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Baltimore Consort plays early-music concert
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The Baltimore Consort brings a holiday program when they play the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center on Dec. 15.
TARPON SPRINGS – If the Billboard Hot 100 ranked the most popular songs during the Renaissance, what classics would have topped the charts? What melodies might have been on William Shakespeare’s mind when he was working on his latest play?

The members of early-music ensemble The Baltimore Consort could not only answer those questions – they could play the songs, too.

The Baltimore Consort will perform a seasonal program Sunday, Dec. 15, 3 p.m., at Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, 324 Pine St., Tarpon Springs.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $22 for students and members of Tarpon Springs Cultural Treasures. Call 942-5605 or visit tarpo­narts­.org.

The Baltimore Consort was founded in 1980 to perform the instrumental music of Shakespeare’s time. Since then, however, the ensemble has explored early English, Scottish and French popular music, focusing on the relationship between folk and art song and dance. Their interest in early music of English/Scottish heritage also has led them to delve into the rich trove of traditional music preserved in North America.

The group’s recordings on the Dorian label have earned them recognition as Top Classical-Crossover Artist of the Year (Billboard), as well as rave reviews elsewhere. The Baltimore Consort has recorded more than a dozen CDs with Dorian, such as “On The Banks of Helicon” (1990), “Watkins Ale” (1990), “La Rocque 'n' Roll” (1993), “The Art of the Bawdy Song” (1993), “Bright Day Star” (1994), “A Trip to Killburn” (1996), “Tunes from the Attic” (1997), “The Ladyes Delight” (1998), “The Mad Buckgoat” (1999), “Adew Dundee” (2003), “The Best of the Baltimore Consort” (2003) and “Adio Espana: Romances, Villancicos, and Improvisations from Spain, circa 1550” (2009).

The Baltimore Consort’s current lineup features Mary Anne Ballard, Mark Cudek, Larry Lipkis, Ronn McFarlane, Mindy Rosenfeld, José Lemos and Danielle Svonavec.

Mary Anne Ballard plays viols and rebec. She researches many of the consort’s programs. She also performs with Galileo’s Daughters, Brio, Fleur de Lys and the Oberlin Consort of Viols. Previously, she directed or coached early music at the Peabody Conservatory, Princeton University, and the University of Pennsylvania, where she founded the Collegium Musicum and produced medieval music drama. She is now on the faculty of the Oberlin’s summer Baroque Performance Institute. Currently a resident of Indiana, she has appeared recently with Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra.

Mark Cudek plays cittern, viol, recorder, crumhorn and early guitars. He currently serves as director of the Early Music Program at the Peabody Conservatory and also artistic director of the Indianapolis Early Music Festival.

In recognition of his work as Founder/Director of the Peabody Renaissance Ensemble and also the High School Early Music Program at the Interlochen Arts Camp, Cudek received from Early Music America the 2001 Thomas Binkley Award and the 2005 Award for Outstanding Contribution to Early Music Education. He has regularly performed with Apollo’s Fire, The Catacoustic Consort, and Hesperus.

Larry Lipkis plays viol, recorder, crumhorn and gemshorn.

Lipkis is composer-in-residence and director of Early Music at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pa. His cello concerto, “Scaramouche,” appears on the Koch label, and his bass trombone concerto, “Harlequin,” was premiered by the Los Angeles Philharmonic to rave reviews. The trilogy was completed when the Houston Symphony performed his bassoon concerto “Pierrot”. He has also served as director of Pinewoods Early Music Week, and is currently a music director for the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival.

Ronn McFarlane plays lute.

McFarlane has released more than 25 CDs on Dorian, including solo music of John Dowland, lute song recitals, and recordings with the Baltimore Consort. Inspired by the lutenist-composers of the Renaissance, he has also composed more than 35 new lute solos, many of which are on his CD release, “Indigo Road.”

Mindy Rosenfeld plays flutes, fifes, recorder and crumhorn. She is a founding member of the Baltimore Consort whose playing graced the ensemble’s first decade. She also is a long-time member of San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra.

Playing both historical wooden and modern flutes, she typically appears on tour with 15 instruments. Rosenfeld is a frequent guest/soloist with numerous early music groups and principal flute in several symphony orchestras. Also the mother of five boys, besides performing, recording, and teaching, she loves dancing and her Mendocino garden.

José Lemos is a countertenor.

In 2003, Lemos received his MM from the New England Conservatory and won the International Baroque Vocal Competition in Chimay, Belgium. A native of Brazil and Uruguay, Lemos has appeared in opera roles at Tanglewood and with Boston Baroque. In 2005, he performed in Handel’s Giulio Cesare with Cecilia Bartoli at the Zürich Opera under Marc Minkowski, and in 2006 was Arnalta in Monteverdi’s Poppea in Buenos Aires.

Danielle Svonavec is a soprano.

A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where she won the Concerto Competition and now teaches voice, Svonavec first appeared with the Baltimore Consort in 1999, on short notice for a nine-concert Christmas tour. Since then she has toured with the consort and appeared with the Smithsonian Chamber Players, Pomerium, the South Bend Chamber Orchestra and Fleur de lys. She currently serves as the cantor for the nationally televised mass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame. She has also become the mother of three small daughters, and lives with her husband and family in Goshen, Ind.
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