Dutch soprano Josefien Stoppelenburg is best known for her dazzling vocal agility and her passionate and insightful interpretations. Stoppelenburg is currently performing all over the United States as a specialist in Baroque Music and Oratorio and as a concert singer.
Her appearance on Chicago’s classical radio program, “Live from WFMT”, was selected as one of the 10 best performances in 2016. As a Baroque specialist and recitalist, she has performed throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, South America, and in the United Arab Emirates.
Stoppelenburg has performed most major oratorio works by Handel, Haydn, Bach and Mozart, and many works by Schubert, Mendelssohn, Monteverdi.
Josefien recently appeared to great acclaim in “Annelies”, an oratorio about Anne Frank by composer James Whitbourn. This English composer praised Stoppelenburg’s outstanding performance, stating:
” I have heard many performances but few so accomplished and so full of understanding as hers.”
Stoppelenburg frequently teaches masterclasses in Baroque Vocal Performance, such as at Indiana University (Jacobs School of Music), University of Colorado, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, and Illinois State University. She often performed for the Dutch Royal family.
Josefien is also a painter. Her colorful art has been used in opera sets, cd booklets, music festival posters, and as note cards.
Jean Hatmaker is a founding member of the Kontras Quartet, the internationally acclaimed quartet-in-residence at Grace Lutheran Church of River Forest, IL. Known for their well-crafted performances, diverse programming, and accessible audience relations, Kontras Quartet has brought their message of inclusivity to concerts across the US, Europe, and Africa. In addition to classical concerts, KQ performs with bluegrass trio the Kruger Brothers, with whom they have appeared at festivals internationally. Kontras Quartet has released three commercial albums: Lucid Dreamer and Roan Mountain Suite with the Kruger Brothers, on Double Time Records; and Origins, on MSR Records.
Ms. Hatmaker has an extensive background of orchestral playing, having been principal cellist of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Western Piedmont Symphony, and other regional orchestras throughout the Midwest; she is currently principal cellist with Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra. She is also a regular on the Bach Cantata Vespers Series of Grace Lutheran Church, in River Forest.
Ms. Hatmaker is a passionate teacher, holding faculty positions at Oak Park String Academy and Elmhurst College, where she also founded the Elmhurst College Cello Choir. Combining her passions for music and dance, Ms. Hatmaker has worked on numerous collaborations with dance companies, including Hubbard Street Dance Company, Youth Empowerment Performance Project, the Dupage Dance Academy, and the NewArt School of Ballet, for which she arranged and performed original productions of The Nutcracker and Alice In Wonderland, with the Kontras Quartet. Ms. Hatmaker currently serves on the board of directors for Chicago’s Musicians Club of Women as Vice President, and Awards Officer.
She received both Bachelor (with High Distinction) and Master of Music degrees in Cello Performance from Indiana University, in the studios of Helga Winold and Janos Starker. She plays on a European cello of unknown provenance circa 1880, and uses Hill and Bearden bows.