October 20, 2017



THIS CONCERT IS SOLD OUT. Three young international Early Music superstars in a sublime concert featuring harpsichord, lute & voice.

Jean Rondeau (harpsichord), Thomas Dunford (lute) and Lea Desandre (mezzo-soprano) in a concert of music & song featuring popular laments of the late Renaissance/Early Baroque, rich arias of the early Baroque opera, & sparkling harpsichord works of the High Baroque. Enjoy a complimentary fine beverage prior to the concert. Concert presented in collaboration with Opera Lafayette.


JEAN RONDEAU (Harpsichord), LEA DESANDRE (Mezzo-Soprano), THOMAS DUNFORD (Lute)

Barbara Strozzi (1619 – 1677)
Eraclito Amoroso

Robert De Visée (v. 1650-1665 – après 1732)
Suite en Ré mineur

Marin Marais (1656 – 1728) 
Les Voix Humaines

François Couperin (1668 – 1733) 
La Ménetou 
Le Dodo ou l’amour au berceau Passacaille

Girolamo Kapsberger (1580 – 1651)
Toccata 6

Claudio Monteverdi  (1567 – 1643)
La lettera Amorosa 

Jean-Henry D’Anglebert (1629 – 1691)
Prélude en Ré Majeur 
Sarabande Grave 

Antoine Forqueray (1671 – 1745) & sons Jean-Baptiste (1699 – 1782) & Nicolas Gilles (1703 – 1761) 
La Portugaise – Marqué et d’Aplomb.
La Sylva – Très Tendrement
La Jupiter – Modérément

Domenico Scarlatti (1685 – 1757)
Sonata K. 208 (Adagio e cantabile) in A Major
Sonata K. 119 (Allegro) in D Major

Claudio Monteverdi
Lamento d’Arianna

JEAN RONDEAU studied harpsichord with Blandine Verlet for over ten years before studying basso continuo with Frédéric Michel and Pierre Trocellier, organ with Jean Galard, piano with Corinne Kloska and Philippe Tambourini at the Conservatory superior of Paris, jazz and improvisation with Sylvain Halevy and Benjamin Moussay, and choir conducting with Didier Louis.  He also studied with Olivier Baumont, Blandine Rannou, and Kenneth Weiss at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, and with Carole Cerasi and James Johnstone at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

Jean Rondeau won many prizes during his musical studies including the “Prix de clavecin” with honors at the Conservatoire à rayonnement regional de Paris (CRR), and the “Prix de Basse Continue” at the CRR de Boulogne.

Completely committed to gaining the fullest range of musical skills, Jean also decided to study composition at the CRR de Paris.  He also obtained a musicology degree from Sorbonne University and later graduated with honors from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de musique de Paris.

At 21 years of age, Jean Rondeau is amongst the youngest first prize winners of the International Harpsichord Competition in Bruges (MAfestival 2012) and winner of the EUBO Development Trust prize, an award given to the most promising young musician of the European Union.  In 2012 Jean also won second prize at the Prague Spring International Harpsichord Competition (64th year of the Festival, 2012).  Jean also received the prize for the best interpretation of the contemporary piece written for this contest.

Jean has performed extensively in solo, chamber music and orchestral concerts throughout Europe and the US, including in Paris, Siena, Florence, London, Hatchland, Bruges, Brussels, Utrecht, St. Veit, Sofia, Latvia, Prague, Warsaw, Plock, Miami, Boston and Washington DC.  He frequently works with the orchestra Les Ambassadeurs under the direction of Alexis Kossenko and is a member of the Baroque ensemble Nevermind.

He co-founded the ensemble Note Forget: The Project, with which he experiments and perform his jazz-oriented compositions for which he received the Sunside’s trophies in 2012 and Label Ropes and Souls in 2013.

Passionate and curious about Baroque, Classical and jazz music, Jean also likes to mix in a little philosophy, psychology and pedagogy so as to explore the musical relationships between different genres and cultures. 

LEA DESANDRE – Born in 1993, French-Italian mezzo-soprano Lea Desandre studied in Paris and Venice while also dancing classical ballet for twelve years. She unanimously won First Prize as “Young Hope” at the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux in 2013 before joining the opera studio of the Opera Fuoco in 2014 while simultaneously deepening her knowledge of the repertoire with Sara Mingaro, Véronique Gens, Vivica Genaux, Malcolm Walker, Esthel Durand and Christine Schweitzer. She was awarded the HSBC Prize in 2016 at the Festival d’Aix en Provence. In 2017, she won the Victoire de la Musique Classique 2017 in the “Révélation Artiste Lyrique” category.

After being a winner at the 7th edition of the Jardin des Voix, Académie des Arts Florissants, Lea Desandre started performing worldwide under the baton of William Christie at the Alice Tully Hall Lincoln Center, Sydney Opera House, Melbourne Recital Center, Perth International Arts Festival, Philharmonie de Paris, Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, the Concert Hall of LKK Luzern, the Opéra de Bordeaux, Hong-Kong City Hall, and the Théâtre de Caen.

In the 2014-2015 season, Lea Desandre sang Sesto in Giulio Cesare (Handel) and the Second Witch in Dido and Aeneas (Purcell) at the Shanghai Symphony Hall. She also started at the Théâtre des Champs Élysées as Dorabella in the creation of Cosi Fanciulli (Bacri) directed by Jean-Yves Ruf. Summer 2015 marked her first participation in the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence as part of the Handel Academy, conducted by Emmanuelle Haïm, and with the Mozart Academy.

For the 2015-2016 season, she returned to the Shanghai Symphony Hall with a new role by Handel: Ruggiero in Alcina, conducted by David Stern. Lea Desandre also took part in the revival of the Jardin des Voix conducted by Paul Agnew at the Warsaw Philharmonic, La Coursive at La Rochelle and Besançon Theater.  She also performed at the Festival Misteria Paschalia, Cracow, as Angelo in Oratorio di Santo Antonio (Flaco) directed by Fabio Biondi, Médée (Cherubini) at the Opéra de Dijon, and the Festival Ré Majeure with Les Musiciens du Louvre in a programme of Handel cantatas. In the summer of 2016, she appeared for the first time at the Festival de Beaune as Andronico in Tamerlano (Vivaldi) with Les Accents, and  with Raphaël Pichon and his Pygmalion Ensemble in the role of Céphie in Zoroastre (Rameau), and also sang the same role at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and the Festival de Radio France, Montpellier.

In 2016-2017, Lea Desandre performed her first leading role at the Opéra Comique Alcione (Marin-Marais) conducted by Jordi Savall. She also sang the Messagiera in Orfeo (Monteverdi) with Les Arts Florissants at the Philharmonie de Paris, Caen, Versailles and Madrid. Additionally, she sang in revivals of Zoroastre (Rameau) at the Thatre an der Wien and the Opéra de Versailles; undertook a tour with Le Jardin des Voix to Tokyo, Seoul, Macao and Shanghai and sang as the Second Fairy in Fairy Queen (Purcell) with Willian Christie in Luxembourg; and returned to the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence in the role of Flerida in Erismena (Cavalli) with Capella Mediterranea and Leonardo Garcia Alarcon.

THOMAS DUNFORD – Born in Paris in 1988, Thomas Dunford discovered the lute at the age of nine.  He completed his studies in 2006 at the Conservatoire Supérieur de Paris (CNR), where he obtained a First Prize with honors in the class of Charles-Édouard Fantin. Thomas continued his studies at the Schola Cantorum in Basel with Hopkinson Smith, and was awarded his Bachelor’s degree in 2009.

Thomas has played recitals in New York’s Carnegie Hall and London’s Wigmore Hall, and made numerous solo and ensemble appearances at the most prestigious European festivals, including Ambronay, Arc La Bataille, Bozar, La Chaise-Dieu, Nantes, Saintes and Utrecht.  He has also performed further afield in the United States, Israel, China, Japan and India.

Thomas has recorded extensively with leading ensembles including Cappella Mediterranea, Ensemble Clematis, La Serenissima, À Deux Violes Esgales, Capriccio Stravagante, Pygmalion and Arcangelo. He is attracted to a wide variety of music and has collaborated in chamber music projects with conductors and soloists including Paul Agnew, Leonardo García Alarcón, Nicola Benedetti, Alain Buet, William Christie, Jonathan Cohen, Christophe Coin, Iestyn Davies, Bobby McFerrin, Monica Huggett, Alexis Kossenko, François Lazarevitch, Anne Sofie von Otter, Hugo Reyne, Skip Sempé, Jean Tubéry and Jean Rondeau.


“[Rondeau’s] performance of Le vertigo is a thing of pugilistic wonder, flouncing around like an operatic diva succumbing to a hissy fit…he cuts a virtuosic swathe through Royer’s Marche des scythes, and tantalises with Tambourins…the opening Prélude [of Les niais de Sologne] is elaborated with a languid soulfulness ever alert to Rameau’s anguished harmonies” BBC Music Magazine

“Rondeau has developed an affinity for [the harpsichord] and a comfort in its presence that allow him to see in it its possibilities rather than its limitations…his agile and rock-solid finger technique means that Rameau’s Les Niais de Sologne and Royer’s La marche des Scythes can thrill as they should while never trampling on the gorgeous deep tone of the magnificent instrument…there is no doubt that he is a player of immense ability from whom we reasonably may hope for much.”Gramophone

« Quel toucher ! Quelle imagination! Quelles couleurs! » B.D – L’Express – Février 2015

« Sa virtuosité lui permet des appoggiatures foudroyantes, des incises susceptibles de nourrir et de relancer le drame, tout est vivant, ardent, captivant, toujours sur le mode dynamique et allant. » La Libre – Aout 2012


Michael Church for the Independent: ‘Mezzo-soprano Lea Desandre performs arias like a dove from heaven and with such grace that she spreads an ecstatic stillness through the hall.’ ‘With a comparably brilliant coloratura technique, Lea Desandre is thrilling’

Alexandra Mathews for Readings: ‘Young Italian mezzo-soprano Lea Desandre certainly impresses. …among Desandre’s skills is her capacity for coloratura. Possessed of a voice light at the top and rich at the bottom, Desandre aptly navigates many fiendishly difficult passages’ 


Pizzicato: ‘From his first recording Thomas Dunford has not stopped collecting praise and awards’ ‘ Dunford’s arrangement of Bach’s First Cello Suite is quite beautiful and refreshing, as though excrescences have been shorn away to reveal the classical architecture underneath.’

Classical Music, BBC Music Magazine:  ‘In Bach’s lute version of the c minor Cello Suite … Dunford conveys the improvisatory character of its opening section with intimacy and charm, while the fugue is argued clearly and fluently. ‘