Each edition, a well-known personality of the Early Music movement is invited to be the ambassador of this special day. This year, Jean Rondeau, harpsichordist, is the ambassador of the event.
JEAN RONDEAU: HARPSICHORDIST
Jean Rondeau studied harpsichord with Blandine Verlet for over ten years, followed by training in basso continuo, organ, piano, jazz and improvisation, and conducting. He pursued further studies at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris, graduating with honours, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.
In 2012, at just 21 years old, he became one of the youngest performers ever to take First Prize at the International Harpsichord Competition in Bruges (MAfestival 2012), also winning the EUBO Development Trust prize; an accolade bestowed on the most promising young musician of the European Union.
AN ENDLESS PASSION FOR MUSIC, FOR DISCOVERY
Rondeau is in demand for solo, chamber music and orchestral appearances throughout Europe and in the United States. He frequently performs with the Baroque quartet Nevermind. Quite apart from his activities as harpsichordist, he founded the ensemble Note Forget, presenting his own jazz-oriented compositions and improvisations on piano.
Rondeau is signed to Erato as an exclusive recording artist. His latest album, Dynastie, explores keyboard concertos by Bach&Sons. In 2016 he composed his first original score for a film, Christian Schwochow’s Paula, which premiered at the 2016 Locarno Film Festival.
SKIP SEMPE: HARPSICHORDIST & DIRECTOR
Skip Sempé, virtuoso harpsichordist, director and founder of Capriccio Stravagante, is at the forefront of today’s musical personalities in Renaissance and Baroque music. His distinctive harpsichord playing, musicianship and interpretive flair were immediately recognized as the invention of an exotic, multi-dimensional and uncompromising musical personality. Sempé remained in Europe to embark on his own pioneering reconsideration of well and lesser-known repertoire ranging from 1500-1750.
AN ADMIRE VIRTUOSO PERFORMER
Performing and recording on the world’s most prestigious harpsichords, made by Ruckers, Taskin, Goujon, Skowroneck, Kennedy, Humeau and Sidey, Skip Sempé is particularly known for his interpretations of the French classical harpsichord literature including Chambonnières, d’Anglebert, Forqueray, Louis and François Couperin and Rameau, for his adventurous and ground-breaking Bach and Scarlatti, and for the earlier virginalist repertoire of Byrd and his contemporaries.
RENE JACOBS: COUNTER TENOR…
René Jacobs was born in 1946 in Ghent, Belgium. He began singing in Ghent cathedral as a chorister before joining Brussels. Encouraged by Gustav Leonhardt and Alfred Deller, René Jacobs continues his studies as counter tenor. He quickly becomes one of the essential counter tenors. He turns to opera with, for example, his performance in Orfeo and Euridice by Gluck.
In 1977, he created his first ensemble, Concerto Vocale. He recorded Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria and Orfeo de Monteverdi. In 1983 he directed for the first time Orontea de Cesti at the Innsbruck Festival in Austria. It is a huge succes that and René Jacobs will continue directing lyric singing.
…AND A LYRICAL DIRECTOR
Since the 2000s, René Jacobs multiplies the projects as a lyric director like the excellent Telemann: Brockes-Passion on Harmonia Mundi, a pearl for baroque music lovers.
In 2004, Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro with Concerto Köln and the Collegium Vocale Gent by Philippe Herreweghe achieved public and critical acclaim around the world. He obtains the Gramophone trophy and a Grammy Award for this performance.
RÉSEAU EUROPÉEN DE MUSIQUE ANCIENNE
EUROPEAN EARLY MUSIC NETWORK