Early Music

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Asako Hirabayashi

Asako Hirabayashi

Education: She holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in composition from the Aichi Art University in Japan and Doctoral degree in harpsichord performance from the Juilliard School.

A harpsichordist and composer, Asako Hirabayashi's first recording on Albany Label, whose program is entirely composed and played by herself, was selected as one of the 5 best classical CDs of the year 2010 by Minneapolis Star Tribune and received 7 favorable reviews internationally. She won numerous grants and awards including the 2009-2010 McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians and 2 Minnesota State Arts Board’s Artist Initiative grants as a soloist. As a composer, she has won 2016 McKnight Fellowship for Composers, several first prizes in competitions such as Alienor International Harpsichord Composition Competition (won the 6th, 7th and 8th consecutively) and NHK International Song Writing Competition in Japan and was awarded the 2012 Jerome Fund for New Music by American Composers Forum to write an opera. She has appeared as a featured guest soloist in international festivals and concert series worldwide since her New York debut recital at Carnegie Hall. She holds a Doctoral degree from the Juilliard School. 

“A superb player, is also a gifted creator of music” (The Diapason, 2010),

“A strong case for her instrument's third-millennium credentials…the best harpsichordist. A delight!”(Minneapolis Star Tribune, 2010)

“Her contemporary harpsichord music is ingenious, fanciful, diverse and unpretentious… I admit I’ve never been a fan of the harpsichord, she has changed all that for me and awakened me to the idea that a composer can reinvent an instrument…” (Fanfare, 2010)“ 

“…Asako Hirabayashi brings us enticing music and outstanding performances on this impressive recording. (International Alliance for Women in Music, 2011)  

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Cléa Galhano

Cléa Galhano

Education: BM, College Santa Marcelina, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Composition Studies, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil; MM, New England Conservatory of Music, Fulbright Scholar; Post Graduate Studies, The Royal Conservatory of Music – The Hague, Netherlands

nternationally renowned recorder player Clea Galhano is an accomplished performer of early, contemporary and Brazilian music. Galhano has performed in the United States, Canada, South America and Europe as a chamber musician, collaborating with recorder player Marion Verbruggen, Belladonna,Lanzelotte/Galhano Duo and the Galhano/ Montgomery Duo and Jacques Ogg.As a featured soloist, Galhano has worked with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra conducted by Christopher Hogwood , Nicholas McGegan and Emmanuelle Haim, Lyra Baroque Orchestra and New World Symphony. Among other important music festivals, Ms. Galhano has performed at the Boston Early Music Festival, and the Tage Alter Music Festival in Germany. A popular teacher and ensemble director, Galhano regularly conducts workshops across the United States and Brazil.

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Jean Allison Olson

Jean Allison Olson

Education: BA, Bethel College; Graduate Studies in musicology, University of Minnesota

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Julie Elhard

Julie Elhard

Education: BA, Concordia College; Performing Artist’s Certificate, The Royal Conservatory of Music – The Hague, Netherlands

Julie Elhard, viola da gamba, appears regularly as a soloist and chamber musician and has made several appearances with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, including the St. Matthew Passion by Bach under the direction of Nicholas McGegan. She has been a guest artist with Apollo’s Fire in Cleveland and is a founding member of Violes Egales and Glorious Revolution Baroque. Ms. Elhard was awarded a 2011 Artist’s Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. She also received a Jerome Foundation grant to study vielle and early string playing with Margriet Tindemans and received a Performing Artist Certificate from the Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague, Netherlands. She has taught at workshops in North America and at the Viola da Gamba Society of America’s national Conclaves. Ms. Elhard currently teaches viola da gamba at Macalester College, and also at the St. Paul Conservatory of Music where she has developed a Suzuki-style approach for children to learn the viola da gamba.

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Marc Levine

Marc Levine

Education: Doctor of Musical Arts, Stony Brook University; Master and Bachelor of Music Indiana University

Marc Levine’s (violin) versatile performances have been described as “eloquent as well as technically superb combining technical mastery with emotional perceptiveness and beautiful sound” (Southampton Press). He is artistic director of the Southampton Cultural Center Chamber Music Series, has performed at Carnegie Hall and Symphony Space, and has been a member of several notable groups including the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, and The New Tango Project, with whom he recorded in collaboration with the Center for Contemporary Opera. As a baroque violinist, Marc was a prizewinner in the 2008 American Bach Soloists International Competition for Baroque Violin and has performed with top baroque ensembles, including Concert Royal, the Lyra Baroque Orchestra, the Aulos Ensemble, and Early Music New York, a group with which he has served as principal 2nd violin and recorded on the Ex Cathedra label. Marc is a founding member of the baroque ensemble Flying Forms, known for innovative, interdisciplinary performances and considered “names to watch” (Berkshire Review for the Arts) and “the bright future of early music” (Arthur Haas, harpsichord).Marc teaches privately and is on the faculty of the Saint Paul Conservatory of Music. His teachers include Pamela Frank, Ani Kavafian, and Franco Gulli. On baroque violin, Marc has played in master class or studied privately with: Cynthia Roberts, Monica Huggett, Robert Mealy, Dana Maiben, Marc Destrubé, Michael Sand, and Elizabeth Blumenstock.

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