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Our Team

James Gray

Musical Director

studied singing and piano accompaniment at the Royal Academy of Music in London where he was student répétiteur to the Opera Class. Also in London, he studied the piano privately with Tamas Vesmas and then with Ivan Moravec at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. During his time in the czech capital, he also took an intensive course of vocal studies with Terezie Blumová. He made his solo debut in 1976 at the Prague Madrigalists’ inaugural Czech Philharmonic concert.

On an Italian Government scholarship, he continued his vocal studies with Nella Anfuso and carried out research at the Centro Studi Musicali Rinascimentali near Florence. He holds a BA (Hons.) degree from The Open University where he completed an MA in musicological research. He was guest director of the Prague Madrigalists 1980-81 before moving to Germany to work as a répétiteur at the Nationaltheater Mannheim.

His subsequent move to Italy reflected his growing interest in Italian baroque music. His recordings include Domenico Scarlatti Unpublished Cantatas; Monteverdi ‘Lamento d’Arianna’ etc. (Grand Prix Académie du Disque Français); and Benedetto Marcello Unpublished Vocal Works. He was organist at the Basilica of Santo Spirito in Florence from 2008 -2013 and at the Church of Santa Felicita from 2013-2016; at present he is assistant director of music to the Philippian Fathers at the Oratory Church of San Firenze. He divides his time between performing, research and a small teaching practice where he passes on the approach to singing developed by the distinguished pedagogue Lajos Szamosi.

Markéta Malcová

Mezzo-soprano / vocal lessons

vocal pedagogue, graduated from Prague Music Conservatoire and continued her studies privately with prof. Terezie Blumova. 
Markéta performed as a soloist and with various ensembles, including Musica Fresca, Scuola Benedicta, and Prague Cathedral Choir. As a member of Prague Chamber Choir she performed in concerts and operas throughout Europe for over ten years - including the Wexford Opera Festival in Ireland, where she moved in 2002. 
ta taught singing in the Early Music Academy Tynska Skola in Prague, in the Teachers Training Academy in Sv. Jan pod Skalou and in Wexford School of Music. In Ireland, she formed also her private school of singing, Scuola Del Canto Libero. She was a founder and a soloist of Traditional Morvian Music group Kychera and co-founder of the Wexford Chamber Choir, which she formed from her students. Marketa has been an Artistic Director of the International Early Music Course since 2013.

Kinga Cserjési

Soprano / vocal lessons

is a licensed teacher of the Libero Canto approach and has been teaching singing in Budapest and New York City since 1999. From 2013 - 2015, she was a teacher at the Il Cuore Canta workshops in New York. Kinga has sung internationally as a soloist and as a member of various choruses and vocal ensembles.  Kinga is a founding member of the Hungarian vocal ensemble, Bartok’s Roses, and of La Compagnia Amarilli with Deborah Carmichael. She has a master’s degree in choir conducting and in the Kodaly Method from the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest, and a postgraduate degree in Early Vocal Music from the Brabants Conservatory in the Netherlands. She has been a tutor of the International Course in Early Music since 2022.

Soprano / vocal lessons

Johanna Földesi was born in 1986 in Gyula, Hungary. In 2003 she began to take singing lessons from Erzsébet Feichterand Zsolt Oláh, and in 2006 she was admitted to the Baptist Theology where she was studying choir conducting. In 2008 she continued her studies in the Netherlands at the Fontys Conservatoire in Tilburg, studying Early Music in the singing classes of Ildikó Hajnal and Peggy Hegeman. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in 2012 and her Master's degree in 2014. She she’s been taking singing lessons according to the Libero Canto approach at Kinga Cserjési, Heent Prins, and Deborah Carmichael – later she also joined the Teacher Education of LC which was a great influence on her as a musician, singing teacher, ensemble coach and choir conductor. She is a founding member of Scherzi Musici, and NoWoC, she’s performing on a regular basis with the historical medieval ensemble Carole et Brullare, and she is also a choir conductor of the Emmauszangers in Tilburg-Reeshof, and Kamerkoor Terpander in Baarle-Nassau.

Vocal therapist / group warm-ups

Junko Gray studied singing at Laulukoulu in Finland where she successfully completed the full- time four-year diploma course Uncovering the Voice*, subsequently specialising for a further year in Art Song. In parallel, she also undertook a course of studies in Germany under Thomas Adam at Langenberg in Germany, gaining the diploma in Singing Therapy. After a period as assistant teacher at Laulukoulu, and working both as teacher and therapist with children, the elderly and with the mentally handicapped, she moved to Italy where she continues her work and studies in Florence.

*An approach developped by Valborg Werbeck Svärdström under the aegis of Rudolf Steiner.

Stage Director

Kristina Machoňová comes from a theater-musical family, she was engaged in ballet, folk dance and dramatic education. She graduated from the Secondary School of Applied Arts in Pilsen and the Higher Vocational School in Písek and since then has been dedicated to the restoration of historical monuments. She has been part of the Course in Early Music since 2017. In 2023, she took charge of the choreography and stage directing. This year she will be in charge of the choreography and stage directing again and newly stage decoration too.


Costume designer

Gabriela Machová is a graduate of the History of European Culture at the Catholic Theological Faculty of Charles University in Prague. After that, she was a student of classical singing at the Opava Conservatory. In 2018, she participated in the Course in Early Music as a student for the first time. In 2019, she designed and sewed the costumes for Händel's opera Acis and Galatea. Since then, she has been intensively dedicated to creating historical costumes. Gabriela has become an indispensable part of the Course in Early Music where she has been responsible for the realization of all costumes and props since 2021.


Leader of baroque opera orchestra

Vladimíra Machoňová studied at the Pilsen Conservatory with prof. Jindra Holotová and prof. Otto Lébr. After graduation, she became a member of the DJKT orchestra in Pilsen and continuously devoted herself to teaching. For many years, she worked as the leader of the folklore group Gaudeamus at VŠE Prague, which repeatedly won folklore competitions in the Czech Republic and Slovakia and which played at the Prague Spring and at the World Folklore Festival in Dijon. Vladimíra also collaborated with the early music chamber ensemble Musica pro Sancta Cecilia, at the Jan Deyl Conservatory in Prague.

Since 2003, Vladimíra has been a member of the Pilsen Philharmonic Orchestra and leads the church choir in Spálené Poříčí, which won 1st place in the regional competition for the performance of J. Ryba's Czech Christmas Mass. Since 2015, Vladimíra has been playing first violin in the Course in Early Music.

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