Jay Bernfeld, Viola da gamba (Paris)
Jay Bernfeld is increasingly admired as a performer of great expressivity on the viola da gamba. He is widely acclaimed as a soloist and continuo player, and for his performances of ornamental and improvisatory styles. Award winning releases of Pièces des Violes by Antoine Forqueray and François Couperin as well as the Folies d’Espagne of Marin Marais and a premiere recording of works by Johannn Schenk have received extravagant praise in the international press.
As a teenager Jay Bernfeld witnessed hundreds of live performances of the great singers, foremost among them Renata Tebaldi. It is largely due to his appreciation of the dramatic voice that he has developed a new perspective on the performance of earlier repertoires. He has served as assistant conductor to maestro David Stern for productions of Mozart”s Nozze di Figaro and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas at the festival d’Aix-en-Provence and at the Opéra de Rouen. With Skip Sempe and the Capriccio Stravagante, of which he is a founding member, he has directed la Pellegrina and Gagliano’s Dafne at Vicenza’s Teatro Olimpico; his production of Monteverdi’s Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria was chosen to inaugurate the Dimitri Mitropulos Concert Hall at the Athens Music Palace.
Devoted to the privileged association of voices and viols the group Fuoco e Cenere, which Mr. Bernfeld directs, has appeared at major festivals in Europe, Israel, and the Americas.