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.
Active throughout the United States, Ben David Aronson is based in Rochester, New York. A founding member of Incantare, his engagements as a historical trombonist include collaborations with Piffaro, New York Baroque Incorporated, Dark Horse Consort, Trinity Wall Street, Mercury! The Orchestra Redefined, Apollo’s Fire, and the Washington National Cathedral Baroque Orchestra. As a modern trombonist, he has performed across New York State with Symphoria, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic and Erie Philharmonic orchestras, the Plymouth Brass Quintet, Symphoria Brass Quintet and as a founding member of the Hohenfels Trombone Quartet. Ben David holds the DMA from the Eastman School of Music, and serves on the faculties of the Eastman Community Music School, the Hochstein School of Music and Dance, Hobart & William Smith Colleges, and SUNY Geneseo. incantaremusic.com
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
Michael Bakkensen (actor)
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.
Musicologist Tim Carter's diverse interests include everything from Renaissance Italy to Mozart’s operas to American musical theater in the mid-20th century. He is particularly concerned with developing critical tools to deal with problematic, transitional works that forge new musical languages, as well the influence of poetic structures on musical form. He has held fellowships at the Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, the Newberry Library in Chicago, and the National Humanities Center. Carter has also occupied various positions within the Royal Musical Association, the American Musicological Society, and the Society for Seventeenth-Century Music. In 2013 he received the Claude V. Palisca Award and the H. Colin Slim Award from the American Musicological Society for his work on Kurt Weill’s Johnny Johnson and on Monteverdi. Having taught extensively in the U.K., he is currently David G. Frey Distinguished Professor of Music at UNC-Chapel Hill.
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
As a Distinguished Endowed Professor at the UMKC Conservatory, a prolific composer, and recipient of the Ives Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Dr. Chen Yi blends Chinese and Western traditions, transcending cultural and musical boundaries. Her music is published by Theodore Presser, performed and recorded worldwide. A member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the AAAL, she holds academic degrees from Beijing Central Conservatory of Music and Columbia University in New York. A cultural ambassador and strong advocate of new music and contemporary composers, Dr. Chen has introduced many compositions and musicians between East and West, for arts exchange programs around the world. She believes that music is a universal language, improving understanding between peoples with different cultural backgrounds and helping to bring peace in the world.
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.
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.
Sarah Darling (viola, baroque violin)
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.
Canadian soprano Sheila Dietrich is a versatile and in-demand performer whose style and vocal technique shine in both concert and operatic roles. Ms. Dietrich received her Bachelor of Music Performance and Opera Diploma from Wilfrid Laurier University, and has since appeared as a concert soloist with ensembles across Canada including Les Violons du Roy, the Calgary Philharmonic, The Elora Festival Singers and The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. In 2015, Ms. Dietrich made her Carnegie Hall debut as a featured soloist in an evening devoted to the music of Purcell under the direction of Richard Egarr. Sheila is a newcomer to United States and very excited to be joining the Staunton Music Festival. She is settling in with her husband, her cat, and several overly full bookshelves. For more information, please visit www.sheiladietrich.com
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.
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.
The catalog of works by Stefan Heucke comprises more than 100 works in all genres: operas, oratorios, symphonies, concertos, sacred music, chamber music and songs. His works are performed throughout the world by prominent orchestras and soloists, on various occasions in the United States, as in 2013 with the 12 Preludes, Op. 61 for Piano by Nina Tichman in New York. His opera The Women's Orchestra of Auschwitz (2006) caused a sensation. Heucke has been composer-in-residence at several orchestras and international festivals. In 2017 a feature-length German Mass for soloists, chorus and orchestra was premiered during the Luther anniversary in Berlin by the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and the Berliner Rundfunkchor. 2020 marks Heucke's third appearance as composer-in-residence at Staunton Music Festival. His works are published by Schott Music International, and he lives as a freelance composer alternately in Germany and in Italy. www.heucke-stefan.de
Erik Higgins, double bass, is a musician known for his versatility and fluency in many different styles and musical languages. After graduating from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in 2007, he moved to Germany where he completed a post-graduate training program at the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra Academy. In 2009, Erik became a tenured member of the Hamburg State Opera Company as well as an active Baroque and Chamber Musician throughout northern Germany. In 2013, he relocated to Boston where he joined A Far Cry Chamber Orchestra and plays regularly with Handel & Haydn Society and several other Boston Groups. Erik is also an avid pop musician and arranger with performances throughout Germany and the U.S.
Violinist Fiona Hughes holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and Cleveland Institute of Music. A founding member of Three Notch'd Road: The Charlottesville Baroque Ensemble, she is a versatile performer of both modern and baroque violin, appearing with North Carolina Baroque Orchestra, Apollo’s Fire, Washington Bach Consort, Boston Baroque, Duke Vespers Ensemble, the Richmond Symphony, and the Handel + Haydn Society. She has performed in numerous music festivals, including Kinhaven, Encore, Brevard Music Center, National Repertory Orchestra, Banff, Staunton Music Festival, and Japan's Pacific Music Festival. She looks to Stephen Rose, Adam DeGraff, Marilyn McDonald, and Lucy van Dael as primary mentors. Fiona's period bows are by David Hawthorne and her violin is the ex-Vieuxtemps Claude Pierray (1720 Paris).
Heini Kärkkäinen studied piano at the Sibelius-Academy under Liisa Pohjola and continued her studies with Ralf Gothóni and Jacques Rouvier, among others. She won the Ilmari Hannikainen Piano Competition in 1984 and two years later she came second in the Maj Lind Piano Competition. In 1993 Kärkkäinen was nominated Young Artist of the Espoo International Piano Festival. She has performed as soloist with orchestras and in chamber music extensively in Europe and the U.S. She has given first performances of many contemporary Finnish works and has made several prizewinning recordings, including a disc of Saint-Saens named BBC Music Magazine's “disc of the month” and acclaimed by Gramophone Magazine. Heini Kärkkäinen is Principal Lecturer in Tampere University of Applied Sciences. She is also the Artistic director of the Tampere Chamber Music Festival, whose theme is "music and wellbeing play together".
Gesa Kordes performs with numerous chamber ensembles and Baroque orchestras including 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
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.
Liza Malamut, trombone, is an active performer throughout the United States and abroad. She has appeared with groups such as Dark Horse Consort, Boston Camerata, Tafelmusik, Apollo’s Fire, Handel & Haydn Society and others, and she has recorded for Hyperion, Naxos, Musica Omnia, and George Blood Audio labels. Liza has a DMA in Historical Performance from Boston University and a bachelors degree from Eastman. She received an American Fellowship from the American Association of University Women for her work on the integration of historical pedagogy with mainstream teaching, and her research has appeared at scholarly conferences and in print. Liza served as Visiting Lecturer in Sackbut at Indiana University in Spring 2015 and 2018, and she most recently co-founded Incantare, an ensemble of violins and sackbuts performing works from the 16th and 17th centuries.
Frequently sought as a soloist and collaborative musician, countertenor Clifton Massey has participated in the Ojai Festival, Tanglewood, Oregon Bach Festival, and the Early-Music Festivals of Berkeley, Boston, Utrecht, and Leipzig. He has appeared in concert with such luminaries as Nik McGegan and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, the American Classical Orchestra, and joined Madonna on stage for the Met Gala. He is an alumnus of the Grammy-award-winning group Chanticleer. Clifton is happy to debut with many respected ensembles this season, including TENET Vocal Artists, Artek, True Concord, Voices of Ascension, and the Staunton Music Festival. He sings in the Grammy-nominated professional choir of Trinity Church Wall Street, under the direction of Julian Wachner. He holds degrees from TCU and the Indiana University Historical Performance Institute, where he studied with Paul Hillier and Paul Elliott.
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
Award-winning director Ethan McSweeny was named Artistic Director of the American Shakespeare Center in June 2018. His acclaimed work has been distinguished by its remarkable diversity as well as breadth of achievement, and his productions have been nominated for more than 75 awards, claiming 30 wins, including four for Best Director. McSweeny’s work has been seen at most of the major institutional theatres in the U.S. (including the Guthrie, the Goodman, the Old Globe, the Denver Center, South Coast Rep, and the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC) as well as internationally at the Stratford Festival in Canada, The Gate in Dublin, and the Macao Arts Festival in China. Recently, McSweeny made his grand opera debut with Tosca for Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center. Past director of the Chautauqua Theatre Company, Ethan received the first-ever undergraduate degree in Theatre and Dramatic Arts from Columbia University.
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
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).
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
Mack Ramsey has been a lifelong specialist in performance on early instruments, playing sackbut, recorder, Renaissance flute and classical era trombones. He is a member of the historic brass ensemble, Dark Horse Consort. He frequently appears with baroque orchestras, such as Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society, Trinity Wall Street Baroque Orchestra, Clarion Society, Apollo’s Fire and Mercury Houston. Other ensembles include New York’s Green Mountain Project, Tenet, Toronto Consort, and Pacific Musicworks. Overseas, he has performed and recorded with the Taverner Consort, directed by Andrew Parrott and with the Gabrieli Consort, directed by Paul McCreesh.
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’s recent and upcoming engagements include appearances with Blue Heron, Portland Baroque, Grand Rapids Symphony, Washington Bach Consort, Handel + Haydn Society, Cleveland Orchestra, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, A Far Cry, Philharmonia Baroque, New Jersey Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, Bach Collegium San Diego, Tenet Vocal Artists, Seraphic Fire, Lorelei Ensemble, and Boston Early Music Festival. Recent recordings include the role of La Paix in Charpentier’s Les Arts Florissants for CPO records, as well as a solo album of art song by Heather Gilligan for Albany Records, Living in Light. Margot can be heard on Blue Heron's Music from the Peterhouse Partbooks Vol. 5, winner of the 2018 Gramophone award for Early 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.
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.
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, where he enjoyed opportunities to write and present research on topics from Beethoven and Scriabin to supernovae and quarks. 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 in performances at the Kennedy Center and New York’s Merkin Hall as well as on commerical recordings for the Pentatone and Hannsler Classics labels. 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
Sun Li (pipa)
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
Wang Guowei (erhu)
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 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.
Zhou Long is internationally recognized for creating a unique body of music that brings together the aesthetic concepts and musical elements of East and West. Winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for his first opera, Madame White Snake, Dr. Zhou also received the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, and the Elise Stoeger Prize from Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society in New York. He has received commissions from Koussevitzky and Fromm Music Foundation, Meet the Composer, Chamber Music America, and NYSCA, and fellowships from NEA, Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundation, the AAAL, and New York Foundation for the Arts. Dr. Zhou’s music has been widely performed and recorded, and published by the Oxford University Press and the Shanghai Music Publishing House. He is currently Bonfils Distinguished Research Professor of Composition at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory.
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.