Theatrum Affectuum, founded in 2003, specialises in music from 17th and 18th century Italy and Germany. Using the combination of recorder, one or two violins, cello, lute and harpsichord, the ensemble has an individual, energetic and insightful approach to interpret the contrasting affects found in baroque music. Press reviews have described the ensemble’s interpretations as both profound and witty. Also the incorporation of the extensive improvisations in different styles from the baroque is one of the group’s prominent features (see critic from early music).
The group has toured extensively in Europe, allowing them to develop a distinct way of performing.
The members of Theatrum Affectuum are regularly performing with leading European baroque and classical groups, such as Accademia Bizantina and Il Giardino Armonico. Under the name of Ricreation d’Arcadia several group members won the 1st prize and the audience prize in the
acclaimed Rovereto early music competition in 2004. The ensemble’s first CD La meraviglia parlante has been received with great success in Europe, Japan and Australia. The second CD with works by Nicola Matteis will be released in spring 2015 on the German label Aeolus.
The recorder and jazz-saxophone player Andreas Böhlen focuses on both early music and jazz. He is particularly interested in various improvisational styles of the renaissance and baroque as well as jazz. Andreas leads his own groups Theatrum Affectuum, Satyr’s Band, Andreas Böhlen Band and Crank and is member of various other groups and
orchestras all over Europe. Born in 1983 Andreas began playing recorder at the age of six, and several years later he started alto saxophone. While a high school student Andreas undertook lessons at the conservatories of Bremen and Cologne. He was awarded many prizes in several national and international competitions. Between 2003 and 2007 he attended the Conservatory of Amsterdam, studying recorder with Walter van Hauwe and jazz saxophone with Jasper Blom and Ferdinand Povel. After completing his recorder degree with distinction, Andreas studied musicology in Bologna. He is currently based in Basel, Switzerland, where he has completed both a Masters degree in early music improvisation with distinction and a Masters degree in jazz saxophone in 2011. Andreas has appeared on many CDs and radio and TV broadcasts and is touring regularly. He teaches recorder as a professor at the University of the Arts Graz, Austria. See www.andreasboehlen.com for further information.
Ayako Matsunaga was born in Tokyo, Japan. She started the violin at a very young age. In 1995, she began her studies at the Toho college of Music, where she graduated in modern violin. During her time there she also began studying baroque violin as a minor subject, and quickly gained a strong affinity with early repertoire. Ayako was awarded the Early Music Prize in Japan in 2002, the first prize as one of the members of Ensemble Ricreation d’Arcadia at Premio Bonporti 2004 in Rovereto, Italy and the second prize and audience prize at the Premio Bonporti in 2007. After studying in Amsterdam with Lucy van Dael at the Conservatory of Amsterdam and with Marie Leonhardt, Ayako moved to Italy to study with Stefano Montanari in Milan, where she graduated in 2010. Ayako has an active performing career in Japan and Europe, and works regularly with such ensembles as Il Giardino Armonico, Ensemble Zefiro, Ensemble Cordia, Ghislieri Consort and Le Cercle de l’Harmonie.
Pierre-Augustin Lay studied modern cello with Jacques Ripoche in Caen, France. His taste for early music lead him to the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, where he studied with Christophe Coin, Sergio Azzolini and Jesper Christensen and graduated in 2002. His research passion for repertoire made him move to Holland where he studied at the Royal Conservatory in Den Haag with a diploma in 2004. He has regularly been playing with ensembles such as Les Musiciens du Louvre, Harmonie Universelle, Ensemble Matheus and Le Cercle de l’Harmonie. He has performed with Gustav Leonhardt, Sigiswald Kuijken, Ton Koopman, Jordi Savall, Jesper Christensen, Chiara Banchini, Andrea Marcon, Giuliano Carmignola, Maurice Bourgues, Emma Kirkby and Enrico Onofri. He founded the ensemble La Loge Olympique, finalist in the Bruges early music competition. Pierre is active as a soloist and chamber musician and performs in many important music venues all over Europe. He made several recordings with Harmonia Mundi, SWR and Eloquentia.
Takashi Watanabe was born in Nagano, Japan, in 1975. He graduated from the Tokyo College of Music (piano major), followed by postgraduate studies in harpsichord at the Toh! Gakuen School of Music. Having studied harpsichord for two years he won the Early Music Prize in Japan. From 2002 he studied harpsichord with Bob van Asperen at the Conservatory of Amsterdam, and in 2005 he moved to Pavia, Italy, to study historical organ with Lorenzo Ghielmi at the Scuole Civiche di Milano, graduating in 2010. As founder of Ensemble Ricreation d’Arcadia he won the first prize at “Premio Bonporti 2004” (president of the jury: Gustav Leonhardt) in Rovereto, Italy, as well as the audience prize and the ORF recording prize. The ensemble has since been invited to many early music festivals in Italy, Austria and Slovenia. Takashi has been awarded other prizes including the third prize at the Fano Adriano
International organ competition in Italy and the “Cembalosonderpreis” at the 3rd International
Viola da Gamba Competition in Köthen, Germany. He is in demand in Europe as a harpsichordist and organist, both as a soloist and as a continuo player and has played with such groups as La Divina Armonia, Ensemble Cordia, Ensemble Zefiro etc. Between 2003 and 2008 he has been the conductor at the “Handel Festival Japan”, performing various operas and cantatas by Handel, which were received with great praise. In June 2012, his first solo CD of J.S. Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” was released on ALM Records and has won several CD awards. Takashi teaches harpsichord and performance practice at the Bern University of the Arts, Switzerland.