Rook is an ensemble comprised of violin, cornetto, trombone, bass violin, and harpsichord, that is dedicated to the music of the 16th and 17th centuries. Rook is inspired by historical instruments, writings, and iconography to learn what moved listeners in the 16th and 17th centuries in order to bring this music alive for audiences today.
cornetto - Bill Baxtresser; violin - Jakob Hansen; trombone - Paul Von Hoff;
bass violin - Jeremy David Ward; harpsichord - Mark Shuldiner
Rook is a mixed instrument ensemble dedicated to the music of the 16th and 17th centuries. Rook explores this music with an unusual combination of brass and string instruments that, while popular 400 years ago, creates colors that are missing from modern music making. The core of the ensemble is comprised of accomplished musicians from Chicago’s new generation of period style performers and collaborates regularly with vocalists and other instrumentalists to present this exciting music to modern audiences. In Chicago, Rook has performed in many diverse venues including the Chicago Cultural Center, the Morton Arboretum, Northwestern’s Alice Millar Chapel, and St. John Cantius Church, as well as live on WFMT. Rook has presented concerts at the Indianapolis Early Music Festival, the Boston and Madison Early Music Fringe Festivals, and a curated series of concerts of German Baroque music with the acclaimed vocal ensemble Bella Voce. Rook was selected as one of three ensembles to participate in the Carnegie Hall Professional Training Workshop to work with L’Arpeggiata. Rook has also presented a mini-residency to Oberlin Conservatory’s Historical Performance Department, giving concerts and masterclasses on virtuoso 17th c. performance practice, string band techniques from Zanetti, and a survey of historical trombone style. In the Fall of 2014 Rook released its first album eleven.