Ostraka Group Bio
Founded in 2005 by viol virtuoso Josh Lee, Ostraka has been described as "an
utter intellectual and aural delight." Joined by skilled lutenists John Lenti
and David Walker, the trio explores the oft-ignored repertoire of the
renaissance and baroque, bringing a dynamic virtuosity to their performances.
Performing on instruments usually relegated to supporting roles (bass viol,
theorbos, lutes and period guitars), the three met while drinking whisky and
playing old time music on a night off during the Bloomington Early Music
Festival. The trio of southerners immediately sensed a common musical vocabulary
that has only intensified as they moved from the jam session and into
explorations of early music.
Seven years later, each of Ostraka's members has gone on to become some of early
music's most sought after soloists and chamber musicians performing with leading
ensembles and musicians across the globe. The trio continues to work together
wowing audiences across the US playing "even the most exasperatingly difficult
music with total elegance and care."
Cited for his "stylish and soulful playing," Josh Lee performs on viols and
double bass with some of the world's leaders in period music. Founder of
Ostraka, Josh is a member of Musica Pacifica, Les Deélices, and The Two, and has
performed with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Boston Early Music Festival,
Orchester Wiener Akademie, Carmel Bach Festival and the Los Angeles
Philharmonic. His performances have been heard on Performance Today, Harmonia,
and Österreichischen Rundfunk, and he has recorded for Dorian, Koch
International, Magnatune, Bear Machine, and Reference Recordings.
Praised as "a
master of the score's wandering and acrobatic itinerary" by the Cleveland Plain
Dealer, Josh teaches at workshops across the US, and has been a guest instructor
at San Francisco Conservatory, University of California, Berkeley, and Peabody
Conservatory. Josh is looking forward to a wildly varied concert season,
including appearances with The Four Nations, Portland Baroque Orchestra, and a
European tour with indie band Radical Face.
John Lenti has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician on lute and theorbo
across the United States and abroad, and his performances have been broadcast on
"Performance Today" and "Harmonia." His playing has been described as "a joy to
behold" (Seattle Times) and praised for its "nuanced beauty and character"
(Gramophone) and "uncommonly big sound" (Third Coast Digest). His recording
credits include Division with Ostraka, And I remain... with soprano Linda
Tsatsanis, and The Amorous Lyre with La Monica, plus forthcoming releases with
Seattle Baroque and Portland Baroque Orchestra.
John has also played with
Seattle Opera, American Bach Soloists, Seraphic Fire, and Pittsburgh Opera (with
Chatham Baroque) and is a founding member of the award-winning renaissance
quartet Plaine & Easie. He studied lute with Nigel North, Jacob Heringman, and
Elizabeth Kenny and holds degrees from the North Carolina School of the Arts and
Lutenist and guitarist David Walker has performed extensively throughout the
United States earning praise for his "surety of technique and expressive
elegance," as well as his "tremendous dexterity and careful control." David has
appeared in concerts with such groups as Chatham Baroque, Early Music New York,
the Newberry Consort, Tempesta di Mare, the Wolf Trap Opera Company, and
Glimmerglass Opera. David has appeared on National Public Radio's Harmonia, as
well as live and prerecorded broadcasts for numerous NPR affiliates.
educator, David has served on the faculty at the University of Louisville and
Bellarmine University, where he directed classical guitar studies. David holds
degrees from Indiana University and the University of Louisville, and has
studied lute and guitar with Patrick O'Brien and Nigel North.