THE ROSE ENSEMBLE
Founded in 1996 by Artistic/Executive Director Jordan Sramek, The Rose Ensemble is dedicated to uniting virtuosic vocal artistry with scholarly research to create musical performances and educational programs that connect audiences to compelling stories of human history, culture, and spirituality from around the world. Now in its twentieth season, The Rose Ensemble has achieved an international reputation as a premiere American early-music ensemble and innovator in the field. The musicians of The Rose Ensemble have received praise for their “lushly layered sound” (Pioneer Press), and the excellence of their “articulation, tone, and balance” (The Capital Times). Writes Tim Grillo (The Cornell Daily): “They made it seem as if this ancient, supple, undying music was being spontaneously created in real time before our eyes and ears.” Each year The Rose Ensemble presents in the Twin Cities a subscription season of diverse concerts that are grounded in original research.
The Rose Ensemble regularly partners with regional arts groups and institutions such as The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, The Walker Center, and the Minnesota History Center to create programs that have garnered critical acclaim. In 2014, The Rose made their debut appearance with the Minnesota Orchestra, an event described as ‘history in the making’ by William Beard (The Star Tribune). Since 1997, The Rose Ensemble has also held the position of Artist in Residence at St. Mary’s Basilica in Minneapolis. In addition to its work in Minnesota, The Rose Ensemble maintains an active touring schedule. This season marks the Ensemble’s 10th annual tour of Greater Minnesota.
In 2014, the Ensemble was honored to represent the U.S., by invitation of the State Department, at the 2014 biennial International Festival of American Renaissance and Baroque Music, Misiones De Chiquitos, in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Dedicated to increasing access to the arts, The Rose Ensemble presents educational outreach programs in libraries, K-12 schools, universities, adult residential facilities, and community centers. The Rose Ensemble possesses more than 15 years’ experience developing and leading culture and music programs, residencies, lecture/demonstrations, master classes, and educational forums in these diverse contexts. Since 2009, the group has also produced an annual holiday radio broadcast. This program is carried by over 300 stations in the U.S. and also by the European Broadcasting Union, reaching hundreds of thousands of people around the world each year. The Rose Ensemble is a recipient of the Chorus America Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence and first place in both the sacred and secular music categories at the Tolosa Choral Contest in Spain (part of the European Choral Grand Prix). In 2014, The Rose Ensemble released its 10th CD, A Toast to Prohibition. Their recordings have been called “impassioned and brightly alive” (Choral Journal) and “engaging...satisfying” (Gramophone).
JORDAN SRAMEK, conductor
Jordan Sramek is the Founder and Artistic/Executive Director of The Rose Ensemble, based in St. Paul, Minnesota. He also sings tenor and plays a variety of instruments with the Ensemble. Following studies in early vocal music performance and harpsichord at The College of St. Scholastica (Duluth, MN), Jordan undertook advanced studies in medieval music and theory, monophonic strophic singing, Gregorian chant, and medieval polyphony with early music experts Benjamin Bagby, Eric Mentzel, Margriet Tindemans, Crawford Young, and Dom. Daniel Saulnier.
As Artistic Director of The Rose Ensemble, Jordan continues to place an emphasis on learning, bringing to the Ensemble noted musicologists, ethnomusicologists, vocal and language coaches, and guest artists who are specialists in their field.Jordan is widely known and respected for his meticulous research, which carries him to libraries and archives around the world. Over the years he has brought to light early music of many diverse cultures and geographic regions, such as Poland, Bohemia, Sweden, Mexico, Italy, Breton, Spain, the Middle East, Hawaii, and the United States.
Jordan’s commitment to exploring the role of music in historical and cultural contexts takes his research far beyond the identification of musical manuscripts. He draws on primary source materials, such as diaries, letters, and historical commentaries, to illumine the context(s) in which the music was originally composed or performed and the distinctive voices to which the music gives expression. This blending of music and culture has become a hallmark of Rose Ensemble programming, on the concert stage and in its educational activities.Jordan is much in demand as an instructor, presenter, and workshop leader. He has been a lecturer at numerous educational institutions.