ABOUT THE PERFORMERS
Constance Whiteside, Artistic Director and medieval, renaissance
and baroque harps, performs and discusses music from the 12th through 17th centuries on historical re-creations
of harps that existed when this music was new. In her lectures and performances,
she describes and demonstrates the special tunings, stringing and techniques used on these harps. Her various harps include
a gothic style medieval harp, the ”Bosch” harp, made by Rainer Thurau of Germany, a single row renaissance harp,
the “Boston”, re-created from a 17th century original now in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and a
baroque double-strung harp re-created from an original 17th C. instrument in a museum in Brussels, and a triple-strung
baroque harp. A highly knowledgeable specialist, scholar and performer on historic
harps, she has performed at the Berkeley and Boston Early Music Festivals and with such acclaimed groups as Chanticleer.
Originally trained on modern pedal harp by Anne Adams, she continues free-lance pedal harp performance in the Washington
D.C. area. Dr. Whiteside, a physician and graduate
of Stanford University, and former tenured
faculty in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of California Davis, was a founding member of Musica Coelorum, a medieval ensemble based in northern
California and is a founding member of Armonia Nova. She performs on baroque harp with the Orchestra of the 17th Century and
the Washington Cornett & Sackbutt Ensemble. She is former Chair of the Historical
Harp Survey, a research project designed documenting harps built before 1945, and former Editor of the Historical Harp Society
Barbara Hollinshead, mezzo-soprano, has had career high
points singing Bach at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, Monteverdi at San Marco in Venice
and the St. Matthew Passion one-to-a-part with Tafelmusik in Toronto.
She has appeared with many of the East Coast’s finest early music groups, including Chatham Baroque, the Four Nations
Ensemble, The Washington Bach Consort, and The New York Collegium, and has sung under the baton of eminent conductors such
as Christopher Hogwood and Andrew Parrott. She also performs extensively in Manhattan and its
environs as a member of the NY-based chamber group ARTEK which received audience ovations and critical acclaim at its performance
in the Regensburg (Germany)
Festival for Early Music. Ms. Hollinshead began her vocal studies at her opera-singing mother’s knee, and as an adult
has studied with coaches in New York, Washington, and with
Max Van Egmond in the Netherlands. Her
discography includes recordings of solo lute songs with lutenist Howard Bass, Renaissance Spanish and Sephardic music with
La Rondinella, and works by Mrs. H.H. Beach.
Ms. Hollinshead rounds out her musical contributions with educational endeavors as professor of voice at American University, a leader of master classes
on Renaissance and Baroque styles and a cast member of "Bach to School." When not performing, you can find her judging dive
competitions and proudly listening to her sons sing at evensong services.
Jay White, countertenor, has enjoyed a variety of performing experiences ranging from the works of medieval
and Renaissance composers to the Baroque masters to contemporary compositions. As
a soloist he has appeared with the Washington National Cathedral Choir, Grace Cathedral Choir (San Francisco), Indiana University
Opera Theatre and Pro Arte Singers, the BOMB Ensemble, Bimbetta, Ensemble Mirable, Smithsonian Players, Tafelmusik and the
Seattle and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestras among others. His opera credits include
Pisandro in Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse, Secretary No. 3 in Adam’s Nixon in China,
and Giasone in Cavalli’s Il Giasone. Trained by Drew Minter, Michael
Chance, Paul Elliott, and Linda Mabbs, Mr. White has been hailed by the London
Times as “a counter tenor of rare tone”. Mr. White sang
eight seasons with the two-time (1999 & 2002) GRAMMY® Award-winning ensemble Chanticleer, travelling to over 40 states
and 15 countries, and sharing the stage with Frederica von Stade, Dawn Upshaw, the San Antonio, Atlanta and Virginia Symphonies,
the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. He can be heard
on the Angel/EMI, Focus, New Albion, and Teldec labels.
Michael Holmes, early winds, began his career as
a professional French hornist, but has gradually shifted his interests toward early music performance and conducting. He has performed on various historical instruments including recorders and sackbut,
with ensembles such as Stylus Luxurians, the Washington Bach Consort, the Bach Sinfonia, the Washington Baroque Trio, and
Abendmusiken at the Amherst Early Music Festival. He received coaching in early
music performance from Daniel LaSalle, Jean-Pierre Canihac, Wim Becu and William Dongois. Mr. Holmes serves as music director
and principal conductor of the Orchestra of the 17th Century and as artistic director of the Washington Cornett
and Sackbutt Ensemble, one of the USA’s
premiere period brass ensembles. He has performed extensively as a conductor
in Europe, leading symphonic and opera performances with ensembles in Finland,
the Czech Republic, Romania, Poland, and Bulgaria. While
continuing his performing career, Mr. Holmes is pursing his PH.D in Musicology at the University of Maryland, where he has recently
been appointed as Director of the UMCP Collegium Musicum.
Vera Kochanowsky, alto, is a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory,
and holds advanced degrees in early music studies from New England Conservatory and Stanford
University. An accomplished
singer, she relishes the performance of early music and has sung with Musikanten, Musica Antiqua, and Collegium Cantorum. She combines a knowledge of singing performance and language pronunciation appropriate
to the medieval and Renaissance periods. In
1998 she founded the vocal ensemble CARMINA which is devoted to exploring vocal styles before 1700. Since moving to the Washington D.C.
area in 1991, she has also performed extensively as a harpsichordist, both as a soloist and as a chamber musician, and currently
performs as keyboard artist with the Bach Sinfonia and The Washington Kantorei. Her
first recording, Pour 2 clavecins, with harpsichordist Thomas MacCracken, was released by Titanic Records in 1999.
Douglas Wolters, vielle and viols, performs in the metropolitan Washington, DC area on historical and modern stringed instruments including baroque cello, the viola
da gamba, and vielle. Mr. Wolters is the principal cellist of The Bach Sinfonia and the Gettysburg Chamber Orchestra and is
a founding member of the baroque ensemble L’Arabesque. Recent performances
include a performance of the Bach Cello Suites at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater to accompany Tony Powell’s original
choreography for his ballet company, recitals on the viola da gamba highlighting the French, German, and English baroque,
the Haydn C Major Cello Concerto with the Mount Vernon Chamber Orchestra, and a Vivaldi cello concerto with The Bach Sinfonia. As a member of the critically acclaimed
Cezanne Trio, he performed a series of concerts at the Embassy of the Czech
Republic, focusing on new Czech music. He has appeared in recitals at Alice Tully Hall in
New York, and in Washington
at the Phillips Collection, the Corcoran Gallery, and the Smithsonian Institution with the Smithsonian Chamber Players. Mr.
Wolters also served as associate principal cellist of the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra for six years. A graduate of New England Conservatory, Mr. Wolters studied cello with Mihaly Virizlay and viola da gamba
with Gian Lyman Silbiger. He has recorded for Orion and Northeastern. In addition to performing, Mr. Wolters teaches stringed
instruments in the Fairfax County, VA school system and maintains a private studio.