EMERADO founding members mezzo-soprano Rosemarie van der Hooft, baritone Mel Braun, and pianist Laura Loewen share a passion for the art of ensemble music, performing repertoire that ranges from baroque opera to musical theatre, from romantic art song to 21st Century new music. Along with invited guests they explore the relationships between voices and instruments, collaborating to make chamber music of the highest standard. With a sense of the theatrical they create programs that go beyond a purely concert experience. Their most recent project saw EMERADO collaborate with composer Randolph Peters, poet/luthier John Weier, violinist Kerry DuWors, cellist, Leanne Zacharias and Jaqueline Loewen, dramaturge to commission, workshop and perform Violinmaker’s Lament – a unique blend of theatre, poetry and music.

In September 2004, together with former founding member Mark Rudoff, cello EMERADO performed their premiere concert at both Canadian Mennonite University and University of Manitoba. In February 2006 they performed on the Brandon University Pro Series thus establishing their presence in Manitoba’s three university music schools. Performances in 2007 included a concert presented by the Women’s Musical Club of Winnipeg in April at the Winnipeg Art Gallery and a concert/master class tour to University of Lethbridge and University of Alberta in October. In October 2008 they were joined by guitarist, Ian Hodges to perform a concert entitled “A 100 Mile Musical Feast”, featuring music written about Manitoba and by Manitobans. “I Volti di Venezia” – The Faces of Venice presented in March 2010 included cellist Minna Rose Chung and poet John Weier to present “ music, poetry, photography and theatre to take the audience on a cultural tour of Venice. In January 2012, for a concert presented by GroundSwell, entitled “In Glorious Techno-Colour”, they were joined by Allen Harrington, Saxophone/Bassoon and Leanne Zacharias, cello for a program of new works featuring two newly commissioned works.

As colleagues on the faculty of the University of Manitoba Mel, Laura and Rosemarie are committed to bringing high quality, entertaining music performance and education to classical music lovers throughout Canada. In addition to their performances Emerado members offer workshops/master classes with expertise in voice and piano as well as chamber music, collaborative piano and choral performance.

Baritone Mel Braun is a versatile performer, equally at home in oratorio, recital, and opera, always open to new collaborations. He is well-known to Canadian audiences for his many performances and broadcasts of Early Music with Tafelmusik and Opera Atelier, and for his frequent appearances across Canada in the Masterworks of Bach and Handel. These appearances include performances with the Calgary Bach Festival, Edmonton’s Pro Coro, Symphony Nova Scotia, Winnipeg’s Canzona, Guelph Chamber Choir, and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. New Music, another of Mel’s interests, has seen him premiere works with the Banff Centre, Winnipeg’s Groundswell, Manitoba Opera, Winnipeg New Music Festival, Kitchener’s Sound in the Land Festival, Toronto’s New Music Gallery, and Saskatoon Symphony. As a recitalist, he is renowned for his creative approach to Song, whether it’s singing Schumann’s Liederkreis while on stage with the dancers of Winnipeg’s Q Dance, staging Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch, or tracing the life of Schubert among his friends as he completed his final work, Die Winterreise. His ongoing duo partnership with pianist Laura Loewen is at the centre of many of these collaborations. When not performing as a soloist, he sings with the EMERADO, and with Il Primo, an all-baritone trio. Mel heads up the Vocal Program at the Marcel A. Desautels Faculty of Music, a program renowned for its collaborative and wholistic approach to training singers. He has seen many of his students go on to significant careers as performers and teachers. Among Mel’s many initiatives at the Faculty are the Annual Opera Theatre School Tour, the Contemporary Opera Lab, the Professor Bach Project, and Tuesdays in Winnipeg, a venture that brings together high school age boys who love to sing. He has been awarded Merit and Outreach Awards for his efforts. Mel has a Masters Degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Toronto and a Degree in Church Music from Canadian Mennonite Bible College

Praised for expressivity, virtuosity, and committed playing, Canadian collaborative pianist Laura Loewen has appeared in concerts throughout North America and in Europe, Asia and South America. Dedicated to sharing her passion for ensemble playing and coaching, she is a professor of Collaborative Piano and the Vocal Coach at the University of Manitoba’s Desautels Faculty of Music. She is a founding faculty artist of VISI (Vancouver International Song Institute), and is also on the faculties of the NUOVA opera training program in Edmonton, Alberta, the Contemporary Opera Lab in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and RICE (Rio International Cello Encounter) in Brazil. A versatile pianist, Dr. Loewen has performed extensively with singers, instrumentalists and chamber ensembles, and is equally comfortable in traditional and contemporary idioms. She has appeared in concert with artists such as Charles Castleman, Tracy Dahl, Wendy Nielsen, Kimberly Barber, Jasper Wood, Eugene Rousseau, and William Bennett. Loewen and duo partner, saxophonist Allen Harrington, acclaimed for their virtuosic, musical, and electrifying performances have been performing together for more than a decade. Loewen is also a founding member of The Galileo Trio with Kerry duWors, violin and Mark Rudoff, cello (“an enlightened idea” – Winnipeg Free Press).and Emerado with Rosemarie van der Hooft, mezzo-soprano, and Mel Braun, baritone (“true camaraderie and rapport” – Winnipeg Free Press). A member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists, Dr. Loewen has received several grants and awards, including the Rh Award for Creative Work and Creative Works Grants, University of Manitoba; a Special Opportunities Grant, Manitoba Arts Council; and grants for commissioning Canadian compositions; Canada Council for the Arts and the Manitoba Arts Council. Dr. Loewen holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in Accompanying/Coaching from the University of Minnesota, where she was a fellowship student of Margo Garrett and Karl Paulnack.

Mezzo-soprano Rosemarie van der Hooft has established an international career performing both early music and new music. Acclaimed for her “glittery ornamentation” (Early Music America Magazine) and “stunningly flexible voice” (Acadie Nouvelle) Rosemarie has performed baroque repertoire with leading orchestras and early music ensembles across Canada and the United States including Tafelmusik, Pacific Baroque, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, New York Collegium, Boston Handel and Haydn Society, Cleveland’s Apollo’s Fire, Seattle Baroque and Washington Bach Consort. A versatile and expressive performer Rosemarie has premiered, and performed works by Canadian and International composers with frequent performances at the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s New Music Festival, with Soundstreams Canada, Groundswell, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and the Victoria Symphony. Rosemarie has recorded for CBC National broadcasts and is featured with the Aradia Baroque Ensemble on a Naxos recording of Purcell’s music for The Tempest. In opera she has earned praise for performances of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (American Bach Soloists), Handel’s Ariodante (Boston Handel & Haydn Society), Tamerlano (Aldeburgh Festival, England), and in Randolph Peters’ opera Nosferatu (Manitoba Opera). In addition to performing Rosemarie is a founding member and serves as Artistic Director/Administrator for both EMERADO and the Professor Bach Project. She is on the faculty of Canadian Mennonite University and teaches voice at the University of Manitoba. She is active as a clinician and adjudicator, most notably as juror for the Eckhardt Gramatté National Competition for Voice in 2011. Ms. van der Hooft holds a Masters of Music Performance in Early Music from McGill University and a Bachelor of Music Performance from University of Manitoba.