ENSALADA  was formed to bring a tasty ‘salad’ of early music to a broad public. The ensemble has a core of five players:

  • Lydia Forbes, violin
  • Myles Jordan, violoncello piccolo
  • Timothy Burris, theorbo
  • Alyson Ciechomski, double bass
  • Eric LaPerna, percussion

The core group occasionally adds other musicians and vocalists to suit their eclectic repertoire.

What is an ensalada?

A kind of Quodlibet popular in 16th-century Spain. It is first mentioned in Gil Vicente’s Auto da fé, which was performed on Christmas morning in 1510 before Manuel I of Portugal. The auto concluded with ‘a salad that came from France’, which has not been identified.

Maricarmen Gómez
Grove Music Online

Lydia Forbes (violin) has concertized throughout Europe with Ensemble L’Archibudelli, Zephyr Kwartet, Het Schoenberg Ensemble, Sinfonietta Amsterdam, Osiris Trio, I Fiamminghi, and Ensemble Explorations. During this time, she recorded with some of the world’s most prominent classical labels; Sony Classical, CNM, Harmonia Mundi, and as soloist with the Czech Radio Philharmonic for Vienna Modern Masters.

She has also performed for festivals in Europe, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S. Lydia has also served as concertmaster for Het Orkest van het Oosten in the Netherlands. She is presently a member of the DaPonte String Quartet in Maine; she was drawn to them by their love and respect for the work. She embraces the sentiment that there is nothing in life that cannot be found in chamber music.

Myles Jordan (violoncello piccolo) worked as a child actor for CBC Television and the National Film Board of Canada before taking up the ‘cello. He trained at the Banff School of Fine Arts in Alberta, the Britten -Pears School of Advanced Musical Studies in England, and at Schloss Weikersheim in Germany. In 1981, he won a Floyd S. Chalmers Foundation Award, which enabled him to study at Juilliard, where he earned two degrees. From New York he moved to Philadelphia, where he served as associate principal cellist of the Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra, completed a Doctor of Musical Arts, and founded the DaPonte String Quartet.

He based his recording of three of the Bach ‘cello suites on research into period sources close to Bach, such as Johann Mattheson’s 1739 treatise Der vollkommene Capellmeister and written testimonies from Bach’s students. Myles lectures on early music performance practice, and plays and teaches the Baroque violoncello piccolo.

Timothy Burris (lute and theorbo) has performed throughout Europe and the US, both as a soloist and an accompanist. He has appeared in concert with such esteemed artists as the mezzo-soprano Jennifer Lane and the keyboardist Robert Hill, as well as under the baton of Peter Schreier and René Clemencic, among others. He has recorded with such early music vocalists as Jennifer Lane, Tamara Matthews, and Willeke te Brummelstroete. As the ensemble Music’s Quill, he and tenor Timothy Neill Johnson produced the first complete recording of the songs of Philip Rosseter, lutenist to King James I.

Holder of a soloist’s diploma from The Hague’s Royal Conservatory and a PhD from Duke University, Mr Burris has taught master classes and lectured on lute practice at universities and conservatories throughout Europe and the US. He taught lute for six years at the Royal Flemish Conservatory in Antwerp, and currently teaches at Colby College and the Portland Conservatory of Music (Maine).

Alyson Ciechomski (double bass) grew up in the New York City area where she was introduced to the double bass in public school, at the age of nine. Since graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in music education, she has maintained an active playing career with various orchestras in Maine and the rest of New England, including the Nashua Symphony Orchestra, Indian Hill Chamber Orchestra, and the Bangor Symphony. Alyson also appears regularly with the Maine Chamber Ensemble, Maine Music Society, Maine Mentors Orchestra, and the Maine State Ballet Orchestra. She is jazz bassist for the Edith Jones Project. Alyson is passionate about early childhood music education.

Eric LaPerna (percussion) has been a percussionist since 1987. He has studied African rhythms with Nigerian drummer Alani Ogunladi, Armenian, Greek and Turkish rhythmic systems with Alan Shavarsh Bardezbanian, and Riqq, Tabla, Duff and the iqa’at {rhythmic modes} with master Arabic percussionist Michel Merhej Baklouk. He was the lead percussionist of the late Alan Shavarsh Bardezbanian’s Middle Eastern Ensemble and is a founding member of Okbari , Alhan Arabic Ensemble and Zapion Middle Eastern Ensemble. Eric also studies the Nay (Middle Eastern reed flute) and the maqamat (melodic modes) with the legendary Bassam Saba. Eric is the Director of the Bowdoin College Middle Eastern Music Ensemble, and is a member of the Applied Music Faculty at Bates College as well as adjunct instructor of hand percussion at Bowdoin College. He also gives private lessons and teaches drum classes and workshops throughout New England.


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