Featured Performers - Harpsichord Heaven 2022
Leon Schelhase • Friday, April 29 at 7:30 pm
A native of Cape Town, South Africa, Leon Schelhase, found himself resonating with Baroque music from an early age. He moved to the United States in 2006 to undertake advanced musical studies and since graduating from Boston University with a Master in Music, he has been sought after as soloist and chamber musician.
Early Music America Magazine has praised Leon’s solo performances as “exquisite… and filled with virtuosity,” and as well as being a recipient of the American Bach Soloists’ prestigious Goldberg Prize he was a finalist in the Jurow International Harpsichord Competition. He has played in countries across the globe including Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Australia. With a repertoire spanning the gamut from the sixteenth-century virginalists to contemporary harpsichord music, he has been a featured artist on the international harpsichord-focused series, Clavecin en Concert in Montreal, Harpsichord Heaven at the Flint collection in Delaware, Emmanuel Music in Boston, and touring concerts with New York State Baroque. His first solo album, Phantasticus, represents his versatility in a program of music in the stylus fantasticus by diverse composers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Mr Schelhase has established a distinctive reputation for his compelling interpretations of Bach’s keyboard music.
Leon has performed and recorded with notable leaders in the Early Music field. He can be heard on the Nimbus label with violinist Libby Walfisch, a collaboration that resulted in an invitation to perform at King’s Place in London (UK). In 2009, Mr Schelhase toured Japan with famed conductor Joshua Rifkin in performances of Bach’s St Matthew Passion that were described as “epoch-making” in the Japanese press. He has also recorded on the Centaur label with Julianne Baird, and his most recent release on Acis Records is with the virtuoso wind ensemble Kleine Kammermusik, of which he is a founding member. As freelance continuo artist, he has played with both major orchestras and opera companies including the Phoenix Symphony, Chicago Opera Theatre, American Bach Soloists, and Tempesta di Mare, and with chamber ensembles House of Time (New York), Pegasus Early Music (Rochester, NY), Chatham Baroque (Pittsburgh), the Boston-based conductorless string orchestra A Far Cry, and The Philadelphia Bach Festival Orchestra.
In 2012, Leon joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music as harpsichord instructor. He has taught masterclasses at George Mason University (VA) and for Aberfoyle Baroque (DC), and has served as faculty at the Amherst Early Music Festival and accompaniment fellow at the Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin College. Leon holds a BMus (Hons) from the University of Cape Town, and a Master’s Degree in Historical Performance from Boston University where he studied with Peter Sykes.
Arthur Haas • Friday, April 29 at 8:30 pm
Arthur Haas, widely known as a performer and teacher of Baroque music, studied harpsichord with Albert Fuller at Juilliard and Alan Curtis in Berkeley and Amsterdam, as well as receiving a master’s degree in Historical Musicology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Mr. Haas is Professor of Harpsichord, Early Music Performance and Continuo at Stony Brook University and teaches harpsichord at the Yale School of Music.
After receiving the top prize in the Paris International Harpsichord Competition in 1975, he continued to live in France until 1983, performing and teaching in many of the major European early music festivals.
Mr. Haas has toured with Marion Verbruggen, Jaap ter Linden, Julianne Baird, Wieland Kuijken and Bruce Haynes. He is a member of the Aulos Ensemble as well as Empire Viols and the newly formed Gold & Glitter, touring the USA and Canada. Annual summer workshop and festival appearances include the International Baroque Institute at Longy, the Virginia Baroque Performance Workshop and the Amherst Early Music Festival, where he served as artistic director of the Baroque Academy from 2002-2012.
Kevin C. Devine performs engaging and unconventional programs in New York and across the United States. Dr. Devine has degrees from Boston University, Stony Brook University, and is pursuing a graduate diploma at The Juilliard School. He has been invited to play recitals on several concert series, including Gotham Early Music Scene and Harpsichord Heaven at the Barn at Flintwoods.
Kevin Devine • Saturday, April 30 at 1:00 pm
Janine Johnson • Saturday, April 30 at 2:30 pm
Janine Johnson performs on harpsichord and early piano, is a harpsichord builder and decorator, composer, and landscape artist. As a person with with such diverse interests, it has been a lifelong challenge to find outlets for her passions.
Ms. Johnson began her musical studies on the modern piano, and as a teenager, began playing the harpsichord as well. As a piano performance major (and two dimensional art) at California State University, Northridge, she focused on piano and harpsichord, performing on both. She began building harpsichords in earnest at this time (having made her first, at age 17), and has continued as an instrument maker ever since. For the past 26 years she has been working with renowned harpsichord builder and restorer John Phillips of Berkeley http://www.jph.us/ both as a maker and decorator.
Her performing career is primarily based in the San Francisco Bay Area where she gives numerous solo and chamber music recitals, often including original works. She composes solo and chamber music for the fortepiano and harpsichord, and was second place winner this year in the International Alienor Competition for harpsichord composition.
Gabriel Benton • Saturday, April 30 at 4:00 pm
Gabriel Benton is a keyboardist with a passion for bringing early music alive to contemporary audiences. As an undergraduate, this passion led him away from the piano to study harpsichord performance at Oberlin Conservatory. While there, he was involved in the Venice Opera Project, which brought an opera by Francesco Cavalli back to the stage in Venice for the first time since 1640. Subsequently, he obtained a Master’s degree in historical performance from the Juilliard school where he performed in concerts across the country and worked with luminaries in the field such as Jordi Savall, William Christie, Masaaki Suzuki, and Richard Egarr. He also holds a degree in organ performance from Yale’s Institute of Sacred Music, where he was organist at the University Church in Yale.
In-demand as a harpsichord soloist and continuo player, he has performed with a variety of east coast ensembles, from New World Symphony in Miami to American Baroque Orchestra in New England. He regularly performs with American Bach Soloists in San Francisco, and was involved in three of their recording projects. Gabriel has been the recipient of several awards including first place in the York Symphony Orchestra Youth Concerto Competition, the Earl Russel Award in historical performance, the Charles Ives organ scholarship, and two summer workshop scholarships from Early Music America. He currently lives in Wilmington, Delaware, where he is organist and director of music at the historic Grace United Methodist Church as well as teacher and accompanist for the Choir School of Delaware.
Catalina Vicens • Saturday, April 30 at 7:30 pm
Praised by the international press as one of the most interesting musicians in the field of early music, Catalina Vicens' dynamism and approach to historically informed performance and musicological research has led her to become one of the most versatile and sought-after historical keyboard performers and teachers of her generation.
Having specialized in performing on antique keyboard instruments (ranging from the 15th to the early 19th centuries), she has been invited to play on the oldest playable harpsichord in the world, featured in her recording “Il Cembalo di Partenope” (Diapason d’Or); the 15th-century gothic organ of St. Andreas in Ostönnen (one of the oldest and best-preserved organs in the world), as well as in a large number of prestigious collections in the UK, Europe, Japan and USA. She is also recognized for her work with medieval and renaissance keyboards, working alongside specialized instrument builders in the 'reconstruction' of new prototypes based on historical sources, and for her work alongside composers to give a new life to historical instruments.
In 2021, Vicens has been named curator of the Tagliavini Collection in Italy, one of the largest historical keyboard collections in Europe, and artistic director of Museo San Colombano in Bologna, as successor of the late Liuwe Tamminga, one of the leading experts of the Italian organ repertoire together with Maestro Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini.
Catalina is also harpsichord/research lecturer at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels (Belgium). She has been invited as Visting Professor of Harpsichord at Oberlin Conservatory (USA) and to teach master-classes at the Longy School of Music Cambridge, the Flint Antique Harpsichords Collection (USA), the Horniman Museum (UK), the Universität der Künste Berlin and the Folkwang Universität der Künste Essen (Germany), and teaches regularly at the Early Music Academy in Lunenburg (Canada), Early Music Course at Burg Fürsteneck and the International Portative Organ Festival (Germany), which she curates since 2011. She’s been invited as jury member at the Jurow International Harpsichord Competition, Mechelen Harpsichord Competition , the Dulwich Historical Keyboard Competition and the Wanda Landowska Competition Poznań.
Vicens performs and records regularly as a member of ensembles of medieval, renaissance, baroque and contemporary music in Europe, North America. In 2013 she founded ensemble Servir Antico, with whom she aims to shed light on the less-known repertoire and intellectual heritage of the humanistic period (13th-16th century) while using the concert stage to share with the audience the voices of these visionaries of the past, but also committed to using it for amplifying new voices.
Catalina Vicens, a native of Chile, started her international career at an early age. By age 20 she had already played in the main concert-halls of more than ten countries in North and South America, including the Teatro Colón de Buenos Aires Argentina, the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia and the Teatro Municipal do São Paulo. She studied modern piano at the Instituto de Música de la P. Universidad Católica de Chile, harpsichord at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, at the Musikhochschule Freiburg, and at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis as well as medieval keyboards in the latter, and contemporary music performance at the Musik Akademie Basel. She is Ph.D. candidate at Leiden University / Orpheus Institute Ghent.