La Bernardinia Baroque Ensemble
Rainer Beckmann plays recorder with a large variety of early music ensembles in the Philadelphia tri-state area. He is a member of New World Recorders and Vox Renaissance Consort. As featured soloist and guest musician, he has appeared with Tempesta di Mare, Piffaro, Mélomanie, Brandywine Baroque, Camerata Ama Deus, Philadelphia Bach Collegium, The Bach Choir of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra, and others. Before moving to the United States, he performed in Germany, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Italy, Israel, and Brazil. Rainer is the music director of the Philadelphia Recorder Society. He is a graduate of the Utrecht Conservatory of Music (Netherlands), where he studied recorder with Heiko ter Schegget, Baldrick Deerenberg, and Marion Verbruggen.
Donna Fournier plays viola da gamba and baroque cello with Brandywine Baroque, The Sylvan Consort of Viols, La Fiocco, Mélomanie and has been a guest artist with such groups as the Gamut Bach Ensemble, Philadelphia Bach Collegium, Opera Lafayette, Tempesta di Mare, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, and The Philadelphia Classical Symphony. The Philadelphia Inquirer acclaimed her solo work as "poised, soulful ... [and] played with particular depth." Donna has recorded Buxtehude cantatas for PGM, Telemann trio sonatas for Lyrichord, Boismortier trio sonatas for A Casa Discos, Jaquet de La Guerre and Bousset cantatas for Plectra Music, and new music for baroque ensemble for Meyer-Music and Furious Artisans.
Marcia Kravis holds a Master of Music degree from New England Conservatory of Music where she studied with John Gibbons. She is a founding member of La Bernardinia Baroque Ensemble and Ensemble Sebastian. Marcia was the harpsichordist for the American Society of Ancient Instruments for over a decade and has accompanied master classes by Julianne Baird, Marion Verbruggen, Han Tol, Sandra Miller and Saskia Coolen. She teaches harpsichord and piano privately in the Fairmont neighborhood of Philadelphia. As a harpsichordist Marcia performs solo recitals, plays with La Bernardinia Baroque Ensemble, Ensemble Sebastian and other baroque groups in the Philadelphia and South Jersey areas. She is an occasional guest harpsichordist and coach with the Temple Preparatory Orchestra.
Corpus Christi, Texas native Edmond Chan, baroque violin, has performed with many early music ensembles and orchestras in the United States, Europe, and Hong Kong, some of which include Tempesta di Mare: Philadelphia Baroque Orchestra, the Dryden Ensemble, Holland Baroque, and the Early Music Society of Hong Kong. In 2019, Edmond completed his master’s degree in baroque violin at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht: Utrechts Conservatorium in the Netherlands where he studied with Antoinette Lohmann. His master’s thesis entitled “The Fashionable Violinist: Fashion and How to Hold the Violin in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries” focused on exploring historical clothing and how the clothing of the 17th and 18th centuries can better inform historical musicians today on performance practice and historical musical techniques. Most recently he completed his Artist’s Certificate in baroque violin at the Koninklijk Conservatorium den Haag (the Royal Conservatory at the Hague) where he studied with Kati Debretzeni and Walter Reiter. In his free time, Edmond enjoys cooking, swimming, running, going on bike rides and playing board/card/computer games with friends and family.
Qin Qian started learning the erhu and accordion from her father at the age of eight. Ms. Qin entered the Guangxi Art College in Nanning at 16, majoring in erhu performance. She studied the erhu, or Chinese violin, with Professor Huang Qidu and erhu master Zhang Yuming. After she graduated, she worked as an erhu performer and teacher. In 1986, she started working as a reporter, music program editor and program host for the Nanning city radio station. In the last role, she interviewed many famous musicians in China.
Ms. Qin also plays the piano, monochord, and ruan, a string instrument resembling the banjo. She likes to write and has authored two books, "My Dreams Soar With Music" (2003) and "A Musical Journey in America" (2005).
In 2003, she gave a successful erhu and monochord concert in Nanning in which she was accompanied by the Guangxi Symphony Orchestra. In 2005, her first CD, "A Romantic Musical Journey," which featured her work on the erhu and monochord, was released, and she received wide attention from music lovers in China.
In 2005, Ms. Qin immigrated to the United States and started promoting traditional Chinese music. The next year, she started teaching erhu at the Ming De Chinese School in Radnor, Pa.
Her private students come from many different backgrounds and ethnic groups, and range in age from 5 to 70. Teaching gives her tremendous satisfaction, and she often performs in concerts with her students. Her musical work has taken her to many places, including Australia, England and Curacao.
In 2008, Ms. Qin performed in the musical "The Mirror Effect," playing solo pieces on the erhu and monochord and others with a jazz band. In July 2008, she accompanied the musical group Siris, led by the American singer Michael Maley, in the song "God Bless Sichuan," which was sung in Chinese and raised money for earthquake relief. The video, onYouku.com, received more than 6 million views in six months, and was ranked number one in China that year. Her erhu playing gave the song a unique Chinese flavor and mood of sadness.
In 2009, Ms. Qin went to Australia and recorded eight songs with the guitarist Vincenzo Andreacchio. Five were traditional Italian tunes, expanding the erhu’s musical territory.
In 2010, she joined a band, the Obsoleets, to learn and play different varieties of American music. In addition, that same year, her student Arthur Zhang, then 15, performed successfully as the featured erhu soloist in a concert devoted to Chinese music.
The following year, she gave a successful concert, “The Emotive Beauty of the Erhu, With Qin Qian,” in Philadelphia, accompanied by harpist Gloria Galante and pianist Gloria Collins. In 2012, Zhang won first prize at the 2012 Princeton International Chinese Music Competition at Princeton University. Another of Ms. Qin’s students, Sophia Blystra, playing the monochord, won second prize, and Ms. Qin was named outstanding teacher.
In 2013, Ms. Qin started a program, “The Pentatonic Music of Yang Sheng Qigong,” a simple, relaxing, and easy way to practice qigong, an exercise of the mind, body and spirit. She believes that enjoying music on the five-tone pentatonic scale and practicing qigong every day will provide many health benefits.
In 2014, her student Kelvin Wang, then 10, won first prize at the Princeton Chinese music competition and second prize at the First Philadelphia Regional Talent Show. In addition, she and American pianist Wu Di performed with the famous Arpeggio Jazz Orchestra at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. The concert featured classical music, country music, jazz, and Chinese music, sometimes fusing the differing styles. Later that year, with pianist Graeme Burgan, she held a concert, "When the Erhu Meets the Piano,” in Norristown, Pa. The concert was highly praised by music lovers.
The next year, she held the "Double String and Five-Tone" concert at the Philadelphia Free Library. She played traditional Chinese and Western music with the erhu and introduced the relationship between musical therapy, using the pentatonic scale, and health. The therapy dates back 2,000 years, from the medical book “Huang Di Nei Jing” (“The Emperor’s Inner Canon”).
In 2016, with pianist Kathryn Woodard, percussionist Joseph Tayoun, and bassist Brent Edmondson, she appeared twice at composer Andrea Clearfield's salon. The repertoire included famous erhu solos in "The River of Sorrow,” "The Grapes Are Ripe,” and “The Charm of the Tianshan Mountains.” The salon has been continuing for 30 years and is an important part of the music scene in Philadelphia.
In 2017, Ms. Qin played the erhu with Danish cellist Steve Kramer and American pianist Lance Wiseman to premiere ”Mountain Stream,” a composition by Ms. Qin, at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia. In addition, Wang, her student, won the gold medal in the "Super Baby" competition organized by China Central Television and others.
The following year, Ms. Qin participated in the Port City Music Festival in Wilmington, N.C., teaming with violinist Luigi Mazzocchi, cellist Stephen Framil, and pianist Daniel Lau in a concert of Chinese and Western music. With Russian violinist Sasha Ki, she also gave a special performance at the Mid-Autumn Evening Party at the University of Delaware. In addition, she participated in famous Chinese composer Wang Liping's global stop in Philadelphia. Her performance of "A Windy, Rainy Evening by the Autumn Window,” with guzheng player Wang Junling, was well-received.
Also in 2018, the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News published a feature article, by Bethany Ao, entitled "Notes Of Old,” centering on Ms. Qin. The article explored the spread of the erhu and Chinese music in the United States over the years. In addition, her student Wang, visiting New York, won the gold medal in the "Teen’s Talent Show,” organized by American Chinese TV. Finally, Ms. Qin was a guest instructor and performer for an international music class at the world-famous Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
There are no borders in music, and Qin Qian’s work has become a bridge for cultural interchange. She wishes more people would enjoy the erhu and learn to play it, and would like to see this traditional instrument become ever more popular in the United States.
Paul Miller is a music theorist, pedagogue and performer specializing in music. Before joining the musicianship department of the Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne University in 2015, he served as a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell University and on the faculties of the University of Colorado in Boulder and Temple University.
Paul has presented research at numerous national and regional conferences, and his work has been published in Perspectives of New Music, the American Music Research Center Journal, Twentieth-Century Music, Music and Letters and Opera Quarterly. Further work has appeared in Early Music and the MLA Association’s Notes. An expert on the remarkable music of Karlheinz Stockhausen, Paul studied with the composer for six summers and premiered his solo viola work "In Freundschaft" in Europe and the United States. Paul's research has centered on the unusual spatial dimension of Stockhausen's music as well as the phenomenon of metric complexity. In addition, he has extensively studied viola d’amore music in Bohemian and Moravian manuscripts.
As a performer, Paul has appeared at the Metropolitian Museum of Art in New York City, the Library of Congress, the National Cathedral in Washington D.C., the Darmstadt International Festival for New Music, the Bethlehem Bach Festival, the Hawai`i Performing Arts Festival and with ensembles such as El Mundo and Tempesta di Mare. He has collaborated in chamber music concerts with Richard Savino and Jory Vinikour, both Grammy® award nominees. During his tenure as a fellow at Cornell, Paul led the Baroque Orchestra there and studied with Neal Zaslaw, Christopher Hogwood and Malcolm Bilson. Paul also performs on a five-string electric violin built by the firm Zeta.
Since 2016, Paul has invested an extraordinary amount of time and effort into acquiring an impressive array of music technology skills. From assembling his own DIY synthesizer modules, to creating an interspecies interactive multimedia eco-sound installation using Max/MSP, to presenting a series of live demonstrations using modular synthesizers and Max/MSP/Jitter in Duquesne's biomedical engineering program, to creating innovative interactive pedagogical applications for in-class use using the Bach/Cage packages for Max/MSP, Paul has rapidly repositioned himself as a vital resource and innovator in the field of electronic music while breaking new ground by integrating cutting-edge technology into the classroom.
As a pedagogue with over 20 years of classroom experience, Paul enjoys teaching everything from fundamental skills such as solfege, voice-leading, counterpoint and harmony to more advanced topics such as Schenkerian analysis and post-tonal theory. His students hold full-time and tenured positions at James Madison University, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the San Francisco Conservatory and other top-tier institutions throughout the country. He holds a Ph.D. from the Eastman School of Music and a Master's in viola performance (Eastman). Paul's undergraduate studies were at Vassar College, New England Conservatory and Harvard University.