About Us

As China's pioneer in historical performance, we are proud to introduce musical marvels from roughly 1600-1750 to a very large audience not yet familiar with early music. It is our mission to bring not only performance practice but also music otherwise not heard in this part of the world. 

Menglin Gao, theorbo/recorder/voice, founder

Countertenor, recorder player and theorbist Menglin Gao received his bachelor’s degree in recorder from Oberlin in 2013. He obtained a Master of Music in early music voice from the Longy School of Music in 2015, before starting his doctoral studies at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, studying voice with Steven Rickards and basso-continuo on the theorbo with Nigel North. Gao has collaborated on various instruments with many distinguished performers such as Elizabeth Walfisch, Ingrid Matthews, Cynthia Roberts, and Gary Wedow. Gao founded Shanghai Camerata in 2016, China’s first early music ensemble and led it to numerous successful performances in important concert halls in Shanghai since. He has also given lectures at New York University as well as Fudan University in 2017

Lei Xu, soprano, co-founder
 

Lei Xu graduated from Shanghai Conservatory with a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance and opera. Afterwards, she received a full scholarship to study at the Juilliard School, earning a master’s degree as well as an artist diploma. Around the same time, she was selected to enroll in the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Program, making her the first Chinese soprano to join these two prestigious institutions. Ms. Xu was also the first Chinese soprano at the Ravinia Festival and the Marlboro Festival, where she worked with masters such as Malcolm Martineau, Mitsuko Uchida and Richard Goode. During her time at the Metropolican Opera, she has performed with venerable singers such as Placido Domingo, Jonas Kaufmann and Joyce DiDonato, among others. In Europe, Ms. Xu has sung the role of Pamina in the legendary stage director Peter Brook’s award winning production of Une Flûte Enchantée in Paris at the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord (2011 Molière Award for Best Musical). At NCPA in Beijing, she has been casted in the leading roles of Le Nozze di Figaro and Don Pasquale. In the field of early music, she has worked with masters such as Jordi Savall and William Christie. Ms. Xu is currently a voice faculty at Shanghai Conservatory.

Charlie Zhang, lute/theorbo/guitar
 

Chen Zhang was born in Qingdao, China in 1986. Chen learned piano and singing at a young age, graduating to classical guitar at the age of 11. In 2009, he began studies with renowned guitar master Tilman Hoppstock in Darmstadt, Germany. At the same time he pursued studies in Renaissance lute performance, performance practices and analysis of guitar music styles, obtaining a Master of Education with a full GPA. Afterwards he studied guitarist Thomas Thomas Müller-Pering and lutenist Björn Colell at Universität der Künste Berlin, graduating with distinction. Currently he is pursuing a degree at UKB in early plucked instruments and chamber music.

Eric Tinkerhess, baroque cello and viol

Described by ResMusica as “impeccable,” “a beautiful presence,” and by L’Echo
Républicain as a “magnificent instrumentalist,” Eric Tinkerhess is a cellist, viola da
gambist, composer and musicologist from Ann Arbor, Michigan. He has a bachelor’s in
modern cello from the Oberlin Conservatory, a master’s in viola da gamba from the Paris
conservatory where he studied with Christophe Coin, and a master’s in musicology from
the Sorbonne. As a professor he has given master classes at the Huddersfield University
(UK) and the Shanghai Conservatory. His compositions have been performed at the
Chautauqua Music Festival in New York, the Music Academy of the West in California,
and at the Salle Cortot in Paris. He regularly performs with Flame, Les contre-sujets,
Ensemble Consonance, and has also studied with Abby Alwin, Richard Aaron, Amir
Eldan, Cathy Meints, Ron Leonard, Jérôme Pernoo, and Guido Balestracci.

 

Parker Ramsay, harpsichord/organ/harp

Parker Ramsay is known in the United States, Europe and Asia both as an accomplished soloist and accompanist. In 2014, he was awarded First Prize at the Sweelinck International Organ Competition (NL). From 2010 to 2013 he served as organ scholar at King’s College, Cambridge. He has performed in venues including the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Alice Tully Hall in New York, Washington National Cathedral, Princeton University Chapel, the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, and the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. Festival appearances have included the Gergiev Festival in Rotterdam, the Dubrovnik Summer Music Festival, the Cambridge Summer Music Festival, the Cambridge New Music Project, and the American Guild of Organists National Convention, He holds degrees from Cambridge University and the Juilliard School. 

Oliver Weston, baroque cello and viol

Beginning his musical journey in rural North Carolina on the modern viola, Oliver Weston is currently pursuing a master’s degree in the Historical Performance program at Juilliard, studying baroque cello with Phoebe Carrai and viola da gamba with Sarah Cunningham. Since beginning work in historical performance, he has shared the stage with many distinguished artists, including William Christie, Laurence Cummings, Richard Egarr, John Eliot Gardiner, Nicholas McGegan, Rachel Podger, Jordi Savall, and others.

Danilo Bonina, violin

Danilo Bonina earned his Bachelor in violin from the F. Torrefranca Conservatory in Vibo Valentia (Italy). Winner of the “Venetico”, “Pedara”, and “Pizzo Calabro” International Competitions, he made his solo debut in 1996. He received his Master of Music degree from the Mannes College of Music in New York where he studied with Nina Beilina. He later obtained his Graduate Performance Diploma in Historical Performance from the Longy School of Music under the guidance of Dana Maiben. He is the founder of the Ars Vetus and Corelli Collective historical ensembles. He has performed in Master Classes given by Jamie Laredo, Rachel Podger, Elizabeth Blumenstock, Phoebe Carrai, Aisslinn Nosky, and others. Active on both baroque and modern violin, he has toured Europe, USA, and Asia with orchestras such as Bachanalia Festival Orchestra, Ars Lyrica Houston, Ensemble du Monde, Eudaimonia, Oriana Consort, Corelli Collective, Shanghai Camerata, and many others. He has worked with conductors such as Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Masaaki Suzuki, Otto Werner Mueller, Joann Falletta, Nicholas McGegan, Peter Maag, Paul Nadler, Andrew Megill, Murray Forbes Somerville, and others. In high demand as a pedagogue, he is currently a member of the faculty at the Longy School of Music of Bard College.

Natalie Kress, violin

Praised by the New York Times for her “splendid playing”, 28 year old Natalie Kress has already begun a successful career as a violinist; highlights of which include performing at the Kennedy Center Honors with Yo Yo Ma in 2016; winning the 2012 Jules C. Reiner Violin Prize from the Tanglewood Music Center; as well as performances at Carnegie Hall. Natalie received her Bachelor's of Arts in Music and Psychology and Master’s in Music from Stony Brook University (where she studied with Soovin Kim) and is co-Artistic Director of Three Village Chamber Players which performs free chamber music and outreach concerts throughout Long Island and New York State (3vcp.org). As a baroque violinist Natalie studies with Beth Wenstrom and performs with Boston's Handel and Haydn Society and Grand Harmonie. 

Ruiqi Ren, violin

As a baroque violinist, Ms. Ren has been invited to perform with William Christie, Massaki Suzuki, Rachel Podger, Monica Huggett, Nicholas McGegan, Robert Mealy, and Elizabeth Blumenstock. Ms.Ren has traveled to Leipzig, Germany, to perform with Bach Collegium Japan in the Leipzig Bach Festival in addition to performing with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in San Francisco and Yale Schola Cantorum at Yale University. As a modern violinist, Ms. Ren has won multiple prizes in various national competitions as well as serving as the concertmaster of Wuhan Orchestra and Oberlin Orchestra. She has performed in Carnegie Hall, Chicago symphony Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Woolsey Hall at Yale University and Leipzig Gewandhaus in Germany.  

Ms. Ren also serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the musician Magazine “Along” which aims to build a cross-cultural communicative platform through music and art. 

Ms. Ren is currently studying baroque violin with Cynthia Roberts and Elizabeth Blumenstock at The Juilliard School. During her study at Indiana University and Oberlin Conservatory,  Ruiqi studied both modern and baroque violin with Marilyn McDonald and Stanley Ritchie. In China, Ruiqi’s teachers include Yaoxi Zhu, Zhiqun Xiong, Lina Yu, Jinlong Zheng and Gang Chen. 

Rebecca Nelson, violin

Rebecca Nelson was born in Gera, Germany into a family of musicians. Her mother was her first teacher when Rebecca began playing the violin at the age of four. It was not long before she was winning prizes in the solo and chamber music division at the Jugend Musiziert Competition. At fourteen, she left home to attend high school at the Interlochen Arts Academy. She earned her Bachelor's degree at Rice University and went on to complete her Master’s with Hal Grossman at the University of Oklahoma. Since leaving academia, Rebecca has immersed herself in Boston’s vibrant early music scene and has been enjoying the creative and artistic opportunities unique to this style. She has had the pleasure of playing with several period ensembles including Harvard Baroque, The Berry Collective, The Arcadia Players, Canto Armonico and Grand Harmonie and has performed with members of both Boston Baroque and the Handel + Haydn Society. Starting August, 2018 she will be attending the Juilliard School for a master's in baroque violin.

Zhou Feng, violone

Born in Shanghai, Zhou Feng graduated from Tsinghua University (Journalism), China Central Conservatory of Music (Classical double bass and Musicology), and Royal Conservatoire The Hague (Violone and Viola da gamba). He premiered double bass sonatas of Hindemith and Gubaidulina in China. In the recent years, he focuses on the study and promotion of European early music, including the Chinese premiere of the Viennese double bass in Beijing (2012), a lecture-recital of violones and viola da gamba in Royal Conservatoire The Hague (2015), and participated in the initiative of the first ‘Viennese Double Bass Symposium’ in Conservatorium van Amsterdam (2016). He was invited to be a jury member in the 8th 'Zhong Yin Cup' Double Bass Competition in China Central Conservatory of Music (October, 2016). During the event, he also performed in the Chinese first-ever violone concert and gave a lecture on the Viennese double bass. He has been an extended member of the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century since 2017. In the same year, he was invited to be a jury member of the first ‘Viennese Double Bass Competition’ in Amsterdam. He is also a member of ‘Taiwan Baroque’.

Zhou Feng, violone

Born in Shanghai, Zhou Feng graduated from Tsinghua University (Journalism), China Central Conservatory of Music (Classical double bass and Musicology), and Royal Conservatoire The Hague (Violone and Viola da gamba). He premiered double bass sonatas of Hindemith and Gubaidulina in China. In the recent years, he focuses on the study and promotion of European early music, including the Chinese premiere of the Viennese double bass in Beijing (2012), a lecture-recital of violones and viola da gamba in Royal Conservatoire The Hague (2015), and participated in the initiative of the first ‘Viennese Double Bass Symposium’ in Conservatorium van Amsterdam (2016). He was invited to be a jury member in the 8th 'Zhong Yin Cup' Double Bass Competition in China Central Conservatory of Music (October, 2016). During the event, he also performed in the Chinese first-ever violone concert and gave a lecture on the Viennese double bass. He has been an extended member of the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century since 2017. In the same year, he was invited to be a jury member of the first ‘Viennese Double Bass Competition’ in Amsterdam. He is also a member of ‘Taiwan Baroque’.

Eunji Lee, harpsichord

 

Born in Seoul, South Korea, Eunji Lee enjoys an active career as a harpsichordist in the US and South Korea. She is the winner of the 2016 Jurow International Harpsichord Competition, Juilliard Concert Competition, IU Concerto Competition, IU Travel Grant Competition, and the finalist of the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra Competition. Lee has appeared in noted venues such as Boston Early Music Festival, Indianapolis Early Music Festival, and Bloomington Early Music Festival. Recently, she performed as a soloist with Juilliard415 in Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, and had recitals in Seoul Arts Center and Sejong Center.

In high demand for her expertise in basso continuo improvisation, she has performed under the direction of William Christie, Masaaki Suzuki, Ton Koopman, Laurence Cummings, Stanley Ritchie, Nigel North, and Wendy Gillespie. Lee was broadcast on WXQR, NPR, and WFIU, and, in masterclasses, she has worked with Jordi Savall, William Christie, Harry Bicket, Pablo Heras-Casado, Ketil Haugsand, Menno van Delft, Malcom Bilson, Edward Parmentier, Webb Wiggins, Barthold Kuijken, and Judy Tarling. Lee was artist-in-residence of Piccola Accademia di Montisi in Italy, and harpsichord assistant and accompanist at the Aestas Musica Summer School in Croatia.

The director of the Korean Baroque Society, co-director of the Arbor Vitae Chamber Orchestra, and leader of Vates Concort, she holds a masters degree as a double major in harpsichord and piano from the Indiana University where she was an associate instructor in harpsichord and fortepiano for several years. Recently completing her graduate diploma in the Historical Performance at the Juilliard School with Richard Egarr, Béatrice Martin, and Peter Sykes, she is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in historical keyboards at IU with Elisabeth Wright.

Xiangji Zeng, baroque violin

Xiangji wasborn in Beijing. After finishing her bachelor study of law at Beijing Institute of Technology, she went to Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing, completing her master of musicology and artist diploma of violin. In 2014, she moved to Den Haag to study baroque violin with Lucy van Dael at Koninklijk Conservatorium. In addition to solo repertoire from the late renaissance to contemporary, she played in many European early music ensembles, such as Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Barokensemble Eik en Linde, Symphonie Atlantique, Ribattuta Musica, Amsterdamse Bach Vereniging. She joined baroque ensemble IJ Space in 2017 and Shanghai Camerata in 2018. In the same year, she co-founded Estehaagse Ensemble, concentrating on both baroque and classical repertoire. She also played in many early music festivals, such as Utrecht Early Music Festival (2017) and Boston Early Music Festival (2016, with Ton Koopman, subsequently touring to New York, Den Haag, Leiden and Deventer). She played early baroque chamber music at the 'Zhong Yin Cup' Double Bass Festival in Beijing (2016). She is active as a teacher as well, giving summer courses in Beijing and chamber courses in Den Haag.

Yanmin Lu, baroque cello
 

A native of Shanghai, China, Mr. Lu entered the Music Middle School Affiliated to Shanghai Conservatory of Music with his outstanding talent and studied with Professor Meijuan Liu at age 13. Later, he was offered a full scholarship to enroll the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore; where he received his Bachelor degree of Music in cello performance and studied with Nella Hunkins and Liwei Qin, silver medalist of Tchaikovsky Competition in 1998. Mr. Lu is also a baroque cello player; he was introduced to baroque cello by one of the pioneers of “Dutch Baroque School”, cellist Anner Bylsma. Bylsma has been an important mentor and teacher for Mr. Lu in early music playing, and as well as in his musical life.  Mr. Lu has performed with Nieuw Philharmonic Utrecht, Bell’ Arte festival Orchestra in Alzenau Germany, Het Sweelinck Baroque Orkest, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, etc. In  winter  2015, because of the influence of Anner Bylsma and the passion of baroque music, he moved to Amsterdam and in June of 2018 completed a master degree on both baroque and modern cello in Conservatorium van Amsterdam with Viola de Hoog and Jeroen den Herder.

Caroline Walters, recorders
 

Caroline Walters is a South African recorder performer and educator. She received her initial tuition in recorder and piano at the College of the Arts in Windhoek, Namibia. In 2013, she began her recorder studies with Karin Maritz at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, and obtained her BMus degree in recorder solo performance in 2016. During her studies at Stellenbosch University, Caroline was the recipient of numerous awards and bursaries, including the Graham Beck Ambassador Scholarship 2016 which enabled her to participate in the Gstaad Baroque Academy (2016) under the direction of Maurice Steger. She has received masterclasses from notable early music specialists, including Stefan Temmingh, Maurice Steger, Erik Bosgraaf, Sabrina Frey, Arno Paduch, and Pauline Nobes. In 2016 and 2017, Caroline collaborated with the Cape Town based baroque ensemble, Camerata Tinta Barocca, on their educational outreach projects in the Western Cape, South Africa.

Meili Li, countertenor
 

Europe-based countertenor Meili Li is known for his" hugely attractive voice" "unwavering, clean countertenor" ( Brian Dickie and Opera).

 

He has worked in major houses and festivals such as Royal Opera House, Welsh National Opera, Glyndebourne Festival, Birmingham Opera Company, Hungarian State Opera and London Handel Festival. A few of his roles include Oberon/A Midsummer Night's Dream (Hungarian State Opera); Nireno/Giulio Cesare (Concertgebouw, Amsterdam); Spirito/L'Orfeo (Royal Opera House).

 

He has given concerts around Europe and China with prestigious musicians such as Sir John Elliot Gardiner, Christopher Moulds, Rachel Podger, Lawrence Zazzo and Long Yu.

 

Meili has a wide range of repertoire in different genres, styles and languages: from Renaissance lute songs to modern and contemporary music and operas. He performs in Italian, French, English, German, Latin and Chinese.

 

After finishing a BA in film at Peking University, he studied singing at Royal Academy of Music with Michael Chance where he received an MA with Distinction and DipRAM title, and was one of the few students in the history of the Academy to receive full marks for his final recital. He then studied with Yvonne Kenny and completed the Guildhall opera course with Distinction in 2015. He won the Farinelli Prize at the 2016 London Handel Singing Competition and is an Independent Opera scholar and fellow.

 

As the first and only Chinese countertenor to have an international career, Meili has also attracted great interest from Chinese media and audiences. He is frequently invited to TV and radio programmes, and interviewed by well-known magazines and newspapers. His new CD is released in 2018.

Jin Yan, recorder
 

Jin Yan was born in Kunming, China.

From 2010 to 2017 she studied recorder with Professor Hans Maria Kneihs and Professor Carsten Eckert at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, graduating with distinction.

She has performed at festivals and venues such as Carintischer Sommer/Austria, Settimana della Musica Contemporanea in Italy, York Early Music Festival in the UK, Basilica Santa Maria del Mar in Spain, among others.

Apart from working as a soloist, Jin Yan performs in several chamber music groups such as Davidsbund and Shanghai Camerata. She is also a co-founder of Ensemble Ancor, a group specializing in music from the Medieval and the Renaissance periods. In 2014, the Swiss Foundation Thyll-Dürr invited Ensemble Ancor to become one of their Ensemble in Residence for 2014 at the Casa Zia Lina in Elba, Italy. Ensemble Ancor’s project “Sounds of the Past - Lining Renaissance and Medieval Music” has been awarded the prestigious Bank Austria Kunstpreis in 2015.

Shanghai Camerata 2018