Medieval & Renaissance Faculty


Anne Azéma, voice
Vicente Chavarria, voice and guitar
Adam Gilbert, Workshop Director, recorder and double reeds
Bianca Hall, voice
Shira Kammen, vielle and fiddle
Vicente La Camera Mariño, harps
Mary Springfels, viola da gamba
Wouter Verschuren, recorder and double reeds

Anne Azéma, voice

Anne AzémaFrench-born vocalist, scholar, and teacher Anne Azéma directs The Boston Camerata and the French ensemble Aziman and is co-founder of the Camerata Mediterranea. L’Union-Reims (France) praises her “charismatic leadership.” Since assuming the directorship of The Boston Camerata in 2008, she has created a series of new production acclaimed by press and public alike, including a suite of five new medieval programs pressented in celebration of the 800th anniversary of the Reims Cathedral in France in June 2012. her current discography of 35 recordings (Grand Prix du Disque, Edison Prize) includes five widely acclaimed solo CD recitals. Anne Azéma tours internationally as a vocal soloist and is in demand as a solo recitalist, presenting her original programs to audiences in North America, Europe and Asia. She has contributed articles to scholarly and general audience publications. In 2010, Anne Azéma was named Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government. She has taught at master classes, seminars, and residencies at conservatories and universities in France, Holland and the U.S.

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Vicente Chavarria, voice and guitar

vchavarriaConductor and composer Vicente Chavarria currently serves as Artistic Director of early music ensembles Flos Campi and La Monarca, both based at USC in Los Angeles, as well as Director of the Gloria Dei Choir in La Habra, California. He has recently premiered works by several Southern California composers with various ensembles and collaborated with the St. John’s Cathedral Choir for the a Getty Foundation presentation. He has prepared ensembles for Alberto Grau, Adam Knight Gilbert, Scott Seaton, Cristian Grases, and Ruben Valenzuela. Mr. Chavarria has composed and arranged music for several artists and ensembles, including GRAMMY-award winning vocal ensemble Chanticleer, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Sir James Galway, soprano Helen Donath, and various ensembles at the University of Miami, University of Southern California, and Clemson University. His music is published by Santa Barbara Music Publishing, Alliance Music, and Augsburg Fortress.

Mr. Chavarria holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Miami-Frost School of Music, where he taught a course in Introductory Musicology. He founded and led the Fra Angelico Chamber Choir and the Sibelius Camerata for four years, performing diverse early and modern repertoire (including the Miami premiere of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo). He also served as Artistic Director of Amazonia Vocal Ensemble for two years. He was cover conductor for the Schumann Chamber Orchestra and Existential Orchestra while at UM and premiered a short work by James Progris with the UM-Frost Symphony Orchestra. He made his international debut in 2008, conducting the Sinfonia Bucharest in Romania. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Early Music Performance at the University of Southern California, studying with Adam Knight Gilbert, Rotem Gilbert, Jason Yoshida, and Rachelle Fox, and serves as Teaching Assistant for the USC-Thornton Baroque Sinfonia. With USC, he has appeared regularly at the Boston and Berkeley Early Music Festivals. He has performed with Bach-Collegium San Diego, LASchola, the St. John’s Cathedral Choir (LA), the USC Baroque Sinfonia, USC Collegium Workshop, USC Chamber Singers, and Compline Scholars, and has guest conducted The Chamber Opera of USC, San Gabriel Valley Choral Company, Orange County Recorder Society, and Viols West. He has performed in masterclasses for Trudy Kane, Rodney Eichenberger, Andreas Scholl, Xavier Díaz-Latorre, and the Hilliard Ensemble. While at USC, he has performed as a baritone as well as on harpsichord, continuo organ, recorder, and Baroque guitar. Memberships include ASCAP and the Youth Advisory Board of Early Music America.

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Adam Gilbert, Workshop Director - recorder and double reeds

Adam photoAdam Knight Gilbert has performed and recorded on historical woodwind instruments as a member of Ensemble for Early Music, Waverly Consort, Piffaro, and is co-director of the ensemble Ciaramella, whose recent CD Dances on Movable Ground earned 5 stars by the British magazine Early Music Today and was picked the Editor’s Choice, lauded for its “expressive fluidity and rhythmic vitality”.

Adam received Fulbright and Belgian American Education Foundation Grants for study in Belgium, and completed his Ph.D. in Performance Practice at Case Western Reserve University. He has taught musicology on the faculty of Stanford University and the University of Southern California, where he is currently Associate Professor of Musicology and Director of the Early Music Program. A recipient of the 2008 Noah Greenberg Award, he specializes in historical improvisation and compositional techniques, the music of Henricus Isaac, musical symbolism, the bagpipe, and fifteenth-century chansons.

Adam is the joint recipient of Early Music America’s 2014 Thomas Binkley Award for “outstanding achievement in performance and scholarship by the director of a university or college early music ensemble.” He has been a regular faculty member at Amherst Early Music, and is the director of the San Francisco Early Music Society Medieval & Renaissance Workshop. He can be heard on Dorian, Naxos, Deutsche Grammophon’s Archiv, Passacaille, Musica Americana, Lyrichord and Yarlung labels.

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Bianca Hall, voice

hall bianca picSoprano Bianca Hall holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Early Music Vocal Performance from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, where her secondary fields of emphasis were Theory and Analysis, College Teaching, and Recorder Performance. In addition, she has received both Master of Music and Bachelor of Music degrees in Vocal Performance from CSU Fullerton and a Bachelor of Science degree in Physiological Science and English minor from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Bianca is an active early music performer and has performed in various festivals and concert series around the country, including the Boston and Berkeley Early Music Festivals and Pittsburgh’s Renaissance and Baroque Society concert series. She performs regularly with various California-based ensembles, including Tallis Chapel Society, De Angelis Vocal Ensemble, Bach Collegium San Diego, Tesserae, Ciaramella, and Pacific Bach Project. She is a co-director and founding member of Natur Early Music Ensemble, a soloist at St. Matthew’s Anglican Church in Newport Beach, and a freelance vocalist. In addition to her ensemble work, Bianca has performed the roles of Drusilla (Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea), Cherubino (Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro) and Dido and the Sorceress (Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas). She specializes in the performance of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italian florid singing and seventeenth-century English balladry. Her recordings include “D’ye Hear the News,” music to accompany 1688: The First Modern Revolution (Yale University Press, 2011), “J.S. Bach: The Six Motets BWV 225-230” with Bach Collegium San Diego (RMAP, 2010), and “Ancient Christmas Melodies” (Virlouise Records, 2006).

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Shira Kammen, vielle and fiddle

kammen shira picMulti-instrumentalist and occasional vocalist Shira Kammen has spent well over half her life exploring the worlds of early and traditional music. A member for many years of the early music Ensembles Alcatraz and Project Ars Nova, and Medieval Strings, she has also worked with Sequentia, Hesperion XX, the Boston Camerata, the Balkan group Kitka, the King’s Noyse, the Newberry and Folger Consorts, the Oregon, California and San Francisco Shakespeare Festivals, and is the founder of Class V Music, an ensemble dedicated to providing music on river rafting trips. She has performed and taught in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Israel, Morocco, Latvia, Russia and Japan, and on the Colorado, Rogue, Green, Grande Ronde, East Carson and Klamath Rivers.

Shira happily collaborated with singer/storyteller John Fleagle for fifteen years, and performs now with several groups: a medieval ensemble, Fortune’s Wheel: a new music group, Ephemeros; an eclectic ethnic band, Panacea; an English Country Dance band, Roguery,the early music ensembles Cançoniér and In Bocca al Lupo, as well as frequent collaborations with performers such as storyteller/harpist Patrick Ball, medieval music experts Margriet Tindemans and Anne Azéma, and in many theatrical and dance productions. She has worked with students in many different settings, among them teaching summer music workshops in the woods, coaching students of early music at Yale University, Case Western, the University of Oregon at Eugene, and working at specialized seminars at the Fondazione Cini in Venice, Italy and the Scuola Cantorum Basiliensis in Switzerland.

She has played on several television and movie soundtracks, including ‘O’, a modern high school-setting of Othello and ‘’The Nativity Story’, and has accompanied many diverse artists in recording projects, among them singers Azam Ali and Joanna Newsom. Some of her original music can be heard in an independent film about fans of the work of JRR Tolkien. The strangest place Shira has played is in the elephant pit of the Jerusalem Zoo. She has recently taken courses in Taiko drumming and voiceover acting.

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Vicente La Camera Mariño, harps

clairseachVicente studies and performs on medieval and Renaissance harps, particularly the Irish and Scottish clairseach of the 16th and 17th centuries, as well as early medieval Anglo-Saxon, Alemanic, and Irish lyres. His research includes repertoire, technique, and expressive performance practice. He has performed and presented workshops in the Canary Islands and mainland Spain, France, Ireland, Japan, and Paraguay. On several occasions, he has played and given master classes at the Recontres Internationales de Puivert Lutherie and Musiques Medievale at Puivert Castle, France, most recently in June 2014. In October 2014, Vicente presented his latest work on Irish and Scottish clairseach at the 8th World Harp Festival in Paraguay, where he gave concerts and master classes and discussed transcribing music from Scottish Renaissance lute manuscripts and setting it for harp.

Vicente presented music from his 2011 CD “Sleep at thy Fairy Music” in Japan in 2012; he performed concerts in numerous cities and presented a concert and lecture at the musicology department of Meijigakuin University in Tokyo. This album includes Renaissance and early Baroque music of Spain, Italy, France, and England, transcribed from lute, vihuela, and virginal scores, as well as Irish and Scottish music of the 17th century. His latest CD, “The Touching of the String,” presents Scottish and Irish music of the 17th and 18th centuries. Vicente’s CDs were described as “…exquisite….His mastery of both the Celtic Clarsach and the Renaissance Harp are evident in his elegant phrasing and delicate ornamentation. Complimenting this are the subtle counterpoint and inner voicing in all his arrangements.” (Murray Simmons, Dec. 1, 2013, on Vicente’s blog, http://harpantiqua.blogspot.com.es.)

Vicente’s interest in early medieval lyres began with Irish, Alemanic, and Anglo-Saxon iconography, particularly images of six-string lyres. Six strings can be tuned in hexachord scales, or in pentatonic scales with an octave on top. Much traditional music of the British Isles uses these tuning methods, which may have been retained from early medieval practice using lyres. Given that the clairseach has wire strings, might this also be a holdover from much earlier Irish lyres? Vicente continues to investigate ancient lyres as well as similar instruments still played in Nordic lands, including their repertoire and playing techniques.

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Mary Springfels, viola da gamba

springfels mary picMary Springfels is an American player of the viola da gamba, a highly respected professor, and director of early music programs.

She purchased her first viola da gamba while attending UCLA and began studying with the New York Pro Musica’s Judith Davidoff. She went on to join the New York Pro Musica herself, then studied with Dutch Baroque gambist Wieland Kuijken for a year.

At the suggestion of the Chicago musicologist Dr. Howard Mayer Brown, she was appointed in 1982 as musician-in-residence at the Newberry Library and given the task of organizing an early music concert program. This led to her co-founding The Newberry Consort in 1986, one of America’s best and most versatile Renaissance music groups, which has become ensemble-in-residence at the Newberry and at Northwestern University.

She remains director of the Newberry Consort. She has also played with the New York Pro Musica and the Waverly Consort as well as many other U.S. and European ensembles and is a founding member of the ensembles Elizabethan Enterprise and Les Filles de Sainte-Colombe.

She has recorded for the Harmonia Mundi USA label as member of the Newberry Consort, as a soloist in a set of Stradella solo cantatas (with Christine Brandes and Paul O’Dette) and in solo instrumental works with recorder player Marion Verbruggen. She has also appeared on the Decca, Columbia, Nonesuch, and Titanic labels.

Springfels believes in getting close to the audience, literally by performing in smaller venues, but also by teaching and educating them about the music and the theories behind performance of early music. Therefore, she is frequently found at workshops and conferences. Academically, she has taught at Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Chicago, and the Northwestern University School of Music.

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 Wouter Verschuren, recorder and double reeds

wverschurenWouter Verschuren graduated from the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. He studied baroque and classical bassoon with Donna Agrell and recorder with Michael Barker and Jeanette van Wingerden. Wouter is sought after in the Netherlands and abroad as a bassoonist, and is equally at home with repertoire ranging from the Renaissance to the Romantic. He is principal bassoonist of The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra conducted by Ton Koopman, and regularly plays with other renowned period orchestras.

In addition, he regularly appears as a soloist, and plays in numerous international chamber music ensembles such as the Caecilia-Concert, specializing in performance and research of 17th century music, and the Etesian Ensemble, which focuses on repertoire for winds and fortepiano.

He also performs regularly with fortepianist Kathryn Cok. This husband and wife team performs known and unknown repertoire for historical bassoon and keyboard. In 2009 they released a CD with unknown Sonatas by Nikolaus von Krufft that was well received by the international press.

Wouter can be heard on countless CDs. He teaches at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, The Royal College of Music in London and the Utrecht Conservatoire, and organizes the summer course Fiori Musicali for 16th and 17th music in Utrecht together with the other members of the Caecilia-Concert.

Wouter is also active as a researcher with the aim to rediscover forgotten repertoire for dulcian and (historical) bassoon. To support this project he received a grant in 2010 from the Charles Burney Fund.

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