The ensemble Diverse Passions takes its name from a quote by French composer Jean-Philippe Rameau, "Music's aim is to please, and to arouse in us diverse passions." Founded in 1991 and celebrating its 17th concert season, Diverse Passions has established itself as a premiere early music ensemble in the Rocky Mountain region. Known for creative collaborations with artists from the area and across the nation, the group has received critical and audience acclaim for performances ranging from intimate chamber music to fully staged early operas. Performance highlights over the last ten years include Bach's cantatas Actus tragicus and Amore traditore, Purcell's King Arthur, Blow's Venus and Adonis, The Delights of Posilipo, and Monteverdi's Scherzi musicali. The ensemble includes Linda Lunbeck (recorders), Michael Lightner (recorders), Jennifer Spielman (soprano) and Frank Nowell (harpsichord and organ).
Linda Lunbeck has appeared as recorder soloist with the Colorado Music Festival, Boulder Bach Festival, Boulder Sinfonia, Handel Festival, and with ensembles around the U.S. She has been heard on National Public Radio, at the Boston Early Music Festival, and on several recordings. She is a founding member of Diverse Passions early music ensemble and Entre Nous recorder duo. Ms. Lunbeck earned a Master's degree in Early Music Performance from New England Conservatory, and has studied with leading recorderists from North America and Europe. Along with performing, Ms. Lunbeck is active as a teacher and arranger, and is a frequent presenter at workshops and conferences.
Michael Lightner received his first early music training through the Early Music Program at the University of Florida. In addition, he has studied at the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute and the ARS Virtuoso Recorder Program at Amherst College and the International Baroque Academy at Longy Conservatory, Boston. He has participated in Master Classes with Marion Verbruggen, Paul Leenhouts, Han Tol and Matthias Weilenmann. Mr. Lightner has played for many years with groups in Florida, Illinois, New York and Colorado. He has performed at New York's Carnegie Hall with the Mannes Recorder Consort - Mannes College of Music. Mr. Lightner is a founding member of Diverse Passions early music ensemble, and Entre Nous recorder duo.
Frank Nowell is a specialist in performance on early keyboards, including harpsichord, organ and fortepiano. He is a founding member of Diverse Passions early music ensemble, and founder and director of an annual Handel Festival in downtown Denver. Mr. Nowell has appeared as guest artist with the Midwestern Historical Keyboard Society (where he performed concertos of Bach and Mozart), Western Slope Music Festival, and St. Martinís Chamber Choir. Recently he was appointed organist at St. Andrewís Episcopal Church in Denver, which is known for musical excellence in the Anglican tradition. Mr. Nowell received a Master of Music degree from University of Colorado and a Bachelor of Arts with honors from Princeton University. He has studied at the Baroque academies at Longy, Amherst, Eastman, and Oberlin, in master classes with numerous international artists, and privately in New York with Arthur Haas.
Jennifer Spielman holds a BA in music from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and an MM in musicology from the New England Conservatory of Music, where she began studying early music performance with Laurie Monahan. She traveled to Switzerland in 1990 on a Frank Huntington Beebe performance scholarship and continued to specialize in early music performance at the Schola Cantorum in Basel with Richard Levitt and Dominique Vellard (voice) and Crawford Young (lute). From 1990-1995, Jennifer sang throughout Europe as a choir member and soloist with the Rheinische Kantorei (Cologne), and has also performed with Schola Heidelberg, La Petit Bande, the New York Ensemble for Early Music, and members of the Boston Renaissance Ensemble. While in Europe, Jennifer also appeared as a soloist at the Handel festival in Halle, Germany, and the Styriarte Festival in Graz, Austria. Now living in Boulder, she sings regularly with St. Martinís Chamber Choir and has recently completed a masters degree in Speech-Language Pathology at CU Boulder. Jennifer currently works as a clinical fellow and researcher at the Wilbur James Gould Voice Center in Denver.