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Meet The Artists




Margo Andrea Gezairlian Grib

Artistic Director  (mezzo soprano,vielle)

Early Music America Magazine wrote “If one performer deserves special note, it is Margo Andrea, whose unique voice is perfect for these songs.” in it’s review of Ivory Consort’s recording  “Music in the Land of Three Faiths”. She is soloist on “Einstein on the Beach” by Philip Glass and Robert Wilson for Sony Classics which she toured in opera houses around the world including BAM; Opera Bobigny, Paris; The Liceu, Barcelona;  Melbourne Opera House and the McCarter Theatre.  In addition to performances with The Alba Consort, she has performed with prominent early music ensembles and festivals such as New York’s Ensemble for Early Music, the New York Collegium, The Ivory Consort, at the Indianapolis Early Music Festival, Bloomington Early Music Festival, the Cloisters, Academy of Ancient Music, Bargemusic, The Greene Space, and Early Music Now.  Her recordings include “Music of Medieval Love” for EEM with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Jesus Blood Never Saved Me Yet” by Gavin Breyers with Tom Waits, and for the film score of Kundun.  She has performed live on WQXR.FM NY, WNPR, and has performed choral works at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.  Under the direction of David Mamet, she was a founding member of The Atlantic Theatre Company where she  performed in “The Cider House Rules” directed by Tom Hulce.  An extensive theatre resume includes performances at the Goodman Theatre of Chicago, the Lincoln Center Theater and with the London Shakespeare Company.





Carlo Valte(Arabic lute) is an active performer and educator in New York and abroad. Some past performances include Alice Tully Hall, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, L’Auditori de Barcelona, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors series, Museo Tamayo (Mexico D.F.), and The United Nations.

He has given workshops, master classes and educational programs with Sendebar (www.Sendebar.com), as Oudist, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Queens College (CUNY), Northern Illinois University and many public and independent schools in NYC and the Tri-state area and Spain including Barcelona, Tarragona and Reus. He has coached ensembles since 2005 for the annual New York Guitar Seminar.

He performs as the Oudist for the group Sendebar, Adufera and performs with Hesperus on guitar, oud and percussion for the live music with silent film project The Golem.

Carlo is currently a faculty member of Mannes College of Music’s Prep department. His past recordings are with One Soul Records, Vienna Modern Masters, and N. Y. Collegium.

His own education started in classical guitar with conductor Michael Dadap. He received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Music degrees at the Mannes College of Music as a student of Frederic Hand. His interest in Medieval and Near Eastern Music led him to study the Oud with Simon Shaheen in New York and Nasser Houari in Rabat, Morocco.





































































Rex Benincasa   (frame drums, darbouka, riq, hurdy-gurdy, voice) has been a freelancing drummer and percussionist in New York since 1978. He has performed with the New Music Consort, Ensemble Caprice, Apollo's Fire, Seraphic Fire, Flamenco Latino, Carlota Santana Spanish Dance, Andrea Del Conte Danza España, Zorongo Flamenco Dance, Pilar Rioja, Amanecer Flamenco Progressivo, The Sacramento Ballet, Ballet Austin, The Washington Ballet and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Rex has recorded CDs and/or movie soundtracks for Marty Balin, Andrea Marcovicci, Philip Glass, Sesame Street, NFL Films, The Sons of Sefarad, The Ivory Consort, and the Gerard Edery Ensemble. His most recent Broadway appearances have been with Fosse, The Full Monty, Flower Drum Song, Man of La Mancha, Little Shop of Horrors, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, All Shook Up, Hairspray, The Drowsy Chaperone, Curtains, The Color Purple, Shrek, Billy Elliot, and Motown The Musical. Mr. Benincasa likes all kinds of music.


Christopher Morrongiello
 
(lute, baroque guitar, vihuela) a former British Marshall Scholar, is a graduate of the Mannes College of Music, the Royal College of Music, and the University of Oxford, where he earned a Ph.D. in musicology.  As a recitalist, Christopher has performed to critical acclaim throughout Europe and the United States.
In 1993 he was a prizewinner in the BBC Radio Two Young Musician of the Year Competition and in 1996 awarded a Marco Fodella Foundation Scholarship for research in Milan, Italy.  In 2006, the Lute Society of America conferred upon him its first Patrick O’Brien LSA Seminar Lectureship.

Heralded as an innovative music director and creator of large-scale dramatic works, Christopher has a gift for bringing music of the Renaissance and Baroque to life in its literary and social context.  His musical portrait of the Elizabethan muse and songstress Penelope Devereux, created for soprano Emily Van Evera (My Lady Rich, Avie Records 0045), has been described by Renaissance Magazine as “a presentation of unusual quality and beauty” and by the NY Times as “an inspired idea… a vivid and touching portrait.”

Christopher is a professor in music history at Hofstra University and teaches lute and related historical plucked instruments in his private studio in Long Island, New York.  He is a member of the Venere Lute Quartet and directs the New York-based Bacheler Consort.