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About Mary Springfels
Mary Springfels is an American player of the viola da gamba, a highly respected professor, and director of early music programs.
When the New York Pro Musica visited her high school, she was hooked on early music. While attending UCLA, she purchased her first viola da gamba and began studying with the Pro Musica's Judith Davidoff. She went on to join the New York Pro Musica herself, then studied with Belgian Baroque gambist Wieland Kuijken for a year.
At the suggestion of the Chicago musicologist Howard Mayer Brown, she was appointed in 1982 as musician-in-residence at the Newberry Library and given the task of organizing an early music concert program. This led to her co-founding the Newberry Consort in 1986, one of America's best and most versatile Renaissance music groups, which has become ensemble-in-residence at the Newberry and at Northwestern University.
She remains director of the Newberry Consort. She has also played with the New York Pro Musica and the Waverly Consort as well as many other U.S. and European ensembles and is a founding member of the ensembles Elizabethan Enterprise and Les Filles de Sainte-Colombe.
She has recorded for the Harmonia Mundi USA label as member of the Newberry Consort, as a soloist in a set of Stradella solo cantatas (with Christine Brandes and Paul O'Dette), and in solo instrumental works with recorder player Marion Verbruggen. She has also appeared on the Decca, Columbia, Nonesuch, and Titanic labels.
Springfels believes in getting close to the audience, literally by performing in smaller venues, but also by teaching and educating them about the music and theories behind performance of early music. Therefore, she is frequently found at workshops and conferences. Academically, she has taught at Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Chicago, and the Northwestern University School of Music. ~ Joseph Stevenson