Opera News called violinist Jacob Ashworth’s 2015 performance of Kurtag’s Kafka-Fragments “a flat-out triumph for its two fearless performers.” At home across the spectrum of classical music, Jacob has gained a reputation as a consummate stylist, from his “diligent attention to [baroque] period style” (NY Times) to his “exacting and sensitive” interpretations of modern works (Boston Globe). Ashworth is violinist, conductor, and Artistic Director of Cantata Profana, which he founded at Yale School of Music in 2012, and Co-Music Director of Heartbeat Opera. For Heartbeat’s 2016 production of Dido and Aeneas, the New Yorker noted, “Ashworth, leading from the violin, elicited a performance that was elegant, boisterous, and melancholy by turns.” www.CantataProfana.com
Clarinetist Igor Begelman’s virtuosity and imagination have been praised by critics as “remarkable display of music making” and have earned him an impressive list of prizes, engagements and honors, including the Avery Fisher Career Grant. In recent seasons Mr. Begelman appeared as a soloist with the I Musici de Montreal, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, as well as in recitals at the Kimmel Center, Merkin Hall, Weill Recital Hall, Lincoln Center, and Casals, Marlboro, Tanglewood, and Ravinia Festivals among many others. He received his Master’s degree from The Juilliard School of Music and a Bachelor’s degree from The Manhattan School of Music.
Praised for her “light, fleet soprano” and “soaring, diamantine high notes” (Opera News), Megan Chartrand feels equally at home singing early music, art song, chamber music and concert repertoire. Notable solo performances include singing Dalila in Handel's Samson with the American Classical Orchestra and Mozart's Requiem with True Concord, both in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. Megan has also sung Phani in Rameau's Les Indes Galantes with the ACO; Bach's St. Matthew Passion, St. John Passion, and B Minor Mass with numerous ensembles, Handel's Crudel Tiranno Amor with The Alberta Baroque Ensemble; Mozart's Exsultate, jubilate with Tucson's St Andrew's Bach Society; and Kurt Weill's Seven Deadly Sins and Mahler's 4th Symphony at the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival in Finland. Megan sings frequently with the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, Clarion Music Society, Seraphic Fire, American Classical Orchestra, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Yale Choral Artists, and Ensemble Origo.
Derek Chester has quickly established himself as a preeminent interpreter of early music and oratorio repertoire. Chester holds voice degrees from University of Georgia and the Yale School of Music. As a Fulbright Scholar, he spent a year in Germany working as a freelance musician and furthering his training. Chester recently completed his DMA in Voice Performance and Opera Studies from the University of North Texas, with a dissertation on the juvenile song compositions of Samuel Barber. Recent appearances include Bach’s St. John Passion at Chicago’s Beethoven Festival; Bach's St. Markus Passion with Barokksolistene of Norway; Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610 with Boston Baroque; Britten’s War Requiem with the Korean Broadcasting System Symphony Orchestra, and all of the major works of Bach with American Bach Soloists. He currently serves as Assistant Professor of Voice at the University of Northern Colorado.
C. Keith Collins plays curtal, baroque and classical bassoon, shawm, recorder, and harp. He is faculty at the IU Jacobs School of Music’s Historical Performance Institute and at the University of North Texas. He has performed with many period orchestras and chamber ensembles, including Apollo's Fire, Folger Consort, Tafelmusik, San Diego Bach Collegium, and Grammy-nominated Musik Ekklesia. He is a founding member of the award-winning Ensemble Lipzodes, which specializes in the music of colonial Latin America. That group recently returned from Quito, Ecuador where they presented concerts as part of the Festival Internacional de Música Sacra. Keith studied at Berry College and Indiana University. His D.M. is the first doctorate ever awarded in historical bassoon performance. He also enjoys serving on the board of the Indiana Raptor Center, a non-profit hospital for injured and orphaned birds of prey.
Bassoonist Stephanie Corwin enjoys a varied career playing modern, classical, baroque and renaissance instruments. Based in New York City, she performs and records with ensembles across the country, including Apollo’s Fire, Handel and Haydn Society, Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, Washington Bach Consort, the American Classical Orchestra, Clarion Society, REBEL, Chamber Orchestra of New York, and Trinity Baroque Orchestra. Stephanie is also a member of the chamber ensembles Kleine Kammermusik, Bläserband, and Repast. She is currently on the performance faculties at Hunter College and the Lucy Moses School and formerly held the position of Interim Lecturer of Bassoon at the University of Virginia. A graduate of Davidson College, Yale University (MM) and Stony Brook University (DMA), Stephanie also received a Performer Diploma in historical bassoons from Indiana University. www.stephaniecorwin.com.
Sara Couden comes from California’s Bay Area. She is currently a member of the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Program, where she will be beginning her second year this fall. Recent highlights include singing as alto soloist in San Jose Symphonic Choir's Messiah, singing Penelope in West Edge Opera's Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria, participating in an open rehearsal with the Metropolitan Opera orchestra conducted by James Levine, and joining the Music @ Menlo festival for their Schubert-themed 2015 season. She graduated in 2014 from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music’s Voxtet, where she sang as alto soloist in the Bach B Minor Mass with Masaaki Suzuki, as well as alto soloist in Dvorak’s Stabat Mater under Helmut Rilling. Sara studies with Fred Carama.
Martin Davids founded and directs the Callipygian Players in Chicago, and is concertmaster of Brandywine Baroque. Reno Baroque Ensemble. Chicago Galant Consort and Bach Collegium of Ft. Wayne. He has performed with Music of the Baroque, Central City Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Aradia, Toronto Consort, and many others. Mr. Davids received his M.M from the University of Michigan and a Performer Diploma from the Early Music Institute at Indiana University where he studied with Stanley Ritchie. He has recorded for Plectra, Cedille, Musica Omnia, and Albany records. He is known for his work on the electric violin with his electric Baroque ensemble Discontinuo. He enjoys practicing Xinyiquan and Baguazhang in his spare time.
Immanuel Davis is one of the most versatile flutists of his generation. Equally at home on modern and baroque flutes, Immanuel has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and abroad. In 2005 he received a Fulbright Fellowship to study baroque flute with Wilbert Hazelzet at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague. Since then he has performed as soloist and chamber player with such early music ensembles as Early Music New York, ARTEK, Lyra Baroque and the Bach Society of Minnesota and Mercury Orchestra of Houston. He has also had the pleasure of performing on NPR’s Performance Today and in recitals with baroque flute luminaries Barthold Kuijken and Wilbert Hazelzet. Recently, Immanuel released his second CD, “On a Clear Morning”, a program of works by Philippe Gaubert performed on Period French Instruments. Immanuel has been the flute professor at the University of Minnesota since 2001.
Carl Donakowski was a finalist in the 1989 Mendelssohn Competition in Berlin. His recital performances have aired on WQXR New York and Südwestfunk Baden-Baden. As a chamber musician, he has been a member of the North Shore Pro Musica of New York, the Fontana Chamber Music Society, and the ARCOS piano trio. He has performed at the Manitou, Staunton, Tanglewood and Beethoven music festivals. In the summer he teaches and performs at the Bay View Music Festival and has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. Mr. Donakowski is a graduate of Indiana University where he studied with Janos Starker and Gary Hoffman. He is Associate Professor of Cello at James Madison University.
I-Jen Fang joined the faculty of the McIntire Department of Music at the University of Virginia in 2005 and as the Principal Timpanist and Percussionist of the Charlottesville Symphony. She received her B.F.A. from Carnegie Mellon University, M.M. from Northwestern University and Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of North Texas. I-Jen has performed or recorded with artists such as Keiko Abe, William Cahn, Christopher Deane, Mark Ford, Mike Mainieri, Ed Smith, Michael Spiro, Nanik Wenton, Nyoman Wenton, Attacca Percussion Group, and Da Capo Chamber Players. She has performed as marimba soloist in Taiwan, U.S., Austria, France, Hungary, Romania, and South Africa. She has also appeared as a featured performer at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, Staunton Music Festival, and Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival. I-Jen Fang is an Innovative Percussion Artist.
American oboist Alek Fester has lived in Basel, Switzerland since 2009 and received his Masters degrees at the prestigious Schola Cantorum while studying with Katharina Arfken. Before moving to Europe he studied with Washington McClain at Indiana University and at Sarah Lawrence College. He specializes in performing music from the Baroque through Romantic eras on historical oboes. Alek is much sought after for his interpretations of Bach and Classical-era works. Since January 2017 he has regularly performed with Capriccio Barockorchester Basel as first oboist and featured soloist. He also appears with many other orchestras throughout Switzerland and Germany, including la arpa festante (Barockorchester München), Bern Consort, Ensemble la fontaine (Winterthur), Das Collegium Musicum (Zürich). He's also an active chamber musician, performing in a period wind octet 'Divertiventi', a Classical oboe Trio (Vento Poetico) and the Baroque chamber ensemble R(h)einBarock.
Violist Jason Fisher is a founding member of Boston's Grammy-nominated chamber orchestra, A Far Cry. A Carnegie Hall Fellow and a Peabody Singapore Fellow, Jason has toured Europe, Asia, Kazakhstan, and the Kyrgyz Republic. Concerts at Vienna Musikverein, Singapore Esplanade, and Carnegie Hall. Performances with Pink Martini, Jake Shimabukuro, Itzakh Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Renée Fleming, Kiri Te Kanawa, and with members of the Florestan Trio, and the Æolus, Brentano, Cleveland, Emerson, Mendelssohn, and St. Lawrence String Quartets. As a passionate explorer of early music, he plays period viola with a bicoastal variety of ensembles including Gut Reaction, Antico/Moderno, the Handel & Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, and the Seattle and Portland Baroque Orchestras.
Bassoonist Larisa Gelman has established herself as an exceptional and dynamic performer in the United States and abroad. In recent seasons she was featured as a soloist with the Brooklyn Symphony and the Broadway Bach Ensemble. Ms. Gelman’s solo concerts have included Mozart Festival at World Bank, Washington, D.C.; Kimmel Center, Philadelphia, PA; and in recital at the Caramoor Music Festival. Ms. Gelman attended the Pacific Music Festival in Japan as well as the Colorado, Tanglewood, and Aspen festivals, and recorded the American première of Kurt Weill’s opera Die Burgschaft for the Spoleto Festival, U.S.A. under Julius Rudel for the EMI label. She is also Director of the Educational Outreach Program in the Arts at 92nd Street Y.
Jonathan Gibson is on the musicology faculty at James Madison University, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in music history and historical performance practice. He is a specialist in Baroque music, especially French music of the late-seventeenth century. He has presented numerous scholarly papers at conferences across the U.S. and abroad. His most recent publications appear in the Journal of Musicology and in the book Fiori musicali. Gibson is founder and director of the Valley Collegium Musicum early music ensemble based at JMU. He plays the viola da gamba, as well as Renaissance and Baroque recorders.
Eric Guinivan’s music has been performed across the United States, Europe, and Asia and has received notable honors from BMI, ASCAP, Chamber Music America, the Theodore Presser Foundation, Meet the Composer, and the Fromm Foundation at Harvard University. Eric has received commissions from the New York Youth Symphony, Lake Union Civic Orchestra, ASCAP, the Society of Composers Inc., and the Lotte Lehmann Foundation, among others. A Grammy-nominated percussionist, Eric was a founding member of the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet and has performed as soloist with New York Youth Symphony, Downey Symphony, and the USC Thornton Symphony. Eric holds degrees in composition and percussion from University of Southern California and Indiana University and currently serves as Assistant Professor of Composition at James Madison University.
Described by the Washington Post as "visually striking and whimsical," Happenstance Theater is a professional company committed to devising, producing and touring original, performer-created visual, poetic theatre. Its six member ensemble is made up of multi-talented performers who craft all aspects of a work from concept to realization. Under the artistic co-direction of Mark Jaster and Sabrina Mandell, Happenstance harvests imagery from the past and re-contextualizes it in works that address eternal themes of life and death. The ensemble has won awards at Capital Fringe and New York’s Clown Theatre Festivals and toured from Maine to Louisiana. Their original productions have appeared at the Kennedy Center, Round House Theater, Baltimore Theater Project, and many other stages across the U.S. and Canada. In 2016 Happenstance received three Helen Hayes Awards for Outstanding Ensemble, Outstanding Costume Design and Outstanding Lead Actor.
Erik Higgins, double bass, is a musician known for his versatility and fluency in many different styles and musical languages. After graduating from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in 2007, he moved to Germany where he completed a post-graduate training program at the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra Academy. In 2009, Erik became a tenured member of the Hamburg State Opera Company as well as an active Baroque and Chamber Musician throughout northern Germany. In 2013, he relocated to Boston where he joined A Far Cry Chamber Orchestra and plays regularly with Handel & Haydn Society and several other Boston Groups. Erik is also an avid pop musician and arranger with performances throughout Germany and the U.S.
Violinist Fiona Hughes holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and Cleveland Institute of Music. A founding member of Three Notch'd Road: The Charlottesville Baroque Ensemble, she is a versatile performer of both modern and baroque violin, appearing with North Carolina Baroque Orchestra, Apollo’s Fire, Washington Bach Consort, Boston Baroque, Duke Vespers Ensemble, the Richmond Symphony, and the Handel + Haydn Society. She has performed in numerous music festivals, including Kinhaven, Encore, Brevard Music Center, National Repertory Orchestra, Banff, Staunton Music Festival, and Japan's Pacific Music Festival. She looks to Stephen Rose, Adam DeGraff, Marilyn McDonald, and Lucy van Dael as primary mentors. Fiona's period bows are by David Hawthorne and her violin is the ex-Vieuxtemps Claude Pierray (1720 Paris).
Heini Kärkkäinen studied piano at the Sibelius-Academy under Liisa Pohjola and continued her studies with Ralf Gothóni and Jacques Rouvier, among others. She won the Ilmari Hannikainen Piano Competition in 1984 and two years later she came second in the Maj Lind Piano Competition. In 1993 Kärkkäinen was nominated Young Artist of the Espoo International Piano Festival. She has performed as soloist with orchestras and in chamber music extensively in Europe and the U.S. She has given first performances of many contemporary Finnish works and has made several prizewinning recordings, including a disc of Saint-Saens named BBC Music Magazine's “disc of the month” and acclaimed by Gramophone Magazine. Heini Kärkkäinen is Principal Lecturer in Tampere University of Applied Sciences. She is also the Artistic director of the Tampere Chamber Music Festival, whose theme is "music and wellbeing play together".
Gesa Kordes performs with numerous chamber ensembles and Baroque orchestras including the Washington Bach Consort, Ensemble Musical Offering, Muses’ Delight, Opera Lafayette, Ensemble Tra i Tempi, the Rheinisches Barockorchester Bonn, and the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra. She has toured as soloist and chamber musician in the U.S., Central America, Europe, and Israel, and has recorded for NPR, harmonia mundi, FONO, Dorian, and Naxos. Since 1998, Ms. Kordes has been in demand as a teacher and ensemble director of chamber groups and period orchestras in the U.S. and Europe. After teaching at Indiana University and UNC-Greensboro, she joined the faculty of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa in August 2009 as the director of the newly-founded Baroque Ensemble.
Kris Kwapis appears regularly as soloist and principal trumpet with period-instrument ensembles across North America, including Portland Baroque Orchestra, Early Music Vancouver, Pacific MusicWorks, Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, and Bach Collegium San Diego. A Grammy-nominated artist, Kris has recorded on Kleos, Naxos, ReZound, Musica Omnia and Dorian labels and her playing has been broadcast live on CBC, WNYC, WQED (Pittsburgh), Portland All-Classical (KQAC), Sunday Baroque and Wisconsin Public Radio. She is the director of La Voce di Gabriele, an ensemble dedicated to bringing to life trumpet music from the 17th and 18th centuries. Dr. Kwapis enjoys sharing her passion with the next generation of performers as a faculty member at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music Historical Performance Institute and at her home in Seattle. www.kriskwapis.com
Early bass specialist Heather Miller Lardin performs on double bass, violone, and viola da gamba with period instrument ensembles in Philadelphia and elsewhere. She appears regularly with the Handel and Haydn Society, Tempesta di Mare, Brandywine Baroque, and the Philadelphia Bach Collegium. Previously she served as Artistic Director of NYS Baroque in Ithaca, NY and was a member of the Virginia Symphony. Ms. Lardin directs the Early Music Ensemble at Temple University and the Amherst Early Music Winter Weekend Workshop. Lardin has been a Visiting Lecturer in double bass and viola da gamba at Cornell University. She is a committed teacher of young bassists in her private studio and has served as a clinician at the Oberlin Bass Workshop; this summer she joins the faculty of the Curtis Summerfest. Heather holds a DMA in Performance Practice from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music.
Nathaniel Lee is the Lecturer of Trombone at the University of Virginia and serves as Principal Trombone of the Charlottesville Symphony. In addition to his duties at UVa and the Charlottesville Symphony, Nathaniel maintains an active freelance career having performed with the Richmond Symphony, Castleton Music Festival, Ash Lawn Opera, Opera on the James, Boston Philharmonic, Virginia Oratorio Society and the Virginia Sinfonietta. He is a founding member of the American Trombone Quartet and the Virginia Sinfonietta. Nathaniel earned his Master of Music degree in Trombone Performance from the New England Conservatory and a Bachelor of Music Performance degree from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Ed Matthew has served as guest-principal clarinetist with Tafelmusik, Philharmonia Baroque, Pacific MusicWorks, the American Classical Orchestra, Grand Harmonie, Clarion Music Society, ARTEK, and Musica Angelica. He has performed with REBEL, Apollo's Fire, Washington Bach Consort, Opera Lafayette, Sinfonia New York, Boston Baroque, Handel & Haydn Society, Arcadia Players, and other period ensembles. He is a member of Bläser Band, Pit Stop Players, and the New York Clarinet Quartet, among other groups. On modern clarinet and woodwinds, he is in the orchestra of the Broadway production of The Phantom of the Opera, and has performed in many other Broadway pits. His recording of Passages, a clarinet concerto by Gary William Friedman, is on the 150Music label. He was a founding member of Arizona's award-winning wind quintet Quintessence.
Scott Mello has been praised for his “lyrical tenor” (NY Times) and for being “sonorous and alive to text” (Cleveland Plain Dealer). Mr. Mello's recent performances included Brahms Liebeslieder Walzer with Damask Ensemble, Buxtehude cantatas with Ensemble Clematis, and Claude Vivier's Journal with Cappella Amsterdam. A noted interpreter of Händel, he sang Messiah in debuts with Nashville Symphony and San Antonio Symphony, and La resurrezione with Bach Collegium San Diego. Previous seasons included tours with Mark Morris Dance Group, Finnish Baroque Orchestra, the Bach Mass in B minor with Masaaki Suzuki, Handel’s Samson with Nicholas McGegan and Jephtha with American Opera Theater. He has recorded for Avie, Dorian Sono Luminus, Ex Cathedra, Koch International and NPR. Mr. Mello earned degrees from Oberlin Conservatory, New York University and Yale University. www.scott-mello.com
Vladimir Mendelssohn studied viola and composition at the Music Academy in his home town, Bucharest. He has appeared the world over, as a soloist and chamber musician, composer and arranger and is in great demand at countless international festivals. Mendelssohn’s engagements have taken him to various parts of the United States, to almost every country in Europe and to Russia, Israel, Tunisia, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and South America and has made numerous recordings for a variety of labels. A prolific composer, he has produced works for solo instruments, mixed choir, symphony and chamber orchestra. A very popular teacher, Mendelssohn is Professor of chamber music at the Paris Conservatoire while also teaching in The Hague, Essen and Bologna. He has been artistic director of the acclaimed Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival (Finland) since 2005.
Violist Kyle Miller made his concerto debut in 2005 with the Reading (Pennsylvania) Symphony Orchestra as 'the dog' in P.D.Q. Bach’s Canine Cantata, Wachet Arf!. Since that day, Kyle has gone on to study at the New England Conservatory, the Eastman School of Music, and The Juilliard School, the last at which he earned master's degrees in both viola performance and historical performance. Kyle's home base is New York City, and he freelances both in the Big Apple and abroad. A founding member of ACRONYM, Diderot String Quartet, and New York Baroque Incorporated, Kyle also has appeared in concert with Apollo's Fire, Clarion Orchestra, the English Concert, Four Nations Ensemble, House of Time, Mercury, Quodlibet Ensemble, the Sebastians, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, and Trinity Baroque Orchestra. Kyle was selected to be an English Concert American Fellow in 2015, and he has performed at the Carmel Bach Festival.
Cellist and Artist-in-Residence at the College of the Holy Cross, Jan Müller-Szeraws' solo-engagements have included performances with the New England Philharmonic, Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Moscow Symphony Orchestra and Orquesta Sinfónica de Chile with repertoire ranging from traditional concertos to contemporary compositions by Chou Wen Chung, Gunther Schuller, Bernard Hoffer and John Harbison. He is member of Trio Tremonti and contemporary music ensemble Boston Musica Viva. He can be heard frequently in recitals with pianists Adam Golka, Ya-Fei Chuang and Sally Pinkas. He has been guest professor at the Universidad Católica de Chile, a guest with the Israeli Chamber Project, as well as guest principal cellist for the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra in Germany. He is founder and artistic director of the Chamber Music Institute at Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Maureen Murchie has performed on both modern and baroque violin and viola across the US as well as in China, Japan, and Europe, where a tour with baroque ensemble El Mundo included a concert at the Tage Alter Musik Regensburg. Maureen has held faculty positions in Texas and Illinois, and she holds a doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Having grown up in Japan, Maureen currently lives in New York City where she works as a freelance musician and Japanese translator/interpreter. Recent performing engagements include the Handel+Haydn Society, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, American Classical Orchestra, NOVUS, El Mundo, Grand Harmonie, Mark Morris Dance Company, guest principal viola with Houston's Mercury Ensemble, concertmaster/soloist at Boulder Bach Festival, and education outreach concerts with Filigree Baroque. Upcoming projects include solo work on the viola d'amore with Bach Society Houston and Bethlehem Bach Festival.
Canadian-American soprano Molly Netter enlivens complex and beautiful music with a voice described as “crisp and clear, white yet warm” (Seen and Heard International). Described as having “exquisite poise” (NY Times) and “[embuing] every word of the text with signification” (The Examiner), she has performed as a soloist with the GRAMMY-nominated Choir of Trinity Wall Street, Clarion Music Society, Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra, Heartbeat Opera, Yale Opera, and Experiments in Opera, as well as with Juilliard415 at Lincoln Center, touring internationally in Japan, Singapore and Burma under Masaaki Suzuki and with the Triplepoint ensemble. This season includes solo debuts with Apollo's Fire, Boston Early Music Festival, and New York Baroque Incorporated. Ms. Netter holds an ad hoc Bachelor of Music degree in composition and contemporary voice from Oberlin Conservatory and a Master’s degree from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, where she studied with James Taylor.
Canadian violinist Aisslinn Nosky was appointed Concertmaster of the Handel and Haydn Society in 2011. One of the most dynamic and versatile violinists of her generation, Nosky is in great demand internationally as a director, soloist and concertmaster. Recent collaborations include the Holland Baroque Society, La Jolla SummerFest, Utah Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, and Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. Aisslinn is also a member of I FURIOSI Baroque Ensemble, which has presented its own edgy and inventive concert series in Toronto and toured Europe and North America for the past 15 years. With the Eybler Quartet, Nosky explores repertoire from the first century of the string quartet literature on period instruments. Ms. Nosky’s latest recording of Haydn’s Violin Concerto in A Major with the Handel and Haydn Society was released in 2017 on the CORO label. In 2016 Aisslinn was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Niagara Symphony Orchestra.
Violist Kathleen Overfield-Zook has a multifaceted career as orchestral musician, chamber musician, pedagogue and musical entrepreneur. She holds a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music from the University of Michigan and has had her playing described as “agile and sonorous.” Having performed with the New Jersey, Delaware, Allentown, Vermont and Philadelphia Chamber Orchestras, among others, she now lives in Harrisonburg, Virginia where she continues her position of Assistant Principal Viola of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra and as Principal Viola of the Roanoke Symphony. Kathleen performs in the Cardinal Ensemble and recently founded the Friendly City Chamber Players, which brings relaxed performances to unlikely venues. She is also the violist and manager of The Bloom Trio and Event Musicians. As a teacher, she is on faculty at Washington & Lee University and maintains a private studio at her home.
Meg Owens owns oboes of various shapes and sizes and enjoys playing all of them. In demand as a performer on historical oboes, she appears regularly with many of North America's baroque orchestras, including American Bach Soloists, Opera Lafayette, Tafelmusik, Washington Bach Consort, Tempesta di Mare, and the National Cathedral Baroque Orchestra. Recent concerts include solo appearances with REBEL, Four Nations, Arcanum, Chatham Baroque, and the Berkshire Bach Society. A North Carolina native, Dr. Owens is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, the Manhattan School of Music, and the City University of New York. She teaches at George Mason University and in the Early Music Institute at Indiana University, and makes her home in the Washington, DC area.
Lori Piitz is Professor of Piano at James Madison University. She has participated in the Bach Festival at EMU, the Contemporary Music Festival at JMU and the Richmond Chamber Music Festival and has been heard in recital at the Kennedy Center. Ms. Piitz has been a guest at the Festival of the Sound in Canada, the Schleswig-Holstein and Villa Musica Festivals in Germany, and at the Mozart Bicentennial Series at Lincoln Center. Ms. Piitz holds performance degrees from Indiana University and the University of Ottawa where she was awarded the prestigious Isobel Firestone Performance Scholarship, and has attended the Banff School of Fine Arts. She has studied with Menahem Pressler, Leonard Hokanson, Jean-Paul Sevilla and Helgi Fatovic.
Soprano Molly Quinn captivates audiences in a diverse repertoire ranging from Monteverdi to the Rolling Stones. Praised by The New York Times for her “arresting sweetness and simplicity,” Ms. Quinn has appeared as a soloist with many classical and early music ensembles including Apollo's Fire, the Knights NYC, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Clarion Music Society, and she performs regularly with TENET and Music at Trinity Wall Street. Noted for her interpretations of baroque composers, The New York Times described her performance of Johann Christoph Bach as “beautifully and meltingly sung.” Ms Quinn has also garnered acclaim for her work crossing genres. Exciting performances to look for during the 2016-2017 season include the role of Dido in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas at The Kennedy Center, tour dates in Chile, the UK and Abu Dhabi with the Bang on a Can All-Stars, and TENET's performance at Carnegie Hall. mollyquinn.com
An active chamber musician and recitalist, Roger Roe has played oboe and English horn with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra since 1995 and has served on the faculty or Indiana University since 2001. He has appeared with orchestras as soloist on oboe, oboe d’amore and English horn, as well as narrator for children’s concerts. His recording of trios for oboe, viola and piano, Wordless Verses, was released on the Naxos label in 2016. Roger has premiered or commissioned a number of new works for English horn and is interested in theatricality and improvisation in music, as well as the intersection of music and spirituality, enjoying recent collaborations with ministers, rabbis, dancers, actors, singers, poets and others on various liturgical and scholarly projects.
SMF Artistic Director Carsten Schmidt enjoys a flourishing career as a pianist, harpsichordist, and conductor, and has performed widely throughout Europe, North America, and Asia. He has been heard in such venues as the Ravinia Festival, Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, the Moscow Conservatory, the Kuhmo Festival in Finland, German Mozart Festival, as well as in broadcasts worldwide. His repertoire ranges from the early Baroque to new works, of which he has premiered more than 100. He studied at the Folkwang Institute in his native Germany, as well as Indiana University and Yale. Among his teachers are pianists Claude Frank and Leonard Hokanson and harpsichordist Richard Rephann. Since 1998 he has been Professor of Music at Sarah Lawrence College in New York.
Hailed as a “splendid harpsichordist” (Chicago Tribune) and praised for his “supportive style” and “breathtaking, rapid-fire passagework” (Chicago Classical Review), Mark Shuldiner maintains a rigorous performance schedule. Most recently Mr. Shuldiner could be heard playing harpsichord for Chicago Opera Theater’s production of Mozart’s Lucio Silla. Mark has also appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on a number of occasions, playing organ and harpsichord under the batons of Riccardo Muti, Harry Bicket, Pinchas Zukerman, and Bernard Labadie. In November of 2014, Mr. Shuldiner appeared as the harpsichord soloist in the CSO’s performance of J.S. Bach’s 5th Brandenburg Concerto, conducted by Nicolas Kraemer. Mr. Shuldiner has also been seen performing for Music of the Baroque, The Newberry Consort, Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Callipygian Players, Catacoustic, and many others.
Percussionist Brian Smith is an active recitalist, soloist, orchestral musician, and chamber artist based in Central NY. He has a strong interest in performing new compositions and collaborating with composers to develop a growing repertoire of percussion literature, which has led to the premier of several new works. Brian received degrees from the University of Cincinnati College – Conservatory of Music and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. He is a two-time winner of the second prize at the MTNA national solo percussion competition and has recorded on the Naxos label. Brian has performed with orchestras throughout the United States and Europe, playing in some of the world's most renowned concert halls including the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and the Berlin Philharmonie.
Mezzo-soprano Angela Young Smucker has earned praise for her “luscious” voice (Chicago Tribune) and "powerful stage presence" (The Plain Dealer). Her performances have made her a highly versatile and sought-after artist. Highlights of the 2016-17 season include performances with Haymarket Opera Company, Bach Collegium San Diego, Chicago A Cappella, Seraphic Fire, and Third Coast Baroque. Ms. Smucker has also been a featured soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Music of the Baroque, Oregon Bach Festival, and Les Délices. Radio and television appearances include A Prairie Home Companion, WFMT’s Impromptu and Live from WFMT, and WTTW’s Chicago Tonight. Ms. Smucker holds degrees from the University of Minnesota and Valparaiso University – where she also served as instructor of voice. She is a NATS Intern Program alumna, former Virginia Best Adams Fellow (Carmel Bach Festival), and serves as Executive Director of Third Coast Baroque.
Based out of Chicago, Anna Steinhoff specializes in baroque cello and viola da gamba. She is a member of Second City Musick and Haymarket Opera Company, and was principal cellist of Chicago’s Baroque Band until the end of its run in 2016. Anna is also a founding member of Wayward Sisters, which won first prize in the 2011 Early Music America competition. Wayward Sisters released their debut album on Naxos in 2014 and are releasing their second recording, A Restless Heart, in 2017. In addition to classical music, Anna has performed or recorded with such bands as Saturday Looks Good To Me, Mysteries of Life, Frisbie, and children’s artist Justin Roberts. Anna completed degrees in cello performance from the Oberlin Conservatory and Northwestern University where her principal teachers were Peter Rejto and Hans Jensen respectively. She studied baroque cello privately in the Netherlands with Jaap ter Linden.
Jason Stell, concert commentator and music historian, received his Ph.D. in 2006 from Princeton University with a dissertation on the functions of chromatic pitches in Classic era music. Previous degrees in music theory (M.A.) and astrophysics (B.S.) were from Pennsylvania State University. He currently serves as Executive Director of the Staunton Music Festival and writes concert notes for SMF and other local and regional musical events. His notes have appeared at the Kennedy Center and New York’s Merkin Hall. Stell has studied piano with Robert Taub, Cecilia Dunoyer, and Carl Blake and received harpsichord instruction from Wendy Young, Arthur Haas, and June Miller.
Nina Stern has carved a unique and extraordinarily diverse career for herself as a world-class recorder player and classical clarinetist. Ms. Stern performs widely as a soloist and with orchestras such as The New York Philharmonic, American Classical Orchestra, New York City Opera, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque, and Opera Lafayette. She has recorded for Erato, Harmonia Mundi, Sony Classics, Newport Classics, Wildboar, Telarc and Smithsonian labels. Ms. Stern was appointed to the faculty of Juilliard’s Historical Performance program in 2012 and has served on the faculties of the Civica Scuola de Musica (Milan, Italy), Mannes College of Music, the Five Colleges in Massachusetts, and Oberlin Conservatory. Nina Stern is founder and Artistic Director of S’Cool Sounds, an award-winning music education project serving public school and underserved children in the U.S., Kenya, Jordan (with Syrian refugees) and Burundi. www.ninastern.com
Sam Suggs was recently named New Artist of the Month by Musical America, soon after receiving the Gary Karr Prize for 1st place at the 2015 International Society of Bassists Solo Competition, at which he performed many of his own compositions. An omnivorous musician, Sam was named Concert Artists Guild’s New Music/New Places Fellow at the 2016 CAG International Competition, making him first double bassist in thirty-six years to join the CAG roster: “What Suggs proceeded to play quite simply boggled the mind” (Oregon Arts Watch). As a collaborative bassist, he has performed at Chamber Music Northwest, Mostly Music, Yellow Barn, Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, and was named a Laureate Winner in the Open Division of the 2016 M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition. In the fall, Sam joined the faculty of James Madison University as Assistant Professor of Jazz and Classical Bass.
Described by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a dignified and beautiful singer, Paul Max Tipton, bass-baritone, performs nationally to acclaim in repertoire ranging from Schütz and Monteverdi to Britten and Bolcom. He solos under such notable figures as Masaaki Suzuki, Matthias Pintscher, Nicholas McGegan, Leonard Slatkin, Ton Koopman, Helmuth Rilling and Martin Katz, and has performed with the Bach Collegium Japan, New York Philharmonic, Apollo's Fire, Seraphic Fire, and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Recent engagements include Britten’s War Requiem, Rameau’s La Lyre Enchantée, and a recording of Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Op. 45 which earned a 2012 Grammy nomination. His singing of the Bach Passions are noted in particular for their strength and sensitivity. He studied at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and Yale University, and is a Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Fellow at Emmanuel Music in Boston. www.paulmaxtipton.com
Zachary Wadsworth is a composer of “fresh, deeply felt and strikingly original” music (Washington Post), with regular performances and premieres around the world. 2015 marked his debut at the National Opera Center, and 2014 included his Carnegie Hall debut. He has held a residency at the Metropolitan Opera, and his music has been performed at Westminster Abbey in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II. Other recent honors include awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, ASCAP, and the American Composers Forum. Wadsworth’s music is published by Novello and Schirmer, and his work has been heard on NPR and the BBC. Hailing from Richmond, Virginia, Wadsworth earned degrees from Eastman, Yale, and Cornell. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Music at Williams College in Massachusetts.
Lutenist and guitarist David Walker has performed extensively throughout the US earning praise for his “surety of technique and expressive elegance” (Columbus Dispatch), as well as his “tremendous dexterity and careful control” (Bloomington Herald Times). David has appeared with Boston Baroque, Catacoustic Consort, Chatham Baroque, Clarion Music Society, and Tempesta di Mare, and is a member of the chamber ensemble Ostraka. He has performed in numerous baroque opera productions, including engagements with Glimmerglass Opera and the Wolf Trap Opera Company. Festival highlights include the Savannah Music Festival, Indianapolis Early Music Festival, and solo recitals for the Bloomington Early Music Festival and the University of Louisville Guitar Festival. Recording credits include Ostraka’s critically acclaimed debut, Division, and recordings for Sono Luminus and Linn Records. David studied with Nigel North at Indiana University and privately with Patrick O’Brien.
Described as “rich-voiced” and “vivid” by a recent New York Times review, bass Peter Walker enjoys a varied and exciting career as singer of solo and ensemble repertoire. He recently revisited the roles of Balthasar and Habbakuk in the Play of Daniel with Gotham Early Music and Trinity Wall Street, and the title role of Telemann’s Pimpinone with Texas Early Music Project. Recent notable performances include Early Music New York’s Bohemian Christmas, Christus in Telemann’s St. Luke Passion with St. Luke in the Fields, and baritone soloist in Rachmaninov’s Choral Symphony with the Danbury Symphony. Highlights of the coming season will include appearances with Early Music New York, Gotham Early Music, Texas Early Music Project, the Skylark Vocal Ensemble, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, and renaissance ensemble The Thirteen. Peter holds degrees from Vassar College and McGill University.
Hailed by Gramophone for his “impressive horn playing,” Todd Williams is an active performer and educator based in Philadelphia. A leading exponent of the natural horn in America, he serves as principal horn of numerous ensembles including Handel & Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, Trinity Wall Street, Clarion Society, Apollo’s Fire, Mercury, Opera Lafayette, and more. He’s appeared as soloist with the Bach Societies of Washington, Philadelphia, Dallas, Madison, and San Diego and has conducted lectures at the music schools of Curtis, Eastman, and Oberlin. On the modern valved horn, he is a staple of the Philadelphia music scene performing with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra, the Opera and Ballet companies of Philadelphia, the Academy of Vocal Arts, and the Philly Pops. Since 2003, he’s served as solo horn of the opera festival Lyrique-en-Mer, France. He’s recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, RCA/Sony Records, and other labels. Todd is a graduate of Indiana University.
For several decades Andrew Willis has explored the historical development of keyboard instruments and their performance practice while maintaining a commitment to the study, performance, and teaching of the widest possible range of repertoire. His discography ranges from Beethoven’s Hammerklavier Sonata to Martin Amlin’s Sonata No. 7 (1999), and includes collaborations with Julianne Baird, soprano, Brent Wissick, cello, and many others. Willis holds degrees from Curtis, Temple, and Cornell and is a Professor of Music at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he teaches keyboard instruments from harpsichord to modern piano. Keenly interested in piano history and performance practice, he participates regularly in festivals, concert series, and conferences and has held leadership positions in the Historical Keyboard Society of North America and The Westfield Center. andrewwillispianist.com
Cellist James Wilson has performed throughout the world on Baroque and modern cello, appearing at famous venues such as Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Vienna’s Musikverein, the Kolner Philharmonie, and the Sydney Opera House. Festivals include the Hong Kong Arts Festival, the City of London Festival, the Deutsches Mozartfest in Bavaria, the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival in Finland, the Mostly Mozart Festival, and the Aspen Music Festival. Mr. Wilson is a member of the acclaimed Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and serves regularly as guest principal cellist of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Dividing his time between New York City and Staunton, he is the Artistic Director of the Richmond-based Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia and teaches cello and chamber music at Columbia University in NYC.
Recognized by The Boston Globe as “a name to keep an eye on”, soprano Sarah Yanovitch graduated from the Early Music Voice program through the Yale Institute of Sacred Music in 2015. Sarah sings regularly with Handel and Haydn Society in Boston and recently made her solo debut at Tanglewood, singing Purcell’s Fairy Queen with director Harry Christophers. She will make her Symphony Hall solo debut next spring in Bach’s Mass in B Minor. Recent solo highlights include Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, the Mozart Requiem, Carmina Burana, Bach Mass in B Minor, and Bach Cantata 51 (Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen) with Emmanuel Music. During her time at Yale Sarah worked as a soloist with esteemed conductors David Hill, Masaaki Suzuki, and Simon Carrington, performing throughout the major cities of the United States, Italy, France, the Baltics, India, and the UK. Sarah freelances out of Boston but is originally from Griswold, CT.
Hailed by Gramophone Magazine as “intrepid and brilliant,” Airi Yoshioka has concertized throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Canada as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. She is the founding member of Damocles Trio and Modigliani Quartet and has performed and recorded with the members of Emerson, Brentano and Arditti Quartets. An enthusiastic performer of new music, she is a principal member of Continuum, ModernWorks, Son Sonora, Ensemble Pi and RUCKUS ensembles. Her solo and chamber works are heard on New World, Naxos, Claves, Mode, Neuma, Albany and Pony Canyon labels. She has also worked as a Teaching Artist for Carnegie Hall, the New York Philharmonic and Lincoln Center Institute. She is currently Professor of Violin at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
Ian Zook, horn, is an active orchestral and solo performer and has appeared in concerts throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. He is Associate Professor of Horn at James Madison University and performs regularly as a recitalist and with the Montpelier Wind Quintet and Madison Brass. An active orchestral musician, he performs frequently with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Harrisburg, Roanoke, Richmond and Virginia Symphonies. Past summer engagements have included the Verbier Music Festival in Switzerland, Pacific Music Festival in Japan, the Aspen, Sarasota, and AIMS/Graz Music Festivals, and the National Orchestral Institute. Also versatile as a period instrumentalist, he has performed on natural horn with the New York Collegium, Washington Bach Consort, and the Staunton Music Festival.