Black Tulip – Early Music Series 2015-2016

4 p.m. Sun., Jan. 31 at the Byron Colby Barn

Black Tulip 2_editedCome hear the debut of Black Tulip in the Early Music Series at the Byron Colby Barn, which features highly acclaimed musicians performing music from the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods. Admission is $20 for adults and is available at the door only via cash or check (no credit cards). To inspire early appreciation for the arts, children under 16 are admitted free.

Black Tulip explores their “Tulips in Winter” program highlighting rich cantatas for soprano and recorder. This multinational ensemble of highly acclaimed musicians features Josefien Stoppelenburg, soprano (the Netherlands); Mirja Lorenz, recorder (Germany); Joel Spears, theorbo (U.S.); Phillip Serna, viol (U.S.). Black Tulip will perform gems by Handel, Telemann, Vivaldi, and Purcell, along with electrifying instrumental pieces by Castello, Kapsberger, Haquart and others.

Incredible music and architectural beauty combine to create a unique concert experience at the Byron Colby Barn. The Byron Colby Barn is located at 1561 Jones Point Road in Grayslake, inside the Prairie Crossing conservation community. From I-94 north, exit Route 120 west, turn south at Route 45, then right at Jones Point Road. Ample free parking is located in the parking lot adjacent to the Barn. Audience members are welcome to bring a bottle of wine to share with friends during performances. Click here to learn more about the Early Music Series at the Byron Colby Barn.

About the Musicians

Josefien Stoppelenburg (soprano) graduated from the Amsterdam Conservatory of Music in 2005. She is regularly featured as a soloist for oratorio performances in the Netherlands, Germany and the U.S. She has been called “an astonishing singer” (Chicago Tribune), praised for her “creamy tone, dead-on accuracy and dramatic interpretation” (Chicago Classical Music). From 2005 to 2007, she was part of the Young Opera Ensemble of Cologne. She and her sister make up the vocal duo Charlotte and Josefien Stoppelenburg. In 1997, they won the first prize at the Princess Christina Competition and now enjoy international renown, performing regularly on television, radio, and in nearly every Dutch concert hall. ​ Ms. Stoppelenburg’s recent solo performances include the Baroque Band, Newberry Consort, Camerata Amsterdam, Apollo Chorus of Chicago, Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra, Haymarket Opera Company, and more. She sang the world premiere of Jacob TV’s multi-media opera The News in Pittsburgh. In 2013 she made her Korean début, in 2014 was the featured soloist in the Peoria Bach Festival, and in 2015 made her Chinese début. Highlights of her current season include the Handel Gloria with the Chicago Rembrandt Players, St. John Passion with the St. Louis Bach Society, Mozart’s Mass in C in Shanghai, and more. She won the Chicago Oratorio Award 2013 and 2nd place Nationally in the American Prize Opera Competition 2013. Josefien was invited to perform as a soloist for the Dutch King Willem Alexander this Spring.

Born and raised in Luebeck, Germany, Mirja Lorenz (recorders) learned her first little melodies on the recorder when she was about five years old, on Sunday mornings in her mother’s bed (who also was a recorder player). As an adult, Mirja first studied the recorder at Folkwang Musikhochschule in Duisburg/Germany with Gudrun Heyens, and later at the Hogeschool voor de kunsten in Utrecht/the Netherlands with Heiko ter Schegget. She also took master classes with high end recorder players, such as Marion Verbruggen, members of the Amsterdam Loeky Stardust Quartet, and others. Mirja has performed in concerts in Germany, Sweden, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and Chicago. She was a founding member of several ensembles, including Trio Vertical Total, with whom she recorded a CD. Besides playing, Mirja also taught the recorder in Germany, helping numerous students succeed in the “Jugend Musiziert” recorder competition. After moving to the Chicago area, Mirja first focused on a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature which she earned with honors from Roosevelt University. After returning to her music, Mirja quickly began gaining ground in the Chicago Early Music scene. She performed with Music of the Baroque and is currently working on upcoming projects with Haymarket Opera and the Harper College orchestra.

Phillip W. Serna (viol) performs on double bass with numerous Midwest orchestras as well as on violas da gamba with period-instrument Early Music ensembles including Ars Antigua, the Bach Collegium of Fort Wayne, Burning River Baroque, the Callipygian Players, the Chicago Early Music Consort, Duo fantaisie en Echo, Harmonie, Madison Bach Musicians, the Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra, New Comma Baroque, the Newberry Consort of Viols, the Oriana Singers, the Second City Musick, the Secret of the Muses, the Spirit of Gambo – a Chicago Consort of Viols, and many others. In performance, Phillip has appeared on Chicago’s 98.7FM WFMT, Wisconsin Public Radio, Milwaukee Public Radio and WUIS NPR and can be heard on CD releases from Clarion, Cedille, Soundbyte and Varèse Sarabande Records. On viol, Phillip appears as a recitalist performing old and new works for viol and as an orchestral concert soloist. He maintains a private teaching studio stretching across the greater Chicago-area where he is instructor of double bass and viola da gamba at Valparaiso University. At Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, IL, Phillip works as Historically-Informed Performance coach for their viol consort and Illinois’ first public-school period-instrument Baroque ensemble. Committed to community engagement and educational outreach, Phillip is founder and music director of Viols in Our Schools, an Early Music program whose impact earned him Early Music America’s Outreach Award in 2010. Phillip holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Masters and Doctorate degrees from Northwestern University School of Music where he studied viola da gamba with Newberry Consort founder Mary Springfels. Phillip continues to study the viol at workshops and master classes with instructors including Erin Headley, Wieland Kuijken, Catherina Meints, Gail Ann Schroeder, Christel Thielmann and Brent Wissick. Phillip Serna performs on a 7-string bass viol ‘Natalia La Reveuse – The Dreamer’ (after Colichon) by Jane Julier, Devon, UK, #129, 2007.

Joel Spears (lute) is an active lutenist and guitarist based in the Chicago area. He has performed both as a soloist and with ensembles of varying sizes, as a founding member of the ensemble Black Tulip, and including Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Opera Theater, The Marion Consort, Seraphic Fire, Ars Antigua, Bella Voce, Music of the Baroque, The Chicago Early Music Consort, Scholars of Cambrai, and Heroic Bard. In addition to playing for numerous live radio broadcasts on 98.7-WFMT, he has appeared at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Chicago Cultural Center’s Preston Bradley Hall, the Bach Week in Evanston Festival, and the Handel Week Festival. Joel recently collaborated with composer Scott Gibbons on his soundtrack for the multimedia event, “Les Noces de Louis XIV” held at Versailles. As a lecturer and performer, he as appeared at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Madison Early Music Festival, and as Guest Artist and Lecturer at Grand Valley State University. Joel is currently Lute Instructor at the Music Institute of Chicago, and Artistic Director of The Early Music Series at the Byron Colby Barn in Grayslake, Illinois. He is also proud to be the first theorbo teacher in the nation at the high school level at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, IL.