York professor to debut the University’s new harpsichord

York music Professor Stephanie Martin headlines the Faculty Concert Series of York University’s Music Department on Wednesday, Jan. 16, in a recital of music by Baroque masters. The concert marks the debut of York’s new harpsichord. Martin will present solo works as well as chamber music by Buxtehude, Sweelinck and J.S. Bach and will be joined by guest artists, viola da gambists Joëlle Morton and Justin Haynes. The recital begins at 7:30pm in the Tribute Communities Recital Hall in the Accolade East Building on York’s Keele campus.

Left: Stephanie Martin

Handmade 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 elegant tulips, roses, ladybugs and strawberries. Morton and Haynes will sample a set of viols originallly owned by the late Peggie Sampson. The foremost Canadian viola da gambist, 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 to 1707), who influenced one of the most famous composers of all time, J.S. Bach. In 1705, Bach made a legendary 200-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 Department of Music 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 the 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 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.

Right: A Flemish-styled harpsichord created by Montreal craftsman Yves Beaupré similar to the new harpsichord that Martin will debut on Wednesday evening

Martin was harpsichordist with the Arbor Oak Trio (a Toronto-based baroque ensemble) 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 and Brandywine Baroque.

Justin Haynes studied cello and viola da gamba at Harvard University 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.

Tickets to the concert are $15, and $5 for students. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the York University Box Office Web site or call ext. 55888.

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