Hailed by the Boston Globe for her “supremely joyous artistry,” baroque violinist, violist, harpsichordist, composer and conductor Dana Maiben has been cited as “high priestess of the Italian 17th-century solo” by Continuo Magazine. The Plain Dealer wrote of her Cleveland debut featuring Biber’s Mystery Sonatas, “she articulated each phrase with the clarity of speech and the fluency of song…So expressive was the music and so communicative Maiben’s performance that the technical difficulties melted away and the notes spoke more eloquently than a sermon.”
Dana has served as concertmaster for Apollo Ensemble, Arcadia Players, Ensemble Abendmusik, American Opera Theater, and for the New York Collegium under the direction of Christophe Rousset, Martin Gester, Paul Goodwin, and Andrew Parrott. Maiben made her professional conducting debut in 1993 with Handel’s Acis and Galatea, and has made early opera a specialty, often leading from the harpsichord. She has been a frequent guest director for orchestras in Atlanta, Ann Arbor, Amherst, Cambridge, Ithaca, Rochester, Saint Paul, and Toronto, many times leading from the violin as featured soloist. Maiben has served as Music Director for Genesee Baroque Players (New York) and Arcadia Players, (Massachusetts), and is founding Music Director of Foundling Baroque Orchestra and Women’s Advocacy Project (Rhode Island, www.foundling.org).
Dana has toured throughout North America, Europe, and in Asia as a collaborative chamber musician, earning international recognition for her performances of 17th- century solo and ensemble music. As a founder member of the groundbreaking ensemble Concerto Castello, whose debut recording Affetti Musicali won a nomination for the Deutches Schallplatten Preis, she performed opposite acclaimed cornetto virtuoso Bruce Dickey for seven seasons, and designed and co-directed the quadricentennial Schütz celebration concert for the Boston Early Music Festival. Dana is a founder member of the string band Quince (www.quincefive.org), and in 2002 she launched a new ensemble for 17th-century music, Concerto Incognito.
As a medieval fiddler, Dana was a founding member of Sequentia and has toured programs of medieval music with Boston Camerata, Tapestry, and musica mundana. She has performed many modern day premieres, and as a founding member of New Quartet (Boston) and guest artist with Les Coucous Benevoles (Toronto), has premiered many new works written for baroque instruments. Recording credits include music from the 12th through the 20th centuries, projects for BMG, Centaur, Dorian, Deutsches Harmonia Mundi, EMI, Erato, fuga libera, Gothic, Hyperion, Kleos, and Lyrichord.
Dana began her early music studies while an undergraduate at Oberlin Conservatory, and continued with advanced studies at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, where she studied medieval, renaissance, baroque and classical European music and historical performance practices. She holds a BA cum laude from Smith College, earned the Master of Music degree in Composition from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and counts Jaap Schroeder, James Caldwell, Thomas Binkley, Andrea von Ramm, Elaine Richey, Ron Perera and Lou Harrison as important mentors.
A skilled clinician and master chamber music coach, Dana has served on the faculties of the Eastman School of Music, the International Baroque Institute at Longy, Amherst Early Music Festival’s Baroque Academy, and numerous summer workshops, has been artist-in-residence or guest faculty at Case Western Reserve University and Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, and is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University. Since 1989, Dana has been a member of the Early Music faculty at the Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she teaches baroque violin and viola, medieval fiddles, instrumental chamber music, concerted vocal music, figured bass, improvisation, and medieval, renaissance and baroque repertories and performance practice, coaches singers, guest conducts the Longy Chamber Orchestra, and directs Early Opera.