James Janssen, fortepiano, harpsichord and piano

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James Janssen, harpsichordist, made his debut at age 13 performing Haydn’s Piano Concerto in D Major with the Anderson Symphony Orchestra. A native of Indianapolis, Indiana, he received his education from Indiana University and Oberlin Conservatory’s Baroque Performance Institute, where he studied with Penelope Crawford, Patrick Allen, Webb Wiggins, and Lisa Goode Crawford. He is the artistic director, co-founder, and fortepianist and harpsichordist of Haydn by the Lake, a period instrument chamber ensemble specializing in music of the Baroque and Classical eras. Janssen tours regularly in recital with Mark Crayton. He was featured in recital with Crayton on Chicago’s WFMT 98.7 FM in a Live from WFMT broadcast. He has appeared in the Chicago area with Ars Antigua, the St. Clement Orchestra, in recital with fellow fortepianists David Schrader and Thomas Gerber, and on Northeastern Illinois University’s acclaimed Jewel Box series with Haydn by the Lake and also with Crayton. Outside the Chicago area, he has performed in Indianapolis, IN; Huntsville, AL; Sarasota, FL; Washington DC at the Phillips Collection; and New York City, where he made his debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. Internationally, he has performed on the Amstelrande Concerten series in Amsterdam and in Grosvenor Hall in London. In recent seasons, Janssen has performed Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 14 in E-flat Major, K.449 with Haydn by the Lake, Ars Antigua, and the St. Clement Orchestra; Handel’s Messiah with the St. Clement Orchestra; and many varied chamber works with Haydn by the Lake on its annual concert series. In the spring of 2008, Janssen appeared with Chicago’s Music of the Baroque and fortepianists David Schrader and Nicholas Kraemer in period instrument performances of Mozart’s Concerto No. 7 in F Major for 3 Pianos, K.242 (“Lodron”) under the direction of Nicholas Kraemer. Janssen, also a composer and conductor, is organist at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Evanston IL. He can be found on the web at

Laura Handler, violoncello

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Laura Handler studied baroque cello with Catharina Meints and Ken Slowik and has participated in master classes with Max van Egmond, Marilyn McDonald, Jacques Ogg, and Wilbert Hazelzet. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Oregon and her Master of Music degree from The Ohio State University. Laura Handler has played with orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout the United States, Latin America and Austria, and is a co-founding member of Haydn by the Lake. She is principal cellist with the Lyra Baroque Orchestra and also plays with Circle of Sound Baroque Ensemble, Les Favorites Baroque Ensemble, and WolfGang, which specializes in late 18th century music on period instruments. 

Kate Shuldiner, gamba

Katherine Shuldiner

This past May, Katherine Shuldiner graduated from Oberlin Conservatory in viola da gamba performance under the tutelage of Catharina Meints.  She has performed in the past five years with Chicago based ensembles such as The Newberry Consort, BBE: Bach and Beethoven Ensemble, Northwestern University’s Early Music Ensemble, and The OC (The Opera Company). She has also performed with Washington Bach Consort and La Follia Austin Baroque. Katherine recently finished her two-year term on the board of the Viola da Gamba Society of America and was chosen to perform in the Early Music America's Young Performers Festival during Boston Early Music Festival. 

© Mark Crayton 2014