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Wren Masters

Performance Details

Date:  Friday, May 3, 2024 at 7:00 pm
Location:  Music Building Concert Hall. 551 Jamestown Road
Admission:  Free, no tickets required

wren-masters.jpegThe Wren Masters baroque ensemble will present the program, "Baroque Brilliance," which features music by virtuoso composer-performers of the eighteenth century. The program includes music by Telemann, Marin Marais, Buxtehude, and J.S Bach. Based in Williamsburg, the Wren Masters specialize in historical performance of 17th and 18th century music played on harpsichord, recorder, baroque violin, and viola da gamba. The ensemble is sponsored by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and drawn from current and former William & Mary music faculty and Colonial Williamsburg.

Thomas Marshall (harpsichord) joined the music faculty at William & Mary in 1981 where he teaches organ and harpischord performance. He has performance degrees from James Madison University and from the University of Michigan. For over 25 years he was harpsichordist for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation using their extensive collection of historic keyboard instruments. He has been featured on numerous CW recordings and issued a CD of the solo organ transcriptions of concerti by Vivaldi and Ernst as arranged by J.S. Bach. Mr. Marshall also plays harpsichord with many chamber ensembles, and frequently performs with the Virginia Symphony. He served as organist for the Williamsburg Presbyterian Church for 27 years, and is now organist for the Williamsburg United Methodist Church.

Ruth van Baak Griffioen (recorder) studied music at Calvin College, recorder at the University of Michigan, and musicology at Stanford University (PhD, 1988). Her Fulbright-supported research on the music of the 17th-century Dutch carillonneur and recorder virtuoso Jacob van Eyck was published in 1991 and is in its third printing. She taught music history, theory, and early music performance from 1994-2015 at William & Mary. Her books include "Storms, Ice, and Whales," her translation of a first-person account of a 1923 Antarctic whaling adventure, written and illustrated by her ancestor, the Dutch landscape artist Willem van der Does. Ruth has performed throughout the mid-Atlantic area, including the Georgetown Bach Festival, the Virginia Opera, and the Norfolk Chamber Consort.

Susan Via is a member of the Performing Artist Music Faculty at the College of William and Mary where she teaches applied violin and is director of the Gallery Players, a conductor- less chamber orchestra. She has held positions with the Virginia Symphony and Virginia Opera as Associate Concertmaster, Principal 2nd Violin with the Greensboro Symphony, Assistant Concertmaster with the Williamsburg Symphony, and also performed with the North Carolina Symphony, and Mallarmé Chamber Players, among others. Ms. Via has been a member of the 1st violin section with the Colorado Music Festival, as well as serving as a faculty and orchestra member of the Eastern Music Festival. Other faculty positions include the Duke University String School and Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts. As an active chamber musician, Ms. Via is the violinist for Trio Niche, a classical period fortepiano trio, and the baroque violinist for the Wren Masters, a performing artist ensemble, of 17th and 18th century music, sponsored by the Virginia Commission for the Arts. On baroque violin, she has also been heard in concert with the Governor’s Musick of Colonial Williamsburg, the Norfolk Chamber Consort and Three Notch’d Road. Ms. Via is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music.

Brady Lanier can currently be seen performing on viola da gamba and Baroque cello with The Governor’s Music, Colonial Williamsburg’s resident Baroque chamber ensemble. He is a degree candidate for the Doctorate in Music in viola da gamba performance at Indiana University, where he studied with Wendy Gillespie and Joanna Blendulff. A founding member of Quaver Viol Consort (, he has performed around the country with numerous ensembles such as the Houston Symphony, Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, Houston Bach Society, the Princeton Fesitval, Ars Lyrica Houston, and Musikanten Montana. He has served on the faculty of numerous summer workshops, including the Viola da Gamba Society of America’s Conclave, Music On The Mountain, and the Texas Toot.

Mr. Lanier is also much in demand as an arranger and composer, having had works performed by the Houston Symphony and the United States Air Force Orchestra, and has had three original works performed at Carnegie Hall.

Mr. Lanier holds a BA from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and a MM from Indiana University.