This Season’s Musicians

American soprano Kathryn Mueller has made a mark with her “appealing stage presence of personal warmth and musicianship”, singing a wide range of repertoire from period baroque performances to world premieres of new works. She has appeared with the Cincinnati Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, Pacific Symphony, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Santa Fe Pro Musica, and Eastern Music Festival. Honors include a GRAMMY nomination for True Concord’s Far in the Heavens, and prizes from the Oratorio Society of New York’s Solo Competition and Early Music America’s Baroque Performance Competition. She premiered Reena Esmail’s The History of Red for soprano and orchestra and was a soloist on Seraphic Fire’s best-selling album Monteverdi Vespers of 1610. Kathryn is based in Raleigh. As a member of Beyond Artists she supports the Poor People’s Campaign.

Praised for its brilliant and expressive playing, The Vivaldi Project, co-directed by Elizabeth Field and Stephanie Vial, is dedicated to presenting innovative pro-grams of Baroque and Classical string repertoire that combine scholarship and performance both to educate and delight audiences. The period instrument ensemble takes its name from the virtuoso violinist and innovative composer Antonio Vivaldi, recognizing his pivotal position between earlier Baroque and later Classical composers. Since it was founded by Field in 2006, The Vivaldi Project has performed throughout the country, including live performances and interviews for Washington’s WETA, North Carolina’s WCPE and WUNC, WBAA, and Minnesota Public Radio. The Vivaldi Project’s educational arm, the Institute for Early Music on Modern Instruments (EMMI), offers professional string players and advanced students the opportunity to study historical performance practices using their own modern instruments. The Vivaldi Project has produced numerous videos and led workshops and residencies at conservatories and musical institutions around the country, including the Boston Conservatory, the Curtis Institute of Music, Duke and Vanderbilt Universities, as well as UVA, UNC-CH and UNCG. Their recording series, Discovering The Classical String Trio, three volumes strong with a fourth on its way, can be heard on radio stations around the world.

Highly recommended . . . I look forward to future volumes in this important series.” —GRAMOPHONE

The repertoire is charming, and the playing, on original instruments, is superb.” —STRINGS MAGAZINE

“The group’s exquisite sense of ensemble, vibrant sound, and ardent cantabile represented period instrument playing at its best.”—FANFARE MAGAZINE

Noted for the beauty of her playing as well as for her versatility, violinist Allison Nyquist is one of the preeminent performers of baroque and classical violin and viola. She has been praised by The Chicago Sun Times as “impeccable, with unerring intonation and an austere beauty.” Ms. Nyquist has performed throughout North America, collaborating with many of the top baroque ensembles, including Chatham Baroque, Haymarket Opera Company and Apollo’s Fire. As a member of The Vivaldi Project, she has recorded three CDs of classical string trios for MSR Classics. She recently retired after 20 years as the concertmaster of the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra with whom she hasfour CDs on Naxos. Her discography also includes recordings for the Eclectra, Delos, and Centaur CD labels. She holds degrees from the University of Michigan and the Peabody Institute, and studied Baroque violin with Stanley Ritchie at Indiana University. Nyquist lives in rural Warren County, Indiana where she grows onions, peppers and lots of tomatoes.

Violinist Elizabeth Field, distinguished for her passionate and stylistic playing on both period and modern instruments, is the founder of The Vivaldi Project. Field is concertmaster of The Bach Choir of Bethlehem and has performed with a wide variety of ensembles throughout the US: from Washington DC’s acclaimed Opera Lafayette to the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, with whom she recorded regularly for Deutsche Grammophon. On period instruments she has recorded for Hungaroton, Naxos, and Dorian. She has held professorships at Sacramento State University and the University of California at Davis and has given master classes at universities across the country, including regular visits to The Curtis Institute. Field holds a DMA from Cornell University in 18th-century performance practice and is an adjunct professor at George Washington University. Her DVD with fortepianist Malcolm Bilson, Performing the Score, explores 18th-century violin/piano repertoire and has been hailed by Emanuel Ax as both “truly inspiring” and “authoritative.”

William Simms is an active performer of early music. Equally adept on lute, theorbo and baroque guitar, he appears regularly with Apollo’s Fire, The Washington Bach Consort, The Arcadia Players, IndyBaroque, The Thirteen and Three Notch’d Road. He has performed numerous operas, cantatas, and oratorios with such ensembles as The Washington National Opera, The Cleveland Opera, Opera Lafayette, and American Opera Theatre. Venues include The National Cathedral, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The Library of Congress, Tanglewood, The Kennedy Center and The Barns at Wolftrap. He has toured and recorded with The Baltimore Consort as well as with Apollo’s Fire. He performed on the
Grammy winning Songs of Orpheus with Apollo’s Fire and Karim Sulayman. His recording with Ronn McFarlane, Two Lutes, was the CD pick of the week on WETA in Washington DC in 2012. Mr. Simms received a Bachelor of Music from The College of Wooster and a Master of Music from Peabody Conservatory. He serves on the faculties of Mount St. Mary’s University and Hood College, and is the founder and director of the Hood College Early Music Ensemble. He has recorded for the Dorian, Centaur, Naxos and Eclectra labels.

Violinist Leah Peroutka is known for her versatility as a performer of repertoire ranging from the 17th Century through music of today on both modern and baroque violin. She has performed with numerous ensembles across the country and in Europe, including the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, New Music Raleigh, North Carolina Baroque Orchestra, Bertamo Trio, and Ensemble Collina. With the latter she has recorded 17th Century chamber music works for violin, trombone and continuo (“Confluences”) on the Acis label. Locally, she performs regularly with the North Carolina Symphony, North Carolina Opera, Carolina Ballet, Magnolia Baroque, Mallarme Chamber Players, Raleigh Camerata and with colleagues at UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University. Ms. Peroutka has been on the music faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill, serves as the coordinator for the Chapel Hill Chamber Music Workshop, and is in high demand as a private teacher in the Triangle area. Her instruments include violins by Jan Hus Bursík and L. Prokop as well as bows by Ole Kanestrom, Willem Bouman, Michelle Speller, and Harry Grabenstein.