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Musica Ficta

Musica Ficta

The Colombian ensemble Musica Ficta which specialises in instrumental music and vocal recitation of  17th century Latin American music, has sought out works of that time and decided to release them in brilliant 24bit / 96kHz sound.

Founded in 1988 in Bogota, Colombia, the vocal and instrumental ensemble Música Ficta has earned an international reputation for its performances of New World and Spanish Renaissance and Baroque repertoire.  Its concert programs are characterized by scholarly musicological work combined with creative programming and an enthusiastic Latin-American approach, generating wide popular and critical acclaim.  The colorful variety of music, instrumentation and the resourcefulness and versatility of the ensemble's members have led to performances in such diverse places as the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, the Jesuit missions in the Bolivian Amazon and the Victoria Concert Hall in Singapore.  The ensemble has made several tours of Europe, Latin-America, the USA, and the Far East, performing at major international early music festivals in nearly twenty countries, as well as in the concert series of the Inter-American Development Bank (Washington, DC), the International Press (Japan), the Cleveland Museum of Art (USA), the Corcoran Gallery (Washington, DC), UNESCO, Caja Madrid (Spain), the University of Hong Kong (China) and Banco de la República (Colombia).  The members of Música Ficta have undertaken studies in Europe and the USA.  Their research and teaching activity is based at the Early Music Institute of Indiana University in Bloomington, USA, and at Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia.


                                                             Jairo Serrano - Tenor, percussion

He began singing after hearing John, Paul and George one and a thousand times in the White Album.  He graduated in composition at Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, Colombia, where he also sang in the choir.  In 1996, after the gold rush, streams of rock music, and following his discovery of Emma Kirkby and Caetano Veloso, he was awarded a scholarship from the Mazda Foundation to attend graduate school at the Early Music Institute of Indiana University, in the USA.  There he concluded his voice degree in 1999, having studied with Alan Bennett and Paul Elliott.  He also sang in the Pro Arte chamber choir, directed by Paul Hillier, and participated in various events as soloist and with chamber music ensembles.  In 2000 he settled in Italy, where he worked with several early music ensembles, Albalonga  and Villanos among others.  There he took additional voice lessons with Margaret Hayward.

His vocal performances have received acclaim from specialized critics, who highlight his natural tenor voice, his stylistic knowledge, warm expression and excellent diction, as well as his versatility as singer and percussionist.  After four years in Italy he now lives in the USA, where he is continuing his research investigating musical iconography in Italian 17th century painting.  He has been invited to teach courses in vocal technique and early music performance in Mexico and in Colombia.  He still hears the White Album  and hopes to return, someday, to the garden of earthly delights.


                                               Julián Navarro- Baroque guitar and vihuela de mano

He began playing the guitar on a sunny afternoon, while considering whether or not to graduate as a mechanical engineer.  After abandoning his engineering studies, he studied guitar at Universidad de Antioquia and Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia, where he graduated in 1998.  That same year he was admitted to the Escola Luthier d'Arts Musicals in Barcelona, Spain, where he studied guitar with Arnardur Arnarson.  As time went by, he noticed that the 16th century guitar romances of Narváez and Mudarra would remain ringing in his head for days and days, thus deciding to clip his fingernails and dedicate himself to early music, studying plucked strings with Xavier Díaz at the Escuela Superior de Música of Catalonia, ESMUC.

He has been a member of the Iberia Quartet, the duet Cento, and the chamber choir Impromptu.  He is also a member of the early music ensembles Villanos  and Abraxas, with which he undergoes and intensive effort to bring out Hispanic-American Renaissance and Baroque repertoire.  He has participated in various specialized courses in the USA, Brazil and Cuba, and has been invited to teach courses in guitar pedagogy and baroque guitar interpretation at various universities.  He currently lives and works in Barcelona, where he will conclude a doctoral degree in music education; his dissertation dealing with an educational study for teaching baroque guitar.  He dreams of finding baroque guitarists playing again on the streets and in theaters exactly as he experienced it in his last reincarnation.


Carlos Serrano - Recorders, shawm, pipe and tabor

Undecided between the sound of David Munrow's bagpipes and Richie Ray's boogaloos, he opted for the recorder, so that, like the Pied Piper of Hamelin, he could try enchanting rodents and insects.  Years later, after mixing the dissection of petals, roots and seeds of his biological studies with those of the recorder and early music performance, he organized and directed several Renaissance instrumental ensembles.  His growing interest in early music led him towards a progressive abandonment of photosynthesis, and further studies of the recorder with Philip Levin and Michael Lynn at Mannes College in New York and Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio.

Upon his return to Colombia, in 1988 he founded the ensemble Música Ficta, in which he has focused all his creative energy and capacity for research on the performance of Latin-American Baroque and Renaissance repertoire.  In 1996 he traveled to Italy where he received additional recorder lessons from Pedro Memelsdorff, and in 1998 he was awarded scholarships from the Colombian Ministry of Culture and Indiana University to undertake a degree specializing in recorder and early double reed instruments at the Early Music Institute at Indiana University.  There, he studied with Eva Legene and Michael McCraw.

In addition to his teaching and research at Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, he has been the director and producer of early music programs on various radio stations.  In his free time he plays the bagpipes and marches in delirium from one castle to another.  He grows plants in his own garden, waters them with fresh water and, excitedly, watches them grow.


Elisabeth Wright - Harpsichord

At the age of five she spent hours sitting at the piano, studying the music of Brahms, Chopin, and above all, Bach.  Years later she was bewitched by the French language and literature, and dreamed of the possibility of living someplace in France where she could make music, visit museums and read over and over again Swann's Way.  She discovered the harpsichord almost by accident while studying at Sarah Lawrence College in New York, and with a lot of patience was able to uncover its intimate and crystalline voice, which asked more for caresses than force.  After graduating, she took a deep breath, and a plane, to continue her specialized studies in harpsichord with Gustav Leonhardt at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam.

Upon her return to the USA she commenced an important career as performer and teacher.  She has toured in the USA, Latin America, Canada, Europe and Australia, and performed at major early music festivals, such as Tage Alter Musik, Lufthansa London Festival, Festival dei Saraceni, Sydney Festival, Mostly Mozart, Aston Magna, Santa Fe, Tanglewood, Boston Early Music Festival, Berkeley Early Music Festival and Vancouver Early Music.  She is a member of Duo Geminiani, Ye Olde Friends  and Les Sonatistes, and has recorded for record labels Classic Masters, Focus, Centaur and Musical Heritage.  Professor of harpsichord and fortepiano at Indiana University, she also teaches improvisation and performance practice of music of the late Renaissance, Baroque and early Classical periods, as well as giving countless master classes at conservatories in Europe, Australia and the USA.  She has served as on juries of various international harpsichord competitions, and as panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts.

She has also written specialized reviews for Early Keyboard and presented lectures at various academies devoted to early music topics. She no longer dreams of teaching piano in France, but whenever she can, she escapes to the Mediterranean, watches a sun set in her beloved Tuscany, or gets lost in the mysterious fog of a Venetian street.

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