About the orchestra
Symphonie des Dragons celebrates the lively spirit of Baroque winds in the world of today. Emphasizing cohesion and belonging, despite distancing, and touching all facets of being human, the Dragons play for the refreshment of the soul.
The ensemble consists of 15 highly qualified specialists in the field of historical performance practice. The international musicians come from the USA, Great Britain, Moldavia, Japan, Italy, Holland and Germany and many of them have a residence in the Frankfurt area. A full selection of oboes and bassoons – doubling on recorders – rounded off by guitar and percussion make the orchestra an ensemble of rarely heard color and timbre.
Founded in New York: 10 year anniversary celebrations!
The Dragons celebrate their 10th birthday this year and reflect back on the original artist initiative, which took place on the US East Coast in 2011:
Gonzalo X. Ruiz, one of the most well-known historical oboists, performs with ensembles worldwide, teaches at the Juilliard School and makes his home in New York City.
In 2011 he brought together some of the world’s finest oboists and bassoonists to explore the repertoire of the great Versailles wind bands.
In 2019, the Dragons grew. American oboist and founding member, Jeanine Krause established the European Division of Symphonie des Dragons in Frankfurt, Germany.
As pandemic ordinances grew ever stricter in Germany during the spring months, the ensemble deemed overseas travel from New York to Frankfurt not feasible. As such, the European Dragons postpone the much anticipated joy of working directly with founder Gonzalo X. Ruiz. The leadership of this project falls into the capable hands of Jeanine Krause. Living in Frankfurt, Germany and inspired by her experience as a founding member of Symphonie des Dragons in 2011, she established the Rhein-Main-Hautboisten which then became the European Division Dragons.
Historically informed practice
Highly regarded for his artistry as an oboist, Marcel Ponseele from Belgium is also a sought-after instrument maker. The Dragons engaged his skill and he worked feverishly, even over Easter, to provide the Dragons with copies of rare historical instruments such as “Tailles de hautbois” and “Haute-contre de hautbois” in time for this project.
Meanwhile Krause fashioned performance material from the surviving music sources which, in many instances provided only the outer lines (equivalent of soprano and bass). With the harmonies implied, she “composed” the missing inner voices (equivalent of alto and tenor) to achieve the four to five part texture, a common texture in music from the early Baroque period. Of course no oboe (or bassoon) is complete without reeds. She and her Dragons diligently scraped and fashioned their double reeds, the mouthpieces which ultimately connect the player to her the instrument, allowing intense musical expression.
The Dragons consider it their mission to celebrate the lively spirit of baroque winds in the world of today for the refreshment of the spirit!