Anne Freitag was born in Leipzig in 1984. Whilst still at school, she was a student of Robert Ehrlich (recorder) at the Music Academy in Leipzig and of Christoph Huntgeburth (baroque flute) at the Berlin University of the Arts. Currently she is studying at the Music Academy Basel with Marc Hantai and Anne Smith (historical flutes), Nicola Cumer and Rudolf Lutz (historical improvisation) and orchestral conducting with Rodolfo Fischer. She was a trainee with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, London, where she participated in classical and romantic projects under Robin Ticciati, Sir Simon Rattle and Vladimir Jurowski, amongst others. In 2009 she won second prize at the 5th International Telemann-Competition in Magdeburg and in 2011 first prizes in the International Competitions in Melk, Bad Liebenwerda and Brugge, where she also received the Development Trust Award of the European Union Baroque Orchestra. As a soloist, chamber music and orchestral musician she has given concerts in festivals in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia and Switzerland. Besides her musical activities, she graduated in 2012 from a four year professional training programme in the Feldenkrais method.
Annegret Polster was born in Munich, and received her first music lessons in recorder, flute, piano and cello at Musikschule Freising. She later studied music science, Chinese and economics. In 2004 she started the transverse flute, first at the Richard-Strauss-Konservatorium in Munich, then at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in Brussels with Barthold Kuijken and Frank Theuns, where she obtained her master’s degree in 2010 with high distinction. In 2008/2009 a scholarship allowed her to study at the Escola Superior de Musica de Catalunya in Barcelona with Marc Hantaï. In 2009 she took part in the Netherlands Youth Academy under the direction of Richard Egarr, and played with the ensemble Les Abbagliati in the final of the International Young Artist’s presentation in Antwerp. Annegret plays in orchestras such as L’Arpa festante and in various chamber music groups, at festivals including Dartington and Aldeburgh. In 2010 she was a finalist at the International Competition Prince Francesco Maria Ruspoli in Vignanello, Italy, andhas received scholarships from the Britten-Pears Foundation to work with Richard Egarr and Mark Padmore. With her own ensemble Motus Animae she has performed at the Utrecht and Brugge festivals and is organizing several concerts in Bavaria of music by Rupert Ignaz Mayr.
Robert Herden was born in 1984 in Leipzig and started his musical career with lessons in recorder and voice. From 1993 until 2000 he was a member of the St Thomas’ Boys Choir Leipzig, where he came into contact with the repertoire of JS Bach at a young age. With the choir he gave performances in France, Greece, the United Kingdom, Japan and the United States of America. Robert Herden received his first oboe lessons in 1997. After being a student at the University for Music and Theatre Leipzig (2000), Robert began to study oboe at the University of the Arts in Berlin with Burkhard Glaetzner and graduated from there in 2010. In the same year Robert started his baroque oboe studies with Xenia Löffler at the University of the Arts in Bremen. Robert regularly performs with ensembles such as Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Le Concert Lorraine, Hannoversche Hofkapelle, Ensemble Universelle, Bachconsort Leipzig and Collegium 1704. In 2012 Robert was selected to be the first oboe of the European Union Baroque Orchestra.
Julia Bauer grew up near Stuttgart in southern Germany. At the age of five, she began studying recorder and at fourteen started to play the modern oboe. Soon, she became principal oboe of the Tübinger Jugendsinfonieorchester, under the direction of Gudni Emilsson. The orchestra toured widely in Europe and Asia and has won several orchestra competitions. Julia began her higher education studies at the Musikhochschule Freiburg studying rhythmics and modern oboe with Hans Elhorst and Marianne Siegwolf. While in Freiburg, Julia first encountered historical oboes and period performance practice and started taking lessons with Maike Buhrow and Ann-Kathrin Brüggemann. After receiving her diploma in modern oboe in 2008, Julia participated in the Freiburger Barockorchester’s Ensemble-Akademie, where she met Katharina Arfken. Julia was accepted into the prestigious Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in 2009, where she has studied with Katharina Arfken, and performed her masters degree recital in 2012. During this time she has also received lessons from Alfredo Bernardini (Amsterdam) and Benoît Laurent (Frankfurt). She has toured and performed widely, including at the Britten Pears Festival in Aldeburgh, (performing Bach’s St Matthew Passion under Masaaki Suzuki), and with Chapelle de la Vigne (Freiburg), Freiburger Kammerchor, Lukas Barockorchester Stuttgart, Ensemble la Fontaine (Zürich), Capriccio Basel and L’Académie Bach d’Aix en Provence. In 2011 she played for the first time with the Freiburger Barockorchester.
Karen Gibbard is a freelance oboist and professional member of the Incorporated Society of Musicians. She regularly performs in a variety of orchestral, chamber and solo settings. These have included engagements with the Gabrieli Consort & Players, New London Consort, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Dunedin Consort, London Handel Festival, Parley of Instruments, Brook Street Band and Brighton Early Music Festival. Karen was a member of the 2010 Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment Experience scheme (funded by Ann and Peter Law) and she regularly performed on classical and romantic oboes with the Jeune Orchestre Atlantique. Karen is currently completing a Masters in baroque and classical oboe performance with Katharina Arfken at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel. Prior to this Karen studied baroque oboe with Katharina Spreckelsen and Gail Hennessy in London, after graduating with an MMus Distinction in modern oboe from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. This was generously funded by the HR Taylor Charitable Trust and the Mercers’ Company. Karen enjoys taking music into community settings, having taken part in a variety of education workshops with Live Music Now!, Wigmore Hall, LSO Discovery Scheme, City of London Festival, Brighton Early Music Festival and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
Karin Gemeinhardt was born in 1986 and started her musical education with the recorder. During her studies with Inge Reinelt in Passau, Germany, she received several prizes at national and international competitions both as a soloist and with her ensemble Quadriga della Musica, which won the first prize in the final of the Open Holland Recorder Festival 2004. While studying the recorder with Professor Karel van Steenhoven in Karlsruhe, Germany, Karin became enthused by the historical bassoon and moved to Trossingen in 2009 to concentrate on early music. There she completed her recorder studies with Carsten Eckert and is studying the bassoon and dulcian with Eckhard Lenzing while broadening her repertoire towards classical and early-romantic music. In 2011 Karin founded Trio Cammerton with Kayo Nishida (Clarinet and Chalumeau) and Barbara Adamczyk (keyboard instruments), to play repertoire from the baroque to early romantic period with different instrumentations. She has participated in masterclasses with among others: Sergio Azzolini, Alberto Grazzi, Xavier Zafra, Jos van Immerseel, the Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet and Paul Leenhouts. Karin regularly performs with orchestras such as L’Arpa Festante München, Chapelle de la Vigne (Freiburg), Cantus Cölln and Ars Antiqua Austria and has contributed to different CD and radio productions.
Kim Stockx was born in 1987 in Helmond, The Netherlands, and started her recorder studies in 2005 at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. There she studied with Dorothea Winter and Daniël Brüggen, receiving her bachelor diploma in 2009. During these four years of studies she attended masterclasses with some of the best professionals including Reine-Marie Verhagen, Peter van Heyghen, Sebastian Marq, Christina Pluhar, Wilbert Hazelzet, Frank de Bruine, Charles Toet and Patrick Ayrton. Kim has taken part in various competitions with good results: in 2004 she won the “Laureaten concours” in Veldhoven and in 2005 the “24 Caraats” competition. In 2008, Kim was accepted for her second bachelor studies in Classical Bassoon, Baroque Bassoon and Dulcian at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. Her teachers are Donna Agrell and Wouter Verschuren. Her musical collaborations include conductors like Patrick Ayrton, Peter van Heyghen, Charles Toet, Jos Vermunt, Christina Pluhar, Andrew Parrot and Nicolette Moonen. She has performed within The Netherlands and further afield in Japan, Spain, France and Italy with groups including the Residentie Bachorkest, Concerto d’Amsterdam, Restoration Company, Sinfoniëtta Geleen, La Ritirata and Red Rose Four. Kim is the artistic director of the baroque ensemble La Villanesca.