Ars Antiqua is a period instrument ensemble comprised of America’s finest baroque music specialists. They are artists in residence at the historic Church of St. Mary the Virgin in Chappaqua, New York where their dynamic performances have received critical acclaim. The group explores seventeenth and eighteenth-century music with a core ensemble that expands with guest artists in performances of larger scale Baroque repertoire.
Ars Antiqua concerts are known for their unique integration of exciting musical performances with musicological research. Their innovative programs are designed to illuminate a particular style or genre of seventeenth and eighteenth century music and are presented within the context of Baroque art and social history.
The ensemble has collaborated with New York’s Choir of St. Ignatius Loyola on numerous projects and have been presented in their Sacred Music in a Sacred Space series in New York City, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and at the Austrian Embassy in Washington, D.C. Under the direction of Mark Kramer, their programs are inspired by often unknown and rare musical manuscripts and their integral relationship to the visual arts, history and literature.
Mark Kramer, Artistic Director, Viola da gamba, studied the violoncello and early music at Northwestern University where he received a Master of Music Degree. While pursuing a doctorate degree in Music History, he specialized in the symbolism of music in Dutch paintings of the seventeenth century, and also served as the Assistant Director of the Northwestern Collegium Musicum.
He has lectured and performed on viols and Medieval string instruments with the Chicago Early Music Consort, and is a founding member of the Telemann Consort, a Chicago-based ensemble which was dedicated to the performance of 18th-century music on original instruments. Mr. Kramer is the founder of Ars Antiqua and has served as artistic director for the past twenty-nine concert seasons. He is an active period instrument chamber musician and orchestral player having appeared with some of America’s finest early music ensembles.
Among his solo performances has been a recital of works by Tobias Hume for unaccompanied viola da gamba presented at Lincoln Center. He is also the founder of Zenith, a viol consort devoted to late baroque repertory. Mr. Kramer plays a viola da gamba made in 1713 by Johann Gottfried Schmid of Leipzig, a treble viol by Johann Schorn, Salzburg 1720 and a baroque violoncello, School of Bernard Fendt, London.