Early Music America Announces Annual Awards

16 May 2012

[SEATTLE, WA]-Early Music America, the national service organization for the field of early music, announces the winners of its 2012 awards recognizing outstanding accomplishments in early music. These awards will be presented at the EMA Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony at the Berkeley Festival on June 9, 2012 at 2:30 p.m. in the Drawing Room of the Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Ave., Berkeley, CA.

José Verstappen, Artistic Director of Early Music Vancouver, will receive the Howard Mayer Brown Award for lifetime achievement in the field of early music.

José Verstappen was born on the Caribbean island of Curaçao in the Netherlands Antilles, just before the start of World War II. At age sixteen, the family moved back to the Netherlands; until the age of 35 he lived in Amsterdam. In 1975 he moved to Vancouver, Canada where, after a few years, he was engaged as Manager (subsequently Executive Director, and more recently Artistic Director) with the Vancouver Society for Early Music — which later became known as Early Music Vancouver. During his tenure, Early Music Vancouver has gained increasing acclaim locally and internationally as the largest presenter of early music in Canada, and as one of the most active and innovative organizations in its field in North America. Under Verstappen’s direction over the past thirty-three years, Early Music Vancouver has presented Canada’s finest talent, as well as virtually all major international artists and ensembles working in early music — in venues ranging from the informal setting of its own 'home', the 50-seat Hodson Manor to the 2,800 seat Orpheum Theatre.

In the summer of 2000, José Verstappen and Ray Nurse of Vancouver were invited to produce Festival Vancouver’s fully-staged Baroque opera production of Monteverdi’s Orfeo — a production which became a highlight of the Festival, gaining wide international acclaim. He served again as Production Director for the performances of a second Monteverdi opera, The Coronation of Poppea, an Early Music Vancouver production presented by Festival Vancouver in the summer of 2003.

Verstappen is also proud of the educational activities of the Vancouver Early Music Programme & Festival during the summer months. This Programme has over the years become recognized as one of North America’s foremost institutes for the study and performance of early music — and has had a significant impact on the performance of early music across the continent.

José Verstappen has served on the Board of Directors of Early Music America. He has been a member of the Board of Festival Vancouver from its inception, and has also served on the Board of Directors of Blackbird Theatre in Vancouver. In 2008, José Verstappen was awarded the country's highest civilian honor, the Order of Canada, in recognition of a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Earlier this year, he became the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Arthur Haas will receive the Thomas Binkley Award for outstanding achievement in performance and scholarship by the director of a university or college early music ensemble.

Arthur Haas, harpsichordist, is one of the most sought-after performers and teachers of Baroque music in the U.S. today. Haas is professor of harpsichord and early music at Stony Brook University, where he directs the award winning Stony Brook Baroque Players, and is also on the faculty of the Mannes College of Music and Juilliard’s recently created historical performance program.

When he began teaching at Stony Brook University in the mid 1980s, the music department was known primarily for its performance and scholarship of contemporary music. There was a small Collegium Musicum, but no Baroque ensemble class. Haas started the Baroque Ensemble class in his first years at Stony Brook and has seen it grow from just a handful of students to a vibrant group of dedicated players numbering more than 30 each semester. He started a small early music series of concerts on the campus called Baroque Sundays at Three--featuring students in the class and then some outside artists as well--usually alums or young professional Baroque musicians from the NY area. To this day, that series is one of the only ways to hear fine period instrument performances on Long Island. Through some serious fundraising, he was able to procure a number of period instruments that have literally changed the lives of many students over the years. He is able to put period string, wind, and percussion instruments and bows in the hands of many of the students who enroll in the class, and some of these young musicians have gone on to become professional Baroque musicians. In 2009, the Stony Brook Baroque Players received the first ever Collegium Musicum travel grant sponsored by Early Music America, who featured the group in a fringe concert at the Boston Early Music Festival. The ensemble performed again at the 2011 BEMF—both times to very large and appreciative audiences.

Haas holds a master’s degree in historical musicology from UCLA, where he studied harpsichord with Bess Karp. He also studied with Albert Fuller at The Juilliard School and with Alan Curtis in Berkeley and in Amsterdam. He was awarded the top prize in the Paris International Harpsichord Competition in 1975, and then lived for a number of years in France, performing in many of the major European early music festivals and teaching at the Ecole Nationale de Musique in Angoulême. While in Paris, he joined the famed Five Centuries Ensemble, known for its performances and recordings of both early and contemporary music. In 1985, his formal American debut at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall was highly praised by The New York Times.

He is a member of the Aulos Ensemble, one of America’s premier early music ensembles whose recordings of Bach, Vivaldi, Telemann, and Rameau have received critical acclaim in the press. He is also a member of Empire Viols and Aula Harmoniæ. Mr. Haas participated in the first recording of the Bach Goldberg Variation Canons with Alan Curtis, and has also recorded suites for two harpsichords by Gaspard LeRoux with William Christie. His solo CD’s of Pièces de clavecin by Jean-Henry D’Anglebert, Suites de clavecin of Forqueray, music by Henry Purcell and his contemporaries, and suites of Jacquet de la Guerre and François Couperin have been widely praised. Known for his expertise as a continuo player, Mr. Haas has toured with such distinguished early music specialists as Marion Verbruggen, Jaap ter Linden, Julianne Baird, Laurence Dreyfus, Bruce Haynes, and Wieland Kuijken. In 2001, he recorded Bach’s Cantata #199 and songs of Henry Purcell with the soprano Dawn Upshaw.

Annual summer workshop and festival appearances take him to the International Baroque Institute at Longy, and the Amherst Early Music Festival, where he has served as artistic director of the Baroque Academy since 2002.

Chatham Baroque is the recipient of the Laurette Goldberg Award for lifetime achievement in early music outreach.

Founded in 1990, Chatham Baroque has for twenty-one years excited local, national and international audiences with dazzling technique and lively interpretations of 17th- and 18th- century music played on authentic instruments of the period. The trio, consisting of Andrew Fouts, Baroque violin, Patricia Halverson, viola da gamba and violone, and Scott Pauley, theorbo, lute and baroque guitar, hosts a concert series in Pittsburgh and prides itself on presenting music “off the beaten track.” The trio tours nationally and internationally, and is known for its seven CDs on the Dorian label as well as the newly-released CD Alla Luce on Chatham Baroque’s own label.

From its inception, the ensemble has been committed to educating its audiences about music from the 17th and 18th centuries. Some of the opportunities to do that, such as offering lecture demonstrations for students or community members while Chatham Baroque is on tour, have occurred countless times over the years. The group served as ensemble-in-residence over a two-year period at a Pittsburgh public elementary school and has coached university music students in Lima, Peru.

Chatham Baroque offers two regularly occurring outreach programs in Pittsburgh. The wildly popular Peanut Butter & Jam Sessions are designed especially for preschool children and their accompanying adults. Based on a model developed by the Linton Chamber Music Series in Cincinnati, Peanut Butter & Jam Sessions are hosted by the Chatham Baroque trio who in collaboration with a certified Kindermusik teacher, encourage young children to become active, enthusiastic and educated listeners through music, dance and games. All PBJ performances are live and spontaneous by nature, and several each season feature visiting friends and guest artists, thereby further enlivening and enriching the breadth of the programming.

The program known as Music all over the Place is flexible in terms of both venue and objective. Funded by a small number of donors, this outreach effort supports ten informal concerts per season, each in a different location. These concerts are useful audience-building opportunities for the ensemble and also allow the ensemble to give back to the community by providing free concerts in less traditional venues such as public libraries, retirement homes and special schools, all places where funding for concerts is not readily available.

About Early Music America
Early Music America serves and strengthens the early music community in North America and raises public awareness of early music. EMA was founded in 1985 and provides its 3,000 members with publications, advocacy, and technical support. EMA publishes the quarterly magazine Early Music America. “Early music” includes western music from the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical periods, performed on period instruments in historically-informed styles. For more information, contact Early Music America at 206-720-6270 or 888-SACKBUT, or visit our web site at www.earlymusic.org.

Contact: Patrick Nugent, Director of Public Relations
(206) 720-6270 or 888-SACKBUT
info@earlymusic.org; www.earlymusic.org