ARTEK | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen
ARTEK performance at the Butler School of Music in Austin, Texas on January 23, 2024, with Enrico Gatti, Arnie Tanimoto, and Gwendolyn Toth. (Photo: Ralph Arvesen)

Audiences love ARTEK concerts for their exciting, dramatic performances of baroque music, with compelling musical settings of beautiful poetry and infectious dance rhythms that infuse the performances with vitality and spirit. Founded by director Gwendolyn Toth in 1986, ARTEK features America’s finest singers and instrumentalists in performances of historically informed early music.

ARTEK gave acclaimed performances of the theater show, I’ll Never See the Stars Again, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, on Off-Broadway, and on the Peak Performances (NJ) series. “New York early music company ARTEK provides a stark reminder of just how rich and passionate, as well as achingly sad, Monteverdi’s songs can be. Martin Platt and Gwendolyn Toth’s imaginative reinvention of Monteverdi’s music…not only delivers virtuoso playing from its 14 actor-musicians but also marries the music to some evocative images, using the pieces as a soundtrack to the story of a group of Italian refugees’ entangled love lives.” (Chris Bartlett, The Stage, UK)

International festival highlights include standing ovation performances of Monteverdi to sell-out crowds at the Regensburg (Germany) Tage Alter Musik Festival; performances at festivals in Utrecht, Italy, Hungary, and the Czech Replublic, and in the US performances at prestigious American festivals in Boston, Berkeley, Bloomington, and Indianapolis.

ARTEK toured internationally from 1997 to 2002 with the Mark Morris Dance Group, in the dance “I Don’t Want to Love,” visiting major venues in the United Kingdom, Italy, and Canada as well as more than 50 of America’s premier theaters. “It is beautiful, sensuous music, vibrantly given here by early music specialists, led by Gwendolyn Toth.” (Clive Barnes, The New York Post)

ARTEK made its Lincoln Center debut in spring 2010 and has appeared at Symphony Space, the Metropolitan Museum, Kaye Playhouse, and many other venues. ARTEK’s 30th anniversary concert of the Intermedii from La Pellegrina 1589 in 2016 brought together sixty distinguished artists for New York City’s first complete performance of this great masterpiece. ARTEK’s latest theatrical triumph is Artemisia: Light and Shadow, a new musical show on the life of Italian baroque artist Artemisia Gentileschi, now touring across the USA.

ARTEK released the first American recording of Monteverdi’s Orfeo to international acclaim. “A luminous account of this magical opera in its first American recording. Toth’s fine period-instrument ensemble lets the music dance and breathe, yet her expansive, almost Romantic conception of the piece sacrifices no emotional detail.” (Heidi Waleson, Billboard) ARTEK’s other recordings include Loveletters from Italy, I Don’t Want to Love, Monteverdi: Madrigals Book V and Soli Dei Gloria: Cantatas of Johann Rosenmüller. Artek’s latest landmark recording: Monteverdi: Madrigals, Book VII (complete) was released in November, 2020.

Program featured music by Mascitti, Marais, Couperin, Froberger, and Leclair. With Enrico Gatti (violin), Arnie Tanimoto (viola da gamba), and Gwendolyn Toth (harpsichord).

Enrico Gatti
Born in Perugia, Italy, Enrico Gatti has dedicated himself to the study of XVII and XVIII century repertoire. A pupil of Chiara Banchini, he obtained the diploma in baroque violin at The Conservatory of Music in Geneva, Switzerland; he finished his studies under the guidance of Sigiswald Kuijken at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, Netherlands.

He has concertized extensively in Europe, Canada, America, Russia, Japan and Australia, performing with, among others, La Petite Bande, Ensemble 415, Concerto Palatino, Hesperion XX, La Real Cámara, as leader of Les Arts Florissants, Les Talens Lyriques, The Taverner Players, The King’s Consort, Ricercar Consort, Bach Collegium Japan, Accordone Ensemble, Accademia W. Hermans, Concerto Köln and ARTEK (New York), as well as with directors such as Gustav Leonhardt and Ton Koopman. He directs the Ensemble Aurora, which he founded in Italy in 1986. He has recorded for Harmonia Mundi (France and Germany), Accent and Ricercar (Belgium), Fonit Cetra, Tactus and Symphonia (Italy), Arcana and Astrée (France), Glossa (Spain) as well as recording for the Italian, French, Swiss, Spanish, Dutch, Belgian, German, Swedish, Finnish, Russian Canadian and American radio networks. He was assigned the first prize “Antonio Vivaldi” in 1993 and 1998 and several times the “Diapason d’or”.

Enrico Gatti has developed a distinguished teaching career as professor of baroque violin at The Conservatory of Music in Toulouse, France, the Conservatory of Geneva, the Schola Cantorum of Basel, Switzerland and the Civica Scuola di Musica in Milan. He teaches presently at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague and at the Conservatorio “G.B. Martini” of Bologna. He has also given masterclasses at the Conservatories of Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, Madrid, Amsterdam, Utrecht, at the Hochschule für Musik of Trossingen, the University of British Columbia, the University of Texas, the University of Salamanca, the University of Tokyo, the Accademia Chigiana of Siena, the Scuola di Musica of Fiesole, and has taught as well in many summer courses in Urbino, Erice, Venezia, Lanciano (Italy), Barbaste (France), Spa (Belgium), Béjar (Spain), Szombathely (Hungary), Amherst (U.S.A.).

Enrico Gatti was a member of the jury for the international early music competitions at Bruges (1993), Brescia (1995), Rovereto (1997 & 1998, president of the jury in 2010), “Symphonia en Perigord” (1998) and "Principe Francesco Maria Ruspoli" (2012, president of the jury in 2014). From 1997 to 2005 he has been artistic director of the Urbino Early Music Course. He is now member of the Scientific Committee for the national critical edition of the complete works of Alessandro Stradella and will be the President for the Scientific Committee for the international Symposium “Arcomelo 2013” which took place in Fusignano in November 2013 to celebrate Arcangelo Corelli’s death tricentenary. He published several articles on early music performance practice as well as facsimile editions of Italian violin music, and more recently an essay on the history of diminution.

Arnie Tanimoto
Gold medalist and first-ever American laureate of the International Bach-Abel Competition (2018) Arnie Tanimoto has quickly established himself as one of the foremost viol players in the United States. He has performed and recorded in venues across North America and Europe with the likes of Barthold Kuijken, the Boston Early Music Festival Ensemble, and the Smithsonian Consort of Viols. Arnie is a core member of Mountainside Baroque and a founding member of the Academy of Sacred Drama. Alongside harpist, Parker Ramsay, he co-directs A Golden Wire.

Arnie was the first-ever viola da gamba major at the Juilliard School, where he soloed on both viola da gamba and baroque cello. In 2017 he was awarded with a Frank Huntington Beebe Fund Fellowship and subsequently finished his studies at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel, Switzerland. His principal teachers include Paolo Pandolfo, Sarah Cunningham, Christel Thielmann, and Catharina Meints. He holds additional degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and the Eastman School of Music.

As a teacher Arnie serves on faculty at Princeton University, as well as maintaining a private studio. He also regularly teaches at the Mountainside Baroque Summer Academy and the Viola da Gamba Society Conclave.

Gwendolyn Toth
Recognized as one of America’s leading early music performers, Gwendolyn Toth is a conductor and early keyboard artist based in New York City. “Her interpretive skills are sensitive and intelligent, and she clearly has a gift for program conceptualization.” (The New York Times). She has conducted at Sadler’s Wells Theater in London, BAM in New York City, Skylight Theater in Milwaukee, Astoria Music Festival in Oregon, Carmel Bach Festival in California, Washington Bach Consort in Washington DC, and for the German Radio network in Cologne, Germany. Opera News has honored Ms. Toth as an “Outstanding Young Conductor” and she was the recipient of the Newell Jenkins Prize for excellence in early music performance.

As a soloist on historical organs, Ms. Toth has performed on the 1434 organ in Sion, Switzerland; the 15th-c. organ in Oosthuizen, Netherlands; the 1509 organ in Trevi, Italy; the 1531 organ in Krewerd, Netherlands; the 1562 organ in Loppersum, Netherlands; the 1649 organ in Zeerijp, Netherlands; the 1696 Arp Schnitger organ in Noordbroek, Netherlands; the 1655 Hagerbeer organ in the Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam; and the 1714 organ in St. Michael’s Church, Vienna among many others. Her numerous CD recordings of Renaissance and baroque music have been recorded on historic Dutch organs in Noordbroek, Zeerijp, Oosthuizen, Eenum, and Krewerd. Ms. Toth also has a solo recording of J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations performed on a lautenwerk, a reconstruction of Bach’s lute-harpsichord, strung in both gut and metal strings.

Ms. Toth holds the D.M.A. in organ performance from Yale University and did post-graduate study with Ton Koopman at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In addition to being the director of ARTEK, she is music director at Saint Ignatius of Antioch Episcopal Church in New York City.

Enrico Gatti
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Arnie Tanimoto

Gwendolyn Toth
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Photos by Ralph Arvesen
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