Katy Ambrose enjoys a multi-faceted career as a chamber musician, orchestral performer, and educator. Her performance of Benjamin Britten’s Still Falls the Rain was praised as “spectacular” and a “virtuosic demonstration of French horn expressiveness” (Broad Street Review). Katy has held positions in the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, Northeast Pennsylvania Philharmonic, Albany Symphony, Lexington Philharmonic (KY), and has substituted with numerous orchestras including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Hawai’i Symphony, Richmond Symphony, Virginia Symphony, and Washington Baroque Consort. Katy is a graduate of Yale University (Artist Diploma), Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (MM), and University of Michigan (BM) and is currently ABD at Temple University.
Jacob Ashworth is the “impressive Artistic Director” (New York Times) of the baroque and modern “crack ensemble” (New Yorker) Cantata Profana, and Co-Music Director of the “categorically imaginative and radical” (New Yorker) Heartbeat Opera. Equally at home on modern or period instruments, Jacob has been called a “lithe and nimble” (New York Times) baroque violinist, an “exacting and sensitive” (Boston Globe) new music player, a “richly detailed” (New York Times) conductor, and “a flat-out triumph” (Opera News) on stage. Jacob has been concertmaster for Nicholas McGegan/Mark Morris Dance Group and Opera Lafayette, and has performed early music with Trinity Baroque Orchestra, Yale Baroque Ensemble, New York Baroque Inc., and many more. In modern fare, his latest album, “Hermestänze,” on MSR Records, features cycles for solo violin by Susan Kander, played “expressively and knowingly throughout” (Gramophone). www.JacobAshworth.com
Luke Balslov is a trumpet player and teacher from Long Island, New York. He recently graduated from Stony Brook University with a Masters degree in music performance where he studied privately with Kevin Cobb. He also received his Bachelor of Arts in music at Stony Brook where he graduated summa cum laude and was awarded the Presser Music Scholarship. Luke began studying the baroque trumpet in 2010 and has studied privately with teachers Kris Kwapis and John Theissen. In 2016 he attended the American Bach Soloists Academy in San Francisco under director Jeffrey Thomas. Luke regularly performs on modern and baroque trumpet in the New York area and beyond. He also maintains a large studio of private students on Long Island where he currently lives.
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.
Virginia Bolena serves as Organist/Choirmaster at Trinity Episcopal Church, a post held since 2013. She is also Director of the Girl Chorister Course at St. Thomas Choir School in New York City, a summer program for advanced girl choristers from around the country. Virginia is a graduate of Seton Hill University, Greensburg, PA and East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, where she studied organ with Edgar Highberger and Janette Fishell, and conducting with Daniel Bara. She has played solo organ performances in Oxford and Ludlow, England, as well as many venues along the east coast, playing most recently at Saint Thomas Church, 5th Avenue, New York, and Christ Church, Roanoke, on the Summer Festival of Organ Music. Other engagements include performing as a guest artist on the 2018 Heifetz International String Institute’s Holiday Tour.
Mary Boodell is the Principal Flutist of the Richmond Symphony in Virginia. Praised as one of the city’s “most versatile and venturesome musicians,” she has won acclaim not only for her orchestral playing but also for her numerous chamber music performances. Equally at home in baroque and contemporary music, Ms. Boodell has performed at festivals across the US and Europe, including at the Los Angeles Hollywood Bowl, Eastern Music Festival, Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy, Wolf Trap, VA and regularly at the Staunton Music Festival. Since 2004, she has played baroque and modern flutes as a member of the Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia (www.cmscva.org), an organization dedicated to bringing world-class chamber music to Richmond. She received her Bachelor of Music at the Oberlin Conservatory and her Master of Music at Northwestern University, studying with some of the country’s most respected flutists.
Casey Cangelosi is the Director of Percussion Studies at James Madison University and is commonly hosted world-wide at educational institutions, music festivals, and educational seminars. Casey has been a visiting guest-artist in Italy, Germany, Costa Rica, Mexico, Argentina, Australia, Croatia, Sweden, Taiwan, and widely across the U.S. at events including the The Midwest Clinic and PASIC Showcase Concerts. Casey is a regularly commissioned composer and is sponsored by Majestic, Mapex, Innovative Percussion, Zildjian, Grover Pro Percussion, Remo, and Beiner Bags. His compositions are regularly performed and retail in Canada, Japan, Spain, Mexico, Germany, Amsterdam, the U.K., and the USA.
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 Dalila in Handel's Samson with 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, and many others. meganchartrand.com
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.
Early music artist Adam Cockerham specializes in theorbo, lute, and baroque guitar. He has performed with ensembles such as Trinity Baroque Orchestra, NOVUS NY, Philharmonia Chamber Players, New York Baroque Incorporated, El Mundo, and J415. He has been involved in modern world premiere performances of 17th-century operas with companies such as Innsbrucker Festwochen der Alten Musik (Le nozze in sogno), Ars Minerva (La Cleopatra, Le Amazzoni nelle isole fortunate), and world premiere performances of new operas with Prototype Festival (Pulitzer Prize-winning Angel’s Bone) and Opera Saratoga (A Long Walk). Cockerham is currently a doctoral candidate at The Juilliard School after completing his Master of Music degree in Historical Plucked Strings. He also holds Master and Bachelor of Music degrees in Classical Guitar Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory. Partnering with acclaimed mezzo-soprano Danielle Sampson, he founded voice and guitar/lute duo Jarring Sounds.
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.
Noted for his “honeyed” and “warm, rounded countertenor” (The Observer), Padraic Costello embraces both familiar and atypical repertoire for the countertenor voice. He received graduate degrees in voice performance and ethnomusicology from the University of Hawaii, specializing in early Western music and new music by Asian and Polynesian composers. Recent engagements include performances with Sydney-based ensemble The Song Company, a duet concert with acclaimed soprano Audrey Luna, and a recital tour of Japanese-composed music in Japan. Opera appearances include Ottone in Handel’s Agrippina, Trasimede in Admeto, Goffredo in Rinaldo, Oberon in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Endimione and Pane in Cavalli’s La Calisto. He is a member of the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys, regarded as the leading ensemble of its kind in the United States.
Sara Couden, contralto, is very excited to be back in Staunton for this year’s festival. Sara is a graduate of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Program, as well as the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and the San Francisco Conservatory. Highlights of her 2017-18 season include: the role of Albine in the Metropolitan Opera production of Thaïs, excerpts from Zauberflöte with the LA Philharmonic, Mahler 2 with the Santa Cruz Symphony, Das Lied von der Erde with New York chamber ensemble Cantata Profana, Petr Eben’s Loveless Songs with Kim Kashkashian at Marlboro Music Festival, From Jewish Folk Poetry and the Canary Cantata with Music @ Menlo, and B Minor Mass with Masaaki Suzuki at Yale’s Woolsey Hall. Visit her website at saracouden.simpl.com.
Martin Davids founded and directs the Callipygian Players in Chicago, and is concertmaster of Brandywine Baroque, Third Coast Baroque, and Bella Voce Sinfonia. He is principal second violin with the Haymarket Opera Company, and Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado. His performing career has included collaborations with many others throughout North America and Europe. 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. Mr. Davids published a volume of arrangements for two violins of J. S. Bach’s solo violin fugues in early 2016. Called Bachfor2, it is the first arrangement of its kind. A second volume was published in 2019. In addition, he is a third generation disciple of the YiZung Yue school of internal martial arts.
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.
Born in Mendoza, Argentina, Federico Díaz is an upcoming versatile musician of the new generation of guitarists with a multi-faceted career as a performing artist, arranger and composer in the Classical and Argentinian music worlds. His performances have taken him to distinguished festivals and concert halls across the US, Europe and Latin America. His passion for chamber music lead him to collaborate with musicians such as Lionel Cottet, Daniel Binelli, Juan Falú, Bruno Cavallaro, Juan Pablo Navarro, among others. He has recorded for Sony Classical and Epsa Music. Federico studied at prestigious institutions such as National University of Cuyo, University Mozarteum Salzburg, Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler, and Manhattan School of Music. His former teachers include Eliot Fisk, Ricardo Gallén and David Starobin. Currently, he is finishing a Doctor´s Degree in Performance at the Graduate Center of City University of New York, under the guidance of Frederic Hand.
Praised as an “excellent” and “evocative” violinist (New York Times), Nicholas DiEugenio leads a versatile performing life as a chamber musician, leader, and soloist in music ranging from early baroque to current commissions. Together with pianist Mimi Solomon, Nicholas has recorded the albums Into the Silence (2017) and Unraveling Beethoven (2018) on the New Focus label. His award-winning recording of the complete Schumann violin sonatas with fortepiano is available on the Musica Omnia label. Regarded as an inspiring teacher, Nicholas is currently Assistant Professor of Violin at UNC Chapel Hill. Nicholas holds degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music (B.M, M.M) and the Yale School of Music (D.M.A., A.D,). As a core member of the Sebastians, Nicholas performs on a violin made by Karl Dennis in 2011, and also on a 1734 violin made by Dom Nicolo Amati. www.nicholasdieugenio.com
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.
Will Doreza is a baritone with a wide variety of musical interests, including early music, oratorio, art song, and new music. He has performed internationally as a soloist for conductors such as Masaaki Suzuki, Simon Carrington, Nic McGegan, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Festival highlights include the Bachfest Leipzig in a performance of Mendelssoh’s Elijah with the Bach Collegium Japan, exciting new works at the Hartford Women Composers Festival, and several performances in the Spoleto Festival USA with the Westminster Choir. Will holds Masters degrees from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and Westminster Choir College, and a Bachelors degree from Lawrence University. Recent and upcoming engagements include projects with The Crossing, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, The New York Philharmonic, and the Uncommon Music Festival in Sitka, AK.
Mezzo-soprano Cecilia Duarte created the role of Renata in the Mariachi Opera Cruzar la Cara de la Luna with Houston Grand Opera, and has toured with it through Europe, the United States, and South America. Cecilia has created other roles for world premieres, such as Jessie Lydell in A Coffin in Egypt (HGO and the Wallis Annenberg Center in L.A.); Gracie in A Way Home (HGO and Opera Southwest); Harriet/First Responder in After the Storm (HGO); Alicia in Some Light Emerges (HGO); and most recently, Alma, in HGO’s Web Series, Star-cross’d. Cecilia often performs with Ars Lyrica Houston, Mercury Houston, The Bach Society, The Oregon Bach Festival, the Fesitvalensemble in Stuttgart, Germany, and the Festival de Música Barroca de San Miguel de Allende, México. Her discography includes Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, and Encantamiento, an album of songs by Daniel Catán. https://www.ceciliaduartemezzosoprano.com/
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.
Oboist Alek Fester 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. He has lived in Basel, Switzerland since 2009 and is currently first oboist with Capriccio Barockorchester. Capriccio is one of the busiest period-instrument orchestras in Switzerland with over 30 projects a year ranging from small chamber music concerts to large symphony orchestra choral works. As first oboist, Alek is frequently a featured soloist and has recently performed Bach’s G Minor Oboe Concerto with the orchestra. In 2014 he received his Masters degrees at the prestigious Schola Cantorum in Basel while studying with Katharina Arfken. Before moving to Europe he studied with Washington McClain at Indiana University and at Sarah Lawrence College (New York).
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.
Graham Garlington graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in May of 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music, Theatre, and Film. An aspiring experimental musical theatre composer and performer, KG continues working on his musical, Elsewhere which has a reading, followed by a workshop production mounted at Sarah Lawrence. With a background in jazz, blues, and classical repertoires, he hopes to form a band as well as continue performing and working with the Staunton Music Festival. His rendition of Harold Arlen's "If I Only Had a Brain" was an audience favorite at the 2017 Festival, and he will perform Mancini and Porter this season.
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.
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).
JUNO-nominated tenor Justin Jalea is a sought-after conductor, tenor, and rights advocate. He has been a member of professional choirs such as Pro Coro Canada, the Canadian Chamber Choir, and the Chamber Choir of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian in New York. Justin is the Founding Artistic Director of Il Sono, Double Treble, and Inspire, whose missions are to raise awareness, compassion, and funds for diverse social issues. With these ensembles, Justin spearheaded collaborations with organizations such as UNICEF, the Canadian Cancer Society, and supported the work of Sandy Hook Promise, 350NYC, and Sing for Hope. Justin holds a master’s degree in human rights studies from Columbia University. His work is found at the intersection of music and human rights – enforcing the idea that music is a powerful force for social change. He currently collaborates with organizations such as Musicians for Human Rights, Americans for the Arts, and UNICEF USA.
Composer Laureate of The Netherlands, Willem Jeths received training in piano, music history, and composition at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam, Conservatory of Utrecht, and University of Amsterdam. About his musical style, Jeths writes that “intuition and associations are the keywords while composing, together with striving towards a clarity and economy of musical material. Life/Death and Nature are the main sources of my inspiration.” He has composed chamber and orchestral music, concertos, songs and multiple operas. In addition to numerous international composition prizes, Jeths has received commissions from the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Kronos Quartet, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Osaka Symphoniker (Japan), among many others. Recent works include Requiem (2017) for choir, soloists and orchestra, as well as a work for the 100th anniversary of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. Jeths is senior composition teacher at the Conservatory of Amsterdam.
Native of San Juan, Argentina, JP Jofre is an award winning bandoneon player and composer. He has been repeatedly highlighted by the New York Times and praised as one of today’s leading artists by Great Performers at Lincoln Center. His music has been recorded by Grammy winner Paquito D’ Rivera, Orpheus Orchestra and Kathryn Stott. Jofre is a recipient of the National Prize of the Arts grant in Argentina and has taken his form of contemporary Tango to some of the most important festivals around the world including Celebrity Series of Boston and Umbria Jazz Festival. As soloist he has appeared with the San Antonio Symphony, San Diego Symphony and Argentina's NSO and lectured at Google Talks, TEDtalks and Juilliard. He is currently writing two double concertos commissioned by Sunny Kang and violinists Francisco Fullana and Michael Guttman co-commissioned by Classical Music Institute, Balearic Islands Symphony and Metropolis Ensemble. JPJofre.com
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 Ensemble PeriHIPsous, Baroque and Beyond, Muses’ Delight, Baroque at Canterbury, Opera Lafayette, Ensemble Tra i Tempi, and the Rheinisches Barockorchester Bonn. 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. A regular participant of the Victoria Bach Festival (TX), Staunton Music Festival, and Troisdorf Barock (Germany), Ms. Kordes is 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 Instructor of Early Music and director of the newly-founded Baroque Ensemble.
Praised by The New York Times for her “splendid playing”, Natalie Rose Kress has begun a successful career as both a modern and baroque violinist; highlights of which include performing at the Kennedy Center Honors with Yo-Yo Ma in 2015; receiving the 2012 Jules C. Reiner Violin Prize from the Tanglewood Music Center; as well as performances at Carnegie Hall in 2010 and 2016. Natalie is a co-founder and an Executive Advisor of Musicivic Inc. (musicivic.net), a national non-profit supporting local professional chamber music organizations in towns and communities around the country. As a baroque violinist Natalie is the director of Musicivic Baroque and has performed with the Handel and Haydn Society, Grand Harmonie, Stony Brook Baroque, Shanghai Camerata, and La Grande Bande. She is currently a graduate student in Historical Performance at The Juilliard School.
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, Pacific Baroque Orchestra, Tafelmusik, 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. Dr. Kwapis enjoys sharing her passion with the next generation of performers, having taught at Hofstra University, Cornish School of the Arts, and currently as a faculty member at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music Historical Performance Institute and at her home in Seattle. When not immersed in music, she is active as a visual artist in the encaustic medium. www.kriskwapis.com
Celeste Lanuza is a creative NYC performing artist, recognized for her captivating presence and versatility as an actress, choreographer, and composer. Recognized as a “tour de force” (Opera Today) in her portrayal as the first American female to play Duende in Piazzolla's Maria de Buenos Aires, she has graced the stage of renowned theaters like San Diego Opera, Arizona Opera, and Fort Worth Opera (also Assistant Director/Choreographer) with this role. Other lauded roles include Anita (West Side Story) and Tiger Lily (Peter Pan). Musically, her works as a singer-songwriter are available on Apple Music and Spotify, including her most recent single, Nuestra Voz (The Power is Ours). Lanuza holds a BFA in Musical Theatre/Dance from The University of the Arts, and an MFA in Latino Studies/Dance Choreography from UC Irvine. Follow Celeste on Instagram @celestelanuzaofficial
Heather Miller Lardin enjoys a diverse career performing and teaching on historical and modern double basses and viola da gamba. She is principal bass of the Handel and Haydn Society and regularly performs with Tempesta di Mare and Philadelphia Bach Collegium. Other recent engagements include the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, Tafelmusik, GEMAS - Early Music of the Americas, and The Philadelphia Orchestra. Heather is founding co-director of Night Music, a "serenade" chamber ensemble that performs chamber music from the Revolutionary and Romantic eras. In the educational arena, Heather directs the Temple University Early Music Ensemble and teaches a select Suzuki double bass/viola da gamba home studio, plus an in-school Suzuki double bass program for South Philadelphia children. She also regularly serves on the faculties of the Amherst Early Music Festival Baroque Academy and the Curtis Young Artists Summer Program. heathermillerlardin.com
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.
Described as “impressively confident” by the New York Times and “simply stupendous” by the British Art Desk, Bruno Lourensetto acts as guest principal trumpet of the Miami Symphony Orchestra and second trumpet of the Portland Baroque Orchestra. Extremely versatile on modern and natural trumpet, Bruno has served as principal trumpet of the Queretaro and Guanajuato Philharmonic Orchestras in Mexico and performed as soloist with acclaimed Early Music ensembles, including the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, Early Music Vancouver and Julliard415. He has performed in Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, toured Asia, Europe and Latin America multiple times and played under the baton of Valery Gergiev, Zubin Metha and Yan Pascal Tortelier. Winner of the Chicago Brass Competition and the BBC Music Magazine award, Bruno earned diplomas from the Mannes College, Indiana University, University of Southern Mississippi and University of São Paulo in Brazil.
Musicologist Michael Marissen holds degrees from Calvin College and Brandeis University, and he joined the Swarthmore faculty in 1989. Since then he has also been a visiting professor on the graduate faculties at Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania. He has taught courses on medieval, renaissance, baroque, and classical European music, though he is best known for his award-winning research on Bach and Handel. Supported by many grants and prestigious fellowships, Marissen has authored numerous foundational books from The Social and Religious Designs of J. S. Bach's Brandenburg Concertos (Princeton University Press, 1995)to, most recently, Bach & God (Oxford University Press, 2016). His essays have appeared in the Harvard Theological Review, The Huffington Post, and The New York Times.
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.
Violinist Ingrid Matthews is co-founder and Music Director Emeritus of Seattle Baroque Orchestra (1994-2013). Since winning first prize in the Bodky International Competition for Early Music in 1989, she has performed around the world as a soloist, chamber musician and guest director with groups including the New York Collegium, the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, the Bach Sinfonia (Washington DC), Musica Pacifica (San Francisco), and many others, and has recorded extensively; her recording of the Sonatas and Partitas of J.S. Bach is the top recommendation for this music by both American Record Guide and Third Ear's Classical Music Listening Companion. Matthews has taught at Indiana University, the University of Toronto, Oberlin College, USC/Los Angeles, and the Cornish College of the Arts. She also plays jazz and swing styles and is active as a visual artist. www.ingridmatthews.com
“Otherworldly” mezzo-soprano Clare McNamara brings her versatility to a wide variety of repertoire throughout the U.S. and abroad. A 2018 recipient of the prestigious St. Botolph Emerging Artist Award, she maintains core affiliations as a soloist and ensemble member with Lorelei Ensemble, Handel+Haydn Society, Skylark Vocal Ensemble, and Cut Circle, appearing at numerous European festivals. In addition to touring with Lorelei, Clare has also appeared with them alongside the Boston Symphony Orchestra and will be soloist with the Handel+Haydn Society in Handel’s Dixit Dominus directed by Harry Christophers. Passionate about medieval music, Clare was hailed as “pure-toned” and “as good as they come” (MusicWeb International) for her solo Hildegard chant on the GRAMMY-nominated Skylark album Seven (2018). Clare holds degrees from Princeton University and the Longy School of Music of Bard College. www.claremcnamara.com
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! Kyle has since gone on to study at the New England Conservatory, the Eastman School of Music, and The Juilliard School. A member of ACRONYM, Diderot String Quartet, Four Nations Ensemble, and New York Baroque Incorporated, Kyle also has appeared onstage with A Far Cry, Apollo's Fire, the English Concert, the Knights, the Sebastians, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, and Trinity Baroque Orchestra. Kyle has performed regularly at the Carmel Bach Festival and the Staunton Music Festival, and he has served as a guest artist and coach at Oberlin College's Baroque Performance Institute. In 2017 and 2018, Kyle wore a wig and frock coat on Broadway, where he performed in a run of Claire van Kampen's play Farinelli and the King.
Bass-Baritone Edmund Milly is sought after for his “perfect diction” (Los Angeles Times), distinctive “delicacy and personal warmth” (Boston Classical Review), and “rich and resonant” (KC Metropolis) sound. Increasingly in demand as a soloist, he has recently shared the stage with the likes of the Bach Akademie Charlotte, Charleston Symphony, Oregon Bach Festival, the American Classical Orchestra, Cantata Profana, and the Back Bay Chorale, and has also been heard internationally on BBC and CBC. Equally well adapted to working within an ensemble, he has enjoyed contributing his voice to the GRAMMY-nominated Choir of Trinity Wall Street, Trident Ensemble, Mark Morris Dance Group, the Clarion Choir, and Spire Chamber Ensemble. Mr. Milly is a graduate of the American Boychoir School, McGill University, and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music.
Countertenor Daniel Moody has appeared in the title opera roles of Handel’s Giulio Cesare and Rinaldo, Arsamene in Handel’s Xerxes, Oberon in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and most recently, Nerone in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea with Cincinnati Opera. Mr. Moody has performed with the Atlanta Symphony, Les Violons du Roy, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in a duet concert with Anne Sophie von Otter, Apollo’s Fire, The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra, Mark Morris Dance Group, among many others. Mr. Moody recently made his Carnegie Hall debut and his Off-Broadway debut in a production of Hans Christian Andersen. A lover of new music, Daniel performed the American premiere of George Benjamin’s Dream of the Song at Tanglewood. Upcoming engagements include Minnesota Orchestra, Miller Theater at Columbia University, Opera Lafayette, and debuting new operas Desire (Hannah Lash) and Cosmic Cowby (Elena Ruehr). DanielMoodyCountertenor.com
University of Houston alumni, Mexican baritone Octavio Moreno participated in the artist program at the Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA) in Philadelphia. His previous engagements include the roles John Proctor in “The Crucible,” Figaro in "The Barber of Seville,” Zurga in “The Pearl Fishers,” Don Alfonso in “Cosi fan tutte” and Alexei Vronsky in “Anna Karenina,” Xihuitl in “Pasado Nunca Se Termina”, Laurentino in “Cruzar la cara de la luna,” Germont in “La Traviata,” Malatesta in “Don Pasquale,” Enrico in “Lucia di Lammermoor” and the title role of "Rigoletto," Belcore in “The Elixir of Love,” Tonio in “Pagliacci,” appearing in venues like Chicago Lyric Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Theatre Chatelet (Paris), Bellas Artes (Mexico City), Arizona Opera, New York City Opera, and Ecuador Opera. Future engagements include Laurentino in “Cruzar la cara de la luna” with El Paso Opera, Xihuital in “El pasado nunca se termina” with Fort Worth Opera, and Marcello in “La Boheme” with Arizona Opera.
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, premiering most recently the concerto version of Shirish Korde’s “Lalit” with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra. He is member of contemporary music ensemble Boston Musica Viva and can be heard frequently in solo and chamber music recitals across New England and abroad. Recently he has been pairing Bach’s Cello Suites with works by Shirish Korde in his project “Bach & Ragas”. He has been guest professor at the Universidad Católica de Chile, as well as guest principal cellist for the Bamberg Symphony in Germany. He currently teaches at the Phillips Academy and is Director of the Performance Program at the College of the Holy Cross.
Timothy Nelson is active as a director in both North America and Europe. Recently Nelson directed "L'Incoronazione di Poppea" and “Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria” at London's Barbican Hall for the Academy of Ancient Music, “Un Ballo in Maschera” for Iford Arts Festival, and "Les Pêcheurs de Perles" for the Nationale Riesopera, where he is a frequent guest. Other work includes productions of “Rigoletto” and “Madama Butterfly” for Sardinia's Festival Ente Concerti, “Aureliano in Palmira” for the famed Festivale della Valle d'Itria, “Dido and Aeneas” for the Rotterdam Opera Days, and “La Voix Humaine” for the Residentie Orkest of the Hague.From 2002-2012 he served as Artistic Director of American Opera Theater before serving as Artistic Director of the Netherlands Opera Studio from 2012-2014. Currently he is Artistic Director of the In Series in Washington DC.
Canadian-American soprano Molly Netter enlivens complex and beautiful music, both old and new, with "clear, beautiful tone and vivacious personality" (NYTimes). This season includes the US premiere of a new solo work by David Lang conducted by Joe Hisaishi at Carnegie Hall and in Tokyo, as well as solo engagements at Boston Early Music Festival, Grand Rapids Bach Festival, New World Symphony, New York Baroque Incorporated, and the “Times Arrow Festival” at Trinity Wall Street, where she is also a current full-time member of the choir. Molly has performed as a soloist with the Chicago Symphony, Apollo’s Fire, Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra, Heartbeat Opera, Contemporaneous Ensemble, with Juilliard415 at Lincoln Center, and in Lorelei Ensemble, Seraphic Fire, TENET, and Clarion Music Society. Ms. Netter holds degrees in composition and voice from Oberlin Conservatory and a masters in early music and oratorio from Yale Institute of Sacred Music, where she studied with James Taylor.
Trained in Geneva, Vienna and Basel, the Bulgarian violinist Plamena Nikitassova maintains a busy international career and is among the most acclaimed violinists of her generation. As concert master of the J.S. Bach Foundation Orchestra, she has recorded over fifty Bach cantatas. She also directs various ensembles in France and Germany, including the Freiburger Barockorchester. As a duo partner, she performs with the organist and harpsichordist Jörg-Andreas Bötticher and the French harpsichordist and pianist Aline Zylberajch. Her CD recordings of 18th-century sonatas by Carlo Zuccari and Gaspar Fritz were highly praised by the public and the press. Nikitassova plays on a violin of original scale by Sebastian Klotz (Mittenwald c.1730) and one in a modern state by Pierre Dalphin (Geneva 1992). She is an advocate of historical performance techniques including “low-hold” (instrument rests on the chest) and “thumb-under” (thumb on the bow hair surface).
Lauded by Opera News as a “mellifluous tenor,” John Chongyoon Noh recently performed such operatic roles as Priest in Michi Wiancko’s Murasaki’s Moon (World Premiere), Lenski in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Danny Chen in Huang Ruo’s An American Soldier, Fenton in Nicolai’s Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor, Nemorino in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, Ferrando in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, performing with MetLiveArts; On site Opera; American Lyric Theater; Yale Opera; National Sawdust; Juilliard Opera; Opera theater of CT; Music Academy of the West; Charleston Symphony Orchestra; Recently he also performed as a tenor soloist in Handel’s Messiah with New Haven Symphony orchestra, Mozart Requiem with Charleston Symphony Orchestra,Mozart Spatzen-messe with Philharmonia Orchestra of NY, The Genius of Monteverdi with Juilliard 415 at Lincoln Center, Mozart’s Requiem with the Cecilia Chorus of New York/Orchestra at Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium /Perelman Stage).
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.
In demand as a performer on historical oboes, Meg Owens has appeared with many of North America's baroque ensembles, including American Bach Soloists, Apollo’s Fire, Ars Lyrica, Folger Consort, Handel and Haydn Society, Mercury Baroque, Tafelmusik, and others. She is a member of REBEL and Kleine Kammermusik (founding member), whose 2017 debut album, "Fanfare and Filigree," has received critical acclaim. Summer of 2019 sees her onstage at Charlotte Bach Festival, Staunton Music Festival, and Amherst Early Music Festival, where she is on faculty. Ms. Owens earned degrees in oboe performance at the UNC-Greensboro, Manhattan School of Music, and City University of New York. Ms. Owens is on faculty in the historical performance institutes of Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music and the Peabody Conservatory. An eastern North Carolina native, she lives with her music historian husband and computer science enthusiast son in Northern Virginia.
Diane Pascal, violinist, has been a member of both the Lark and Rosamunde String Quartets and appeared as Concertmaster with the Camerata Salzburg, the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Neue Oper Wien and with the Zagreb Chamber Orchestra as Artistic Director. She has recorded for the Arabesque, ECM, and Avie labels. Ms. Pascal resides in Vienna, Austria and regularly performs with the Koehne Quartett, the Haydn Philharmonie, as well as numerous other ensembles and takes part in chamber music festivals around the world. Her studies were at the Curtis Institute of Music and the Mozarteum in Salzburg with Ivan Galamian and Sandor Vegh.
Born into an artistic family, Francesco Saverio Pedrini studied piano with his mother and counterpoint with his father from a young age. He received his Organ diploma in Parma and continued with postgraduate studies at the famed Schola Cantorum in Basel. Pedrini is a prizewinner in International Organ Competitions in Belgium and Italy and has performed as soloist and chamber musician with Kammerorchester Basel, L'Onda Armonica, L'Aura Soave, Le Parlement de Musique, I Virtuosi delle Muse, Giovanni Antonini, Martin Gester, Paul McCreesh and many others. He has recorded for Naïve, Sony Classical, Claves, and other labels. A 2016 Claves recording of music by Cazzati was widely praised. Pedrini also directs the acclaimed ensemble Voces Suaves and is the founder of the vocal group La Pedrina, which he directs. Since 2007 he helped direct the Opera Program at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis.
Minna Pensola performs as a chamber musician, soloist and leader. She is a founding member of Meta4 string quartet which is the first prize winner of the Dimitri Shostakovich String Quartet Competition (Moscow 2004) and the Joseph Haydn Chamber Music Competition (Vienna 2007). She is also a co-founder of The Punavuori Chamber concert series, and runs a club for classical music in her home town Helsinki. She acted as an artistic director for the Sysmä Summer Sounds Festival in Finland years 2006-2012. During the seasons 2019-2021 Pensola will work as an artistic partner of Joensuu City Orchestra. Minna Pensola teaches violin at the Sibelius Academy and is tutor at the European Chamber Music Academy (ECMA). Her own studies took her to through the Sibelius Academy, Musikhochschule Zürich and European Chamber Music Academy (ECMA). Minna Pensola plays a Carlo Bergonzi violin (1732) kindly on loan from Signe ja Ane Gyllenberg Foundation.
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
Elizabeth Roberts, Principal Bassoon and Director of Youth Education for the Charlottesville Symphony since 2001, joined the faculty at the University of Virginia the same year. She became a member of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra as their contrabassoonist in 2017, and has played Second Bassoon with the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra since 2015. She freelances on bassoon and contrabassoon with the Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Richmond Symphony, Washington National Opera, and Baltimore Symphony. Ms. Roberts joined the faculty of the New England Music Camp during the summer of 2017. She was a 2008 Virginia Governor’s Award for the Arts nominee.
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.
Praised for his feline-like grace as a percussionist, Brian Smith delivers “committed and energetic” performances with a versatile repertoire that includes historical, contemporary, and experimental musical practices. As a co-founder of ScreenPlay, he pursues a deep interest in experimental musical practices and improvisation through audio-visual works that utilize animated notational schemes. Brian’s current “solo” project, Human+, combines his interest in technologically-mediated sonic arts with a fiendish advocacy for new works by living composers to develop a repertoire of duets for musical robotics and percussionist. Brian has performed with ensembles throughout the U.S. and Europe, appearing in Amsterdam's Concertgebouw and the Berlin Philharmonie. He plays period timpani and percussion with the Staunton Music Festival, and his ethnographic interests include West African drumming and dance from Ghana, Togo, and Benin.
Mezzo-soprano Angela Young Smucker has earned praise for her “luscious” voice (Chicago Tribune) and her "robust, burnished timbre" (Chicago Classical Review). Her performances in concert, stage, and chamber works have made her a highly versatile and sought-after artist. Ms. Smucker has been featured with world-class ensembles including the Chicago Symphony, Oregon Bach Festival, Conspirare, Seraphic Fire, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Haymarket Opera Company, Leipzig Baroque Orchestra, and many others. Ms. Smucker is also currently pursuing her doctorate at Northwestern University and holds degrees from Valparaiso University and University of Minnesota. In 2016 she co-founded Third Coast Baroque and proudly serves as its Executive Director. Ms. Smucker also belongs to Beyond Artists, a coalition of artists that donates a portion of their concert fee to organizations they care about. She is supporting the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation with this performance.
Pete Spaar has served as principal bass of the Charlottesville Symphony at the University of Virginia since 1989. He serves on the music performance faculty at the University of Virginia where he teaches classical and jazz bass and is a member of the Free Bridge Quintet. He has performed with the Fort Worth and Roanoke Symphonies and is currently a member of the Richmond Symphony. He has extensive freelance experience as both a jazz and classical bassist, including performances with Michael Brecker, Dave Liebman, Mose Allison and Emily Remler. Mr. Spaar holds a Bachelor of Music degree from James Madison University and a Master of Music degree from University of North Texas. He has studied with Thomas Lederer, principal bassist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
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 also appeared in performances at the Kennedy Center and New York’s Merkin Hall as well as on commerical recordings for the Pentatone label. Stell has studied piano with Robert Taub, Cecilia Dunoyer, and Carl Blake and received harpsichord instruction from Wendy Young, Arthur Haas, and June Miller.
A specialist in the oratorio repertoire, tenor Gene Stenger’s solo concert engagements include Handel’s Messiah with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra; Evangelist in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Northeast Pennsylvania Bach Festival; Evangelist in Bach’s St. John Passion with Bach Collegium at St. Peter’s (NYC); Evangelist, and tenor arias in Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (complete work) with Colorado Bach Ensemble; tenor arias in St. John Passion with Voices of Ascension, and the Yale Schola Cantorum led by Masaaki Suzuki at Lincoln Center; tenor arias in St. Matthew Passion with Helmuth Rilling’s Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart with performances in both Germany, and South America. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Gene holds degrees from Yale University’s School of Music, and the Institute of Sacred Music, Colorado State University, and Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music. He currently resides in New Haven, CT, where he serves as instructor of voice at Yale University.
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
As a performer and teacher, Brad Tatum is in demand throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. He performs regularly as Principal Baroque Hornist with the Washington Bach Consort, Fourth Horn of the Washington Concert Opera Orchestra, and solo horn with the Saturday Morning Brass Project, Trio Brass Pastiche and the Opus 40 Ensemble. He can frequently be heard at all the major venues throughout the DC area. As a solo recitalist and clinician he has performed recitals demonstrating the history of the horn at James Madison University, Virginia Tech, Messiah College, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and others. He performs on multiple horns to expose audiences to the music and horns of each time period. Brad holds a DMA from the University of Maryland in Horn Performance, an M.M. from the Lynn Conservatory of Music, and a Performance Certificate from Shenandoah Conservatory.
Violinist Antti Tikkanen is a versatile musician whose dynamic career spans solo, chamber, as well as baroque performance. Antti was born in Oulainen, Finland, and he began to study the violin at the age of seven. He later studied in the Kuhmo Violin School, the Sibelius Academy, and for a short period he also studied at the Lyon Conservatory. He has performed with numerous Finnish orchestras, including the Finnish Radio Symphony, Tapiola Sinfonietta and the Helsinki Philharmonic, and appears at music festivals across Europe. Antti is also a founding member of the internationally acclaimed Finnish String Quartet Meta4, which burst upon the scene by taking first prize at the 2004 Dmitri Shostakovich String Quartet Competition in Moscow. Along with his wife, violinist Minna Pensola, Tikkanen also performs and tours as part of the Tiksola Duo.
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
Michael Unterman enjoys a busy performing career on both modern and baroque cellos, primarily as a member of the self-directed string chamber orchestra A Far Cry and as principal cellist of Boston Baroque, earning Grammy nominations with both groups in 2019. As a cellist who thrives in all types of musical roles, Michael has received critical praise for his “soulful and sultry solos,” “nuanced, sensitive, and wholly gorgeous collaboration” (Classical Scene), and “heroic continuo” accompaniment (Parterre Box). A compulsive assembler of concert programs, his creations for A Far Cry have been singled out as “just the kind of imaginative artistic agenda that more groups should be prodded to try” (Boston Globe) and “the way good programing should proceed” (Arts Fuse). In addition to degrees from New England Conservatory and the Juilliard School, Michael was a Fulbright Scholar to Barcelona in 2008, where he studied with Lluis Claret and the Quartetto Casals.
Zachary Wadsworth is a composer of “fresh, deeply felt and strikingly original” music (Washington Post), with regular performances and premieres around the world. In the 2018-19 season, his cantata The Far West won a National Choral Award in Canada, and the premiere of his oratorio When There is Peace was broadcast nationwide on CBC Radio. In earlier seasons, 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, NATS, 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.
Described as a “commanding” singer by a recent Boston Globe review, Peter Walker enjoys a varied career as a singer of early and classical music. Recent performances include bass solos in BWV 36, BWV 147 and BWV 236 with the Handel + Haydn Society, Telemann’s Pimpinone with the Texas Early Music Project, and singing in St. Petersburg, Moscow, and London with the Clarion Society Choir, as well as appearances with Three Notch’d Road, Clarion Society Choir, Kuhmo Kamarimusiiki, Skylark Ensemble, Early Music New York, Blue Heron, Pomerium, Texas Early Music Project, and many others. Peter is a member of the storytelling and music duo Chapter House, has lectured on early music at Vassar College and the University of Virginia, and won the Overseas Class in the Lowland and Border Pipers’ Society Competition in 2016. He holds degrees from Vassar College and McGill University, where he studied with Drew Minter and Sanford Sylvan. www.peterdwalkermusic.com
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.
Called "charismatic" and "riveting" by the New York Times, bass-baritone Jonathan Woody is a sought-after performer of early and new music across North America, making his debut in Staunton with the Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia in a 2017 performance of Schumann’s Dichterliebe. He has been featured with such groups as Portland Baroque Orchestra, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Musica Angelica, Apollo’s Fire, San Francisco Symphony, PROTOTYPE Festival, Beth Morrison Projects, and LA Opera. A committed chamber and ensemble artist, Jonathan is a member of the Grammy®-nominated Choir of Trinity Wall Street and is Artistic Director of the innovative men’s group Trident Ensemble, and has appeared in recent seasons with the Rose Ensemble, Handel & Haydn Society, the Clarion Choir, Bach Collegium San Diego & TENET. Jonathan holds degrees from the University of Maryland, College Park (BMus) and McGill University (MMus) and resides in Brooklyn, NY.
John Yannelli, composer of chamber, choral, orchestral and electronic pieces, works in both traditional and experimental styles of music. His special interests are in the development of electronic music, improvisation and composing for dance, theater and film. He has written for and conducted soloists and ensembles ranging from solo oboe to full orchestra with jazz/rock band. Yannelli's music has been performed in major U.S., European and Russian cities, the Kennedy Center and throughout the New York metropolitan area including a concert at Carnegie Recital Hall devoted entirely to his music, which received critical acclaim. His music is published by Soundspells Productions and JohnYannelliMusic (ASCAP). Mr. Yannelli joined the Faculty at Sarah Lawrence College in 1983 where he currently holds the William Schuman Chair in Music and is Director of Music and Music Technology. johnyannelli.com
Recognized by The Boston Globe as “a name to keep an eye on”, soprano Sarah Yanovitch is a frequent soloist with Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society under the artistic direction of Harry Christophers, and has sung with other such leading choral ensembles as Bach Collegium San Diego, The Thirteen, Yale Choral Artists, and GRAMMY®-nominated Seraphic Fire. Recent solo credits include the roles of Cupid and Venus in King Arthur with the Henry Purcell Society of Boston, Mozart’s Mass in C minor and Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus and Dixit Dominus at Boston University Marsh Chapel, Haydn’s The Seasons at Harvard University, Handel’s Messiah and the Mozart Requiem with Arcadia Players, and the Bach Magnificat and St. Matthew Passion with Bach Akadamie Charlotte. Ms. Yanovitch holds a master’s in Early Music Voice from the Yale School of Music.
Hailed by the Gramophone Magazine as “intrepid and brilliant”, violinist 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 Duo della Luna, Damocles Trio and Voyager Ensemble 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, Ensemble Pi and RUCKUS ensembles. She has recorded solo and chamber discs for New World, Naxos, Claves, Mode, Albany and Pony Canyon records. 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 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.
Oboist Jeanette Zyko, praised by Fanfare Magazine and ArtsNash for her “refined playing” and “achingly beautiful lines,” enjoys an active career as a chamber and orchestra musician. A versatile artist, Zyko has played music ranging from twentieth-century composer Louis Andriessen to Baroque composer Jan Zelenka, and her solo and chamber music performances have taken her across the United States and most recently to Australia and South America. Equally at home as an orchestra musician, she has performed with the Nashville Symphony, Nashville Opera, Indianapolis Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Gateway Chamber Orchestra, and Paducah Symphony. Prior to joining the faculty of James Madison University in 2016, Zyko held positions at Austin Peay State University and the University of Costa Rica. She received her training at Hartt School of Music, Butler University, and Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with Humbert Lucarelli, Malcolm Smith, and Stephen Taylor.