ARTEK History

Spring 1986 . . . ARTEK begins with four concerts featuring Gwendolyn Toth at St. John the Evangelist Church . . . Lisa Terry performing this first season . . . John Rockwell writes a rave review of the final concert in The New York Times . . .

1986-1987 . . .  Liddy Guiher offers her support to continue concerts . . . ARTEK moves to St. Michael's Church with its von Beckerath organ and beautiful chapel . . . Drew Minter sings for the first time with ARTEK . . . Dongsok Shin also plays for the first time in a thinly veiled ploy to gain a harpsichord mover/tuner/sound engineer for ARTEK . . . a concert of four concertos on four different keyboards where the ARTEK name is born . . . 

1987-1988 . . . ARTEK's first big orchestral program of Bach & Handel . . . more chamber music . . .

1988-1989 . . . ARTEK performs classical music at Merkin Hall with Pomerium . . . debut of Gwendolyn Toth's lautenwerk . . .

1989-1990 . . . a busy year: Gwendolyn Toth's first child with husband Dongsok, a new position as Director of Music at St. Francis of Assisi Church and five more concerts ranging from chamber music to orchestral masterpieces . . . ARTEK's first collaboration with the Choir of St. Francis of Assisi in Bach's Magnificat . . . ARTEK discovers soprano Jessica Tranzillo at St. Francis . . .

1990-1991 . . . a splendid program of Handel with Drew Minter . . . collaborations with Zephyrus, Alan Tjaarda Jones, Hoboken Renaissance Singers, Talisman . . . Grant Herreid and Paul Shipper join ARTEK . . . ARTEK's debut on the fringe at BEMF, with another rave from New York Times . . .

1991-1992 . . . another baby for Gwen, more Bach concerts: this time the St. John Passion and another collaboration with Pomerium for the Bach-Schütz Festival . . .

1992-1993 . . . concerts at St. Mary the Virgin . . . Grant plays lute, recorder, theorbo, shawm, viol, and sings alto, tenor and bass in the first Christmas with ARTEK   (whew!) . . .  a dramatic performance of Poppea  excerpts, complete with tiara . . .

1993-1994 . . . the year of Orfeo . . . recording sessions until 4 am at St. Mary the Virgin . . . Paul claims Gwen is actually asleep during Possente Spirto . . . costumes, tights, and no dressing rooms . . . Michael Brown joins ARTEK for the first time as Apollo . . . Karen Hansen bravely dodges dripping candles during Christmas with ARTEK . . . Gwen performs the Goldberg Variations for the first time, in a snowstorm . . .  ARTEK's debut on Music Before 1800  in their first collaboration with Enrico Gatti . . .

1994-1995 . . . Christmas with ARTEK in a spectacular staged performance of Stradella's Christmas Cantata  at Kaye Playhouse  . . . the first 458 Strings concert . . . Jessica and Gwen at festivals in Utrecht & Czech Republic . . . performances in the elegant but decrepit palace where Haydn lived . . .

1995-1996 . . . Dongsok finally finishes Orfeo CD . . . Barbara Hollinshead, baby in tow, joins ARTEK for a mini-festival of Monteverdi and never looks back . . . Robert Mealy joins ARTEK as second viola player but fortunately has moved up since then . . . ARTEK records Love Letters from Italy with Drew Minter . . .

1996-1997 . . . Daniel Swenberg joins ARTEK in a memorable program of German baroque music with Jean Tubery . . . ARTEK's Handelmania  brings 24 students to study performance practice with Nancy Wilson, Enrico Gatti and Robert Mealy . . . First Night at St. Bartholomew's Church, with four hours of Handel and an audience over a thousand strong . . . ARTEK performs I Don't Want to Love with Mark Morris for the first time in Columbus, Ohio, followed by BAM and Jacob's Pillow . . .

1997-1998 . . . Gwen's baby #3 arrives, first concert of season 3 weeks later . . . 458 Strings at St. Bartholomew's again for First Night . . . touring throughout the US with Mark Morris . . . FedExing mom's milk back to baby . . . Philip Anderson joins ARTEK . . . beautiful sacred music at St. James in Brooklyn in spring . . . ARTEK's first outing at Regensburg in June . . . one child left behind at Düsseldorf airport for 20 minutes . . . Regensburg is amazing, the standing ovations, the enthusiastic crowds . . .

1998-1999 . . . concerts at Church of the Resurrection . . . first collaboration with the New York Continuo Collective at Corpus Christi in spring . . . giggling nymphs and laurel wreaths . . .

1999-2000 . . . ARTEK moves its sheet music and instruments into offices at Church of St. Francis of Assisi and begins the popular Midtown Concerts series . . . Handel's spectacular Dixit Dominus with Robert's first concerto performance . . . Spanish music at Caramoor . . . ARTEK back at Regensburg & Switzerland in June . . . making train connections with six adults, two kids, and 50 instruments . . .

2000-2001 . . . ARTEK plays Bach at Kaye Playhouse . . . Gwen tackles all six Bach harpsichord partitas in one season . . . I Don't Want to Love CD is released . . .

2001-2002 . . . five weeks in the United Kingdom with Mark Morris, a month after 9/11 . . . Gwen and Martin Platt create I'll Never See the Stars Again complete with twinkle lights at St. Michael's . . . first concert at the House of the Redeemer's Italian Renaissance library . . . the Newell Jenkins Award . . . unforgettable memorial concert for 9/11 with 22 early music ensembles in January . . .

2002-2003 . . . gala festivities at House of the Redeemer . . . more Stars in frigid January weather . . . return to Regensburg in June for another fabulous experience . . . official debut at BEMF on main series . . . a year of fabulous reviews . . .

2003-2004 . . . Gwen finally releases those solo CDs in process since 1995 . . . English country dancing at the Mark Morris building . . . Michael Brown's moving performance of Combattimento . . . Marcello oratorio turns out to be a surprise hit . . . 

2004-2005 . . . New York City finally has its own early music festival . . . stunning program of Monteverdi opera excerpts at Music Before 1800 is the highlight of the season . . . Extreme Harpsichords is fabulous music and a stunning photo . . . off to Scotland and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for Graveyard Music and I'll Never See the Stars Again in summer 2005 . . .

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ARTEK Early Music Ensemble in NYC
The Art of the Early Keyboard, Inc.
170 West 73rd Street, #3C  |  New York, NY 10023
www.artekearlymusic.org

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