Cantata à Trois

Carolyn Jean Smith, recorders
Ronald Dynneson, harpsichord and organ

Unfortunately, Cantata à Trois has disbanded.
Thank you for your interest.

About Cantata à Trois

Cantata à Trois is a chamber ensemble which performs diverse repertory for voice, recorder, and keyboard. The trio's founders, Susan Harris, mezzo-soprano, Carolyn Jean Smith, recorders, and Ronald Dynneson, harpsichord and organ, were students together at the Longy School of Music. Having played together for years and participated in each other's graduation recitals, the individuals coalesced in 1997 to form Cantata à Trois.

1999 Concert Highlights

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Carolyn Jean Smith (recorders)

Carolyn grew up in New York City and moved to Boston in 1983 to pursue a BS in Biology at MIT. After working in research for several years, she returned to school to pursue her lifelong love of recorder. She completed her Master of Music degree in Early Music at the Longy School of Music in May 1999. She is a member of Cantata à Trois, Serendipity, and Stämbandet, with whom she has recorded a CD. Carolyn has studied with Ford Weisberg and Sonja Lindblad, and has done masterclasses with Michael Lynn, Gerd Lunenberger, John Tyson and Paul Leenhouts. She has participated in the Oberlin Performance Institute and the International Baroque Institute at Longy, has performed in the Society for Historically Informed Performance (SoHIP) Concert Series, the MIT Chapel Concert Series, the Noon Concert Series at Cathedral Church of St. Paul, in the Gardner Museum Concert Series, and at First Night Boston, and has been heard on WGBH's Morning Pro Musica with Stämbandet.

Ronald Dynneson (harpsichord)

Ronald Dynneson has performed widely in the Boston area on organ and harpsichord, including recitals at First Church in Cambridge and the Newton Free Library. Recently he performed in a 'Festival Organ' event, playing the solo organ part in an aria of J.S. Bach. He has accompanied the Cambridge Madrigal Singers and the Tufts Chamber Choir in concert. Receiving a Master of Music Degree in Early Music Performance from the Longy School of Music (Cambridge) in 1997, Ronald studied organ and harpsichord there with Peter Sykes and Francis Conover Fitch, and at the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute with Patrick Allen and Web Wiggins. In 1996 he was an honors competition winner at Longy for performance with Susan Harris of music of Henry Purcell. Mr. Dynneson is currently the Minister of Music at St. John's Episcopal Church in Arlington, MA.

An Early Review

The new ensemble Cantata à Trois is comprised of three recent graduates of Longy School of Music: Susan Harris, soprano, Carolyn Jean Smith, recorder, and Ronald Dynneson, harpsichord. The October 7 preview of their debut performance showed their range and versatility. Although the program contained works by only two German composers, J.S. Bach and Georg Philipp Telemann, it covered several different genres and combinations, from harpsichord solo (Bach's French Suite No. 5) to recorder and harpsichord (the overture to Telemann's Suite in A Minor for recorder and orchestra), to arias and cantatas for voice and harpsichord, with recorder obbligato. The texts of the vocal pieces traces the path of the soul from original sin, through penitence, to the joy of the redeemed. Short readings from C.S. Lewis enhanced the transitions.

All of the performers are capable musicians, and they worked well together. Susan Harris has a wide vocal range, and is able to do exactly what she wants to in all parts of it. Carolyn Jean Smith is a very accomplished recorder player, who negotiated the most complex lines with ease. Ronald Dynneson excelled as a soloist in the Bach suite, as accompanist in the keyboard arrangement of the orchestra parts of the Telemann recorder suite, and as continuo player in the Bach aria and the Telemann cantatas. From the most dramatic (Telemann's cantata "Du bist verflucht, O Schreckenstimme") to the most virtuosic (Telemann's cantata "Locke nur"), the ensemble always worked together towards the common goal of effective and very musical performance.

Cantata à Trois is an extremely promising new group, well deserving of support.

   Hope Ehn
   Music Faculty,
   Cambridge Center for Adult Education

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