Baroque Mississippi Diamonds features five composers from two continents and two centuries, ranging from Venetian opera houses, to the music by J.S. Bach, to arias and processional songs from Catholic missions in South America.
The melting pot of the Twin Cities is featured by music by J.S. Bach, A. Vivaldi and unknown composers like Jean-Baptiste Stuck, performed by five musicians and a singer born in 6 different countries, who all wind up in Minnesota for this unique project. The well-known mezzo-soprano Nerea Berraondo will join the Bach Society of Minnesota for the duration of this colorful program.
Nerea Berraondo – mezzo-soprano
born in Spain
Nerea Berraondo has performed principal opera roles such as Adrastro and Creusa in Demofonte (Gluck) at Theatre an der Wien in Vienna; Lucio in Catone in Utica (Vivaldi) at Theatre des Champs Elysees in Paris. Ms. Berraondo has worked with early music conductors and orchestras including Eduardo López Banzo, Rinaldo Alessandrini, Alan Curtis, Marcelo di Lisa, Josetxu Obregón, and Marian Rosa Montagut. Recently she has recorded Biagio Marini’s vocal music with her Ensemble Aldatu on the Arsis recording label and Demofonte by Gluck with Il Complesso Barocco conducted by Alan Curtis. Ms. Berraondo has won international prizes and competitions including Juventudes Musicales de España and Julián Gayarre International Singing Competition. In 2012 she was bestowed a Merit Award by the Centro Nacional de Difusión Musical (CNDM). She shared that season with soloists Ceclia Bartoli and Jordi Savall.
Matthias Maute – recorder, traverso
born in Germany
JUNO Award-winning Matthias Maute has achieved an international reputation as a conductor, composer, recorder and flute player. He is widely recognized for creating and leading ingenious and captivatingly original programs with Ensemble Caprice, the orchestra he conducts in Montreal. He tours extensively with the ensemble, frequently
performing in prestigious festivals around the globe. The New York Times describes Ensemble Caprice as “an ensemble that encourages the listener to rehear the world.” He also has conducted the world’s leading baroque orchestras, including Seattle Baroque, Cleveland Baroque Orchestra, Apollo’s Fire, and the Magnificat Baroque Ensemble.
Maute won the JUNO Award—the Canadian equivalent of a Grammy—for Best Classical Album of the Year (Vocal or Choral Performance) for Gloria! Vivaldi”s Angels on the Analekta label. His recording of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos juxtaposed with his own arrangements of Preludes from Shostakovich’s Op. 87 was hailed by The New Yorker’s Alex Ross “for its fleet, characterful approach” and “its fresh, vibrant colors.” Forty-nine movements of Matthias Maute’s compositions are featured in 49 videos on noncerto.com. Maute has made some 20 recordings on the Analekta, Vanguard Classics, Bella Musica, Dorian, Bridge and ATMA Classique labels.
Based in Montreal, Matthias Maute is co-artistic director of the Montreal Baroque Festival. He currently teaches at l’Université de Montreal and McGill University.
Cléa Galhano – recorder, traverso
born in Brazil
Brazilian recorder player Cléa Galhano is an internationally renowned performer of early, contemporary and Brazilian music. Galhano has performed in the United States, Canada, South America and Europe as a chamber musician and soloist. Among several important halls, Clea gave concerts at Wigmore Hall, London, Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, New York and Palazzo Santa Croce in Rome, always receiving acclaimed reviews. Ms. Galhano recently received the prestigious McKnight fellowship award, MSAB Cultural collaborative and MSAB Arts Initiative. She is the Music Director of the Recorder Orchestra of the Midwest, the Executive Artistic Director of the St. Paul Conservatory of Music and a faculty member at Macalester College. Ms. Galhano has 8 recordings available and she is the recipient of the National Arts Associate of Sigma Alpha Iota.
Tulio Rondón – baroque cello
born in Venezuela
Tulio Rondón, performs throughout the United States, Europe, and North and South America as a soloist and chamber musician. Known for his vivid depth, passionate performances and strong leadership, he started his professional life early, as principal cellist of the Aragua Symphony Orchestra in Venezuela, which he helped found at the age of fifteen. He was appointed adjunct professor of cello at the Simón Bolivar Conservatory (Maracay, Venezuela) at just seventeen, the youngest to teach there. Since then, Tulio Rondón’s performance career has taken him all over the world, sharing the stage with internationally celebrated artists such as Gil Shaham, Paul Katz, James Tocco, the Hagen String Quartet, Pacifica String Quartet, and the Miro String Quartet. Rondón’s current performance activities include solo performances of Shostakovich cello concerto No. 1, Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations, Walton cello concerto, Schnittke cello concerto No. 1, and Lutovslawski cello concerto.
Ziya Tabassian – percussion
born in Italy/raised in Iran
Ziya Tabassian began playing the tombak (Iranian drum) at the age of ten. After a brief initiation period in Iran, he continued his autodidactic training in Quebec, his adopted homeland. A tireless traveller, he is continuing his personal research in advanced courses with Bahman Rajabi (Teheran), Aziz Alami (Fez), Trichy Sankaran (Toronto), Mısırli Ahmet (Istanbul), Shree Sundarkumar and Yogesh Samsi (India). As a percussionist, Ziya Tabassian is professionally active in early music (medieval, Renaissance and Baroque), as well as contemporary, current and world music. He performs with the Ensemble Caprice and other ensembles in almost 40 countries in prestigious festivals and concert halls. Supported by the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Canada Council for the Arts, he has many albums to his credit on some major labels. He has also performed in recordings by the Kronos Quartet.
Phillip Rukavina – lute, vihuela
born in the USA
Phillip Rukavina performs nationally and internationally as a lute and vihuela soloist, ensemble performer, and as a continuo lutenist. He is a founding member of the Venere Lute Quartet, the Chambure Vihuela Quartet, and the Terzetti Lute Duo. He has performed with numerous singers and instrumental ensembles, including the Newberry Consort, the Rose Ensemble, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the New World Symphony, among others. Phillip has been a regular faculty member at the Lute Society of America’s biannual Summer Seminars. He directed the event in 2008, 2010 and 2012. Phillip has also taught at and directed the lute program at the Amherst Early Music Festival in New London, Connecticut in 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2011. He has performed throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Phillip has three solo lute recordings to his credit, including his Studio395 release, Music from the Casteliono Lutebook 1536.