Biographies

Tibia is the recorder duo of Letitia (Tish) Berlin and Frances Blaker. Tish and Frances live in Albany, California, where they work as free-lance recorder players and teachers. Frances studied recorder in Denmark and Holland, with Eva Legene and Marion Verbruggen. Tish studied piano performance in North Carolina with Inga Morgan, and early music performance practices at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Tish pursued private recorder study with Frances, Marion Verbruggen, and others. Tish and Frances are members of other groups as well: the Farallon Recorder Quartet, and Ensemble Vermillian (Frances with her cellist sister Barbara, Elisabeth Reed, viola da gamba, and Katherine Heater, harpsichord). Tish and Frances travel a large part of the year, performing and teaching at recorder workshops. They both serve on the board of the American Recorder Society, a membership organization serving the entire community of recorder players and lovers of the recorder.

LETITIA BERLIN teaches recorder and coaches ensembles in California and at workshops around the country, including the Amherst Early Music Festival, and the Port Townsend early music workshop. She is the director of the Hidden Valley Recorder Elderhostel (Carmel Valley, CA) and co-director of the San Francisco Early Music Society’s Music Discovery Workshop for young children. Ms. Berlin performs regularly with the Farallon Recorder Quartet and the recorder duo Tibia. She has performed with the Carmel Bach Festival and the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra as well as other ensembles. Recordings include Motets, Lieder, and Instrumental Works of Ludwig Senfl with the Farallon Recorder Quartet, Ladino love songs with Yatan Atan on the New Albion label and the second edition of the Disc Continuo play-along CD on the Katastrophe label. Ms. Berlin received a master’s degree in early music performance practices from Case Western Reserve University and a Bachelor of music from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her mentors and teachers have included Inga Morgan, Saskia Coolen, Marion Verbruggen, Carol Marsh and Ross Duffin.

FRANCES BLAKER received her Music Pedagogical and Performance degrees from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Copenhagen where she studied with Eva Legêne. She also studied with Marion Verbruggen in the Netherlands. In addition to regular appearances with Tibia, the Farallon Recorder Quartet, and Ensemble Vermillian, Ms. Blaker has performed as a soloist and with various ensembles in the United States, Denmark, England and the Netherlands. She teaches privately and at workshops throughout the United States, including the San Francisco Early Music Society Baroque workshop, Port Townsend and Amherst Early Music; she was co-director of the SFEMS Medieval and Renaissance workshop from 1996-2001 and is a co-director of Amherst Early Music. Ms. Blaker is the author of the acclaimed The Recorder Player’s Companion and a collaborator and performer on the Disc Continuo series of recordings.

Letitia Berlin and Frances Blaker met in 1991, and soon after formed their duo Tibia, for the purposes of exploring the existing repertoire for two recorders, adapting repertoire from other treble duos, and commissioning and composing new works for two recorders. Composers Tim Dusenbury and Matthias Maute have written for Tibia, and Frances Blaker has written several duos for the ensemble. Tibia was awarded the Recorder Residency at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology in Otis, Oregon in 2003. They have been awarded the residency again for a five-week period in the spring of 2006. They will collaborate with Shira Kammen (vielle/harp/voice/composer) on new works and medieval works for two recorders and strings and/or voice.