La Bernardinia Baroque Ensemble
Rainer Beckmann, a native of Germany, performs with a large variety of early music ensembles in the Philadelphia Tri-State area. He is a founding member of La Bernardinia Baroque Ensemble and a member of Vox Renaissance Consort. As featured soloist and guest musician, he has appeared with Camerata Ama Deus, Melomanie, Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra, The Bach Choir of Bethlehem, Tempesta di Mare Baroque Orchestra, Piffaro – The Renaissance Band, Buxtehude Consort, Curtis Opera, West Jersey Chamber Music Society, and Early Music New York. Rainer is a first-prize winner at the Holland Open Recorder Festival Competition and the Performance Contest of the Dutch Concert Agency. As a founding member of Il Flauto Giocoso and the Landini Consort, he performed in Germany, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Italy, and Israel. In Brazil, he taught recorder and music history at the State University of Ceará for five years, and collaborated with the ensembles Ad Libitum and Syntagma that specialize in early music as well as Brazilian popular and traditional music. Rainer is the director of the Greater Philadelphia Area Recorder Academy and the Lancaster Recorder Academy. He became the music director of the Philadelphia Recorder Society in 2011 and recently joined the Community College of Philadelphia as an adjunct faculty. Rainer is a graduate of the Utrecht School of the Arts, Netherlands, where he studied recorder with Heiko ter Schegget, Baldrick Deerenberg, and Marion Verbruggen.
Donna Fournier plays viola da gamba and baroque cello with Mélomanie and Triomphe de l'Amour and has been a guest artist with such groups as Opera Lafayette, Tempesta di Mare, Brandywine Baroque, 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." She specializes in repertoire from the French Baroque period as well as works featuring solo viola da gamba by J.S. Bach. Donna has recorded Buxtehude cantatas for PGM, Telemann trio sonatas for the 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 Meyers Music. Her most recent recording of a new work for solo gamba and harpsichord by local composer Mark Rimple will be released by Mark this concert season.
Marcia Kravis has performed numerous solo and ensemble recitals, primarily in the Philadelphia area. She is a graduate of New England Conservatory of Music where she studied with John Gibbons. She taught harpsichord to students at the University of Pennsylvania, Swarthmore College and Bryn Mawr College and currently teaches harpsichord privately at her studio in Philadelphia. She has accompanied master classes by Julianne Baird, Marion Verbruggen, Han Tol, Sandra Miller and Saskia Coolen. Marcia was a music and drama specialist at The Philadelphia School from 1983-2006 and is the author/composer of several children’s musicals. She continues to work as a drama consultant at The Philadelphia School and at The Friends School Haverford. She also works as a Certified Music Practitioner, playing the hammered dulcimer for patients, staff and visitors in hospice and hospital settings.
Stephen Bard has specialized in historical oboes for the past 20 years. A member of Portland Baroque Orchestra, he performs with many of North America's finest historically-oriented ensembles including Tafelmusik, Philharmonia Baroque, American Bach Soloists, Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra, Ensemble Arion, Tempesta di Mare, Mercury, and many others. His playing can be found on dozens of recordings, including discs on Chandos-Chaconne, ATMA Classique, Avie, CBC, and Naxos labels. He maintains faculty positions at the Peabody Institute and the University of Delaware. Stephen is currently based in Philadelphia where he operates Bard Historical Cane, supplying reed making materials to oboists around the globe.
Gambist and cellist Rebecca Humphrey recently moved from Melbourne, Australia where she was a founding member of Pleiades and performed regularly with the Eclectus Consort, the Australian Chamber Choir and the Australian Baroque Ensemble. Presently Rebecca lives in the Philadelphia region and performs regularly with Belladonna, Washington Bach Consort, Pan Harmonia in Asheville, NC, and is a founding member of Kleine Kammermusik and Aurelio, both based in Philadelphia. She was principle cellist with Tempesta di Mare for seven years and appeared several times with Quicksilver. Rebecca lived in Switzerland for three years where she was the principle cellist for Luzern Kammerensemble and in Basel with Capriccio Basel. Her recordings with Tempesta di Mare on the Chandos Label have received wide acclaim, and the group has toured extensively with their Handel’s “Flaming Rose,” featuring soprano Julianne Baird.
With repertoire spanning the Renaissance to the 21st century, soprano Leslie Johnson, originally from Macungie, Pennsylvania, has been featured as soloist with the Beijing National Symphony, the National Symphony Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, the New Haven Symphony, and the Springfield (MA) Symphony Orchestra. She has appeared extensively in the greater Philadelphia region as a featured soloist with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Tempesta di Mare, Riverside Symphonia, Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra, Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, Valley Vivaldi, the Gabriel Chamber Ensemble, The Philadelphia Singers, Choral Arts Philadelphia, and the Bucks County Choral Society. She appears regularly as soloist with the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, with whom she has performed more than 20 Bach cantatas and other works. She also sings chorally with The Crossing and as a member of the all-professional choir at St. Clement’s Church in Philadelphia. With a diverse vocal career that has also encompassed art song and opera, she sings regularly with Philadelphia’s Lyric Fest, has appeared at the Octobre en Normandie Festival in Rouen, France, the New York Festival of Song, Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, and the Newport Music Festival, and has performed leading roles with the Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, Portland Opera, Wolf Trap Opera Company, Lake George Opera Festival, Glimmerglass Opera, and others. She holds music degrees from Westminster College (PA), the Hartt School, and the Yale School of Music.
Anna Marsh is a Baroque wind specialist, who is also fluent in Renaissance, Classical and Modern instruments. Her interests lie principally in the double‐reed family, though she also performs on the Renaissance and Baroque recorder. This year she will be a featured soloist with the Boulder Bach Festival and New York State Baroque. Originally from Tacoma, WA, Anna appears regularly with Opera Lafayette (DC), Tempesta di Mare (Philadelphia), Ensemble Caprice (Montreal), Clarion Society (NYC), and Arion Orchestre Baroque (Montreal), Tafelmusik (Toronto), Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Washington Bach Consort (DC), and Musica Angelica (LA), among others. She has been the featured soloist with the Foundling Orchestra with Marion Verbruggen, Arion Orchestre Baroque, The Buxtehude Consort, The Dryden Ensemble, The Indiana University Baroque Orchestra and others. She co‐directs Ensemble Lipzodes and has taught both privately and at festivals and master classes at the Eastman School of Music, Los Angeles Music and Art School, the Amherst Early Music, and Hawaii Performing Arts Festivals and the Albuquerque, San Francisco Early Music Society and Western Double Reed Workshop. She has also been heard on Performance Today, Harmonia and CBC radio and recorded for Chandos, Analekta, Centaur, Naxos, the Super Bowl, Avie, and Musica Omnia. Marsh has studied music and German studies at Mt. Holyoke College, The Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California and Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.
Paul Miller as performed on Baroque string instruments throughout the United States and Germany. He has lectured at and performed on instruments at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Other notable solo engagements have been in Munich, Germany, with the National Cathedral in Washington, DC and the Bethlehem Bach Festival in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He will be performing as a viola d'amore soloist with the Philadelphia ensemble Vox Ama Deus in 2012, and as a violinist, violist and viola d'amore soloist with Early Music Colorado and Boulder-based Ensemble Seicento in fall 2011. Miller is currently collaborating on a recording project that will chart the history of the viola d'amore over three centuries, with Thomas Georgi of the Canadian-based Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra.
Miller is a committed music educator as well as a performer. The Boulder-based ensemble "Pearl," which he founded in early 2011 has provided extensive performance opportunities for five students during its first year of existence, and will be the ensemble-in-residence of St. John's Episcopal Cathedral in Denver, Colorado.
Currently serving on the music theory faculty of the University of Colorado in Boulder, Miller holds a PhD from the Eastman School of Music (Rochester, NY), a Master's in viola performance (Eastman), and a Bachelor's degree from Vassar College (Poughkeepsie, NY). Miller studied at Harvard University and the New England Conservatory (Cambridge and Boston) during his undergraduate degree. His research is forthcoming in an issue of Perspectives of New Music.
Leon Schelhase, a native of Cape Town, South Africa, is a recipient of the American Bach Soloists’ prestigious Goldberg Prize. His solo performances have been praised as “exquisite” and filled with “virtuosity” by The Boston Musical Intelligencer, and his continuo playing described as revealing “ clean and clear lines… always distinct within the surrounding textures. ”
Mr. Schelhase holds a Bachelor of Music with Honors from the University of Cape Town, and a Master’s Degree in Historical Performance from Boston University where he was a student of Peter Sykes. He currently resides in Philadelphia where he performs with Old City Music, Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Bach Festival Orchestra, New York State Baroque, and Pegasus Early Music (Rochester). He was a participant in the American Bach Soloists 2010 Academy, and was the continuo accompanist fellow at the Baroque Performance Institute in Oberlin.