Asteria burst onto the national early music scene in 2004, winning the top ‘Unicorn Prize’ in Early Music America’s very first Medieval and Renaissance Performance Competition with musical offerings heralded by the New York Times as “intimate and deeply communicative…meltingly beautiful.” That award launched them on a successful concertizing career which has taken them to 20 states including Alaska and Hawaii and to Mexico, France, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and England. Sylvia and Eric are based during the concert season in Brooklyn and from late spring to early fall in Dijon, in Burgundy, France.
In the United States, Asteria has graced the stage of such venues as Hertz Hall at UC Berkeley, the Times Center, the Cloisters and the Frick Collection in NYC, the National Gallery of Art and Dumbarton Oaks in D.C., the Dallas Museum of Art, the Virginia Museum of Art, the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco and the Chicago Cultural Center. The duo has been presented by numerous U.S. colleges and universities including Stanford University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Miami, Hollins University, Holy Cross, York College and Carleton College.
In Europe, Asteria has performed in numerous churches and festivals, among them, Tage Alter Musik in Regensburg, Festival Meridiennes in Tours, Musée de Cluny in Paris, Chartres Cathedral, the Taizé Community and the Chateau de Germolles in Burgundy, where they are a resident ensemble.
Asteria has recorded four highly acclaimed CDs which include better known works such as Vergina Bella and Dufay’s Se La Face Ay Pale, lesser known pieces and some pieces gleaned from extensive research into original sources, rebirthing songs not heard since the 15th century.
This engaging duo, in semi-staged, memorized performances, brings out the passion and emotional impact of late medieval vocal and instrumental music with timeless love songs of wide appeal, transporting their listeners back to the age of chivalry.
Eric Redlinger’s skill on the lute and sweet tenor voice are complemented by his expertise in early music, earned through study at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis and extensive archival research into original sources. Following graduation from Middlebury College, Eric spent several years immersing himself in the European musical archives of the Hague, Basel and Marburg. During this time he also did post-graduate studies in composition and musicology at the Frankfurt Conservatory of Music, worked in the studio of New York based avant-garde composer Philip Glass and studied medieval lute with Crawford Young and voice with Richard Levitt at the Schola. He now makes his home in New York, where he has studied with Drew Minter and Gary Ramsey.
Sylvia Rhyne brings to the partnership not only her quicksilver soprano but also a strong dramatic connection with the audience, gained from a professional career in musical theater. She has starred internationally as Christine in “The Phantom of the Opera,” and on Broadway as Joanna in “Sweeney Todd” under the direction of Harold Prince, Susan Schulman and Stephen Sondheim.
Raised in London and the Pacific Northwest, Sylvia grew up surrounded by classical music, opera and dance. She pursued a passion for early music at Carleton College, guided by Stephen Kelly, taking leading roles in early operas and operettas on her way to a degree in music. She studied also with Wesley Balk at St. Olaf College and recorded with Dennis Russell Davies and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Arriving in New York, Sylvia was invited to sing with the New York City Opera and began ongoing coaching with Marcy Lindheimer.
Upon meeting, Eric and Sylvia immediately discovered their mutual interest in earlier repertoire and began to rendezvous regularly in New York’s Central Park to work on late Medieval and Renaissance pieces, gradually developing their passionate approach to the music. Asteria’s performances convey the anguish and ecstasy of the poetry and the rapturous beauty of the interweaving vocal and instrumental lines.