John Ma is a musician specialising in Early Music living in The Netherlands. As a flexible freelancer, he plays Violin, Viola and Viola d'amore in various styles and time periods from Western Art Music. He completed his Masters of Performance at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music studying Baroque Violin and Viola with Anna McDonald, finished his Bachelor of Music (1st Class Honours, CSM) and Bachelor of Science (National Undergraduate Scholar, Physics and Theoretical Physics, ANU) in 2002 and in 2003 he was a full scholarship holder at the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne. In 2009, he completed his training in Early Music at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in Den Haag with Pavlo Beznosiuk. As an able modern and period instrument player, John has performed and recorded with various groups including Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (UK, Jerwood Scholar 2010), Pinchgut Opera (AUS), Academia Montis Regalis (IT), Australian Brandenburg Orchestra (AUS), Helsinki Baroque Orchestra (FIN), B'Rock (BG), Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (AUS), Orchestra Victoria (AUS), Sinfonia Australis (AUS), Aark New Music Ensemble (AUS) and Young Australian Concert Artists (AUS). He has also appeared as a soloist in Brahms's Violin Concerto with the National Capital Orchestra (AUS) in 2002. In the Netherlands, John has appeared with groups such as Musica Poetica (Concertmaster), Farinelli's Ground, de Utrechtse Spelers, Concerto d'Amsterdam, Florilegium Musicum, BarokOpera Amsterdam, Opera Studio Nederland and Barokorkest de Swaen. He retains an avid interest in scientific developments and tries to stay up to date with the latest news and advances from his previous studies.
Chris Berensen is a freelance performer of early keyboard instruments. He received a University Postgraduate Award scholarship while completing a Masters degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music under the supervision of Dr. Alan Maddox and Philip Swanton and Dr. Neal Peres da Costa. Notable Australian ensembles he has performed with include the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Salut! Baroque, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, and the Marais Project. He has also participated in masterclasses with such celebrated early music personalities as Jordi Savall, Lars Ulrik Mortensen, Wieland Kuijken, Eduardo Eguez, and Genevieve Lacey. One reviewer has written "Berensen's playing throughout was a revelation. The harpsichord, which can so often come across as one-dimensional in concert performance, yielded a whole range of tones and textures. Berensen's energy and commitment to the music was at all times elevating essentially supportive musical writing into surprisingly substantial artistic dialogue." (4th April 2008 TimeOut Sydney).