“When I first heard ‘Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda,’ I was moved to tears; Clorinda’s final note as she ascends to the heavens is one of the most beautiful moments in all of Western classical music. Recording that piece 20 years later with Le Nuove Musiche was a most remarkable closing of the circle.”
Since winning the prize for Best Individual Performer at the 1998 Van Wassenaer Competition for Early Music in Den Haag, Cassandra Luckhardt has established an international reputation as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician and teacher on both cello and viola da gamba. In performance, Cassandra has played and recorded as principal cello and gamba with The Academy of Ancient Music, Il Complesso Barocco and the King’s Consort. She is a regular member of the Apollo Ensemble, with whom she has performed in venues as diverse as the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and the Sydney Festival (AUS). In 2015, she was the solo gambist with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in the highly acclaimed performance of the St. John Passion conducted by Richard Egarr.
Cassandra moved to Paris in 1994 to study at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique under the auspices of a Harriet Hale Woolley grant, awarded that year to only three other artists in the United States. In 1996, she received third prize at the Early Music Competition for Ensembles in Bruges and in 1999 won the Public Prize at the Utrecht Early Music Festival. In 2001, she finished her studies at the Royal Conservatory in Den Haag, graduating with degrees on both viola da gamba and baroque cello. She plays a cello built by Sebastian Kloz, Mittenwald ca. 1760 and a gamba after Guillaume Barbey, Paris 1690 by John Pringle, USA 1987. She also plays an instrument awarded by the Nationaal Muziekinstrumentenfonds, a cello built by Roger Hargrave after Montagnana, 1736.