KirstiConsort is a young and refreshing ensemble founded in October 2015. The ensemble focuses on music composed by female composers of the baroque and classical era. Through the performance of this music, KirstiConsort endeavors to show the appreciation that they deserve, which was mostly not received in their lifetime. These composers had very diverse backgrounds, but they all wrote music in a time where not many women had the chance to do so. This great diversity is reflected in their music, which ranges from sacred motets to exciting sonatas and dramatic love songs.
Besides playing music from the baroque era, KirstiConsort also performs their own arrangements of modern pieces by female artists such as Björk and Consuelo Velázquez, offering a varied programme to a broad range of audience.
On occasion the ensemble plays music by male composers but including always a few compositions by female composers in the programme, partly to draw attention to the fact how often female composers are excluded and overlooked in the concert programmes.
The importance of the rhetorical aspects, the delivery of the text, and the different affects and passions of each piece are central to KirstiConsort’s performances.
In May 2016 KirstiConsort received the audience award of the Fontys Chamber Music Contest in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. The ensemble has performed in various venues and concert series in the Netherlands and in Belgium, including Muziekgebouw Eindhoven, the concert series of Catharijn Classique, Zaterdagmiddagmuziek in de Stevens in Nijmegen, at Oosterkerk in Amsterdam and at Koepelkerk van Arnhem.
Finnish violinist Kirsti Apajalahti is a versatile musician equally passionate about historically informed performance practice and historical instruments as well as contemporary music. Kirsti studied classical violin with Silja Raitio-Heikinheimo at the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. In 2012 Kirsti began her classical violin studies with Eeva Koskinen at the Utrecht Conservatory where she also discovered the enthralling world of early music and soon began studying historical violin and viola with Antoinette Lohmann. Kirsti received her master’s degree in historical violin in 2017. Kirsti works as a freelance musician collaborating with renowned early music ensembles and orchestras such as Holland Baroque, De Nieuwe Philharmonie Utrecht, Espoon Barokki, Ensemble Nylandia, L’Arpeggiata, Cappella Mediterranea and Millenium Orchestra; performing regularly in the Netherlands, Belgium and Finland. In addition, she plays with many smaller groups including a Finnish early music trio called Tuohi and DUO Kirsti&Eva, a violin-double bass duo that plays mainly modern and contemporary music. Kirsti has won first prize in ensemble competitions both in the Netherlands and in Finland. Besides classical music, Kirsti is fascinated by other musical styles and plays on occasion with different jazz and rock bands. Alongside her performing career, Kirsti takes great pride in teaching. She holds a degree in classical music education from Metropolia University and works as a violin teacher in the Dutch music school Klank en Kunst.
Anna Vala Ólafsdóttir was born in Reykjavík, Iceland. After studying singing at the Reykjavík College of Music she moved to Utrecht, where she completed her bachelor studies of classical singing and pedagogy at the Conservatory of Utrecht. She gained her master's degree at the Fontys Conservatory in Tilburg in 2017, where she studied with Xenia Meijer and Sinan Vural. Anna Vala's passion for early music brought her to Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel where she followed Advanced Vocal Ensemble Studies, under the guidance of Evelyn Tubb and Anthony Rooley, specialising in ensemble singing of Italian and English secular music. Anna Vala specialises in the performance of early music and also enjoys performing 20th century and contemporary music. She has performed as a soloist and an ensemble member in various churches and concert halls in the Netherlands as well as in Iceland, Germany, England, Belgium, Spain, Austria and Japan. Since 2019 Anna Vala has performed regularly as a member of the Le Cetra vocal ensemble, based in Basel.
Elianne Ardts started playing the cello when she was seven years old, having lessons with Wikkie Vis. After finishing her bachelor studies of modern cello with Ran Varon in Utrecht (2015), she started her early music specialization at the Amsterdam conservatory with Viola de Hoog, where she received her masters degree in June 2018. Elianne had lessons and masterclasses in solo and ensemble playing from, amongst others, Bruno Cocset, Job ter Haar, Wilbert Hazelzet and Heiko ter Schegget. In 2019 she was a part of the “giovani” of the orchestra “Academia Montis Regalis” based in Mondovì, Italy. She keeps developing her playing by studying in the Abbaye aux Dames in Saintes, France, working with conductors such as Alessandro Moccia and Hervé Niquet. She is a regular member of the “Nieuwe Philharmonie Utrecht”, and performs throughout the country, solo as well as in ensembles and orchestras.
Tim Veldman (1991) has always handled music in a variety of ways. From childhood on he plays the recorder and later on also the piano. With these two instruments he enters his studies at the Utrecht Conservatory, with teachers Heiko ter Schegget (recorder) and Paolo Giacometti (piano). Because he is seized by early music he continues his keyboard studies on harpsichord with teacher Siebe Henstra. He gets his Bachelor of Music degree in 2014 in two principal subjects, recorder and harpsichord. The same year he is admitted to the Akademie für Alte Musik in Bremen, where he obtained his Master of Music on harpsichord with Carsten Lohff and on recorder with Han Tol. Tim is engaged in music from 1400 up to now, with a predilection to sixteenth-century polyphony and eighteenth-century Empfindsamkeit. In order to approach the creative process of the old masters, he has applied himself to composition in historical styles and his music has been published by Musica Repartita. As a performer he is frequently heard across Europe, among others with Les Talens Lyriques, Nieuwe Philharmonie Utrecht and Asambura Ensemble.