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.
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.
Sarah Darling enjoys a varied musical career that spans many centuries and styles. She holds a variety of leading roles on viola and violin with A Far Cry, the Harvard Baroque Chamber Orchestra, Musicians of the Old Post Road, Boston Baroque, Musical Offering, Les Bostonades, and Gut Reaction, while also performing with the Boston Early Music Festival, the Carmel Bach Festival, Emmanuel Music, Antico Moderno, Grand Harmonie, and Boston Ballet. Sarah has recorded old and new music for Naxos, Linn, Paladino, Azica, MSR, and Centaur Records. She studied at Harvard, Julliard, Amsterdam, and Freiburg (via the Beebe, Paine, and DADD grants), and is currently finishing a doctorate at New England Conservatory with Kim Kashkashian. She is active as a teacher and coach, with a special interest in body mechanics and musical rhetoric, and recent guest sessions at Longy, Yale, and Cornell. Sarah has been described as “focused, nuanced, and arresting” (Boston Musical Intelligencer) and praised for “excellent solos” (Boston Globe), “absolute concentration and astonishing precision” (Badischer Zeitung), and “sympathy and spirit” (Hub Review).
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.
Steven Kimbrough, baritone.
Gesa Kordes, violinist, performs with numerous chamber ensembles and Baroque Orchestras on both sides of the Atlantic, including the Washington Bach Consort, Ensemble Musical Offering, Opera Lafayette, Ensemble Tra i Tempi, and the Rheinisches Barockorchester Bonn, as well as the Indianapolis and Atlanta Baroque Orchestras. 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, Gesa Kordes has been increasingly in demand as an ensemble director of chamber groups and Baroque and Classical orchestras in the U.S. and Europe, most recently at the Magnolia Baroque Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C. In August 2006, she joined the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro as the director of the School of Music’s newly-founded Baroque Ensemble. Ms. Kordes received her Baroque violin training from Stanley Ritchie and John Holloway at Indiana University’s Early Music Institute, where she served as lecturer for Baroque violin. She holds a master’s degree in violin and musicology from Indiana University, where she is currently a doctoral candidate in musicology. As a musicologist, she has presented papers and lecture-demonstrations at conferences in the U.S., Canada, and France and published articles on topics ranging from Bach cantatas to serialism. She joined the faculty of the University of Alabama in 2009 as an Instructor of Early Music Performance.
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.
A native of Massachusetts, flutist Sarah Paysnick is praised for “[producing] a beautifully tuned (and vibrato free) liquid tone.” (Tom Moore, Early Music America). She performs regularly in the Greater Boston area with many period ensembles including The Berry Collective, Arcadia Players, and Harvard Baroque, where she frequently appears as concerto soloist. After winning the National Flute Association’s Baroque Artist competition in 2009, she moved to Israel for a year, where she performed with Israel’s leading historical performance ensembles: Barrocade, the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra, and Ensemble Phoenix. Upon returning to Boston she co-founded Musical Offering, a period chamber ensemble that explores music linking the high Baroque and Classical styles. Performing chamber music of the Galant and early Classical periods is a passion of Sarah’s with a special place in her heart for the sons of J.S. Bach. In 2012 she co-founded Grand Harmonie, an ensemble of varying size bringing period instrument performances of Classical and Romantic repertoire to the East Coast. In 2014, she released her first CD with Musical Offering entitled CPEB: The Piano Quartets, which also features Sarah Darling on violin and viola and Matthew Hall, fortepiano.
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 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, obtaining her First Prize and Higher Diploma, with distinction. She subsequently taught viola da gamba, pedagogy and directed the viol consort at the Brussels Conservatory from 1988 to 2002. Ms. Schroeder has performed extensively as soloist and with numerous ensembles including the Huelgas Ensemble, Catacoustic Consort, Combattimento Consort Amsterdam and the Alabama Symphony . She has participated in numerous radio and television productions, and on CD recordings for such labels as DHM, Sony Classical, Ricercar and Erato. Since returning to the USA in 2006, Ms. Schroeder has been in demand as a teacher and ensemble coach at workshops for the Viola da Gamba Society of America, the Amherst Early Music Festival, Mountain Collegium and participated in the French Baroque Project at the University of Alabama. Currently living in North Carolina, she teaches privately, free-lances on viola da gamba and is artistic director of Asheville Baroque Concerts.
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.
Jennifer Streeter has performed throughout the United States and Europe with ensembles such as the North Carolina, Indianapolis and Seattle Baroque Orchestras, Piedmont Baroque, Ensemble 415, and the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra. She has been featured at the Bloomington, Magnolia Baroque and Amherst Early Music Festivals. She holds masters’ degrees in recorder and harpsichord from the Early Music Institute at Indiana University, studying with Eva Legêne and Elisabeth Wright. Originally from Europe, she now calls Cary, North Carolina home where she is a freelance musician and body therapist.
William Thauer, baroque oboe and recorder. Praised by the Boston Globe for his “elegant oboe playing,” William Thauer performs with the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra, NCBO Chamber Players, Mallarmé Chamber Players, Raleigh Bach Soloists, and Dallas Bach Society, and is principal/solo oboe for the Bach Cantata Series at Duke Chapel. He has been a guest performer with the Houston Bach Society, Washington Bach Consort, Bach Society of Charleston, Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity (NY), Grand Harmonie (MA), and Denton Bach Players (TX). 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. 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.