Personal Summary / Bio
Mark J. Kramer is the Artistic Director of New York's period instrument organization Ars Antiqua. He studied the violoncello and early music at Northwestern University where he received a Master of Music Degree. While pursuing a doctorate degree in Music History, he specialized in the symbolism of music in Dutch paintings of the seventeenth century and also served as the assistant Director of the Northwestern University Collegium Musicum. He has lectured and performed on viols and Medieval string instruments with the Chicago Early Music Consort, and is a founding member of the Telemann Consort, a Chicago based ensemble which performs music of the 18th century on original instruments. Mr. Kramer is the founder of Ars Antiqua and has served as artistic director for the past twenty concert seasons. He is an active period instrument chamber musician and orchestral player having appeared with many of America's finest early music ensembles. Among his solo perfomances has been a recital of solo works by Tobias Hume for unaccompanied viola da gamba presented at Lincoln Center.
- Ars Antiqua is a period instrument ensemble comprised of America’s finest baroque music specialists. They are artists in residence at the historic Church of St. Mary the Virgin in Chappaqua, New York where their dynamic performances have received critical acclaim. The group explores seventeenth and eighteenth-century music with a core ensemble that expands with guest artists in performances of larger scale Baroque repertoire. Ars Antiqua concerts are known for their unique integration of exciting musical performances with musicological research. Their innovative programs are designed to illuminate a particular style or genre of seventeenth and eighteenth century music and are presented within the context of Baroque art and social history. Among the guest speakers who have appeared on the ensemble’s programs is the much celebrated art historian/author Simon Schama. Artistic Director, Mark Kramer, and Mr. Schama have collaborated on a broad range of Ars Antiqua programs including; “A Parisian Picture Gallery: 18th Century French Musical Portraits,” “Speculum vitae: Music, Art & Dutch Society in the 17th and 18th Centuries,” “Versailles: Music, Satire & Revolution” and “Music from the Bach Ancestor Archive: Artistic Families.” Ars Antiqua has also collaborated with New York’s Choir of St. Ignatius Loyola on numerous projects, and have been presented in their Sacred Music in a Sacred Space series in New York City, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and Summer Stars at Ocean Grove. Ars Antiqua has also appeared in collaboration with the Violins of Lafayette in a performance of Biber sacred works at the Austrian Embassy in Washington, D.C. Mr. Kramer will soon begin an Ars Antiqua recording project based on his research of rare musical manuscripts and their integral relationship to the visual arts, history and literature.