QuinkBiography

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Vocal Ensemble performs Ralp Vaughan William’s Loch Lomond
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BIOGRAPHY

Following their successful debut at the Holland Festival, Quink quickly emerged as a stunning and unique ensemble. They are a remarkable group of four Dutch singers whose special style has helped establish their reputation as a group that captivates its audiences with expressive a cappella programs of a varied and beautiful repertoire.

The current members of Quink, who are also experienced soloists, find themselves at home in many areas of the a cappella repertoire, performing music from different periods in authentic style. Their vast repertoire of a cappella music includes music from early Renaissance to music of our own time.
Quink has recorded on the Etcetera and CBS labels, and released CDs with Vanguard Classics (Vaughan-Williams/Finzi) and Ottavo (Purcell; Ain’t Misbehavin’). Quink’s CDs on Telarc International include collections of Italian and English madrigals; an offering of Christmas Carols; a collection of international folksongs; Invisible Cities, and a collection of contemporary Dutch a cappella music. Quink recorded the Petite Messe Solennelle by Rossini with eight singers and two historic grand pianos and a harmonium from Rossini’s era, thus creating the (authentic) sound Rossini must have heard when this work was performed the very first time.

The New York Times praised Quink’s collection of Benjamin Britten works saying it “reveals Quink’s elegant phrasing, impeccable intonation and a purity of tone reminiscent of Renaissance madrigals.” Of their rendition of William Byrd’s “Mass for…Voices,” Gramophone magazine said, “Their performance is astonishingly live because they have a superb range of vocal color – varying their tonal tension, their vibrato, their articulation and so on–-and avoid any temptation to exaggerate Byrd’s often playful rhythms.”

Quink’s first United States tour in 1985 was so artistically successful that the group now returns each season. Tours have included residencies at Dartmouth and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and concerts in Spievy Hall, Atlanta, Georgia; Interlochen Center for the Arts, Michigan; Early Music Now, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Houston Friends of Chamber Music, Texas; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Chautauqua Institution, New York and gave its New York debut in Merkin Hall. Later, they appeared at the Cloisters in New York, and performed concerts on both coasts, the Midwest and Alaska. They have also performed across the border in Canada. Quink was invited as special guest at the Iowa Choral Directors’Convention. The group is regularly invited to internationally-acclaimed music festivals, including Tel Aviv (Israel) and Singapore.The members of Quink are Marjon Strijk, Elsbeth Gerritsen, Harry van Berne and Kees Jan de Koning. Critical acclaim follows them wherever they perform. The Philadelphia Inquirer said, “The group has a tight, polished sound.

The surface of the music glistened, and the intonation was flawless. Only practiced musicians who additionally are humble enough to allow their voices to be included within the whole sound can create such music.”

INDIVIDUAL BIOGRAPHIES

MARJON STRIJK, soprano, studied voice with Jeanne Companjen, Eugenie Ditewig and Bas Ramselaar, as well as Masterclasses led by Ulirch Eisenlohr and Michael Chance. Marjon’s repertoire spans many different styles: from Buxtehude to Brahms. She also sings contemporary music like Requiem by John Rutter and Angel of Light by Gert Oost (premiere). She recently sang the songcycle Miroir de Peine for soprano and orchestra by the Dutch composer Hendrik Andriessen. She worked with conductors Jos van Veldhoven, Peter Dijkstra and Harry van der Kamp . She has recorded Masses by Willem de Fesch, Mozart Requiem, Miserere by Allegri, cantatas by Bach and solo cantatas by Vivaldi, Johns Passion and St. Matthews Passion. In addition to her work with Quink, Marjon regularly sings with The Netherlands Chamber Choir, the Dutch Bach Society, the Brabantsch Muzyk Collegie and the Deutsche Bachvokalisten. She also participated in a large musical theater production with 55 plus concerts. This production was artisticly so succesfull that it was programed in the internationally acclaimed Holland FestivalELSBETH GERRITSEN, mezzo soprano, a musicology graduate from the University of Ultrecht, was trained in singing at the Conservatory of Amsterdam by Margreet Honig. She is presently being coached by Jard van Nes. Elsbeth is regularly invited to sing the alto arias in oratorio repertoire such as Bach’s Johannes and Matthaus Passion, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, and Berlioz’s L’Enfance du Christ. Her concert repertoire includes the Alto Rhapsody by Brahms and the Wesendonklieder by Wagner. She makes frequent appearances at chamber music festivals. Her operatic roles include the title role of Orfeo (Gluck), Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas (Purcell), Eliza in The Zoo (Sullivan), and Mutter in Der Jasager (Weill). Elsbeth sang Diensterje in the world premiere of De Roep van de Kinkhoorn (Visman), and performed the role of Marthe in Faust (Gounod) in March 2006. She is a keen ensemble singer who works regularly with The Netherlands Bach Society, the Dutch Radio Choir, Cappella Amsterdam, and had joined Quink in 2005.

HARRY VAN BERNE, tenor, studied as a cellist and a singer at the Sweelinck Conservatory. He received additional training from Margreet Honig in Amersterdam and Anthony Rolfe Johnson in London. Harry is much in demand as a soloist in operas, concerts and oratorio performances internationally and is a sought-after solo recitalist. He worked with the Netherlands Chamber Choir, Concerto Palatino, Musica Fiata Köln, Weser Renaissance and is a member of the Gesualdo Consort Amsterdam and the Huelgas Ensemble from Belgium. His vast repertoire stretches from the Middle Ages through music from this century, some of which was specially written for and dedicated to him. He has sung with many well-known conductors and orchestras, including René Jacobs, Ton Koopman, Michael Schneider, Philippe Herreweghje and Reinbert de Leeuw, the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, La Stagione Frankfurt, the Orchestre des Champ Elysées and the Schönberg Ensemble. He has made many recordings and is a professor of voice at the Conservatory of Arnhem in the Netherlands.

KEES JAN DE KONING, bass, studied the recorder in Utrecht before entering the Royal Conservatory in The Hague as a singer. He began his studies with Peter Kooy, finishing with Herman Woltman. Since 1992, he has been a regular part-time member of the Netherlands Chamber Choir. In addition to his work with QUINK, he is connected with Ensemble Vocal Européenne (France), Camerata Trajectina (Netherlands), Huelgas Ensemble (Belgium) and Concerto Palatino (Italy). A sought-after soloist of opera and oratorio performances, he has performed with Ton Koopman, Frans Brüggen, Michael Schneider, Philippe Herreweghe and Gustav Leonhardt. As a soloist and ensemble member, he has made several CD recordings and since 1992, he has taught voice at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague.