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The Albany Consort
The Albany Consort

1974 was a fairly bleak time for Early Music in London. Orchestras were modern, thick and heavy; historically informed performances were a rarity, and often not very precise. Against this backdrop, Jonathan Salzedo, Marion Rubinstein and a few friends started a new group, The Albany Consort, with the usual ideals – lively performances and no financial worries, but somehow they would eventually become rich and famous. Things rarely go as planned. Today, Jonathan is constantly surprised that the group still exists, still runs on a shoestring, still fuels his creative personality, and still provides the best musical experiences for performers and listeners.

Over the years, some 500 musicians have taken part in as many concerts on both sides of the Atlantic. With the broadest repertoire of any early music group, they tackle everything from the 18th century, from the largest to the smallest groupings, sometimes with period instruments, sometimes with modern setup. Jonathan’s view is that many different approaches to the music are possible, and he aims to bring together groups of musicians who can work together and create a terrific result.

After an initial concert series at Christ Church, Albany Street, London (hence the group’s name, which causes much delightful confusion in the USA), the group performed regularly in England until Jonathan moved to California in 1981. Since then, The Albany Consort has been a fixture of Bay Area music making.

Jonathan is also a well-known Freeway Philharmonic contributor. Once a maker of instruments, Jonathan still enjoys voicing and repair work, and the thrill of moving harpsichords single-handedly and tuning them.

Laura Rubinstein-Salzedo performs regularly on period and modern instruments in the US, Europe, New Zealand and Asia. She has performed as violinist and violist under Nicholas McGegan (as principal second), Masaaki Suzuki (as violinist and principal violist), William Christie, Richard Egarr, Jordi Savall, Monica Huggett, Mark Morris, Manfredo Kraemer, and Jeffrey Thomas.

Ms. Rubinstein-Salzedo’s violin concerto performance in New Zealand was praised by the Otago Times for its “excellent pace, and its exciting and forward motion”.

Ms. Rubinstein-Salzedo has performed with Juilliard415, New York Baroque Inc, Clarion Music Society, Sacramento Baroque Soloists, Black Letter Baroque, Lyra Baroque Orchestra (under Jacques Ogg), San Jose Baroque Orchestra, San Francisco Bach Choir, UC Berkeley Chorus, and many more. Her summer festival appearances include Lake Tahoe Music Festival (as concertmaster), American Bach Soloists Festival, Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, Berkeley Festival and Exhibition, and the Bear Valley Music Festival.

Her 2015-2016 season highlights include tours to Japan with Black Letter Baroque and New Zealand for the New Zealand International Early Music Festival, a modern premiere of a baroque opera with Ars Minerva, and an engagement with Galax Quartet.

Ms. Rubinstein-Salzedo studied with Elizabeth Blumenstock and at the Juilliard School with Monica Huggett and Cynthia Roberts. She plays a 1690 Caspar Borbon violin, made in Brussels. When not making music, Laura enjoys baking, photography, knitting, and playing with her cat, Sherbert. Visit her website at rubinsalz.com.

Since moving to California in 1981, British-born harpsichordist Jonathan Salzedo has become a popular Freeway Philharmonic collaborator with many organization including Jubilate, San Francisco Symphony, Symphony Silicon Valley and Black Box Baroque. With his wife Marion Rubinstein, he co-directs The Albany Consort, now in its 42nd year, which tackles the entire spectrum of baroque music from duos to opera. He performs new music with violinist Karen Bentley Pollick, using the harpsichord in unusual contexts. Once a maker of instruments, Jonathan still enjoys voicing and repair work. He also considers moving harpsichords (generally single-handedly) and tuning them (he is an expert on early tuning systems) to be cherished parts of a harpsichordist’s life. Jonathan has two grownup children who are both fine musicians. In his spare time, he sings at Congregation Etz Chayim, Palo Alto, teaches Alexander Technique, and runs a software consulting business.

Marion Rubinstein, recorder, received her training in performance and musicology at Stanford, where she studied with Margaret Fabrizio and George Houle, and also at King’s College, London University. She performs frequently on organ and harpsichord as well as on recorders. She was a founder and has been co-director of the Albany Consort (now in its 42nd season), and plays as soloist and accompanist for the Santa Cruz Chamber Players, Soli Deo Gloria, Jubilate, Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, Santa Clara Chorale, Whole Noyse and other groups. She also greatly enjoys sharing her musical discoveries with her students.

Holly Piccoli has established herself internationally as a modern and baroque violinist. Newly based in the Bay Area, Holly has worked with the American Bach Soloists and the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, and frequently returns to New York and Australia for performances.

Holly’s most recent career highlights include performing in Manhattan with Trinity Baroque Orchestra as soloist and Concertmaster of Orchestra II for Bach’s ‘St. Matthew Passion’, Australia’s Sanguine Estate Music Festival performing chamber music with the extraordinary violinist Anthony Marwood and former leader of the famous Brodsky Quartet- Andrew Haveron, her solo recital at Italy’s Bari International Music Festival, Melbourne Piano Trio’s extensive tour throughout China and Mongolia, the Novus NY performance of “Epic Rarities” in Carnegie Hall, and the premier, as concertmaster, for American composer Martin Bresnick’s opera, “My Friend’s Story.”

Holly performs on a 2012 Jay Haide violon à l’ancienne baroque, a copy of the Tommaso Balestrieri instrument. Holly also performs on a modern violin by Alessandro Di Matteo, made in 2004 in Cremona, Italy. Holly is an alumna of the Australian National Academy of Music and the Yale School of Music.

Katie Hagen is a versatile performer on both modern and period string instruments. As a modern violist, she has performed with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, New World Symphony, and Cleveland Pops Orchestra; festival appearances include Tanglewood, Bowdoin, and Heifetz. Since relocating to California in 2014, she has freelanced throughout the Bay Area and appeared in academy performances at the Oregon Bach Festival and with the American Bach Soloists. Katie completed concurrent undergraduate degrees in viola performance and physics at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Case Western Reserve University and did graduate work at the Eastman School of Music. She teaches private violin and viola lessons at various locations in the East Bay and also serves as a nonprofit grant writer.

Born and raised in Fort Worth, TX, Caitlin Cribbs has been playing music since the age of three. Although she began her studies on the violin, she quickly picked up piano and viola lessons. Caitlin has two degrees in Viola Performance (BM from Univeristy of North Texas and MM from Eastman School of Music) where she studied with Susan Dubois and Carol Rodland, and has continued playing violin to this day. While at UNT she joined the Collegium Musicum, which allowed her to study Baroque violin and viola with Cynthia Roberts and also begin learning viola da gamba with Pat Nordstrom. Caitlin’s interest in early music and historical performance practices continued into her graduate studies, where she was fortunate to work with Paul O’Dette, Christel Thielmann, and Kristian Bezuidenhout among many others! After graduate school she received Suzuki Teacher Training for violin and viola at the renowned Ithaca Suzuki Institute.

Based half way between San Francisco and Sacramento, Caitlin enjoys a life full of teaching and performing. Current ensembles include Dallas Bach Society, Queen City Musicians in Seattle, Albany Consort, and Mountainside Baroque in Cumberland, MD.

Swiss-American cellist Fredric Rosselet has performed widely across Europe and North America. A passionate orchestral and chamber musician, he has been a member of the Verbier Festival Orchestra, a participant at the Yellow Barn Music Festival as well as a faculty member at the Yellow Barn Young Artists Program. Having a keen interest in early and new music, he enjoys exploring new repertoire for the cello and discovering old works on baroque cello and viola da gamba.

After studying at both the Basel Music Academy and the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, Frederic obtained his DMA from the University of Southern California, where he was awarded first prize in both the solo Bach and the concerto competitions. He has mainly benefited from the teachings of cellists Ralph Kirshbaum, Rafael Rosenfeld and David Geringas.

Roy Whelden is a composer and performer on the violas da gamba, of which the violone is the double bass member. A current composition project is a “Credo, after reading Kurt Gödel,” written for the Galax Quartet (two violins, viola da gamba and cello) and the San Francisco Choral Artists.