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Phantasm, an award-winning quartet of viols, was founded in 1994 by Laurence Dreyfus. Inspired by the great twentieth-century string quartets, Phantasm enjoys taking risks in its search for renditions that renew the expressive traditions of early music. The quartet's international membership (from Britain, Finland and the US) were all trained on modern instruments, but each was drawn to consort playing because of the poignant sound of the viols and the special intimacy this music cultivates. Based in London, Phantasm has toured extensively throughout Europe, North America, and East Asia. They have appeared in festivals in London, York, Berlin, Utrecht, Stavanger, as well as in Iceland, Estonia, Poland and Finland and on concert series in Tokyo, Seoul, New York and Washington.

Laurence Dreyfus, treble viol and director, was born in Boston, Mass. After learning the cello with Leonard Rose at Juilliard, he studied the viol with Wieland Kuijken at the Royal Conservatoire at Brussels, which awarded him its Diplome superieur. As a bass viol player, he has recorded CDs of Bach's viola da gamba sonatas, Marais's Pieces de violes and Rameau's Pieces de clavecin en concert (all on Simax), and collaborated with Silvia McNair in a Grammy-winning album of Purcell songs (on Philips). As a musicologist, Laurence has published Bach's Continuo Group and Bach and the Patterns of Invention (Harvard, 1987 and 1996); the latter won the Kinkeldey Award from the American Musicological Society for the best book of the year. Dreyfus taught at Yale, the University of Chicago, Stanford, and the Royal Academy of Music before becoming Thurston Dart Professor in 1995 at King's College London, where he teaches music history and performance. In 2002 he took British citizenship and was elected a Fellow of the British Academy.

Wendy Gillespie, treble viol, was born in New York and, after attending Wellesley College and the Amsterdam Conservatoire, began her performing career with the New York Pro Musica Antiqua. Since then she has played all over the world with leading ensembles including Les Filles de Sainte-Colombe, Ensemble for Early Music, Ensemble Sequentia, the Waverly Consort and the English Concert. She has participated in over 60 recordings for Virgin Classics, Decca, Nonesuch, Harmonia Mundi, among others. Whilst her speciality lies in consort music, Wendy has participated in many performances of both medieval and contemporary music. Wendy is a founding member of the viol consort Fretwork, who appear worldwide and have won a Grand Prix du Disque. Wendy makes her home in Bloomington, where she is Associate Professor at Indiana University and Acting Director of the Early Music Institute.

Jonathan Manson, tenor viol, was born in Edinburgh and received his formative training at the International Cello Centre in Scotland under the direction of Jane Cowan, later going on to study with Steven Doane at the Eastman School of Music in New York. While in America, he became involved with the performance of early music, and from there went to The Hague to study viola da gamba with Wieland Kuijken. On both cello and viola da gamba, Jonathan plays and records regularly with many leading early music ensembles. Recent chamber music recordings include a disk of Rameau's Pieces de clavecin en concert with Rachel Podger and Trevor Pinnock. In 1999, he became principal cellist of the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, which in addition to a busy touring schedule has just finished recording the complete cantatas of JS Bach. Jonathan makes his home outside of London, where he has been appointed a professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Markku Luolajan-Mikkola, bass viol, studied cello with Arto Noras at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, which awarded him its diploma in 1983. An interest in baroque music led him to a summer course in Norway with Laurence Dreyfus and later to Holland where he studied with Wieland Kuijken at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague and received postgraduate diplomas in viola da gamba and baroque cello. Markku teaches at the Sibelius Academy. He is active as a chamber musician and has given many solo recitals throughout Scandinavia as well as in the Netherlands, Italy, Russia, Estonia, and Poland. His recording of Marais' Suite d'un gout Etranger on ALBA records won a national award for excellence in his native Finland, and other solo CDs have likewise garnered critical acclaim, including discs of virtuoso viol music by Forqueray, Marais, and JS Bach's gamba sonatas, the latter two issued by BIS. A special interest of Luolajan-Mikkola's is contemporary music commissioned for the bass viol.