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International Chamber Musicians Will Celebrate Dutch Art Exhibit

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY (March 25, 2005) — Combining flute, strings, harpsichord, and voice, the international Bouts Ensemble will perform a program of early classical music on Saturday, April 9, at 4:00 p.m., at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center of Vassar College. Named for the Dutch painter Dirk Bouts, the chamber music group will help celebrate the opening of "Time and Transformation in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Art," a major art exhibition opening April 8 at the Art Center.

Performing the period classical music repertoire on historical instruments, the Bouts Ensemble has been widely heard at baroque festivals across Europe, as well as at such U.S. venues as Merkin Hall in New York City. Bouts members hail from Germany, France, Spain, and the U.S., and drawing on their wide range of early music experiences, including the Musica Antiqua Köln, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, La Chapelle Royale, La Fenice, Les Musiciens du Louvre and The Four Nations Ensemble.

The Bouts Ensemble received excellent reviews for its 2002 recording of chamber music by Handel, released by the German label Raumklang. Classics Today wrote, "The instrumental selections are expertly played, showing the kind of clean ensemble work and stylish interpretation that we expect from today's better period-instrument groups."

In the summer of 2004, the ensemble's performance of "Handel in Italy" at the Rhine Castle Engers was broadcast nationally on German radio, and continues to be re-broadcast due to popular demand.

April 2005 will mark the ensemble's third U.S. tour, and will preview their upcoming cd project, featuring music of J. S. Bach and the Dresden Hofkapelle. The tour will also include stops at Rockefeller University, in New York, the Wadsworth Athenaeum, in Hartford, CT, the Brooklyn (NY) Friends of Chamber Music, and the Wayland Little Theatre Concert Series, in Wayland, MA.

Here are short biographies of The Bouts Ensemble members:

Charles William Brink, born in St. Louis, MO, began his flute studies with Jacob Berg. He received his Master's Degree at the New England Conservatory in Boston where he studied with Fenwick Smith. In 1993 Mr. Brink was a Fellow at the Tanglewood Festival. In 1995 he was awarded a Fulbright Grant to study with Wilbert Hazelzet and Rien de Reede at the Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague, Netherlands where he earned certificates in 1997. Since devoting himself solely to historical flutes in 1998, he has performed with his own Bouts Ensemble, the Hannoverische Hofkapelle, the Capella Leopoldina and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra with whom he has also toured and recorded. He is also a member of the Four Nations Ensemble (based in New York City) with whom Mr. Brink has performed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Great Performers series at Lincoln Center as well as many other venues in the United States. In the summer of 2003 Charles Brink was co-conductor of Handel's Opera Ariodante at the Opera da Camera Linz Festival in Austria.

Florian Deuter, born in 1965 in Mülheim/Ruhr, is one of the most sought-after baroque violinists of his generation. He studied in Köln and Düsseldorf. Florian Deuter has served as concertmaster and violinist of the Amsterdam Baroque Orchester, The Gabrieli Consort, La Chapelle Royale/Collegium Vocale and Musica Antiqua Köln. He served as first violin and concertmaster of Musica Antiqua Köln for six years (1994-2000) and with this group toured the world and recorded extensively for Deutsche Grammophon/Arkiv. Mr. Deuter has recently recorded the sonatas of J. S. Bach with harpsichordist Christian Rieger. Since April 2000 Mr. Deuter has been the concertmaster of the Musiciens du Louvre under Marc Minkowski and in 2003 he founded the chamber music group L' Harmonie Universelle.

Mónica Waisman studied violin at the Oberlin Conservatory with Marilyn McDonald, and at the Koninklijk Conservatorium Den Haag with Elizabeth Wallfisch. Her career has taken her to many places on the globe as a member of several baroque ensembles including the Carmel Bach Festival Orchestra under Bruno Weill, Ensemble Elyma under Gabriel Garrido, the Mozart Academy under Jaap ter Linden and Musica Temprana. She has made several recordings, which range from the standard repertoire of the European Baroque and Classical literature to unknown pieces from eighteenth-century South America. Since 2001 she has been a regular member of Marc Minkowski's Les Musiciens du Louvre, where she alternates as leader of the second violins. In 2003 she created with Florian Deuter the ensemble Harmonie Universelle, dedicated to chamber music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Mercedes Ruiz was born in Spain, and after completing her cello studies there she became a founding member of the Granada Chamber Orchestra. Her desire for further study sent her to Germany where she studied with Michael Kasper at The Musikhochschule in Aachen and with the Alban Berg Quartet in Köln. From 1992 to 1994 she won several scholarships from the Humboldt Foundation. Ms. Ruiz has participated in master classes of Christophe Coin, Anner Blysma and The Melos Quartet. From 1996 to 1998 Ms. Ruiz studied both modern and baroque cello with Roel Dieltiens in Leuven (Belgium). Since that time, Ms. Ruiz has played with Concerto Köln, the Freiburger Barockorchester, Al Ayre Espanol, Concierto Espanol and the Akademie für alte Musik Berlin. Ms. Ruiz is a member of Ensemble Innovación, the Moabit String Trio and the piano trio "1790″.

Sébastien d'Hérin completed his harpsichord studies with Kenneth Gilbert, Christophe Rousset and Patrick Cohen at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris in 1999. He also studied with Bob van Asperen at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam, where he earned a diploma in 1997. In 2000 Mr. d'Herin earned an honorable mention for his performance of French music at the International Harpsichord Competition in Montréal. Sébastien d'Hérin has played on the concert stage and in the recording studio with many of Europe's most respected early music ensembles, including The European Baroque Orchestra, Concert Spirituel, La Fenice, Vivete Felici, Fuoco e Cenere and his own Ensemble "Bergamasca". He has performed at festivals in Ambronay (France), Paris, Amsterdam, Halle, Barcelona and Brezice. He has recorded for the Virgin Classics, opus 111, Ogama and Alpha labels.

Mezzo-soprano Stephanie Houtzeel was nominated one of the best up-and-coming singers of 2003 by OPERNWELT magazine. She has appeared most recently at the Zurich, Antwerp, Graz and St. Gallen Opera Houses. The 04/05 season will take her to Antwerp again for Rosina in the Barber of Seville and to Graz for the title role in Der Rosenkavalier. In 05/06 she will return to Antwerp to sing the Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos and she will make her debut at the Grand Théâtre de Genève as the Fox in Janacek's Cunning Little Vixen. Also active in the baroque repertoire, she has sung the title role in Handel's Ariodante and Galatea in Acis and Galatea with the Opera da camera Linz. In 2003 she toured with the Collegium Vocale Gent, singing the alto solos in cantatas and masses of Bach, under Philippe Herreweghe. She has also toured regularly with the Four Nations Ensemble of New York and the Bouts Ensemble. Her first recording of Handel cantatas, with the Bouts Ensemble, received high praise from several publications including the American Record Guide. Since her 1997 recital debut at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, Stephanie Houtzeel has appeared on concert series including the New York Festival of Song, the Chamber Series of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Styriarte Graz, the International Bruckner Festival and the Great Performers Series of Lincoln Center. In January 2004 she made her debut at the Vienna Musikverein as soloist in Mahler's Third Symphony. Stephanie Houtzeel has a BA in Political Science and French from Middlebury College, VT. She obtained her Masters of Music from the Juilliard School, where she studied voice with Edward Zambara. She was born in Kassel, Germany to German-Dutch parents and grew up in Wayland, Massachusetts.

For more information, contact the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at (845) 437-5632 and 437-5237. To arrange accommodations for people with disabilities, call the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370. Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Friday, March 25, 2005