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Skip Sempé, virtuoso harpsichordist, director and founder of Capriccio Stravagante, is at the forefront of today’s musical personalities in Renaissance and Baroque music. Sempé grew up in New Orleans, studied music, musicology, organology and the history of art in the United States at the Oberlin Conservatory and completed his training in Europe with Gustav Leonhardt in Amsterdam. His distinctive harpsichord playing, musicianship and interpretive flair were immediately recognized as the invention of an exotic, multi-dimensional and uncompromising musical personality. Sempé remained in Europe to embark on his own pioneering reconsideration of well and lesser-known repertoire ranging from 1500-1750.

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Capriccio Stravagante is world-renowned for their memorable interpretations of Renaissance and Baroque music. Founded in 1986 by Skip Sempé, the ensemble of three to seventy performers now incorporates Capriccio Stravagante, the Capriccio Stravagante Renaissance Orchestra and Capriccio Stravagante Les 24 Violons. The diverse vocal and instrumental formations feature the finest European, American and Canadian musicians. Their extensive discography includes music by Byrd, Monteverdi, Purcell, Bach, Buxtehude, Handel, Telemann, Lully and Couperin, as well as the recent prizewinning recordings for the Paradizo label. These recordings have made a considerable contribution to Capriccio Stravagante’s acceptance as the foremost interpretive force in Renaissance and Baroque repertoire to have emerged in decades.

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From the suave and seductive melodies of the Renaissance madrigal to the virtuoso solo and concerto repertoire of the Baroque, recorder player Julien Martin has earned a reputation for his charismatic and persuasive performances on the very first "period instrument" of the revival of the repertoire ranging from the Middle Ages to the high Baroque.

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From the treble viol to the “violedegamboes of extraordinarie greatnesse”, Josh Cheatham performs the challenging seventeenth and eighteenth century repertoire shared by both melody and bass instruments. Whether in the viol consort literature, the virtuoso works for solo viola da gamba of Marais, Forqueray and Bach, or orchestral double bass playing, he has become a welcome member of the chamber music and orchestral scene in Europe.

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