About

Guts brings beautiful and unusual music that we love from the 17th and 18th centuries to your ears, illuminating the stories behind the music and its makers and celebrating the warmth and vividness of historically-informed chamber music played on period instruments.

A collaboration between Sylvia Schwartz, baroque violinist, and John Ott, viola da gambist, baroque cellist, and scholar, Guts arose naturally while studying in the Early Music program at Longy School of Music of Bard College. While there, Ott earned a Master of Music in viola da gamba and Schwartz earned an MMus in modern violin, augmented by Dalcroze and historical performance. Schwartz stumbled across early music while crossing paths with longtime viola da gambist and music historian Ott in a chamber ensemble, and is extremely glad she did!

Since graduating in 2015 and 2016, Guts has been busy establishing itself in Southern California and New England, presenting concerts in churches, breweries, and everything in between, as well as running their other ensemble, L’Esprit Baroque. Ott and Schwartz also teach a plethora of violin, cello, and viola da gamba students, and bring historical performance awareness to the public school orchestra programs in Irvine, CA.


Cellist and gambist John Ott, a native of Los Angeles, received his Bachelor of Music degree in cello performance from UC Irvine in 2004, studying with Dr. Margaret Parkins, and in 2016 completed his Master of Music degree in Early Music, viola da gamba at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he studied with Jane Hershey. In between, he performed with Symphony Irvine, Dana Point Symphony, Montage Civic Orchestra, and South Orange County Chamber Orchestra, played in the string quartet Elegie Quartet, and played chamber music all over Los Angeles and Orange County. He also maintains a large teaching studio, primarily at Vienna Music Institute in Irvine. During his two years in Massachusetts, aside from his Longy ensembles, he performed with Boston Camerata and Boston Opera Collaborative. He also co-music directs and performs with the period ensemble L’Esprit Baroque, founded in 2013. More…


Fascinated and deeply inspired by the relationship between music, movement, and dance, violinist and Dalcrozian-in-training Sylvia Schwartz is a passionate chamber musician in both modern and historical performance practices. A native of Boston, Sylvia has performed with Guts Baroque, L’Esprit Baroque, Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra, Los Angeles Baroque, Eudaimonia, Harvard Baroque Chamber Orchestra, Harvard Early Music Society, New Bedford Symphony, New England Classical Singers, Lizzie and the Flakjackets, and the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras throughout California and New England, in Ontario, Estonia, Latvia, and at Shostakovich Hall in St. Petersburg, Russia. Sylvia holds a M.M. in Violin Performance from the Longy School of Music, where she studied violin with Laura Bossert and early music with Dana Maiben, Na’ama Lion, Vivian Montgomery, and Ryan Turner. She also holds a B.S. in Engineering from Olin College. Sylvia teaches privately and at Vienna Music Institute in Irvine, California and substitute teaches for Irvine Unified School District, including four months as Orchestra Director at Grammy-winning Woodbridge High School. More…