Ladyslipper baroque is the first prize winner of the 2012 Alienor International Harpsichord Composition Competition.
Egyptian American mezzo soprano Sahar Hassan is a gifted and exciting singer. Her lush and vibrant voice is beautifully enhanced by her innate musical sensitivity. Ms. Hassan’s talents have taken her to various stages, concert and recital venues throughout New England, the Midwest and West Coast. She made her operatic debut with Fresno Lyric Opera, as Barbarina in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. Ms. Hassan earned her Master of Music from the New England Conservatory in Boston, where she was co-artistic director and soloist of Ensemble Rossignol for five years. She continued her studies at the Hochschule für Musik in München, Germany and the Conservatoire de Versailles, France. She maintains a busy schedule as a frequent oratorio and chamber soloist in the Twin Cities and is a founding member of LADYSLIPPER baroque.
Sahar Hassan has taught at Wellesley College and Phillips Exeter Academy. In addition, she was most recently on faculty at Salve Regina University and the New England Conservatory Division of Preparatory and Continuing Education. Currently, she is a visiting professor at St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict during the fall of 2012.
Composer & Harpsichordist, Asako Hirabayashi’s debut CD The Harpsichord in the New Millenium (Albany Records) was described as “Twenty-four tracks of passionate, sparkling, lyrical, even poignant music to help secure the harpsichord’s presence in the new millennium.” (Fanfare, July/August 2010) “Her contemporary harpsichord music is ingenious, fanciful, diverse and unpretentious… I admit I’ve never been a fan of the harpsichord, Ms. Hirabayashi has changed all that for me and awakened me to the idea that a composer can reinvent an instrument…” (Fanfare, September/October 2010) “A superb player and a gifted creator of music…” (Diapason, 2010) “…who makes a strong case for her instrument’s third-millennium credentials. A deft mimic, conjuring and sometimes combining a striking range of styles, she also has a voice of her own, whimsical and touching. She plays with the rhythmic suppleness characteristic of the best harpsichordists. A delight!” (Star Tribune, 2010)
Her New York debut recital at Carnegie Hall was described as “an impressive talent, brilliant,” (The Music Connoisseur, 1996) “a gifted harpsichordist with genuine… refined sensibilities for phrasing, dynamic gradations and nuanced tonal beauty” (The New York Concert Review, 1996). She has appeared as a guest soloist in numerous international festivals and music series worldwide and obtained numerous awards, grants and scholarships, including a 2009-10 McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians, the grand prize (2004) and an honorable mention prize (2008) in the Alienor International Harpsichord Composition Competition, the grand prize (1987) in a Composition Competition sponsored by NHK in Japan, Subito grant from American Composer Forum. She holds BA and MA in composition from the Aichi Art University in Japan and DMA in harpsichord performance from the Juilliard School.
Ms. Hirabayashi is a founding member of LADYSLIPPER baroque.
A featured concert soloist with several local orchestras, violinist Margaret Humphrey maintains a vibrant freelance career schedule in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St Paul. Ms Humphrey also performs as a core member of the Minnesota Opera Orchestra. Touring nationally, she frequently guests with Tempesta di Mare in Philadelphia, the Kingsbury Ensemble in St Louis, and Bach and the Baroque series in Pittsburgh. International touring as a founding member of Belladonna baroque quartet, she also solos yearly in the Ancient Music Series in St Savin, France. Ms Humphrey has recorded on the Chandos, Dorian, and Ten Thousand Lakes labels. Ms. Humphrey is a founding member of LADYSLIPPER baroque.