The traverso, intimate and sensitive, enjoyed great popularity in the 18th century. Some criticized its imprecise tuning and unequal sonorities, but composers knew how to cleverly take advantage of these ‘defects’… Flute-making technique evolved continually. By the middle of the century, traversos had keys that served to increase the volume and clarity of their low notes, thus enabling flutists to hold their own when accompanied. The most ambitious works written for traverso were, without a doubt, Wilhelm Friedemann Bach’s Six Duets for Two Flutes; in their complexity and near-Romantic ferocity of expression they are astonishing.
Known for her spirited and luminous sound, Baroque flute and recorder player Alexa Raine-Wright shares her eloquent interpretations with audiences across North America in solo, chamber and orchestral performances. Born in Ithaca, NY (USA), Alexa maintains an active career based in Montreal, QC (Canada).
Winner of several national and international competitions, Alexa was most recently awarded the Grand Prize as well as the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra Prize at the 2016 Indianapolis International Baroque Competition. She also won First Prize at the 2015 National Flute Association’s Baroque Flute Artist Competition (Washington, DC), Second Prize at the 2015 Mathieu-Duguay Early Music Competition (Lamèque, NB), the Most Touching Performance Award at the 2009 Montreal International Recorder Competition, and First Prize in the 2007 Piffaro Competition for Young Recorder Players (Philadelphia, PA).
Alexa is a founding member of the ensemble Infusion Baroque, winner of the Grand Prize and Audience Prize at the 2014 Early Music America Baroque Performance Competition in Chicago. She is also a member of the celebrated recorder quartet Flûte Alors!, and has performed with ensembles such as Arion Baroque Orchestra , Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal, Les Boréades, Clavecin en concert, Apollo’s Fire, Ensemble Caprice, I Musici and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She has performed in music festivals across North America including the Montreal Baroque Festival, Montreal Bach Festival, Montreal Chamber Music Festival, Boston Early Music Festival, and Berkeley Festival & Exhibition. Alexa can be heard on recordings with Arion Baroque Orchestra, Infusion Baroque, Flûte Alors! and La Bande Montréal Baroque. Her debut album, “Platti: Flute Sonatas Op. 3” was released in 2019.
Alexa is a graduate of McGill University in Montreal, where she studied with Claire Guimond (baroque flute) and Matthias Maute (recorder). She also studied with Cléa Galhano and Barbara Kaufmann (recorder), as well as Immanuel Davis and Beth Kelly (baroque flute).
Recorder and traverso player Francis Colpron is recognized as one of the most talented musicians of his generation. During the past three decades, the public, critics, and cultural authorities have acclaimed his abilities to innovate as an artist and performer. In 1991, he founded the ensemble Les Boréades de Montréal, of which he is the artistic director, and which puts on a very successful annual concert series in Montreal, performs in North America and Europe, and records on the ATMA Classique label.
Les Boréades has performed with world-renowned artists such as Hervé Niquet, director of the Concert Spirituel de Paris; Skip Sempé, harpsichordist and director of Capriccio Stravagante; violinists Manfred Kraemer and Adrian Butterfield; harpsichordist Alexander Weimann; conductor Eric Milnes; cornettist William Dongois; recorder player Stefano Bagliano; oboe and conductor Alfredo Bernardini as well as with tenor Charles Daniels, and Canadian singers Matthew White, Karina Gauvin, and Laura Pudwell.
On stage, Francis Colpron, with Les Boréades, has explored the theatrical and musical worlds of the 17th and 18th centuries in shows such as Nicandro e Fileno (2017), Acis et Galatée (2015), La belle danse (2013), Tabarinades (2010), and Molière en Musique (2008). He has also acted in theatrical productions for young people such as La nuit de la Patate (2016) and Garde-Robe (2007). Noteworthy collaborators with Francis Colpron have included the directors Joël da Sylva and Jean-François Gagnon, and the actors Carl Béchard and Sophie Faucher.
Francis Colpron was associate flutist with Trinity Consort of Portland from 2000 to 2009. He has been a guest soloist with groups such as Apollo’s Fire of Cleveland, the Edmonton Symphony, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Opera Atelier, Thirteen Strings, the Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal, Les Violons du Roy, the Nova Scotia Orchestra, and L’Harmonie des Saisons. As well as teaching at the Université de Montréal, he is frequently invited to share his experience as a teacher at well known summer music camps such as Amherst in the United States, CAMMAC in Quebec, and Boxwood in Nova Scotia.
His discography consists of more than 40 recordings.