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John Mark Rozendaal specializes in teaching and performing stringed instrument music from the Baroque and Renaissance eras. As founding Artistic Director of Chicago Baroque Ensemble, JMR performed and led seven seasons of subscription concerts, educational programs, radio broadcasts, and recordings for the Cedille and Centaur labels. Rozendaal served as principal 'cellist of The City Musick, and Basically Bach, and has performed both solo and continuo roles with many period instrument ensembles, including the Newberry Consort, Orpheus Band, and the King's Noyse. Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, and Soli Deo Gloria's Chicago Bach Project. JMR performs as a member of Trio Settecento with violinist Rachel Barton Pine and harpsichordist David Schrader; as a member of Repast Baroque Ensmeble; and as a member of the viol consort Sonnambula. Rozendaal's viola da gamba playing has been praised as "splendid" (Chicago Tribune), and "breathtaking" (Sun-Times).

Highlights of the 2012-2013 season include appearances with Brandywine Baroque (Delaware); and participation in Indiana University - Purdue University's Cagefest, a centennial celebration of the work of John Cage.

Recordings are available on the Cedille and Centaur labels.

A dedicated teacher, Rozendaal is in demand as a workshop teacher and often joins the faculties of the Viola da Gamba Society of America Conclave, Viols West’s annual workshop, Amherst Early Music, Madison Early Music Festival, and the Music Institute of Chicago’s annual Baroque Festival. JMR teaches private lessons and Viola da Gamba Dojo classes at his studio in Manhattan.


Mr. Rozendaal's ‘cello was made by an unknown Tyrolean maker in the eighteenth century. It is set up with a baroque style bridge and fittings by William Monical.

Rozendaal performs on a bass viola da gamba made in London in 1650 by William Turner. Roger North tells us that during England’s Civil War all of the arts suffered excepting that music alone flourished because in those dangerous times many would rather fiddle at home than go abroad and be knocked on the head. I imagine that my viol was a good companion for a musical family during those evil days. It has a beautiful heart-shaped sound hole in the center of the top; many seventeenth-century viols are ornamented with emblems of love.

My treble viola da gamba was made by Clark Gaennie in Somerville, Massachusetts in 1980.


The viola da gamba is a bowed stringed instrument that originated in the Renaissance. Having six strings and frets, and played with a bow, it resembles a cross between a 'cello and a guitar. The viola da gamba's large repertoire includes some of the most beautiful ensemble music ever composed as well as virtuoso solos by the most famous composers of the baroque era. The viola da gamba comes in several sizes. I play the treble, the tenor and the bass.

For more information about the viola da gamba, go to:

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