in 1993, Bimbetta is a 5-woman chamber music ensemble (3 sopranos, cellist, and
harpsichordist) that performs music of the early Baroque on original instruments
using an innovative approach to the stage. Bimbetta's concerts
of early music resemble cabaret in their
imaginative use of expressive staging, references to American popular culture,
women's perspectives, and humor. Bimbetta brings the vivid passions of
17th-century music to life in the 21st century. Bimbetta's five members all have
graduate degrees from
the leading institute in the field, the Early Music Institute at Indiana
University's renowned School of Music.
Acclaimed for superb
musicianship and refreshing, irreverent theatricality, Bimbetta has toured
nationally and internationally, performing for concert series, universities,
clubs, and at major festivals throughout the United States and Europe.
Engagements in the 1999-2000 season include concerts and residencies at the
Krannert Center at the University of Illinois; the UCLA Center for Performing
Arts; the University of Vermont; the Chandler Music Hall in Randolph, Vermont;
the Schubert Club in St. Paul, Minnesota; and Early Music Columbus in Ohio. In
January 2000 Bimbetta was chosen to perform at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie
Hall, for the annual Arts Presenters conference in New York City. The ensemble
was one of four artists/ensembles selected for the Young Performers Career
Advancement seminar sponsored by Classical Connections, a program of the
Association of Performing Arts Presenters and Chamber Music America.
Educational outreach is fundamental to Bimbetta's mission to widen the audience
for 17th-century music, and the ensemble has worked with students of elementary,
junior high, high school, and college age, as well as with adults.
In 1994 Bimbetta was awarded affiiliate status with the San Francisco Early
Music Society. In May 1995 the ensemble signed with California Artists
Management. May 1996 saw the ensemble's European debut; and September 1997
marked the release of Bimbetta's first CD, "War of Love." The ensemble
and CD were featured in an interview on National Public Radio's "Weekend
Edition." Bimbetta has also been featured on the nationally syndicated
radio program, "Harmonia," and receives favorable critical press in
newspapers across the country, including the Los Angeles Times, the San
Francisco Chronicle and the New York Times.
"Anyone who can
sing 'Zefiro Torna' as well as they can may dance to it any way they like."
New York Times
exemplary musicality with refreshingly irreverent theatricality." Los
Angeles Village View
girl group since the Shangri-Las." Louisville Eccentric Observer
swing away on its feminist, political, liberational agenda, and you can take it
or leave it. They're that good as musicians." Robert Commanday, The
San Francisco Chronicle
The Members of Bimbetta
cellist, a native of Sweden, has diverse musical interests, performing on
both baroque and modern cello in orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout the
United States. She received degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music and
Indiana University, studying with Stanley Ritchie, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi and Alan
Harris. She was awarded a Performer's Certificate for outstanding performance on
baroque cello from Indiana University. She was principal cellist of the New
World Symphony under Michael Tilson-Thomas and has also performed with the
Atlanta Symphony. Spending much time in transit, she is a member of the New York
Collegium, Camerata Pacifica Baroque (Santa Barbara), Indianapolis Baroque
Orchestra, and Bimbetta. She also performs with Apollo's Fire (Cleveland) and
Magnificat (San Francisco). Joanna's summer engagements have included
appearances at the Boston, Bloomington, and Indianapolis Early Music Festivals.
has performed under directors such as Jos van Immerseel, Paul Hillier, Stanley
Ritchie and Wendy Gillespie, and in such venues as Andrew Weill Recital Hall at
Carnegie Hall, The Krannert Center at University of Illinois, and Schoenberg
Hall at UCLA. Miss Chatham received
her Master of Music degree in Harpsichord/Fortepiano Performance from the Early
Music Institute at Indiana University (Bloomington), where she studied with
Elisabeth Wright, Colin Tilney and Jos van Immerseel.
At IU she was awarded the prestigious Performerís Certificate.
As a Spivey Scholar, she earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Piano
Performance from Clayton College and State University (Atlanta), where she won
the Steinway Scholarship Award in Mischa Dichterís name and studied
performance-practice under Lyle Nordstrom.
She has also been awarded numerous scholarships to study in Europe.
Holly is currently Director of Music at Marymount School, a private
school for girls in Manhattan and is harpsichordist for New York Baroque.
soprano, is an artist of broad scope whose repertoire ranges from John
Dowland to John Adams, and from chamber music to opera. Ms. Blase-Heilman
made her professional solo debut in 1996 with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra
in Handel's Israel in Egypt. In 1999 she made her European opera debut in
Stravinsky's Biblical Pieces staged by Peter Sellars for Netherlands Opera, and
sang with the New World Symphony under the baton of John Adams in his work,
Grand Pianola Music. A notable Bach specialist, Kirsten was an Adams Fellow in
2000 with the Carmel Bach Festival and was also an Ensemble Artist with the
Opera Theatre of St. Louis. In the 2000-01 season Ms. Blase-Heilman will make
solo appearances with Concert Royal, New York Baroque Dance Company, Grand
Rapids Symphony, New World Symphony, Stamford Symphony, American Classical
Orchestra, and the Dallas Bach Society. In addition to her work as a soloist she
is a member of Paul Hillier's Theatre of Voices with whom she has toured
extensively throughout the US, Europe, and Israel and recorded for Harmonia
Mundi USA. Ms. Blase-Heilman is a graduate of the Indiana University School of
Music. She currently resides in New York City.
soprano, brings a lively interest in the interplay of music and theater
to repertoire from the Renaissance to the 21st century. She takes special
delight in brand new music as well as in music of the early baroque and of J.S.
Bach. Her singing has been called by the press "riveting,"
"daring," "rapturous," and "sublime." Sonja has
sung with ensembles as various as Steve Reich and Musicians, Fretwork, the
Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Theatre of Voices, and the Bloomington Early Music
Festival Orchestra (directed by Stanley Ritchie). She has taught 18th-century
acting technique at Indiana University's Early Music Institute, where she was
stage director for a semi-staged performance of Charpentier's Les Arts
Florissants. While living and studying in Germany, Ms. Rasmussen was soloist
with the Hessian Chamber Orchestra, on Bavarian Radio, and at the Berlin Jazz
Festival. As a choral member of renowned German conductor Helmuth Rillling's
Internationale Bach Ensemble, she participated in numerous TV broadcasts,
recordings, and tours throughout Japan, Israel, Russia, and Europe. Sonja has
recorded for Nonesuch, d'Note, and Focus, and has appeared on National Public
soprano, has sung under directors such as Paul Hillier, Stanley Ritchie,
Wendy Gillespie and Jos van Immerseel in repertoire ranging from French baroque
opera to contemporary works. Ms. Webster has toured the United States and
Holland with Theatre of Voices and recorded three CDs with the group for
Harmonia Mundi. She has performed frequently at the Bloomington Early Music
Festival and appeared in recital in California, Boston, Indianapolis, and Milan,
Italy. California performances have included appearances with Camerata Pacifica
Baroque and in Monteverdi's Ballo delle Ingrate with Los Angeles-based Musica
Angelica. Cassie holds a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from
UCLA, and a Master of Music degree in early vocal performance from the Early
Music Institute at Indiana University's School of Music, where she studied with
Paul Elliott, Paul Hillier, and Ellen Hargis. Ms. Webster now resides in her
native California where she is a member of the all-female baroque ensemble