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ARTIST PROFILE

John Holloway, Aloysia Assenbaum and Lars-Ulrik Mortensen

BIOGRAPHY

John Holloway is one of the pioneers of the modern “Early Music” movement in Britain. He played his first public concert in aid of Hungarian refugees in 1956. He was 8 years old. After a conventional training at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and various international competitions, he worked as a freelance in London: throughout the 1970s he combined concert-mastering and managing the orchestra of Kent Opera, appearances with all the prominent chamber-orchestras in London, contemporary music and string quartet concerts, and, after encountering Sigiswald Kuijken in 1972, performances on Baroque violin.

In 1975 John Holloway founded the ensemble L'Ecole d'Orphée, which made the first complete recording on baroque instruments of Handel’s instrumental chamber music. He has performed and recorded a considerable repertoire with such distinguished colleagues as Emma Kirkby, Stanley Ritchie and Andrew Manze, Davitt Moroney and Lars Ulrik Mortensen, Marion Verbruggen and Jaap ter Linden. He won a Gramophone Award in 1991 for his recording of Biber's Mystery Sonatas.

Recording projects have included an extended series of CDs of Buxtehude, including all the chamber music, which was awarded a Danish “Grammy” in 1994 and again 1997. With Lars Ulrik Mortensen and David Watkin in Trio Veracini he has made the only recording of Corelli's opus 5 sonatas with the instrumentations specified by the composer. Holloway's CD of Schmelzer's “Sonatae unarum fidium”, with Lars Ulrik Mortensen and Aloysia Assenbaum, was released by ECM in 1999 to great acclaim. The year 2000 saw the release of a CD of other sonatas from the Kromeriz Library, and of a CD of trio sonatas by Telemann. In 2002 ECM released “Unam Ceylum”, the first of two CDs featuring the 1681 Sonatas by Biber; the second CD was released in 2004. This last summer he has recorded a double CD of the complete sonatas and partitas for solo violin by J S Bach for ECM - who recently released his new Veracini CD.

John Holloway has been Professor of Baroque Violin at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and Guest Professor at the Schola Cantorum in Basel and at the Early Music Institute at IU Bloomington, Indiana. Since 1999 he has been Professor of Violin and String Chamber Music at the Hochschule für Musik in Dresden, Germany. In September 2004 he was Regents' Lecturer at UC Berkeley.

John Holloway was concertmaster of Andrew Parrott's Taverner Players from 1977-1991, and of Roger Norrington's London Classical Players from 1978-1992. With these and other ensembles he has directed many concerts from the violin. On the basis of all this experience he is developing a further career as a conductor; recent projects have ranged from Bach to Britten. From 2000 to 2004 John Holloway was Musical Director of the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra. Recently he has been appointed the Music Director of New Trinity Baroque, a period instrument ensemble and orchestra based in Atlanta, USA.

Aloysia Assenbaum was an organist, conductor, editor and teacher. She was born near Stuttgart, Germany in 1961, and played the organ for services in her local church from the age of 10. By the age of 16 she had founded her first choir. She studied Church Music in Heidelberg and Stuttgart, and then conducting at the Musikhochschule in Mannheim. Her wide-ranging career included the formation of the Bach Collegium Heidelberg, music theatre and dance theatre projects, concerts as organist and piano accompanist, and teaching organ, piano, singing and choral-conducting. From 1992 to 1995 she was Head of the Music Conservatoire in Winterthur, Switzerland. For her work there, including the creation of a series of "Portraits of Women Composers" she was awarded the “Equal Rights Prize” 1995 in Zurich. Also a composer, Assenbaum wrote music for choir, for organ, and for mixed ensemble for dance projects. She died two months after this the Saint Paul Sunday session recording.

Lars Ulrik Mortensen studied with Karen Englund and Jesper Bøje Christensen at the Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen and with Trevor Pinnock in London. He has an extensive career as a soloist and chamber musician in Europe, North and South America, and Japan. From 1988 to 1990 Lars Ulrik Mortensen was harpsichordist in the well-known ensemble London Baroque, and from 1990 to 1993 he was a member of Collegium Musicum 90. He appears regularly with Emma Kirkby, John Holloway, and Jaap ter Linden as well as with chamber ensembles such as The Consort of Musicke and Red Byrd. He has recorded for DGG Archiv Produktion, Harmonia Mundi, Kontrapunkt, and other labels and his Kontrapunkt interpretation of Bachs Goldberg Variations won him a Diapason d'Or. Lars Ulrik Mortensen was recently named professor of harpsichord and performance practice at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich.