Fantasmi! tour expected to thrill

Students, faculty and alumni from the University of North Texas College of Music are headed to Europe for an 11-concert, three-country tour in Germany, Austria and Croatia from July 1 (Tuesday) to July 21 (Monday). Current and former members of the UNT Baroque Orchestra, the UNT Collegium Singers and special guests will come together to perform as a baroque ensemble called “Fantasmi.”

Founded in 2010 by Paul Leenhouts, director of the early music program at UNT, Fantasmi performs chamber music repertoire from the 17th and 18th centuries. This summer’s three-week tour will feature lesser-known, instrumental and vocal works from Austria and Bavaria, Germany. Leenhouts will also teach three master classes during the visit. This is the group’s second international tour, following a tour in Brazil last summer.
“Communities across the globe should have the ability to connect with their cultural and musical pasts and then be able to share that background with the world,” said Leenhouts, Fantasmi director. “The regions we are traveling to offer many unknown gems in the music literature. We’re bringing these works to the forefront, while building relationships internationally.”

The ensemble includes Leenhouts (recorder); students Bradley King (baritone), Andreas Stoltzfus (trumpet), Josip Kvetek (violin), Chuong Vu (violin), Jan-Hendrik Harley (viola), Fran Leboš (cello), Aaron Olguin (contrabass), and Fabiana González (mezzo-soprano); UNT music faculty member Brad Bennight (harpsichord and organ); and former UNT professor Christoph Hammer (harpsichord).

Historical venues:  During the visit, Fantasmi will perform in several historical venues including a cathedral housing one of the largest baroque organs in the world, the tallest building in Croatia and a prominent center for historical instrument documentation and research.

Featured repertoire includes Georg Muffat’s Fasciculus I: Nobilis Juventus; Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber von Bibern’s Serenada `Der Nachtwächter and Sonata X; and Johann Friedrich Fasch’s Recorder Concerto in F major.

“For faculty and students of the College of Music, summer travel is an ideal time to make worldwide connections, perform and teach internationally, and reinforce UNT’s standing abroad,” said Dean James Scott. This tour follows a May visit to Vietnam, in which Scott and several faculty members and doctoral students performed and taught master classes in the country. That initiative was planned by Vietnamese doctoral violin student Chuong Vu, who is also traveling to Europe as a member of Fantasmi.