Stephanie Martin debuts York U’s new Harpsichord in Recital of Baroque Masters

Stephanie Martin imageStephanie Martin headlines the Faculty Concert Series of York University’s Music Department on January 16 in a recital of music by Baroque masters where she will debut York’s remarkable new harpsichord. Martin (left) will present solo works as well as chamber music by Buxtehude, Sweelinck and J.S. Bach with guest artists, viola da gambists Joëlle Morton and Justin Haynes. The recital takes place January 16 at 7:30pm in the Tribute Communities Recital Hall at York.

Hand-made by renowned Montreal craftsman Yves Beaupré, York’s harpsichord was commissioned by the music department to support a burgeoning interest in baroque performance practice. Each Yves Beaupré harpsichord is an original, and York’s single-manual instrument is beautifully decorated in traditional Flemish style with stylized tulips, roses, ladybugs and strawberries.

Viola da gamba is also a hot topic on campus these days, with the recent gift to the university of a set of viols originally owned by the late Peggie Sampson. The foremost viola da gambist of her day in Canada, Sampson was a charter member of York’s music department, where she taught from 1971 to 1977.

Martin’s concert will focus primarily on the music of German composer and organist Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1707), who influenced one of the most famous composers of all time, J.S. Bach. In 1705, Bach made a legendary two-hundred-mile pilgrimage on foot from Arnstadt to the city of Lübeck to learn from the aging Buxtehude, whom he greatly admired.

Martin joined the faculty in York’s music department in 2004, teaching harpsichord and organ performance as well as the history of Early and Baroque music. A recipient of the Lilian Forsythe Award for Church Music and Leslie Bell Choral Conducting Prize, she was director of music for Toronto’s Calvin Presbyterian Church and its award-winning choir for 11 years. In 2007, she took up the prestigious post of music director for the historic Church of Saint Mary Magdalene, following in the footsteps of Healey Willan. She also serves as artistic director and conductor of Toronto’s renowned Pax Christi Chorale.

Martin was harpsichordist with the Arbor Oak Trio for 15 years, and currently performs with the Renaissance wind trio Recordare. She is a frequent guest continuo player with the Baroque ensemble I FURIOSI, and has appeared and recorded with many other ensembles, including the Toronto Consort and Aradia.

Joëlle Morton performs professionally on violas da gamba, violone and double bass. Active as a soloist and chamber musician in North America and Europe, she directs the Scaramella chamber series in Toronto, is a founding member of Sympatica in New York City and appears regularly with many other ensembles including Tafelmusik, Musicians in Ordinary, Parthenia — A Consort of Viols and Brandywine Baroque.

Justin Haynes studied cello and viola da gamba at Harvard and the Royal Conservatory of the Hague, performing under directors such as Christopher Hogwood and William Christie. He has played in masterclasses in the USA and Europe for such gambists as Paolo Pandolfo and Jordi Savall. He is now based in Toronto, where he has appeared with ensembles such as Baroque Music Beside the Grange and the Pax Christi Chorale.

This is the third of seven performances in the Faculty Concert Series spotlighting faculty artists in the Department of Music at York University. Upcoming concerts will feature Michael Marcuzzi, Mark Chambers, Catherine Robbin and Barry Elmes.

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What: Stephanie Martin in concert
When: Wed. Jan 16 at 7:30pm
Where: Tribute Communities Recital Hall, Accolade East Building, York University, 4700 Keele St. [Map] Admission: $15, students $5.
Box Office: 416.736.5888 | ampd.yorku.ca/perform/boxoffice

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Media Contact:
Amy Stewart, Communications, Faculty of Fine Arts, York University
416.736.2100 ext. 20421 amy.stewart@yorku.ca