello and piano at the 50th annual Festival Villa-Lobos in Rio de Janeiro. In January of 2015 Lars was artistic director of the first Villa-Lobos International Chamber Music Festival at the University of California in Riverside, presenting 10 concerts in Riverside and Los Angeles and premiering composer Paulo C. Chagas’ monumental cycle “Gravity and Grace, Mobiles I-III.”
Originally from Appleton, Wisconsin, Lars earned his high school diploma at the North Carolina School of the Arts, a Bachelors from Northwestern University studying with Hans Jorgen Jensen, and both Masters and Doctorate degrees from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles where he studied with former Los Angeles Philharmonic principal cellist Ronald Leonard.
Steven Lehning (violone & contrabass) was attending Pacific Lutheran University as an undergraduate when he stumbled upon a used book store that had a nearly complete collection of the Bach-Gesellschaft edition of Bach Cantatas in mini-score; each for only a nickel! Finding these while taking a class in Lutheran theology set him on a trajectory that prepared him to eventually become one of the founding members of the American Bach Soloists.
A remarkable and versatile musician who is equally at home with violas da gamba, violones, contrabass, and historical keyboards, he has worked with many of the luminaries of the early music world including Jeffrey Thomas, John Butt, Andrew Parrott, and Ton Koopman. He has performed at the acclaimed Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, as well as the Early Music Festivals in Boston and Berkeley.
After finishing his undergraduate degree and while waiting to see what performances might come his way, he worked as an apprentice learning the art of French bread and pastry. Always curious about the entirety of the world in which the music he plays came from, he dove into many aspects of early music. In addition to performing with ABS, he is their librarian, and tunes harpsichords and organs for rehearsals and performances. On the scholarship side, he has pursued graduate studies in musicology at the University of California (Davis). Steve has recorded on the American Bach Soloists, Delos, EMI, Harmonia Mundi, and Koch Labels.