About Rook

Paul Von Hoff is a trombonist who performs extensively on both historic and modern trombones. Paul is a founding member of the Rook early music ensemble, which focuses on the music of the Renaissance and Early Baroque especially the rarely performed music of the early 17th century. He is also a founding member of the Gaudete Brass Quintet, a modern brass quintet founded in 2004 that has toured extensively, given masterclasses at schools such as Juilliard and Eastman, recorded three albums (one for Cedille records) and has commissioned and premiered over twenty new works. Paul also is the trombone instructor at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Paul holds a Bachelors degree cum laude from the Northwestern University School of Music and a Masters Degree from the Chicago College of Performing Arts and has studied historic trombone with Greg Ingles, as well as modern trombone with Frank Crisafulli, Lawrence Borden, and Jay Friedman.

Jeremy David Ward is a cellist whose musical inspiration and repertoire spans from Renaissance dance music to the post-tonal works of Saariaho and Dutilleux. As a performer of early bass instruments, he has been featured on concerts for Newberry Consort, Ars Musica, the Dunbar Early Music Festival, and the Chicago Early Music Festival. His contemporary music collaborations have included performances with Chicago new music groups eighth blackbird and dal niente as well as Chicago Opera Vanguard and members of the Pacifica Quartet. His orchestral experience has led him to work with David Zinman, Robert Spano, and Alan Heatherington, and as a member of the ensemble Oberlin 21, he recorded works of Debussy and Takamitsu with harpist Yolanda Kondonassis on the Telarc label. Jeremy is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University. His teachers have included Amir Eldan, Peter Rejto and Hans Jorgen Jensen. In addition to Rook, Jeremy is a member of the Newberry Consort Violin Band.

Mark Shuldiner historical keyboards, is a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory's Historical Performance program, where he studied harpsichord with Webb Wiggins. Mr. Shuldiner has also enjoyed additional instruction from such keyboard luminaries as Emanuel Ax and Davitt Moroney. Recent projects have included playing harpsichord, celeste, and organ for staged productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream by Benjamin Britten as well as a production of Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea under the direction of Stephen Stubbs. Mark led a performance of Charpentier’s Les Arts Florissants to great acclaim on a fringe concert at the 2009 Boston Early Music Festival. A rising star of the Chicago early music scene, Mark has performed with Chicago-based ensembles such as The Newberry Consort, Music of the Baroque, the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, Baroque Band, the B.B.E., and Rook. While maintaining a rigorous performing schedule, Mark also runs his own harpsichord repair and rental workshop and has provided tuning and maintenance solutions to many notable clients including The Lyric Opera of Chicago, Music of the Baroque, and Chicago Opera Theater.

Jakob Hansen, a native of Chicagoland, earned his bachelor’s degree in violin performance from Northern Illinois University. His principal teachers include Mark Zinger and Mathias Tacke. While at NIU, Jakob was awarded a grant to pursue study in medieval music and string instrument technique at the Newberry Library with Musician-in-Residence David Douglass, and now continues his study of Renaissance and baroque violin and viola with Mr. Douglass. Pursuing a career as a specialist in early music, he performs with many area ensembles including The Newberry Consort, Northwestern University’s Dunbar Festival Orchestra, Madison Bach Musicians, and the Bach and Beethoven Ensemble. In June, 2011, he was selected for EMA's Young Performer's Festival, and performed a program of early 17th century repertoire under the direction of Scott Metcalfe as part of the Boston Early Music Festival.