Washington Early Music Festival 2005 I Bambini di Parnasso


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Alisa Marie Grundmann's adventurous spirit has led her to perform many different styles of music. This year she premiered two new works which included an opera at NYC's Symphony Space. During graduate studies at the Peabody Conservatory, her roles with the Peabody Opera Theater and Chamber Opera included Hilary in Daniel Crozier's The Reunion, La Conversation in Charpentier's Les Plaisirs des Versailles, La Principessa in Puccini's Suor Angelica, La Messagiera in Monteverdi's Orfeo, and Bessie in Kurt Weill's Mahagonny Songspiel. Also with the assistance of Roger Brunyate, she and baritone Ryan de Ryke compiled and staged the cabaret Kurt Weill and Jaques Brel on Love and War. At the Amherst Early Music Festival this summer, Ms. Grundmann appeared as an alto soloist in Praetorius and Scheidt: Brass, Reeds, and Voices as well as performing in a staged version of Carmina Burana. Past concert credits include Bach's Magnificat, St. John Passion, and Kantate Nr. 82, Mozart's Credo Mass, The Messiah and Judas Maccabaeas. Her other major roles include Ottone in L'incoronazione di Poppea, Hansel, Tessa in The Gondoliers, and the title role in Iolanthe. She is a Presser Scholar as well as winner of the Bradley University Concerto/Aria Competition, Benton-Schmidt Vocal Scholarship Competition, SAI Summer Performance Grant, Jane Birkhead Performance Grant, Peabody Merit Scholarship and Career Development Grant, and the Maryland Opera Society Vocal Arts Competition. This fall she will present a recital in honor of St. Cecilia at Immaculate Conception Church in Towson, MD, sang the alto solos in the Bach Magnificat in the Arts at Messiah concert series, and appear with Seven Times Salt, an English consort that recently made news at Boston's SoHIP festival. Finally, this summer she will finish a broadcast recording project with the Montgomery County Composers' Society and a personal project recording Sorbian folks songs.

Charles Weaver, lute and baroque guitar, first took an interest in the lute while a guitar student at Peabody Conservatory. Since that time he has performed and recorded with Ignoti Dei Opera, the Orchestra of the Seventeenth Century, the Choir of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and the New York Continuo Collective. He has been a featured soloist with the Richmond Symphony in Bach's St John Passion. Currently he is pursuing a bachelor's degree in early music at Peabody Conservatory, where he is a member of the Peabody Renaissance Ensemble, the Peabody Baroque Ensemble, and the Peabody Consort and where he studies with Mark Cudek. He has also studied with Ronn McFarlane and Patrick O'Brien.

Mahan Esfahani, hailed as an 'extraordinarily nimble-fingered' exemplar of 'bravura playing' (San Francisco Classical Voice), is finishing his B.A. in musicology at Stanford University and is active across the United States as a harpsichordist and organist, most notably with the critically-acclaimed Ciaramella Ensemble for 15th-century music. In addition to distinguishing himself as an active solo musician and collaborative player, Esfahani has also had a succesful start to a musicological career and has published and presented musicological papers on subjects ranging from the study of music theory in the Medieval Islamic world to the music of early Renaissance keyboard collections, and more recently has been examining the emergence of Italian Romantic Opera for his final thesis in musicology. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships, and has appeared at the Bloomington, Oberlin BPI, and Amherst Festivals, and has performed with numerous groups, including Ciaramella, the Whole Noyse, A Due Canti, and Berkeley's B.A.C.H. Ensemble. Mahan can be heard on the Naxos label, performing as a soloist with the Ciaramella ensemble.

I Bambini di Parnasso will perform 'Swan Song: The last gasp of Iberian early music' at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Capitol Hill, on Wednesday, June 22, at 7:30 PM. (Back to Schedule)