Directors of Ensemble Soleil
Peter Tourin has been involved in the early music community for many years as a viola
da gamba researcher, builder and performer. A grant-winning researcher with the National Endowment for the Arts,
he travelled to Europe, visiting museums in Great Britain, Germany, France, Belgium, and Holland to study period string instruments.
In 1979 he published
A Comprehensive Catalogue of Historical Viole da Gamba in Public and Private Collections, now a research project of the Smithsonian Institution.
He is one of the foremost builders of viole da gamba in the world, and as a young person, he also built several harpsichords as an apprentice at Hubbard Harpsichords in the Boston area.
Together with his parents, he located to Vermont in the 1970's and founded The Tourin Musica, a family business building viole da gamba, harps and other instruments
based on designs derived from historical models. Active in public performances, music education and workshops,
Peter is in demand as a workshop leader and "viol doctor" for the Viola da Gamba Society of New England and the VdGSA.
He has performed and recorded with The Oberlin Consort of Viols and The Boston Viol Consort and is the technical director for the Ensemble Soleil's historical multi-media grant
project Glimpses in Time.
He is a versatile musician and performs comfortably on viola da gamba, cello, string bass, and guitar
in styles as diverse as orchestral and chamber music, jazz, bluegrass, and tango. In recent years, he has divided his work time between
music and computer software design, currently as an information technology analyst at UVM Medical Center.
Twombly is a Master's graduate in Early Music Performance
from Cambridge, Massachusetts Longy - Bard College in Baroque violin and viola da gamba. She has attended Oberlin's
Baroque Performance Institute, the Ringve Museum and the Amherst Early Music workshops. She led Ensemble Soleil
in their appearances on WGBH radio's Classical Performances and Morning Pro Musica. In addition to her work with
Ensemble Soleil, she has performed and recorded with a number of symphonic and chamber organizations, including Arcadia Players Baroque Orchestra,
New Hampshire Symphony, and Handel and Haydn Society.
Adept at the informal music genres, jazz improv, fiddling, and blues, she may be heard
together with her husband, composer Stephen D. Twombly, in the recording Reality Check. For a number of years, she was president of New London's Summer Music Associates concert series
and a board member of the Viola da Gamba Society of New England. She is well-known as a string teacher and adjunct Assistant Professor in the Fine and Performing Arts Department of Colby-Sawyer College in New Hampshire.
In recent years, Jean has worked as a web designer, business analyst and documentation lead in information technology for the financial and healthcare industries.
Interested in graphic design, she developed Soleil Studio's innovative stained glass designs and is juried with the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen.
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