MUSICIANS – current and recent seasons, Baroque & Beyond
Beverly Biggs, freelance harpsichordist, is Artistic Director of the Baroque & Beyond series. In late 2004 she moved back home to North Carolina after many years in the Pacific Northwest. While in Spokane, Washington, she performed, toured, and served as artistic director of two period music organizations. She has recorded CDs from the baroque, classic and early romantic periods on harpsichord and fortepiano, with other instruments.
Frances Blaker performs on recorders of all types and sizes as soloist and with Ensemble Vermillian, Farallon Recorder Quartet, Calextone and Tibia Recorder Duo. As a member of Ensemble Vermillian she explores, transcribes, performs and records chamber music of the 17th and 18th centuries. She has performed as soloist with the North Carolina H.I.P. Festival, the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, Wild Rose Ensemble, and numerous other groups in the US, Denmark, England, France, Italy, and the Netherlands. She is conductor and music director of the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra. Ms. Blaker received her Music Pedagogical and Performance degrees in recorder from the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music in Copenhagen where she studied with Eva Legêne. She also studied with Marion Verbruggen in the Netherlands. She teaches privately in person and long distance via Skype, and at workshops throughout the US. She has recorded with Ensemble Vermillian and the Farallon Recorder Quartet.
Andrew Bonner is an active performer on both baroque and modern violin, and teaches at Duke and Elon universities. Andy grew up in Durham. He holds a DMA degree from UNC-Greensboro, as well as degrees from the Eastman School of Music and UNC-Chapel Hill. He has performed with five professional symphonies and with acclaimed smaller ensembles including Ossia, the Duke New Music Ensemble, the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra, and the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, and in venues including the Piccolo Spoleto Festival (with Chamber Music Charleston) and the Boston Early Music Fringe Festival (with the Duke Vespers Ensemble), played with Edgar Meyer in a masterclass, and provided solo improvisation in a Moth Mainstage show. Andy’s doctoral dissertation focused on the 1627 Capriccio Stravagante, which uses a violin ensemble to imitate trumpets, shawms, organs, cats, dogs, roosters, and more.
Since 1998, Keith Collins has performed, recorded, and taught baroque and classical bassoon, curtal, recorder, shawm, and harp with many ensembles in North and South America. He is a founding member of the award-winning shawm and curtal band Ensemble Lipzodes, which specializes in the music of colonial Latin America. Among the many groups he has performed or recorded with are Washington Bach Consort, Tafelmusik, National Cathedral Baroque Orchestra, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Atelier, Arion Baroque Orchestra, Apollo’s Fire, Mercury Baroque, Echoing Air, Newberry Consort, Folger Consort, Bach Ensemble, and the Grammy-nominated Musik Ekklesia. As a concerto soloist he has appeared with Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado, and Bourbon Baroque (Louisville, KY).
Keith is adjunct instructor in historical bassoon and recorder at Indiana University’s Historical Performance Institute, and also teaches baroque bassoon and curtal at the University of North Texas. He has taught at Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, Indiana University Recorder Academy, and has been guest lecturer at the Indiana Early Double Reed Workshop. He has been a writer for NPR’s early music program Harmonia.
Elaine Funaro, harpsichord, is a frequent performer at international early music festivals, and Artistic Director of Aliénor, which sponsors a world-wide competition for new harpsichord music. Funaro has premiered pieces on five continents, performing in cities including Amsterdam, Rome, Manchester, Berkeley, Boston and Tokyo. In addition to her many solo recitals, including concerts at the Smithsonian Institution and the Library of Congress, Funaro has played with numerous symphonies and chamber music ensembles. She has recorded for the Centaur, Gasparo, Wildboar and the Classic Concert labels.
Penelope Jensen, soprano, has been soloist with major orchestras across the country. A favorite recitalist, she was awarded the Franz Schubert Prize by the Franz-Schubert-Institut in Austria. For Gasparo Records she has recorded music of the baroque with the Atlanta Symphony, the Cleveland Baroque Soloists, and the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute where she is a member of the faculty. She teaches voice at Duke University and in her home in Chapel Hill.
Barbara Blaker Krumdieck, baroque cellist, grew up in California. She studied baroque cello with Phoebe Carrai at the Conservatory of Music in Hilversum, The Netherlands. While living in Europe, she performed in France, Germany and Belgium and recorded with Concerto Koln. Barbara is co-founder of NC Baroque Orchestra and artistic director of Music at St. Alban’s (Davidson) and Center City Concerts at St. Peter’s (Charlotte). With Ensemble Vermillian she has recorded 17th century chamber music of Germany, Italy, and England; and just completed a new CD with guest artists Margaret Carpenter and Nicholas Haigh. She has also recorded the CPE Bach fortepiano quartets with Andrew Willis, Rebecca Troxler and Gesa Kordes.
Peter Lekx, based in Montreal, Quebec, performs across Canada and the United States on Baroque violin & viola. He has been praised for his “moving and sensitively played” performances (Boston Musical Intelligencer), with “dazzling” violin playing full of “wit, elegance and verve” (Cleveland Classical). Mr. Lekx is the founding Artistic Director of Burning River Baroque, and has appeared with numerous early music groups, including Aradia, Bourbon Baroque, Chicago Bach Ensemble, Compagnie Baroque Mont-Royal, New Comma Baroque, North Carolina Baroque Orchestra, Opera da Camera, Ottawa Baroque Consort, and Quicksilver. Peter also toured Japan with Cambridge Concentus, performing J.S.Bach’s St. Matthew Passion under the baton of Joshua Rifkin. Known also for his exciting interpretations of contemporary music on modern viola, he has premiered numerous solo, chamber and orchestral compositions, and performed in chamber ensembles and orchestras throughout New England and the Midwest. As an instructor, Peter is on the string faculty of the Amherst Early Music Festival, has taught courses, masterclasses and been guest lecturer at a number of universities, and maintains a private teaching studio in Montreal.
Robbie Link is a performer and teacher on the double bass, cello, electric bass, viola da gamba, and violone. Link performs and records with many period instrument, chamber, jazz, and folk music ensembles and enjoys performing everything from Baroque to Bluegrass. He teaches bass and cello for the Duke University Pre-Collegiate String School and is Instructor of Double Bass for Duke University.
Christopher Nunnally, baroque cello, received his Bachelor of Music degree with honors from East Carolina University and his Juris Doctor degree from the New York Law School. An active chamber musician and teacher, he has performed throughout the continental United States and in Europe. He is a native of Greenville, NC, where he held the A.J. Fletcher Scholarship for musical study at East Carolina University. While residing in New York City, he maintained a cello studio at Suzuki on the Island in Manhasset, NY and in Manhattan. He was previously a member of the cello faculties at The Saturday Music Academy of The Ross School, East Hampton, NY; The Suzuki Institute of North Carolina, Greenville, NC; and the North Carolina School of the Arts Summer Music Festival, Winston-Salem, NC.
John O’Brien was born into a musical family, studying piano with his father from the age of five until graduating from high school. While in high school he also studied violin, flute, and later harp. He began his undergraduate studies as a double major in violin and piano performance. In 1989 O’Brien was awarded the DMA in accompanying from the University of Southern California. While at USC he also studied organ and harpsichord. O’Brien has been on the faculty of East Carolina University since 1985, serving as Professor of Accompanying, Chairperson of the Department of Vocal Studies and Director of the ECU Opera Theatre. Currently he teaches group piano and harpsichord and directs the Early Music Ensemble. Dr. O’Brien has collaborated with such artists as Metropolitan Opera stars Hilda Harris and Victoria Livengood, violinist Eliot Chapo, tenor Bill Brown, flautist Carol Wincence (The Juilliard School), and clarinetist Deborah Chodacki (University of Michigan). He has performed in New York’s Merkin Recital Hall, and at the Istanbul Festival with cellist Selma Gokcen. As harpsichordist he performs regularly with Clarino Consort and Baroque dance soloist Paige Whitley-Bauguess. He has performed recitals with soprano Julianne Baird and baroque violinist Julie Andrijeski. He was a featured artist in 2005, 2006 and 2008 at the Magnolia Baroque Festival in Winston-Salem and has appeared twice at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival with Chatham Baroque. John is a featured soloist in the duo fortepiano concert in October 2012.
Joey O’Donnell, baroque violin and viola, lives in central North Carolina where he performs and teaches. He has also appeared with Seraphic Fire, the nationally-acclaimed chamber choir (early music through contemporary) based in Miami; and with the English Country Dance band Collard Greene, Wild Rose, and various Broadway touring shows. He performs with regional early music ensembles, including regular performances with the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra; maintains an active private studio; and leads the Triangle Area Suzuki Fiddlers, a reading group for youngsters.
Florence Peacock, soprano, has performed as a soloist in oratorio, recitals and opera throughout the United States and in Canada, England, Japan, Indonesia and Russia. A regular soloist at the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute, she has also performed at the Franz Schubert Institute in Austria and has broadcast songs by Stephen Foster on NPR. She holds her Bachelor of Arts degree from Hollins College and her Master of Music degree from Yale University.
Molly Quinn has captivated audiences with her “radiant” soprano, possessing an “arresting sweetness and simplicity” (NY Times) in diverse repertoire. Ms. Quinn opened her 2013/14 season as one of four Virginia Best Adams Fellows at the Carmel Bach Festival, highlighting her penchant for 17th and 18th century music in performances of Bach, Buxtehude, Handel and Purcell. She continued with performances as the soprano soloist in the world premiere completion of Mozart’s Requiem by composer Gregory Spears with Miami’s GRAMMY® nominated Seraphic Fire, Handel’s Messiah at Alice Tully Hall with Trinity Choir and Baroque Orchestra and In Dulci Jubilo, a collaboration between TENET, Bach Collegium San Diego and Dark Horse Consort in the music of Michael Praetorius in both New York and San Diego. As a member of New York’s TENET, Ms. Quinn has been a long-time collaborator of artistic director Jolle Greenleaf. Since 2006, Molly has been a member of the renowned Trinity Wall Street Choir, performing regularly at services, the Bach at One series, concert programs, recordings, and tours. She is a featured soloist on their 2013 GRAMMY® nominated recording of Handel’s Israel in Egypt with conductor Julian Wachner on the Musica Omnia label, has appeared with them in London, Moscow, Paris, and Sonoma.
Gail Ann Schroeder, viola da gamba, graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Music degree in Music History. She furthered her performance studies on the viola da gamba at the Royal Music Conservatory of Brussels, Belgium, with Wieland Kuijken, where she obtained the First Prize and the Higher Diploma, with distinction. She has performed extensively as soloist and with various ensembles including the Huelgas Ensemble, Capilla Flamenca, Combattimento Consort Amsterdam and the Leipzig Barockorchester. She has participated in numerous radio and television productions, and on CD recordings for such labels as DHM, Sony Classical, Ricercar and Erato. From 1988-2002 she was assistant to Wieland Kuijken at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels where she taught viola da gamba, didactics of viola da gamba and was director of the viol consort. Since returning to the USA in 2006, Ms. Schroeder has been teaching at numerous workshops for the Viola da Gamba Society of America, the Amherst Early Music Festival and Mountain Collegium. Currently living in North Carolina, she teaches privately and free-lances on viola da gamba and lirone.
William Simms, lute, theorbo and guitar, holds degrees from Peabody Conservatory (MMus) and College of Wooster (BMus). He performs on guitar, baroque guitar, lute and theorbo. He appears regularly with such groups as Opera Lafayette, Modern Musick and Olde Friends Concert Artists. He is also a founding member of the Baroque ensemble La Rocinante. In demand as a continuo player, he has performed numerous operas and oratorios, including performances with the Cleveland Opera and New York State Baroque. He serves on the faculties of Mt. St. Mary’s College; Hood College, where he is founder and director of the Hood College Early Music Ensemble; and the Interlochen Center for the Arts. He has recorded for the Dorian, Centaur and Eclectra labels.
William Thauer, baroque oboe and recorders. Praised by the Boston Globe for his “elegant oboe playing,” William Thauer performs regularly with the Dallas Bach Society and North Carolina Baroque Orchestra, and has served as wind principal of New York’s American Virtuosi since its founding in 1992. Prior to moving to North Carolina, he performed frequently with The Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, Concert Royal, and l’Orchestre Baroque de Montréal. More recently, he has been a guest performer with the Washington Bach Consort, the Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity (NYC), Grand Harmonie, and the Denton Bach Players. He has recorded for the Atma, Reunion Studios, and Virtuosi labels, and has written articles on oboes and their repertoire for recordings on the German label, Ars Produktion.
Rebecca Troxler, baroque flute, served for many years on the faculty of the Duke University Music Department. She received her training at the North Carolina School of the Arts and the Juilliard School of Music. Ms. Troxler has a special love for historic flutes and plays both baroque (1-keyed) and classical (6-keyed) flutes. She has recorded two volumes of Haydn Trios (Arabesque label) and has released a double CD, Rebecca Troxler Plays Flute Music by Sons of Bach (Albany Records). She has performed as soloist with Orpheus Orchestra and Magnolia Baroque Festival.
Stephanie Vial, cellist, performs regularly on both period and modern instruments. As a chamber musician and soloist, she has performed with many of the country’s leading period instrument ensembles. She has recorded for the Dorian Label, Naxos, Hungaroton, and Centaur Records. She is the co-director of the Washington DC based period instrument ensemble The Vivaldi Project and the Modern Early Music Institute, which teaches performance practices to professional string players using modern instruments. A sought after lecturer and teacher, Vial has taught at Duke and Cornell Universities, and is a regular guest teacher at the Curtis Institute of Music. Vial holds a D.M.A. in 18th-century performance practice from Cornell University. Her book, The Art of Musical Phrasing in the Eighteenth Century: Punctuating the Classical “Period,” was published in 2008 by the University of Rochester Press’ Eastman Studies in Music Series. She is currently an adjunct faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Baroque violinist David Wilson plays regularly with Ensemble Vermillian and Magnificat, and he is a founding member of Archetti, the Galax Quartet, and other ensembles. He has taught baroque violin at Indiana University, where he earned the Doctor of Music degree in Early Music, and he holds degrees in violin from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He teaches violin and chamber music and directs the orchestra at the San Francisco Early Music Society’s annual Baroque Workshop. His interests outside of music include cosmology, zymurgy, and science fiction (he would love to discover a science fiction novel about a home-brewing cosmologist). In recent years he has performed and recorded classical music of India and the Ottoman Empire with Lux Musica (East Meets West Music and Golden Horn Records), contemporary music with the Galax Quartet (Innova Recordings), and 18th century concerti with Archetti (Centaur Records). He is the author of Georg Muffat on Performance Practice, published by Indiana University Press.
Brent Wissick is Professor of Music at UNC-CH where he has taught cello and viola da gamba since 1982. He performs and records internationally and just returned from a January 2015 CD release tour of Europe with the Boston Early Music Festival. In 2013 he released a CD of the Cello Music of Chopin played on period instruments joined by pianist Andrew Willis ; and in the summer of 2014, he toured Japan and China playing music of Bach, Handel and Leclair. He was President of the Viola da Gamba Society of America from 2000-2004 and continues to be active in their activities.