ALINA ROTARU (Vilnius/Bremen)
Alina Rotaru studied piano and choral conducting at the music academy in her hometown of Bucharest. After moving to Germany, she studied harpsichord at the Folkwang University of the Arts Essen, Conservatorium van Amsterdam, and at the University of the Arts Bremen. She is an active soloist and ensemble player, and also in charge of various orchestral, opera, and sacred music projects of the German Early and Late Baroque as an artistic director. As a soloist, she has performed across most of Europe, as well as in Japan, South America and USA. She teaches at the University of the Arts in Bremen. Her solo recordings of harpsichord works by J.P. Sweelinck, J.J. Froberger, and English virginalists have earned excellent reviews in the music press and amongst her peers. Together with viol player Darius Stabinskas, Alina is the co-founder of the ensemble MORGAINE, which focuses on the music of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In 2019, she was awarded a scholarship by the Lithuanian Council for Culture for her studies on early keyboard sources from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
IMBI TARUM (Tallinn)
Imbi Tarum graduated as pianist from Tallinn Music Academy and pursued further harpsichord studies with leading figures including Ton Koopman, Bob van Asperen, Menno van Delft and Therese de Goede. Imbi Tarum is a highly experienced and much-cherished soloist and ensemble player, having performed in numerous projects worldwide with ensembles and groups such as Hortus Musicus, Tallinn Baroque Orchestra, Arte dei Suonatori, Concerto Copenhagen, His Majesty’s Sagbutts and Cornetts, and Concerto Palatino. Notable mentions among her recordings are: ‘Vertigo’ (French harpsichord music), as well as a project to record all of Vivaldi’s violin sonatas featuring several notable violinists, and a recording of Domenico Dall’Oglio’s and Luigi Madonis’s violin sonatas with Maria Krestinskaya. Imbi Tarum teaches at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre in Tallinn, where she is in charge of the early music department. She is also the artistic director of Tallinn Harpsichord Festival and the Early Music Festival Ceciliana.
MĀRIS KUPČS (Riga)
Māris Kupčs started his musical career as a choral conductor, later focusing on orchestral and operatic repertoire. He is the founder of Baroque orchestra Collegium Musicum Riga and the Baroque choir Collegium Choro Musici Riga, as well as the Early Music Department at The Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music. Māris Kupčs is the winner of many contests as a conductor, often with Balsis, the choir he established: the BBC Grand Prix, the Silver Rose Bowl and Grand Prix Neuchatel, first place at Cantonigros, as well as first places in the national conductors’ contest in Riga and the international conductors’ contest in Vilnius. He has been a regular guest conductor of the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra since 1999, and has conducted in the Baltic States, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Israel and the USA. He is one of the European early music mentors in the Creative Europe project EEEMERGING (Emerging European Ensembles). In 2020, Māris Kupčs will receive Latvia’s highest state honour of– The Order of Three Stars.
MAREK TOPOROWSKI (Kraków)
Marek Toporowski won the first prize at the first edition of the Wanda Landowska National Harpsichord competition in 1991. With his ensemble, Concerto Polacco, and the chamber choir Sine Nomine, he recorded numerous opuses of Polish early music. He is a prolific recording artist, and among his projects counts the first recording ever made of Charles Noblet’s Livre de clavecin. Marek Toporowski is a five-times winner of the Polish recording industry’s prestigious Fryderyk award—. As an organist, he has participated in various projects including the documentary project Orgel in der Niederlausitz. Marek Toporowski teaches at the Academy of Music in Katowice, where he formed Upper Silesia’s first harpsichord studio and Baroque orchestra, and at the Academy of Music in Kraków. He is the co-organiser of the summer Organ Academy in Koszalin, as well as the founder of Fortepianarium – a unique collection in which his own instruments are exhibited and used for teaching and performing purposes.
MARCIN SZELEST (Kraków)
Marcin Szelest studied organ at the Academy of Music in Krakow and The Boston Conservatory (USA). He won first prize in the J.P. Sweelinck Organ Competition in Gdańsk in 1995. He has performed as an organ soloist, as well as with numerous soloists, choirs, orchestras and period instrument ensembles such as Concerto Palatino, Vox Luminis, Weser Renaissance Bremen. Marcin is Professor of organ at the Academy of Music in Kraków. His doctor habilitatus dissertation, ‘Stylistic changes in Italian organ music at the turn of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries’ (2007) was awarded the Polish Prime Minister’s prize. He has published articles on sources and editorial problems in early Polish music, and edited the Complete Works of Stanisław Sylwester Szarzyński for the series ‘Monumenta Musicae in Polonia’. He is also the organist of Holy Cross church in Kraków, where he plays on a restored 1704 organ. In addition, Marcin is a member of the scientific board of the series, ‘Fontes Musicae in Polonia’, and artistic director of the Early Music Festival at Stary Sącz.
BALYS VAITKUS (Vilnius)
Balys Vaitkus holds degrees in piano and organ performance from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. He studied organ at the Musikhochschule Lübeck and harpsichord at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. In 2015, he graduated from the harpsichord doctoral programme at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre with his thesis on the dynamics of harpsichord playing. Balys has also received scholarships and grants for artistic and scientific studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, the Académie de Sablé, the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague, as well as at the Museum for Historic Instruments at Leipzig University. Balys Vaitkus has given numerous organ recitals in most European countries and toured extensively in Russia. Aside from this, he performs actively with chamber and symphony orchestras as well as choirs from Lithuania and abroad. He is Associate Professor for organ and harpsichord at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre in Vilnius, as well as chairman of the National Organists’ Association of Lithuania.