Musica Reginae Productions

Queens Consort — “Dance Music for the Sun King”

24 March 2018
7:30 PM

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The first period instrument ensemble based in Queens presents an elegant and engaging evening of Baroque dance music for strings and harpsichord composed for the court of Louis XIV, who was lovingly referred to as the “Sun King.” Special guest artist: Emily Hale, violin.

~ Reception to Follow ~

About Queens Consort

The Queens Consort is a professional early music instrument ensemble in New York City. While they perform in the borough of Manhattan, they consider themselves the first period instrument ensemble based in Queens. The group plays on period instruments and in baroque style. While The Queens Consort performs a wide variety of repertoire spanning many countries and time periods, they have a particular fondness for music of the Venetian baroque.

The Queens Consort’s inaugural concerts were held in October of 2015 at both the Third Street Music School in Manhattan and in Jackson Heights, Queens, at St Mark’s Church, a beautiful parish with a keen interest in early music. A Yuletide concert followed in Jackson Heights in December of 2015. Their first operating season concluded with two concerts in April of 2016, both in Manhattan and Queens. The Queens Consort returned to The Third Street Music School in Manhattan for their second season opening concert on Friday, November 18, 2016 and looks forward to an exciting season with a wide variety of programs which can be found by visiting their website


Image: Courtesy of Claire Smith Bermingham

Claire Smith Bermingham

(violin) is the Founding Director and Baroque Violinist of The Queens Consort. She received her MMus in violin performance at Boston Conservatory studying under David Kim and currently studies baroque violin with Judson Griffin. She has also taken baroque master classes with Rachel Podger, Marc Destrube, Julie Andrijeski, Marilyn McDonald and Cynthia Roberts.

She has performed baroque violin with American Classical Orchestra, Siren Baroque, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, Biber Baroque, La Fiocco, Dorian Baroque, Vilas Baroque, Big Apple Baroque, Vox Ama Deus, VOICES, The Yale Schola Cantorum and with Ensemble Leonarda, and on modern violin with Astoria Symphony, Sinfonia Celestis, Greenwich Symphony, Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, Di Capo Opera, Bronx Opera, Staten Island Philharmonic, Connecticut Grand Opera, and on Broadway. Her chamber work includes Chamber 16 and the Cerulean String Quartet. Claire has performed with Sean “Puffy” Combs and “Father John Misty” on “Saturday Night Live,” “David Letterman,” and “The View,” and in concerts with “Mana.” She is violinist for Ritchie Blackmore’s band, “Blackmore’s Night.”

Recordings include Shakira’s album, “She Wolf,” and Blackmore’s Night’s “Dancer and the Moon,” “Winter Carols,” “All Our Yesterdays,” and on Candice Night’s “Starlight, Starbright.” She has performed overseas with Blackmore’s Night in Germany, Russia, Ukraine, England, Scotland, Luxembourg, France, the Czech Republic and Holland, and on American tours.

Image: Kristin Hauksdottir

Margrét Hjaltested

(viola) is the Founding Director and Baroque Violist of The Queens Consort. Born in Reykjavík, Iceland, she is currently based in New York City.

Margrét has played with orchestras such as the New Jersey Symphony, the American Composers Orchestra and the Albany Symphony. As a baroque violist, she has performed with The American Classical Orchestra, Concert Royal and Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity. Margrét has toured internationally with the New York Symphonic Ensemble on its annual tour of the Far East, the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, Luciano Pavarotti’s International Farewell Tour and the award-winning Icelandic pop artist Björk. She is a member of the chamber ensemble Tre Colore and Chamber16. Margrét is on the faculty of Queens College, SummerKeys in Lubec, Maine and maintains a private violin/viola studio for adults in Queens, New York.

She is a graduate of the Juilliard School and the Mannes College of Music. Her principal teachers were Karen Tuttle, Karen Ritscher, Joey Corpus and for historical performance, Nancy Wilson. Margrét has received the American Scandinavian Society’s Cultural Award for her musical contributions to the Scandinavian communities of New York and New Jersey.

Image: Tatiana Daubek

Dan McCarthy

(violin) is the Baroque Violinist for The Queens Consort. His playing has been simply described as “virtuosic” by Seen and Heard International. He was a part of the first class of baroque violists ever to be accepted into the historical performance program at The Juilliard School, where he was also often featured performing on baroque violin, viola d’amore, and viola da gamba. Currently, Dan enjoys a varied career that has taken him from Myanmar to the United Kingdom and all points in between. He has served as section violist with the Trinity Baroque Orchestra, concertmaster of the Austin Baroque Orchestra, and tenor gambist with Parthenia. He has also performed and toured extensively throughout North America, East Asia, and Europe with Jordi Savall, Masaaki Suzuki, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, and the American Bach Soloists. Here on the east coast he has played with Brooklyn Baroque, Big Apple Baroque, Yale Schola Cantorum, Dorian Baroque Ensemble, and New Vintage Baroque. Dan is currently engaged with the New York Classical Quartet, Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity, La Fiocco, and Queens Consort. Dan is also on faculty at the Atlantic Music Festival in Maine during his summers.

Dan holds a DMA and an MM from the University of Maryland, a BM From the University of Michigan, and is an alumnus of the Interlochen Arts Academy.

Image: Myriam Farhane

Aya Hamada

(harpsichord) is the harpsichordist for The Queens Consort. Praised for her “graceful” (The New York Times) performance, Japanese-American Aya Hamada is an active recitalist, concerto soloist and continuo player. Currently she plays principal harpsichord for ProMusica Chamber Orchestra of Columbus and serves as organist at the L’Église Française du Saint Esprit. She has given numerous recitals in major venues throughout Japan as well as the US, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Belgium, England, France, Spain and Italy, including a recital at the Peñíscola International Festival of Medieval and Baroque Music, and at the International Conference of the Historical Keyboard Society of North America (Montreal).

She has made over three dozen appearances as concerto soloist on four continents. She has performed with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, Berkshire Opera Company, Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra (Japan), Sinfonietta Cracovia (Poland), Juilliard 415, Juilliard Symphony, appearing under conductors such as Jordi Savall, Nicolas McGegan, Harry Bicket and Masaaki Suzuki. The New York Times proclaimed “Ms. Hamada gave a deft account of Handel’s Concerto” about her performance with conductor William Christie in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. She “defined the torrent of notes beautifully for the ear, while never sacrificing virtuosity; her illuminating playing drew well-deserved cheers" (The Columbus Dispatch). Others have praised her “flawless technique” (The Boston Globe), and "superb command of the harpsichord” (The Springfield Republican). She premiered “Virginal” by Harold Meltzer with the New Juilliard Ensemble in 2010. Her debut album “Jacques Duphly: Pièces de clavecin” was released in April 2015, and was chosen as “Recording of the Month” in the MusicWeb International (July 2015) and the Record Geijutsu Magazine (June 2015).

Aya Hamada won first prize in the London Music Festival Competition and second prize in the Josef Hofmann Piano Competition, and earned her master of music degree in the inaugural class of Historical Performance from the Juilliard School. She studied under Kenneth Weiss in New York and Skip Sempé in Paris, and has received additional coaching from Pierre Hantaï and Christophe Rousset. She resides in New York City.

Image: Adrian Buckmaster

Anneke Schaul-Yoder

(cello) is the Baroque Cellist for The Queens Consort. She performs regularly at New York’s foremost venues in both modern and period styles. She is solo continuo cellist and artistic director for SIREN Baroque, the internationally acclaimed all-female early music ensemble. Anneke is also a member of the Piano Music & Song Trio, a trumpet/cello/piano trio that improvises over art songs, and Skid Rococo, a group with soprano and lute that performs derelict and touching songs of the 18th century. With pianist Derin Öge, Anneke presents eclectic chamber music for cello and piano. She also performs as solo cellist with the Morningside Opera Company, BalletNext, the Argento Chamber Ensemble, and other ensembles.

A devoted educator, Anneke has maintained a private cello studio since 2003, is on the faculty at the Platte Clove School in New York, and organizes music outreach programs for other schools and libraries. Anneke has recordings on the Bridge, System Dialing, and Naxos labels, and records and collaborates with members of Arcade Fire, TV on the Radio, Antibalas, and the Sway Machinery. Throughout 2013, Anneke presented all of Benjamin Britten’s string quartets at Lincoln Center. In 2012, she was a featured guest on A Prairie Home Companion, and in 2013 she appeared on Lincoln Center’s “American Songbook” series, televised on PBS. In 2009, Anneke was granted a fellowship for a four-month intensive study of Bach and Britten solo suites at the Banff Centre.