Michael Wersin, born 1966 in Bielefeld, studied singing, choral conducting, ear training and musicology. He is artistic director of the music festival "Alte Musik St.Gallen" (AMSG), runs a "practice and coordination centre for Gregorian chant" in the monastery district of St. Gallen, is responsible for a baroque concert series at St. Gallen Cathedral and teaches at the "Diözesanen Kirchenmusikschule" in St. Gallen and at the "Stella Privathochschule für Musik" (formerly Vorarlberger Landeskonservatorium) in Feldkirch. As a continuo organist and conductor he is active in many ways in concerts and church services. He has published a number of books with the Reclam publishing house in Stuttgart. He received his doctorate from the University of Augsburg with a thesis on "Theological Bach Research".
After studying harpsichord with Harald Hoeren in Frankfurt/Main and with Siebe Henstra in Utrecht (soloist's examination 1994), Carsten Lorenz specialised in baroque basso continuo playing with Jesper B. Christensen in Lyon and at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel. In 1998/99 he was professor for harpsichord at the Landeskonservatorium für Vorarlberg in Feldkirch and has taught harpsichord and basso continuo at the Institute for Early Music at the Staatliche Musikhochschule Trossingen since 1997 and at the Evangelische Kirchenmusikhochschule in Tübingen since 2001. Also in 2001, he was a finalist in the 'Erwin Bodky Competition for Early Music Soloists' (Boston).
Carsten Lorenz is a sought-after chamber music partner of renowned soloists, plays regularly with renowned baroque orchestras and can be heard in numerous radio and CD productions. His great love - besides his family - is the extremely subtle expressive possibilities of the clavichord as well as the 'earthy' power of music from the second half of the 17th century.
The Catalan lutenist and guitarist Maria Ferré graduated in studies of the classical guitar at the Conservatori Superior del Liceu de Barcelona (Spain). She then became increasingly interested in the performance practice on historical instruments and began to continue her studies for lute and other historical plucked instrument with Rolf Lislevand at the Musikhochschule Trossingen (Germany) in 1999. She completed her musical studies at the Schola Cantorum Basliliensis in Basel with Hopkinson Smith from 2003 to 2006. During these years Maria Ferré also participated in various master classes, e.g. with Jordi Savall, Jean Tubéry, Charles Toet, Anthony Rooley and Dominique Vellard.
Maria Ferré has already often performed internationally as a soloist and in various ensembles in Europe, as well as in Mexico and in the USA.
Maria Ferré performs with a wide repertoire starting from late medieval music to baroque compositions. She collaborates among others with internationally renowned colleagues like Carlos Mena, Philippe Jaroussky, Patricia Petibon, María Espada, Paolo Pandolfo, Rudi Lutz, Maria Cristina Kiehr, Lorenz Duftschmid, Murat Coşkun, or ensembles such as the Freiburger Spielleyt, Vocal Ensemble Zürich, Bassorum Vox, and her co-founded ensembles La Traditora, l'Art du Bois and the Duo M&M. With these artists, she performed at the Schwetzingen Festival (SWR), Tamburi Mundi Freiburg (SWR), Arithmeum Bonn (WDR), at the Göttingen Festival and the Early Music Festival Zürich (SRF).
The second musical aspect of her work, which is very close to her heart, is the artistic basso continuo play in works for opera and orchestra of the 17th or 18th century. In this sense, she participated in numerous musical projects with various orchestras across Europe, e.g. Ambronay Baroque Orchestra under the direction of Cristophe Rousset, the Norwegian Chamber orchestra conducted by Fabio Biondi, at the Theater Basel, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Auditorio de Madrid, the Palau de la Música de Barcelona, with La Cetra Barockorchester Basel under Andrea Marcon, with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, with the Venice Baroque Orchestra, with Concerto Köln, with Cappella Mediterranea, at the Opera in Frankfurt/Main, at the Wigmore Hall London and at the Nationale Opera & Ballet Amsterdam.
In October 2006, Maria Ferré won the Van Wassenaer Competition (The Hague), in September 2007 the Concurso Nervi (Genova) and in August 2009 the Early Music Competition (Bruges) together with the Ensemble L'Art du Bois. This-multi talented artist can now be heard on numerous CD redordings. In addition to her artistic activities, Maria Ferré teaches the guitar at the Music School in Birsfelden (Switzerland).
Simon Linné spent his childhood in a musical home in the countryside near Stockholm, Sweden, where he was influenced by both heavy metal and classical music. Nature remains an inexhaustible source of inspiration, creativity and awe for him to this day. Although the guitar was his first instrument, a record awakened his fascination for lute music. A seed that also later brought about the change to this instrument.
As a lutenist, he is particularly interested in unknown repertoire of his instrument. In addition to his solo activities, he is a sought-after continuo player and appears on numerous radio and CD recordings. For ten years he taught lute and basso continuo at the Hochschule für Künste Bremen. He has also always enjoyed sports, mathematics and manual work. A highlight during childhood was the Lego chassis he designed himself with four-wheel drive. Apart from the occasional hair, he also enjoys splitting wood, shovelling snow, etc. Appropriate to his size, he often enjoys eating all kinds of food.
Swantje Hoffmann(violin) studied with Prof. Walter Forchert (Frankfurt am Main) and Prof. Nora Chastain (Lübeck, postgraduate soloist class) as well as baroque violin with Prof. Petra Müllejans (Frankfurt, postgraduate early music class).
In addition to intensive chamber music activity with her piano trio ("Trio Sveg") and solo performances, she is a member of the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and the Marini Consort Innsbruck (late Renaissance and early Baroque music). In 2003 she was winner (ex aequo) of the International Baroque Violin Competition "Premio Bonporti", Italy. In 2005 she won the 3rd prize at the "Solistenwettbewerb Musica Antiqua" in Bruges. Since 2003 Swantje Hoffmann has a teaching position for violin and baroque violin at the Musikhochschule Frankfurt/Main.
Born in Fribourg/Switzerland, Christoph Riedo studied baroque violin in Basel, Geneva and Milan and received special impulses from the following teachers: David Plantier, Odile Edouard, Enrico Gatti and Stefano Montanari. Since his diploma at the Civica Scuola di Milano, he has been active as a baroque violinist and violist in numerous early music formations, including A Corte Musical (cond. Rogério Gonçalves), Capriccio Basel (cond. Dominik Kiefer), dolce risonanza (cond. Florian Wieninger), Ensemble Arcimboldo (cond. Thilo Hirsch), Ensemble Elyma (cond. Gabriel Garrido), Die Freitagsakademie Bern (cond. Katharina Suske), J.S. Bach-Stiftung (cond. Rudolf Lutz) and La Cetra Barockorchester Basel (cond. Andrea Marcon). Several CD and DVD recordings have resulted from her work with these ensembles.
In addition to his violin training, Christoph Riedo also studied musicology and history in Fribourg/Switzerland, Bern and Padua, and received his doctorate in 2012 with a thesis on sacred music in Milan in the 18th century. After working as a lecturer and doctoral assistant, he spent two years as a postdoc at Harvard University in Cambridge/MA. It is a great concern of his to combine musicological research and musical practice. This is expressed in his publications, his teaching at the university and his active collaboration with ensembles and orchestras.
Cosimo Stawiarski, born in Italy in 1974, studied baroque violin with Chiara Banchini at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis and with Lucy van Dael at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, as well as musicology at the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel. His work focuses on the research and performance of North and Central German music of the late 17th and early 18th centuries.
Cosimo Stawiarski is a permanent member of the ensemble Les Cornets Noirs and regularly performs as a soloist in various other early music formations, such as Akadêmia, Cantus Coelln, Balthasar Neumann Ensemble, Orlando di Lasso Consort, Holland Baroque, Collegium 1704. He has worked with renowned conductors such as Jordi Savall, Ton Koopman, Pablo Heras-Casado, Anthony Rooley, Hermann Max, Frieder Bernius and many others, documented on numerous CDs (labels: Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Audite, Raumklang, ZigZag, K617, ORF Alte Musik). His concert activities have taken him to almost all European countries, the USA, most countries in South America and some countries in Asia.
From 2013 to 2015 Cosimo Stawiarski taught baroque violin and music history at the Universidad Central in Bogotá (Colombia).
Laura Frey studied viola da gamba at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik Freiburg i. Br. with Ekkehard Weber and graduated first with a teaching qualification and finally with an artistic qualification. Her busy concert schedule has taken her to many European countries and international festivals (e.g. Rheingau Music Festival, Heidelberger Frühling, Hohenloher Kultursommer, Händelfestspiele Göttingen and others). She has also been involved in productions for CD, radio and television, for example with the Tölzer Knabenchor, Cantus Cölln, Capella confluentes or Ensemble Aventure. She teaches as a lecturer at the Kassel Music Academy and at courses for viola da gamba and early music.
Franz Vitzthum, born in the Upper Palatinate, received his first musical training with the Regensburger Domspatzen. He completed his vocal studies with Kai Wessel at the Cologne University of Music in 2007. He received numerous prizes and scholarships already during his training.
In the meantime, invitations have followed for solo recitals at the Rheingau Music Festival, the Handel Festivals in Halle, Karlsruhe and Göttingen, La Folle Journée in Nantes and the Bach Festival Philadelpia. He has worked with conductors including Nicolas McGegan, Hermann Max, Marcus Creed and Philippe Herreweghe. Furthermore, he has participated in various opera and oratorio productions, including Scherz, Satire, Ironie und tiefere Bedeutung (Glanert), Jephta und Solomon (Händel), Orfeo (Gluck) and Orlando generoso (Steffani) and most recently in Spartaco (Porsile) at the Winter Opera in Schwetzingen.
Franz Vitzthum is also a much sought-after chamber music partner. He regularly performs with the lutenist Julian Behr, the Capricornus Consort Basel and sings with the vocal ensemble Stimmwerck, which he founded.
This versatile activity is reflected in his discography, which is constantly being expanded. After his debut CD Ich will in Friede fahren, Franz Vitzthum has released another solo CD with sacred baroque songs under the title Himmels-Lieder for the Christophorus label.
Monika Mauch, born in Baden-Württemberg, began her vocal studies at the Institute for Early Music at the Musikhochschule Trossingen with bass-baritone Richard Wistreich, followed by a year of study in Paris with Jill Feldman.
Her singing career began in Philipp Pierlot's Ricercar Ensemble together with the wind ensemble La Fenice under Jean Tubéry, in the ensemble Ordo Virtutum under the direction of Stefan Morent, with the Taverner Consort under Andrew Parrot and with Red Byrd (John Potter and Richard Wistreich).
Mauch's work with Cantus Coelln shines in recordings such as the Altbach Archive and Bach's B minor Mass on Harmonia Mundi France.
Likewise, she recently showed her qualities in concerts and recordings of Carissimi, Buxthehude and Biber with La Capella Ducale and Musica Fiata conducted by Roland Wilson, in the interesting Baroque and Renaissance programmes of Ensemble Weser Renaissance conducted by Manfred Cordes, followed by concerts with Collegium Vocale Gent under Philip Herreweghe. She also very much enjoys warm collaborations with Concerto Palatino led by Bruce Dickey and Charles Toet.
Important was the success of her collaboration with the Hilliard Ensemble with the ECM recording 'Morimur'. A recording of Gesualdo madrigals is in planning. A source of excellent concerts and CDs in the Renaissance repertoire is her collaboration with Ensemble Daedalus under the direction of Roberto Festa. The CordArte Ensemble in Cologne, the Ensemble Caprice conducted by Matthias Mauthe, the most diverse performances with Montreal Baroque, les Cornets Noirs, conducted by the cornetto virtuosos Frithjof Smith and Gebhard David, and Pierre Pitzl's Ensemble Private Musique, especially its CD 'Tonos Humanos' with Monika Mauch and Josep Cabré, show music of unique beauty.
Recently Monika Mauch has been working with lutenist Nigel North on a number of concert programmes, which eventually led to an ECM New Series recording of Robert Dowland's Musical Banquet.