Trio Settecento formed in 1996 to record the complete violin sonatas of George Frideric Handel. The critical acclaim for that disc led to period-instrument recitals throughout the U.S., including their New York debut at the Frick Collection in 2006 and their debut at the Boston Early Music Festival in 2007.
Performing on antique instruments of rare beauty and expressive power, the three virtuosos breathe life into musical masterpieces that capture the dramatic intensity of the Italians, the poetic gestures of the French school, and the profound humanism of J. S. Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven. Trio Settecento’s passionate and authoritative interpretations renew the pleasures of hearing beloved music from the Age of Enlightenment while also revealing the delights of new discoveries. Their imagination, vigor, technical polish and historical insight have made the Trio’s performances appealing to audiences and critics alike.
“One of the rare mainstream performers with a total grasp of Baroque style and embellishment” (Fanfare) and “a most accomplished Baroque violinist, fully the equal of the foremost specialists” (Gramophone), Rachel Barton Pine has been involved in historically informed performances of baroque and classical repertoire since age 14. She has collaborated with many artists including David Douglass, Elizabeth Wright, Marilyn McDonald, Gesa Kordes, Temple of Apollo, and the Chicago Baroque Ensemble. In 2007, she made her debut on viola d’amore with the period instrument ensemble Ars Antigua. She will perform on the rebec as a guest artist with the Newberry Consort during the 2008-2009 season.
As a modern violinist, Ms. Pine has appeared as soloist with many of the world’s most prestigious ensembles, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Chicago, Atlanta, St. Louis, Dallas, Baltimore, San Diego, Montreal, Vienna, New Zealand, Iceland, and Budapest Symphonies. She has worked closely with such renowned conductors as Charles Dutoit, Zubin Mehta, Erich Leinsdorf, Neeme Järvi, Placido Domingo, and Semyon Bychkov. Ms. Pine participated in the January 2000 Mozartwoche in Salzburg at the invitation of Franz Welser-Möst and made her Salzburg Festival debut in the summer of 2001. Her U.S. festival appearances include engagements at the Marlboro, Ravinia, and Grant Park Music Festivals. Notable collaborations include pairings with Daniel Barenboim, Christoph Eschenbach, William Warfield, Christopher O’Riley and Mark O’Connor. As a recitalist, Ms. Pine’s appearances have included live broadcast performances of the complete Paganini Caprices and of all six Bach Sonatas and Partitas. In January 2005, Chicago’s WFMT broadcast three live performances comprising Beethoven’s complete works for violin and piano, including all ten sonatas and the world premiere of the fragment in A. On Minnesota Public Radio’s Saint Paul Sunday, Ms. Pine performed the world premiere of Augusta Read Thomas’s Rush, written for the artist.
Ms. Pine holds prizes from several of the world’s leading competitions, including a gold medal at the 1992 J. S. Bach International Violin Competition in Leipzig, Germany, making her the first American and youngest performer to win this honor. Other top awards came from the Queen Elisabeth (Brussels, 1993), Kreisler (Vienna, 1992), Szigeti (Budapest, 1992), and Montreal (1991) international violin competitions, as well as many national and regional competitions. She won the prize for interpretation of the Paganini Caprices at both the 1993 Paganini International Violin Competition in Genoa and the Szigeti Competition. She was featured on CBS Sunday Morning and has twice appeared on NBC’s Today. She was named “Classical Entertainer of the Year” at the annual Chicago Music Awards in 2003, 2004, 2007, and 2008.
Ms. Pine’s most recent Cedille releases are American Virtuosa: Tribute to Maud Powell, with pianist Matthew Hagle; Scottish Fantasies for Violin and Orchestra, with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra; Brahms & Joachim Violin Concertos with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; and Solo Baroque, which presents two J. S. Bach masterpieces for unaccompanied violin, along with key works by Bach predecessors and contemporaries Heinrich Biber, Johann Paul von Westhoff, and Johann Georg Pisendel. She also has two CDs on the Dorian label featuring, respectively, violin and piano music of Sarasate and Liszt, and a disc on Cacophony Records titled Stringendo: Storming the Citadel.
When performing with Trio Settecento, Rachel Barton Pine plays a rare 1770 Nicola Gagliano violin in original, unaltered condition.
John Mark Rozendaal specializes in performing and teaching stringed instrument music from the Baroque and Renaissance eras. As founding Artistic Director of the Chicago Baroque Ensemble, Mr. Rozendaal performed and led seven seasons of subscription concerts, educational programs, radio broadcasts, and recordings for the Cedille and Centaur labels. Mr. Rozendaal has served as principal ‘cellist of The City Musick and Basically Bach, and has performed solo and continuo roles with many period instrument ensembles, including the Newberry Consort, Orpheus Band, the King’s Noyse/Boston Early Music Festival Violin Band, Parthenia, The New York Consort of Viols, Repast, Four Nations Ensemble, and the Catacoustic Consort.
Mr. Rozendaal’s viola da gamba playing has been praised as “splendid” (Chicago Tribune), and “breathtaking” (Chicago Sun-Times). He is founder and director of the Viola da Gamba Dojo classes, based in Manhattan.
John Mark Rozendaal’s first solo album, Breaking the Ground, includes divisions and preludes by English composer Christopher Simpson (c.1605–1669), performed with harpsichordist David Schrader, and is scheduled for a 2008 release on Centaur Records.
Mr. Rozendaal performs on a rare viola da gamba made by William Turner in 1650, and on an 18th-century Tyrolian violoncello.
Equally at home in front of a harpsichord, organ, piano, or fortepiano, David Schrader is “truly an extraordinary musician . . . (who) brings not only the unfailing right technical approach to each of these different instruments, but always an imaginative, fascinating musicality to all of them” (Norman Pelligrini, WFMT, Chicago). A performer of wide ranging interests and accomplishments, Mr. Schrader has appeared with the Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, and Colorado Symphonies, and appeared as a soloist at four national conventions of the American Guild of Organists (1984, 1994, 1998, and 2006). He has also performed at the prestigious Irving Gilmore Keyboard Festival (playing separate concerts on organ, harpsichord, and clavichord) and at the Ravinia Festival; Aspen Music Festival; Oulunsalo Soi Music Festival in Oulu, Finland; Michigan Mozartfest; Boston Early Music Festival; Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival; Connecticut Early Music Festival; Manitou Music Festival; and as soloist and conductor at the Woodstock (Illinois) Mozart Festival.
A resident of Chicago, Mr. Schrader performs regularly with Music of the Baroque, the Newberry Consort, and Bach Week in Evanston. He has also appeared with The Chicago Chamber Musicians, Contempo (f.k.a. the Contemporary Chamber Players), the Chicago Baroque Ensemble, and The City Musick. He is a frequent guest on WFMT’s “Live From WFMT” series of broadcast in-studio performances and a founding member of Baroque Band, Chicago’s new period-instrument orchestra.
Mr. Schrader is on the faculty of Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts. For twenty-seven years, he has been the organist of Chicago’s Church of the Ascension. He has recorded 17 albums for Cedille Records.
"Some of the most refreshing, life-enhancing Baroque playing heard in years."
"Wonderfully vital and buoyant performances. . . . The exhilarating bravura of her incisive articulation and sharply pointed rhythms is matched by Barton's singing line in her poised and elegant lyrical movements. Superb continuo players David Schrader and John Mark Rozendaal contribute to the real sense of ensemble teamwork."
"Barton and her colleagues play these Handel Sonatas in a manner that reflects a serious study of baroque instrument style. . . . [Barton's] passage work is brilliant yet lyrical - much like the cascades of a coloratura - and her ornamentation is both thoughtful and virtuosic. This is a wonderful recording."
"A spritely partnership between violin and cello, with deft rhythmic accompaniment on harpsichord. Barton runs through the allegros agilely and gives careful attention to the slower movements. . . . The music's virtuosic character is rendered with superb, resonant double and triple stopping and de-emphasized dance motion in the allegros. Barton lets the music's raw, improvised feeling hang out a little, giving the recording a refreshing zest."
"Splendid on all levels - lovely tone, wonderfully expressive phrasing, secure technique, and strong involvement with the music. But the most unusual aspect of Barton's Handel is the convincing and imaginative way she embellishes the repeats in the music - adding runs, ornaments, and flourishes that give a different aspect to a phrase we've just recently heard ... they help to enliven a cherishable disc"