MATTEO GEMOLO - TRAVERSO
Born in Venice in 1985, Matteo Gemolo is an Italian flautist, musicologist and Doctor in Music Performance (Ph.D - Cardiff University, U.K.). He has been praised as ‘one of the leading exponents’ in researching and performing contemporary music for period instruments (British Flute Society). As a flautist, his playing has been described as ‘playfully and whimsical’ (The National Flute Society), and his sound ‘surprisingly beautiful with a soft and round timbre’ (MUSICA). As a teacher he worked at the prestigious B. Marcello Conservatoire in Venice, teaching historically informed performance practice. He is often invited as a lecturer by highly regarded institutes including Royal Northern College of Music Manchester, University of Aveiro, Orpheus Instituut in Gent, University of Huddersfield, and Goldsmith University of London. He records for internationally renowned labels such as Warner Classics & Erato, Arcana and Glossa. His first solo album La Solitude à deux (Arcana, Outhere Music 2018) has been applauded by the critics as a recording of ‘pure beauty, from which emanates a rare poetry’ (Laurent Graulus - Musiq3). His latest recording Affect is no Crime. New Music for Old Instruments (Arcana – Outhere Music, 2019) obtained great recognition from top-ranked magazines including Diapason (4 diapason) and Amadeus (5 stars). He regularly collaborates with top-notch ensembles on period instruments such as Vox Luminis, Les Muffatti, Coro & Orchestra Ghislieri, Le Concert d'Anvers, BachPlus, Silete Venti! and performs on the main stages and festivals such as: Misteria Paschalia Krakow, Concertgebouw Brugge, Bozar in Brussels, Musica Sacra Maastricht, SHF in the Czech Republic, Festival Oude Muziek in Utrecht, Venice Biennale and many others. He is currently the artistic director of the Belgian collective Europa Ritrovata and music curator for Coudenberg Sound Box Fest.
CONOR GRICMANIS - VIOLIN
Raised in a farming background in rural Shropshire, England, Conor Gricmanis graduated as a Christopher Hogwood Scholar in 2020 receiving a Master’s degree in Historical Violin at the Royal College of Music, London, with Bojan Cicic. Conor also undertook his undergraduate studies in London at the Royal Academy of Music where he studied under world renowned Rachel Podger, and was a concerto soloist for Orchestre Francais Des Jeunes during this time. Conor began performing regularly with the Academy of Ancient music, Florilegium at the age of 21, and also his own ensembles, Noxwode (a baroque string band), Sylvatica (an 18th century chamber orchestra with woodwind), and Théodora (a chamber ensemble based in France specialising in 17th/18th century French repertoire), and has worked with orchestras/ensembles in Holland and in France, and was recently appointed as the new violinist for the Belgium chamber group Ensemble Ritrovata. Conor is featured on a number of world premiere recordings with ensembles such as The Illyrian Consort, the AAM, and The Restoration Consort, and is excited to be preparing his first solo album of 17th century stylus fantasticus Violin sonatas with Noxwode, and the esteemed keyboard player Timothy Roberts. He has performed around the world, including some of the finest venues, such as Wigmore Hall, Brugge Concertgebouw, and The Royal Chapel of Versailles. In Conor’s time at the Royal college of Music, he was selected as violinist to perform a twelve concert series at the Buckingham Palace, and also the leader of the Royal College of Music’s Baroque Orchestra, for concerts both in Oxford and London, include performances of Bach’s 1st Brandenburg Concerto, a CPE Bach Symphony, and the Ascension Oratorio.
BLANCA PRIETO - VIOLA
Blanca is a multifaceted musician, with and endless curiosity about artistic ways of expression from the past and the present. She began her musical training in the Conservatory from Salamanca, her hometown in Spain, where she obtained a Bachelor degree in violin performance in 2009. At that moment she discovered historical performance practice through masterclasses with violinists as Pedro Gandía, Enrico Gatti, Hiro Kurosaki or Enrico Onofri. She joined Salamanca University's baroque orchestra, where she played for several seasons. In 2012 Blanca decided to move to Belgium to continue her training as an interpreter. She entered the Royal Conservatory of Brussels to do a specialized masters in violin, and in historical performance with teachers as Mira Glodeanu, Benoît Douchy and Alessandro Moccia. She completed her two master degrees in 2016. She plays regularly in historical performance ensembles in Belgium, Holland and Spain, such as Terranova Collective, Camerata Sferica, The New Baroque Times, La Cetra, Capella Amersfoort or Orquesta Barroca Volvemos.Blanca is interested in sound research and multidisciplinary artistic creation. She has co-created projects like Blackspot (contemporary dance and baroque music), Collectif Georgette Underground (free improvisation), Duo Calambur (experimental music in baroque instruments) or Flot(t)e (electronics and acusmatic). Blanca is also interested in pedagogy and she teaches violin in several music schools in Brussels. In 2016, together with other musicians, she created ‘Dulcinea’, a project whose purpose is the diffusion of Spanish and Latin-American musical patrimony through training and interpretation, and that is currently taking place in the ‘Cervantes’ Institute of Brussels.
PHYLLIS BARTHOLOMEUS - CELLO
Coming from a family of musicians, Phyllis began playing the cello at an early age with Michel Boulanger, then continued her training with Steven Caeyers and Sarah Dupriez until 2008, when she won the Axion Classics competition of the Banque Dexia and entered the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. She joined the class of Marie Hallynck, assisted by Edmond Baert, Guy Danel and Sarah Dupriez. She obtained her Masters in cello there in 2013 with distinction. Passionate about historical interpretation and period instruments, she continued her studies in baroque cello with Hervé Douchy at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels and with Rainer Zipperling at the Lemmensinstituut Leuven. Phyllis attended masterclasses in Amsterdam, at Job Ter Haar and to deepen her knowledge of the classical and romantic repertoire, she joined the Young Orchestra of the Abbaye aux Dames in Saintes, where she received advice from Ageet Zweistra, Hilary Metzger, Alessandro Moccia, Florence Malgoire and Emmanuel Balssa. With a particular interest in chamber music, she took lessons with Guy Danel, Muhiddin Dürrüoglu, Igor Semenoff, Vincent Hepp and Wibert Aerts on the 'modern' cello. On the baroque cello, she specializes with Makoto Akatsu, Erik Van Nevel, Herman Stinders, Frank Theuns, Piet Kuijken, Bernard Woltèche and Claire Chevallier. Currently, Phyllis teaches the cello and is part of several ensembles such as Il Gardellino, BachPlus, Orchestra Van Wassenaer and Musica Gloria. She is cellist with the Sonos Ensemble.
ELIAS BARTHOLOMEUS - DOUBLE BASS
Elias Bartholomeus started the studying of double bass with Gaby Fragner and Joost Maegerman in Zaventem and in 2006 with Pascal Smet and Miguel Meulders in Anderlecht. In 2007 Elias started taking classes at the Kunsthumaniora in Brussels and later took lessons at the Kunsthumaniora with Ruben Appermont. In 2009 he was accepted as “Jeune Talent” at the Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles in the class of Christian Vander Borght. That year Elias obtained his master degree in double bass in the class of Jan Buysschaert. From a young age Elias was active in various music-groups and genres. He became a laureate of the Rotary-Breughel competition (2010) and performed the F.A. Hoffmeister (2011) and the Passione Amorosa duo for two double basses by G. Bottesini (2017) as soloist with orchestra. He gained orchestral experience in the Orkestacademie of deFilharmonie/ASO (2012), the EUYO Spring Tour (2015), the NJO Summer Tour as principal double bassist (2013 and 2016) and the Animato Foundation Orchestra (2016). He has also played with Prima la Musica, Piacevole, the Hermes ensemble, the NOB, Opera Ballet Vlaanderen and Brussels Philharmonic, and has contributed to numerous projects in Hooverphonic, Intergalactic Lovers, Ozark Henry, Film music (Live and studio work), baroque ensembles, musicals and world music. He is fix double bass player with the YES-Camerata string ensemble, the Sonos ensemble, the Antwerp Philharmonic Orchestra (principal) and recently with the Flanders Symphony Orchestra.
Lisa Kokwenda Schweiger was born in 1987 and she is a harpsichordist and actress from Germany. Her focus lies on contemporary music which she is mainly playing with the Klangforum Heidelberg, Europa Ritrovata and her Duo for Harpsichord and Percussion Two Envelopes, which was selected as ‘International Young Artist’ by Musica (Antwerp) and which is part of the Cohort new music platform, based in Brussels. She is conducting Koruso, a choir for foreigners learning Flemish, provided by Theater van A tot Z. Besides that she works as an actress in theatre plays on the street, in hospitals and for children, touring with Cliniclowns Belgium and Salibonani in Flanders and with her own company Drama Total, which won the Jury-price for its latest creation on the 4th edition of the Festival 48heures en scène! in Paris. Her activity as a harpsichordist and (musical) theatre performer brought her to many places and festivals such as Amuz and deSingel Antwerpen, STUK Leuven, Orgelpark Amsterdam, Les Ateliers Claus Brussels, Q-O2 Brussels, Miry Concertzaal and Mute festival Ghent, Festival van Vlaanderen Kortrijk, La Plage des Six Pompes Switzerland, La Gare au Theatre Vitry-Sur-Seine, MPAA Paris, Händelfestspiele Göttingen etc. She studied harpsichord, early music and singing at the royal conservatory of Brussels, at the conservatory of Hannover, Germany and concentrated on the contemporary repertoire at the Sweelink Conservatory of Amsterdam. She practiced her physical theatre skills at the International School of Theatre LASSAAD in Brussels and in several workshops with different teachers.