Ellen Chavez de Leitner - violinist
Ellen Chavez de Leitner performs as soloist and in ensembles, playing classical, liturgical, Latin influenced music, folk music with a classical influence, and more. Throughout her life Ellen has performed with many orchestras, chamber ensembles, and as soloist, balancing her career in music with her vocation as a mother of six children.
While in Austria, Ellen was a member of the Albertschweizerhaus Chamber Orchestra, Jeunesse Wien, Huebner’s Kursalon Orchestra, the Innsbruck Symphony Orchestra, and the Graz Philarmonic. In New Mexico, she has played with the Santa Fe Symphony, the Taos Chamber Orchestra and Chorus, and numerous orchestras and chamber ensembles. She was recently featured playing sonatas and unaccompanied violin in the inaugural season of the Abiquiu Chamber Music series. She currently performs with the San Juan Symphony in Durango, CO, and Farmington, NM. Ms. Leitner is the founder of Enchantment Chamber Music, performing in Santa Fe and the surrounding area.
Ellen has been working with guitarist, Roberto Capocchi since January 2000, performing Baroque, Classical, and modern music. Together they have recorded a CD, “Duo Guadalupe, Music for Violin and Guitar”.
Ms. Leitner’s performances as soloist have included many works written for her by Catalonian composer Father José María Blanch. She has produced a CD of his music, "Canticos de Fe", with the composer playing piano, her daughter Cecilia singing, and herself on violin.
Ellen Chavez de Leitner has taught private and group music lessons to all ages for about thirty years. The violin technique that she teaches emphasizes a physiologically oriented approach. Care is taken to make playing the violin a comfortable, enjoyable experience, and to avoid habits that lead to injury. The student progresses from basic, solid technique, to the ability to express oneself artistically with confidence. Lessons are tailored to each individual student to achieve their goals, no matter what style of music they want to play. Having taught her own six children as well as many other children and adults up to 80+ years old, Ms. Leitner has gained an understanding of many different learning styles. Ellen teaches at her home studio in Chimayo, NM.
Ellen studied at the Conservatory of Vienna, Saint John's College, the University of New Mexico, the College of Santa Fe, and with her most influential mentor, Renata Armani Mencik Skoberne. Recently she studied Baroque music at the Baroque Performance Institute in Oberlin, Ohio, and at the Albuquerque Baroque festival. Her teachers were: Marc Destrube, Robert Mealy, Julie Andrijeski, and Emlyn Ngai, violin; Catharina Meints, Gonzalo Ruiz, and Nancy Zylstra, ensemble; Mary Anne Ballard, viola da gamba, and Paige Whitley-Baugess, dance.
Ms. Leitner is also a visual artist, well known as a traditional New Mexican Santera, or painter of religious icons, and her images appear on the covers of her two CD's. Since her first profession is music, she frequently paints the patron saints of music, Santa Cecilia, St. Gregory, and King David. Her work can be seen at “The Monk’s Corner” in Santa Fe, the annual “Spanish Market” on the Santa Fe plaza each year, her studio in Chimayo, and on her other website: http://sites.google.com/site/ellenleitner
Carlos Perez - Guitar
Carlos Pérez was born in Santiago in 1976. His interest in guitar playing started at an early age through his father. He studied under Ernesto Quezada at the Arts Faculty of the University of Chile where graduated with top honors.
He was awarded top prizes in major international competitions in Europe and America, winning first prize in: “Alirio Díaz”, Venezuela; “René Bartoli”, France; “Printemps de La Guitare”, Belgium; “Forum Gitarre”, Austria; “Fundacion Guerrero” Spain and “Joaquín Rodrigo Competition” Spain.
He has issued eight CDs, two DVDs, and recorded at several European radios. He has given recitals in more than thirty countries in North, Central, and South America as well as Europe, and has played with orchestras from England, Belgium, the United States, Germany, Lithuania, Spain, Russia, Portugal, Poland and Chile. His international activity have taken him to play at Berlin Philarmonie (Germany), Auditorio Nacional (Spain), Royal Festival Hall (England), Teatro Monumental (Spain), and other prestigious concert halls.
Carlos has participated in many Guitar and Chamber Music Festivals around the world and is constantly invited to give master classes and lectures at Universities and Schools of Music in Latin America, Europe and USA. He joins the Arts Faculty of the University of Chile as Proffesor since 2008.
Editions Henry Lemoine of France, Productions d’Oz of Canada and Grenzland-Verlag Theo Hüsgen of Germany have published some of his arrangements and compositions.
“Without a doubt, his musical ability is that of legends… Perez is a marvelous artist, fleet of finger, facile but never shallow. He's at home in a variety of styles and brought them all to vivid musical life”.
St. Louis Today, St. Louis- Missouri, USA, 4 de Abril de 2007
Genevieve Leitner - Guitar
Genevieve Leitner performs and teaches guitar throughout the US and in Chile. Her top prizes include:
1st prize, Greensboro Music Teachers Assoc. Young Artists Competition, 2007
1st prize, Columbus State University Guitar Competition, junior div., 2003
1st prize, Deborah Beene Memorial Competition, 2003
2nd prize, Ozelia Vassar Memorial Competition, 2007
She has performed in master classes for Manuel Barrueco, Roland Dyens, Carlos Pérez, Scott Tenant, Jason Vieaux, and others. Genevieve received her Bachelor of Music from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where she studied with Gerald Klickstein.
Genevieve has performed in various ensembles with voice, flute, English horn, violin, harpsichord and other instruments. She regularly teaches guitar master classes and lessons to students of all ages. In addition to performance and instruction, her musical work includes collaboration on theatre and film music. She enjoys playing repertoire from a wide range of time periods and countries. Genevieve was born in Chimayó, New Mexico to a musical and artistic family.
Cecilia Leitner - voice
Cecilia Leitner has performed as a soprano soloist in the United States, Spain, China and Korea with the renowned conductors Helmut Rilling, Simon Carrington, Stephen Layton, Paul Hillier, Stephen Stubbs, and Nicholas McGegan. Her performances include the Oregon Bach Festival, Seattle Academia de Amore, Yale Schola Cantorum, Yale Voxtet, Yale Baroque Opera Project, Magnolia Baroque Festival, Illuminations Festival, and Interpretation of Spanish and Latin American Song.
Ms. Leitner received a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from Yale University, where she studied at the Institute of Sacred Music under the tutelage of James Taylor, Ted Taylor, Judith Malafronte and Simon Carrington. She completed her Bachelor’s degree at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where she studied voice with Glenn Siebert. Ms. Leitner has taught private lessons to undergraduates at Yale University, as well as students of all other ages.
Cecilia is enjoying performing and teaching in the Santa Fe area and will continue pursuing an international career singing in early music festivals, concerts, recitals, and operas. Her other interests include early Spanish and Latin American music, painting, bodywork for singers, music therapy, and storytelling for children of all ages. Cecilia is a seventeenth generation New Mexican on her mother’s side, and Austrian on her father’s side. She is now the happy mother of her first child, born in November of 2009.
Father José María Blanch - composer & piano
José María Blanch was born on December 16th, 1926 in Manresa, Spain. His parents were Miguel Blanch Roig and Josefina Comas Cardús. His father taught music in the municipal school in Manresa and Barcelona and to the Jesuit priests in Manresa, as well as privately in their home. For this reason learning music was a natural process for the young José María. The family home was always filled with their own music, and they even sang their prayers.
When José María was nine years old, his father was executed during the Spanish Civil War. It was a tragedy which profoundly influenced his life. He attended school at the “Colegio de Huerfanos” (School for Orphans), where music was an important subject. The teachers were priests, who had to hide their identity to avoid being killed by the Communists. These priests were good, understanding, human beings, who were a major influence in Fr. Blanch’s decision to become a priest. His music teachers were Miguel Moncalb, Juan Gisbert, and his father and mother, among others. His higher education was at the Lateran school in Rome for his priestly formation, and the Academy of St. Cecilia for music. While in Rome he was the organist and director of the choir of Santa Viviana.
After being ordained into the Sons of the Holy Family, Father Blanch was assigned to many different places where, besides performing his duties as a priest, he always taught, performed and composed music. He spent fourteen years in Montepulciano, Italy, where he wrote many operettas and zarzuelas that were so popular that the local traffic had to be redirected for the performances. Highly qualified musicians would come from Rome, donating their services just because they liked his music so much.
Father Blanch feels very gratified that he was able to direct the formation of many young persons in the schools and seminaries where he taught. He has played the organ and taught music in every parish where he has served, including almost thirty years in New Mexico, mostly in Chimayo and Santa Cruz. Although he is an extremely talented musician, he has always dedicated his life to glorifying God, humbly teaching and inspiring through the Gospel, as well as through his music.