Dr. Phillip W. Serna Performs with Black Tulip for Chicago’s Musicians Club of Women​ at Fourth Presbyterian Church’s Buchanan Chapel, June 1, 2018

Black Tulip

On June 1st 2018, Black Tulip presented a special program for Chicago’s Musicians Club of Women​ in the beautiful Buchanan Chapel in Fourth Presbyterian Church’s Genevieve and Wayne Gratz Center. Black Tulip’s Josefien Stoppelenburg, Mirja Lorenz, Phillip W. Serna & Joel Spears performed dramatic cantatas and songs for solo voice and obbligato instruments alongside virtuosic instrumental works for recorders, viols, and theorbo by Alessandro Scarlatti, Tarquinio Merula, Barbara Strozzi, Julie Pinel and George Frideric Handel.

The concert was engineered by Tom Haigh and organized by Chris Norton, Music Coordinator at Fourth Presbyterian Church. For more information on Chicago’s Musicians Club of Women​ & Fourth Presbyterian Church’s free noontime concert series, visit http://www.musiciansclubofwomen.org/http://www.fourthchurch.org/concerts/. For more information on Black Tulip, follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/BlackTulipEarlyMusic & on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/BlackTulipEM.

Black Tulip at Buchanan Chapel, June 1, 2018

Dr. Phillip W. Serna Performing Rudolph Dolmetsch’s Concertino for Viola da Gamba and Small Orchestra (1941) with the Stevenson Community Orchestra

The Adlai E. Stevenson Community Orchestra Under the Direction of Enrique Vilaseco
Saturday, January 20, 2018 3:00PM, Performing Arts Center, Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, IL https://goo.gl/ALDZnH

Rudolph Dolmetsch (1906-1942), second child of Early Music pioneer Arnold Dolmetsch, was an accomplished composer, keyboardist, and is regarded as the first modern viola da gamba virtuoso. After entering the Royal College of Music in 1936, Rudolph’s compositions turned from a focus on smaller chamber and solo works towards larger symphonic compositions. His Concertino for Viola da Gamba and Small Orchestra was completed April 21, 1941 at Elbridge Gun Site, Chichester. Tragically, it was to be among his last works as he drowned at sea when the Ceramic was torpedoed off the Azores by German forces in 1942. The Concertino was first realized by Leyton Ring for publication in 1992, received its world premiere in Newcastle, UK in 1993, published by PRB Productions in 1995 and later received its U.S. premiere by New Comma Baroque‘s Phillip Serna in 2010.

Rudolph Dolmetsch - Concertino for Viola da Gamba and Small Orchestra
Rudolph Dolmetsch’s Concertino for Viola da Gamba and Small Orchestra as Published by PRB Productions

For more information on the Dolmetsch Concertino, please visit http://tinyurl.com/PRBDolmetsch & for more information on PRB Productions, please visit http://www.prbmusic.com/. For more information on Rudolph Dolmetsch, the Dolmetsch family, and their pioneering work in the Early Music revival, visit http://www.dolmetsch.com/Rudolph.htm.


PRESS RELEASE – The Spirit of Gambo – a Chicago Consort of Viols Returns with a Special Program in Honor of Narodowego Święta Niepodległości/ Polish National Independence Day

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEhttp://wp.me/p2nIqI-31
October 4, 2017

The Spirit of Gambo – a Chicago Consort of Viols Returns with a Special Program in Honor of Narodowego Święta Niepodległości/ Polish National Independence Day

The 17th century was filled with dramatic political and artistic turmoil in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. From the Dresden-influenced Chapel Royal in Warsaw to the rise of Poland’s own native masters, instrumental music began its ascension as evidenced through the viola bastarda compositions of Adam Jarzębski. Beginning his career at the court of John Sigismund, Elector of Brandenburg in Berlin, Jarzębski would become a major musical figure in the courts of Sigismund III Vasa and Władysław IV. Examining this unique and virtually unknown repertoire, the Spirit of Gambo presents a virtuoso program of music from Jarzębski’s 1627 Canzoni é Concerti.

The Spirit of Gambo – a Chicago Consort of Viols – Jennifer Barron, Kyle Besetzny, Phillip W. Serna & Cella Westray, viols & Andrew Fredel, organ

Saint James Chapel at The Quigley Center’s Second Sunday Series
Saint James Chapel, The Quigley Center of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Saturday, November 11, 2017 2:00PM
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The Spirit of Gambo is a Chicago-area viol consort founded by Ken Perlow, Phillip Serna & Russell Wagner in 2006. We are a versatile chamber group focusing on the rich consort repertoire for violas da gamba – from early works of the 15th-century, to the rich English consort traditions of 16th & 17th-century, to varied continental styles and complex virtuosic works, to challenging contemporary music for viols as well. Our membership consists of prominent historically-informed performance scholars and pedagogues alongside performers representing a variety of period-instrument ensembles around the greater Midwest.

“I Doe not studie Eloquence, or profess Musicke, although I doe love Sence, and affect Harmony: my Profession being, as my Education hath beene, Armes, the onely effeminate part of me, hath beene Musicke; which in mee hath beene alwayes Generous, because never Mercenarie. To prayse Musicke, were to say, the Sunne is bright. To extoll my selfe, would name my labors vaine glorious. Onely this, my studies are far from servile imitations, I robbe no others inventions, I take no Italian Note to an English dittie, or filch fragments of Songs to stuffe out my volumes. There are mine own Phansies expressed by my proper Genius, which if thou dost dislike, let me see thine…”

– Captaine Tobias Hume, Composer of the the Spirit of Gambo, from the Musicall Humours (1605) –

Special Concerts – June 3, 2016 – The Nymphs of the Rhine

VdGS 3rd Coast – Special Benefit Concert: The Nymphs of the Rhine

Thanks to the Viola da Gamba Society of America (VdGSA)‘s Consort Loan Program, Phillip Serna partnered with Naperville North High School orchestra director Dana Green to start a viol consort program in Chicago’s western suburbs. In an effort to engage the community, raise awareness about that work in schools, the Viola da Gamba Society 3rd Coast (VdGS Third Coast), New Comma Baroque‘s Phillip Serna, the Naperville North High School Department of Music, and Grounds for Hope Café at Trinity Lutheran Church presented a benefit concert to raise money to purchase viols showcasing viol players from across the Midwest – and indeed the country – in an ambitious marathon of Johannes Schenck’s complete ‘Nymphs of the Rhine’ – Le Nymphe di Rheno, Op.8 for 2 Bass Viols.

Performers: Mary Anne Ballard (Baltimore Consort, Galileo’s Daughters, et al), Russell Bookout, James Lambert (Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Catacoustic Consort), Eric Miller (Wisconsin Baroque Ensemble), Gail Ann Schroeder (Baroque and Beyond, Columbia Baroque, et al), & Phillip Serna (New Comma Baroque, Black Tulip, et al), bass viols