Rie Kimura is a baroque violinist from Japan. She is winner of the 2010 Premio Bonporti Baroque Violin Competition in Italy where she was also awarded the public prize. Her solo violin playing has been praised for it’s “strong personality imbued with expression and rhetoric,” while her outstanding skills as a chamber musician mean that she is a violinist very much in demand. Alongside Fantasticus Rie plays regularly with the likes of the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Bach Collegium Japan and De Nederlandse Bachvereniging. Her first solo recording of sonatas by Tartini and Veracini will be released in 2014 on Resonus Classics.
Rie Studied baroque violin with Lucy van Dael at the Amsterdam Conservatory where she graduated “cum laude”. She has won numerous prizes throughout her career including the top prize in the 2008 Yamanashi Early Music Competition (Japan) and various ensemble prizes at the Bruges and Amsterdam Early Music Competitions.
Robert Smith is an English baroque cellist and viola da gambist. In 2012 he won the Bach-Abel Viola da Gamba Competition in Köthen, taking the 1st Prize, Audience Prize and Special Prize. His performance of a heavy-metal transcription was especially noted. Robert's ensemble, Fantasticus, has received wide critical acclaim for its recent recordings of stylus fantasticus and French baroque music. In 2013 his playing was described by The Strad as, "Intensely expresive, highly dramatic." In 2014 Robert released his first solo recording of music for viola da gamba, 'Tickle the Minikin'. The recording received many enthusiastic reviews and was BBC Music Magazine's Instrumental Choice in August 2014. Robert lives in Amsterdam.
Robert studied Viola de Gamba with Mieneke van der Velden (Amsterdam) and Paolo Pandolfo (Basel). He also studiedbaroque cello with Wouter Möller, Jaap ter Linden and Viola da Hoog. He was principal cellist for the European UnionBaroque Orchestra in 2005/6. Robert plays with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and the ensemble Fantasticus, amongst many others. In 2010 he won the second prize in the International Baroque Soloist competition in Brunnenthal, Austria. In ensembles he recieved several prizes in the Bruges Musica Antiqua Competition and the Van Wassenaer Competition (Amsterdam).
Guillermo was born and grew up in Argentina and, albeit not a typical Argentinian, he still retains certain national characteristics including the love for cooking, the vehemency for debating and the passion for making music. Guillermo settled in The Netherlands in 1995 in order to perfect his skills in at least one of those disciplines. He graduated from the Conservatory of Amsterdam and has collaborated as a soloist and basso continuo player with many renowned orchestras including the Residentie Orkest, Nederlands Kamerorkest and The New Dutch Academy. It is, however, in making chamber music that Guillermo’s unique improvisational skills and his “supple gravitas” on the harpsichord can be properly enjoyed. His debut solo recording,“Ciaconna”, has been released on Resonus Classics with enthusiastic reviews (BBC Music Magazine Instrumental Choice May 2014) followed by “Divine Noise”, a recording of his own arrangement for two harpsichords of the opera Platée by Jean-Philippe Rameau, together with Dutch harpsichordist and former teacher Menno van Delft. A co-founder of successful Ensemble Fantasticus, he recorded 5 albums with this critically acclaimed baroque trio. Next to Fantasticus, Guillermo has a lifelong mission to rediscover and promote the neglected work of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach. Guillermo is very active as a researcher and music editor, working in close cooperation with Cambridge University Press and other international institutions, having prepared first editions of numerous works from the XVII and XVIII centuries.