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
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, 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. 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.
Graham KG Garlington just 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 Sondheim and Gershwin this season.
Polish born Anna Gebert has enjoyed a broad career as a violinist. Her areas of competence range from early baroque to contemporary music, chamber music to major orchestral repertory. Anna was educated in the Russian school of violin, followed by studies in Freiburg, Munich, Indiana University, and the Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic. She has appeared at chamber festivals around the world, including Kuhmo, Ravinia, Orford, and Trondheim to name a few. In addition, she performed for years with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and made numerous guest appearances with London Symphony Orchestra, Cologne Radio, Frankfurt and Munich Opera. Two years as a full-time substitute with the Berlin Philharmonic led to her appointment as assistant concertmaster in the Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra. Anna is currently associate professor at the Trondheim Music Conservatory and concertmaster of the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra.
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.
Violinist Valerie Gordon is an avid performer and teacher currently based in the Toronto area. Recent activities include performances and recordings with Handel and Haydn Society (Boston), Aradia Ensemble (Toronto), performances with Opera Atelier, Tafelmusik, Holland Baroque Society (The Netherlands), Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, Bourbon Baroque, and concerts with Elixir Baroque Ensemble--of which she is a founding member. Currently she is on the faculty of the Kingsway Conservatory, where she strives to instil a sense of wonder in her students. Valerie has completed a Bachelor’s Degree from McGill University in Montreal, an Artist’s Diploma from The Glenn Gould School in Toronto, and a Master’s Degree in Early Music from Indiana University in 2013.
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.
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 is a member of Philadelphia Baroque orchestra Tempesta di Mare and the Philadelphia Bach Collegium; she performs regularly with the Handel and Haydn Society and Brandywine Baroque. She is a founding co-director of Night Music, a Philadelphia-based Classical period instrument ensemble. Lardin is director of the Temple University Early Music Ensemble and serves on the faculties of the Curtis Young Artists Summer Program and the Amherst Early Music Festival. In January 2018, she launched a public school Suzuki double bass program for first and second graders through Musicopia, a Philadelphia nonprofit organization. She currently holds a Consort Loan Grant from the Viola da Gamba Society of America, which provides viols for 6-8 year old students. At home, Heather teaches a select Suzuki double bass studio with her two Maine Coon cats assisting. 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.
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.
“Otherworldly” mezzo-soprano Clare McNamara maintains ensemble affiliations with several ensembles: Lorelei Ensemble, Handel+Haydn Society (H+H), Skylark Vocal Ensemble, Cut Circle, and The Boston Camerata. Clare debuted as a soloist at Boston’s Symphony Hall in the 2018 H+H performance of Bach’s Mass in B minor (Harry Christophers); she will repeat as a soloist in Bach’s Mass in G major (BWV 236). She made her New York soloist debut alongside the St. Thomas Fifth Avenue Choir of Men and Boys in their 2018 performance of Handel's Messiah (Daniel Hyde). Internationally, Clare has joined the Renaissance ensemble Cut Circle for multiple European festival appearances, to include Tage Alter Musik (Regensburg) and Seizoen Oude Muziek (Utrecht). She holds an A.B. in Music from Princeton University and an M.M. in Early Music Performance from 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!'. A member of ACRONYM (a seventeenth-century instrumental jam band), Diderot String Quartet, Four Nations Ensemble, and New York Baroque Incorporated, Kyle also has appeared onstage with Apollo's Fire, Clarion Orchestra, the English Concert, 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 and the Staunton Music Festival. This past winter, 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. Kyle studied at the Juilliard School, Eastman School of Music, and New England Conservatory, and he loves board games and hip-hop.
Countertenor Daniel Moody has garnered widespread acclaim for his commanding vocal timbre and breathtaking musicianship. Praised as having a “vocal resonance, [which] makes a profoundly startling impression” (The New York Times), Mr. Moody enjoys singing opera, contemporary and early music alike. He has performed the title roles in Handel’s Giulio Cesare and Rinaldo, Oberon in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Nerone in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea. Recent concert engagements were with renowned ensembles Les Violons du Roy (Quebec City) and Apollo’s Fire (Cleveland). He was invited as one of four vocalists in Joyce DiDonato's Carnegie Hall Masterclasses in 2016, broadcast on Medici TV. Recent highlights include the American premiere of George Benjamin’s Dream of the Song at the Festival of Contemporary Music at Tanglewood Festival, two operas with Mark Morris Dance Group, and re-engagements Charleston Symphony. DanielMoodyCountertenor.com
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.
Canadian-American soprano Molly Netter enlivens complex and beautiful music with a "clear, beautiful tone and vivacious personality" (NY Times). This season includes solo debuts with the Grammy-Award-winning Boston Early Music Festival, Apollo's Fire, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's MusicNOW series, New York Baroque Incorporated, Carmel Bach Festival, and Oregon Bach Festival. Molly has performed as a soloist with the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, Clarion Music Society, Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra, Albany Symphony, Heartbeat Opera, Yale Opera, and with Juilliard415 at Lincoln Center. She has toured internationally with the Triplepoint contemporary/jazz ensemble and as a soloist in Japan, Singapore and Burma under Masaaki Suzuki. Ms. Netter holds an ad hoc Bachelor of Music degree in composition and contemporary voice from Oberlin Conservatory and a Master’s degree in early music voice and oratorio from the 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).
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, 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.
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.
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
Anita Rieder performs on modern, baroque and classical flutes. She is a member of the acclaimed Haymarket Opera Company in Chicago where as a freelance flutist she performed for many years with Pilgrim Chamber Players, the Lake Forest Symphony, the Joffrey Ballet, Bach Week, Chicago Baroque Ensemble, the Newberry Consort, Lyric Opera, the Chicago Symphony, the Milwaukee Symphony, the Grant Park Symphony and others. Currently, she lives in Eden Prairie, MN with her husband Bob, daughters Gillian and Allie and their dog Bruce. By day she is a fundraiser and helped to raise several million dollars for the Mayo Clinic.
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.
Praised for her “virtuosity and beautiful tone”, harpist Alicia Romeo enjoys a varied career performing as a symphony musician, chamber musician and recitalist. She currently performs with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra and the Virginia Symphony. Through these engagements, Alicia enthusiastically explores opera, ballet, chamber and orchestral repertoire from all epochs and across all genres. Recording Mahler’s Eighth Symphony with the Virginia Symphony was especially rewarding. Alicia has performed in great concert halls including the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall and the American Consulate in Florence, Italy. While participating in the summer music festivals of Aspen and Banff, Alicia loved combining her passions for music and the outdoors. Alicia studied orchestral repertoire with Sarah Bullen at the Manhattan School of Music. Alicia earned both her bachelor and master’s degrees with high honors from Indiana University where she studied with Susann McDonald.
Soprano Margot Rood, hailed for her “luminosity and grace” by The New York Times, performs a wide range of repertoire across North American stages. Recent and upcoming solo engagements include Stravinsky’s Threni with the Cleveland Orchestra, Golijov’s Three Songs with A Far Cry, Monteverdi Vespers with Handel and Haydn Society, Messiah with New Jersey Symphony and Bach Collegium San Diego, a Bach Christmas program with San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque, and on stage as La Renommée in Lalande’s Les Fontaines de Versailles with Boston Early Music Festival. Recent recorded releases include the leading role of Emily Webb in Rorem’s Our Town with Monadnock Music for New World Records as well as Ms. Rood’s solo album of art song written by composer Heather Gilligan for Albany Records. Ms. Rood is the recipient of numerous awards including the St. Botolph Emerging Artist Award and the Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Fellowship at Emmanuel Music.
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
An omnivorous musician, bassist Sam Suggs became Concert Artists Guild's New Music/New Places Fellow in 2016 and received an award for Extraordinary Creativity at the 2017 Bradetich Foundation International Bass Competition for his "brilliant and compelling programming" (Strad). One of Musical America's New Artists of the Month, Sam won First Prize at the 2015 International Society of Bassists Competition performing many of his compositions and has received commissions from ISB and BMI. As a collaborative musician, he has performed at the Chamber Music Northwest and Yellow Barn festivals as well as with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra. Nearing the completion of his DMA at the Yale School of Music, Sam spends his time between the Northeast and the Shenandoah Valley as Assistant Professor of Bass at James Madison University, faculty at the Sewanee Music Festival, and as a member of New York-based chamber, contemporary, and crossover groups.
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 an active and varied performing career on both modern and baroque cello. Currently serving as principal cellist of Boston Baroque, he also performs frequently with groups such as the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, Handel and Haydn Society, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, and the Portland Baroque Orchestra. On modern cello he is a core member of the string chamber orchestra A Far Cry, and performs as a guest with The Knights and at the Birdfoot Festival in New Orleans. Michael graduated from Juilliard’s Historical Performance program where he studied with Phoebe Carrai. Prior to that, he earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the New England Conservatory, studying with Laurence Lesser and Natasha Brofsky, and was a Fulbright scholar in Barcelona, Spain, where he studied with Lluis Claret.
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.
Described as a “rich-voiced” and “vivid” singer by a recent New York Times review, Peter Walker enjoys a varied career as a singer of early and classical music. Recent performances include bass solos in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Staunton Music Festival, bass solos in BWV 36 and BWV 147 with the Handel + Haydn Society, and singing in St. Petersburg, Moscow, and London with the Clarion Society Choir, as well as appearances with Three Notch’d Road, Boston Early Music Fringe Festival, Gotham Early Music, Twa Corbies, Society for Historically Informed Performance, Stamford Symphony, Hudson Valley Philharmonic, Apollo’s Fire, Skylark Ensemble, and Early Music New York. Upcoming performances of note include appearing with Kuhmo Kamarimusiikki in Kuhmo, Finland, bass soloist in BWV 236 with the Handel + Haydn Society, and the title role in Telemann’s Pimpinone with the Texas Early Music Project.
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.
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.