Daniel Stepner, baroque violin
As Aston Magna’s Artistic Director, Daniel Stepner has programmed and led vocal and instrumental music dating from 1589 through the 1850s, featuring period instruments and vocal styles. The Festival’s repertoire has ranged from music for solo violin to baroque and early classical opera, such as Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and Mozart’s Bastien und Bastienne. Mr. Stepner was a founding member of the Boston Museum Trio at the Museum of Fine Arts and first violinist of the Lydian String Quartet at Brandeis University.
He has held concertmasterships with the Handel and Haydn Society, the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra and Boston Baroque. For six years he was assistant concertmaster and frequent soloist of the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, based in Holland. As a touring musician he has played in 11 countries in Western Europe and the former Soviet Union and throughout Australia and the United States. He was also a Preceptor in Music at Harvard University for 20 years, where with Robert Levin he team-taught a course in the performance and analysis of chamber music.
In solo recital, chamber, theatrical and orchestral settings, Mr. Stepner has performed music from the Renaissance through 2016. He is featured on over 60 commercial recordings, including the Sonatas and Partitas of J.S. Bach, the Late Quartets of Beethoven, the five Violin Sonatas of Charles Ives, (with pianist John Kirkpatrick), and major chamber works of Schubert, Brahms, John Harbison, Peter Child and Yehudi Wyner. For Aston Magna, he has led recordings of cantatas of J. S. Bach, chamber works of Mozart and Schubert, an acclaimed recording of Handel’s oratorio, The Triumph of Time and Truth, and Monteverdi’s pioneering opera L’Orfeo. Mr. Stepner is a native of Wisconsin, and his major teachers were Steven Staryk in Chicago, Nadia Boulanger in France and Broadus Erle at Yale, where he earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree. Besides having been on the faculties at Brandeis and Harvard, he has taught at the New England Conservatory, The Eastman School, Boston University and the Longy School of Music.
Héctor del Curto, bandoneon
Praised by The New York Times as a “splendid player,” Argentinean bandoneonist Héctor Del Curto’s career, spanning more than twenty–five years, has encompassed the traditional Tango, New Tango, Jazz, Classical and World music. He is one of the most sought-after Tango musician as he was the youngest member to join the legendary Osvaldo Pugliese’s Orchestra and shared the stage with many Tango luminaries including Astor Piazzolla, the master of New Tango. He has performed with leading orchestras such as Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Buenos Aires Symphony Orchestra.
Born into a family of bandoneon players, Mr. Del Curto was introduced to the world of Tango and bandoneon by his grandfather, Héctor Cristobal who was the son of Luis S. Del Curto, a bandoneon player, orchestra director, and composer. By the age of 17, he had won the title “Best Bandoneon Player Under 25” in Argentina, and was invited to join the orchestra of Osvaldo Pugliese, the “Last Giant of Tango.” In 1999, Mr. Del Curto received the Golden Note Award from the Italian–American Network in recognition of his artistic achievements. As conductor, he directed the spectacular show Forever Tango on Broadway and founded the Eternal Tango Orchestra. Since the Lincoln Center début in 2003, the Eternal Tango Orchestra (now the Hector Del Curto Tango Orchestra) returned to Lincoln Center for three more engagements and performed at other various venues including the Skirball Center for Performing Arts.
Héctor recently produced and released his second album, Eternal Piazzolla, featuring his quintet. His first CD, Eternal Tango, was featured on BBC News and Public Radio International’s The World. He appears in numerous award-winning recordings with renowned artists including Osvaldo Pugliese and Astor Piazzolla on Finally Together; Pablo Ziegler on the albums Asphalto, Quintet for the New Tango, and Tango & All That Jazz; Paquito D’Rivera on Funk Tango, Jazz Clazz, and Panamericana Suite; Tito Puente and Eddie Palmieri on Masterpiece; Plácido Domingo’s Encanto del Mar; Erwin Schrott on Rojotango; Denyce Graves’ The Lost Days; and Shakira’s Laundry Service.
Judith Gordon, piano
Pianist Judith Gordon gave her New York recital debut in 1990 for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s ‘Introductions’ series. She has explored repertory from Bach to Boulez with groups including Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Symphony New Hampshire, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and the Boston Pops Orchestra. She has premiered and recorded works by John Harbison, Lee Hyla, Peter Lieberson, James Primosch, and Donald Wheelock, among many others, and each season she collaborates with a diverse group of solo artists and ensembles.
A member of the Smith College music faculty since 2006, she returns often to the Bard and Charlottesville festivals, to ChatterABQ in New Mexico, the Dilijan Chamber Music Series in Los Angeles, Emmanuel Music, Boston, and to Music from Salem in Washington County, New York, where she is a consulting director. Gordon studied with Patricia Zander at the New England Conservatory of Music, where she was given an Outstanding Alumni Award in 2009.
Diane Heffner is a Boston based freelance clarinetist and teacher on both modern and historical instruments. She plays period clarinets and chalumeau with Handel & Haydn Society, Arcadia Players, Boston Baroque, and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. San Francisco, and Pacific Musicworks, Seattle, “Rumbarocco” Latin-Baroque fusion ensemble, and Eudamonia, a Purposeful Period Band. As a modern clarinetist Ms. Heffner performs regularly in ensemble and as soloist with Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble, Alea III, Solar Winds, The Boston Gay Mens Chorus and has played with the Vermont Symphony and Emmanuel Music, and many others. Playing saxes and clarinet, she enjoys jazz freelancing and is a member of Boston’s only all women big band “the Mood Swings Orchestra.” Ms. Heffner is on the applied faculty at Tufts University and the All-Newton Music School as clarinet, saxophone and chamber music instructor. She received BM and MM with honors at New England Conservatory of Music, studying clarinet with Joseph Allard, and chamber music with Rudolph Kolisch and Leonard Shure. Photo by Susan Wilson
Jane Hershey, viola da gamba
Jane Hershey studied at The Hague Conservatory with Wieland Kuijken. Early in her career, she toured and recorded with the Boston Camerata. For many seasons, she performed with Laura Jeppesen at Boston’s MFA as a member of the trio Charivary. She was a member of the Carthage Consort, performing around the US, in the 2005 Loeb Drama Center’s production of “Dido, Queen of Carthage” and later in the Cambridge Society for Early Music series. She has been a guest with Emmanuel Music, the Aston Magna Festival, Monadnock Music, Hesperus, and LeStrange Viols at the Amherst Early Music Festival, as well performing as a violone player with the Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra and Arcadia Players.
Recent recordings are with Frances Fitch, music of Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, and with the consort Long & Away, cantatas of Samuel Capricornus. As a member of Arcadia Viols, she performed last season at the Folger Shakespeare Library, on the ‘Music before 1800’ series, and at both Clark and Tufts Universities. Jane is active in the Viola da Gamba Society of America. A frequent teacher for the Society, she has served on the VdGSA Board for two terms, and currently organizes projects associated with education and teacher development both locally and nationally. She teaches the viola da gamba to people of all ages at the Powers Music School, in the graduate program of the Longy School of Music of Bard College, and has directed the Tufts Early Music Ensemble since 1995.
Jonathan Hess, timpani
A specialist in both contemporary and historical percussion, Jonathan Hess, timpanist, has been praised for his “power and finesse” (Boston Classical Review) and “exacting milieus” (Boston Globe). As a chamber musician, He is a founding member of the Boston Percussion Group (BPeG) and has been featured with Boston Musica Viva, Alea III, Dinosaur Annex and Monadnock Music. Jonathan has performed and recorded with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP Sound) and plays in the pit for Boston’s Odyssey Opera. He regularly freelances with other orchestras through out New England including The Portland Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Opera Boston and the Orchestra of Indian Hill.
In addition to his work in contemporary music, he is the timpanist for the Marsh Chapel Collegium and Grand Harmonie – an ensemble dedicated to inventive and compelling performances of Classical and Romantic repertoire on historical instruments. He has also performed and recorded with Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, Canto Armonico and Cambridge Concentus. In 2014, Jonathan toured Japan as timpanist for the Boston Chamber Orchestra and recently played drums for the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus’ historic tour of the Middle East. He lives in Boston with his wife Sonja and their dog, Leila.
Eric Hoeprich, clarinet
Eric Hoeprich is a specialist in performing on historical clarinets, in music from the Baroque to the late Romantic. Educated at Harvard University and the Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague, he is currently on the faculties of the Paris Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique, the Royal Conservatory of Music (The Hague), Indiana University (Bloomington) & the Royal Academy in London. A founding member of Frans Brüggen’s Orchestra of the 18th Century (1982), Hoeprich has performed frequently as a soloist with this orchestra as well as many of the major early music ensembles as well as several “modern” orchestras.
In the 1980s, he founded two wind ensembles, NACHTMUSIQUE and the Stadler Trio (three basset horns), which have toured around the world. His dozens of recordings have appeared on labels such as Deutsche Grammaphon, Philips, EMI, SONY, Harmonia Mundi, Glossa and Decca. Collaboration with string quartets, chamber ensembles and vocal soloists also feature regularly on his calendar. Recent recordings include clarinet quintets (Mozart and Brahms) with the London Haydn Quartet (Glossa), the three clarinet concertos by Bernhard Crusell with Kölner Akademie (ARS Production) and “Sei Sinfonia” by J.C. Bach with Nachtmusique (Glossa).
An interest in historical clarinets has led to the publication of a general text on the clarinet published by Yale University Press (The Clarinet, 2008), as well as numerous journal articles, and contributions to the New Grove Dictionary. Hoeprich has amassed a collection of more than a hundred antique clarinets, which has also led to restoration and construction of replicas of period originals; he maintains a workshop for instrument making at his home near London.
Laura Jeppesen, viola da gamba
Laura Jeppesen, violin, viola and viola da gamba, has a master’s degree from Yale University. Following Yale, she studied viola da gamba at the Hamburg Hochschule and the at Brussels Conservatory. She has been a Woodrow Wilson Designate, a Fulbright Scholar and a fellow of the Bunting Institute at Harvard.
A prominent member of Boston’s early music community, she has long associations with The Boston Museum Trio, Boston Baroque, The Handel and Haydn Society, the Boston Early Music Festival and Aston Magna. In 2015 she was part of the BEMF team that won a Grammy for best opera recording. She has performed as soloist with conductors Christopher Hogwood, Edo deWaart, Seiji Ozawa, Craig Smith, Martin Pearlman, Harry Christophers, Grant Llewellyn and Bernard Haitink. She has an extensive discography of solo and chamber works, including the gamba sonatas of J.S.Bach, music of Marin Marais, Buxtehude, Rameau, Telemann and Clerambault.
She teaches at Boston University, Wellesley College and Harvard University. She recently received a teaching award from the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning at Harvard University, which recognizes the high rating she was given by students. In the 2015 fall semester, she taught eight Harvard students to play the viola da gamba, and their work culminated in two performances on the Harvard campus. She is a 2017 recipient of an Andrew W. Mellon Blended Learning Initiative Grant for Innovative Teaching at Wellesley College.
Frank Kelley, tenor
Frank Kelley, tenor, sings a wide variety of music throughout North America and Europe. He has performed over 90 roles in major opera houses and has appeared with the leading symphony orchestras in Boston, Chicago, St. Louis, Mexico City, Tel Aviv, Taipei and Brussels.
He has over 30 recordings, two of which have been awarded Grammys. Recent engagements include Kurt Weill’s the Seven Deadly Sins (Urbanity Dance and Emmanuel Music) and the Essential Ring with the Boston Wagner Society.
A resident of Boston, Mr. Kelley sings there regularly with Emmanuel Music, both in the ongoing series which presents the complete Bach cantatas, and in special projects, including the complete piano/vocal works of Beethoven, Schumann and Brahms, Schubert lieder, Don Giovanni, The St. Matthew Passion, Alcina, The Magic Flute, The St. John Passion, The Rake’s Progress, Die Schöne Müllerin and Dichterliebe with Russell Sherman, Susanna, and most recently The St. Mark Passion.
David Hyun-su Kim, piano
Hailed by Malcolm Bilson as a musician “who will doubtless make an important contribution to the musical life of this country,” pianist David Hyun-su Kim holds degrees from Harvard, Yale, and Cornell Universities, and a doctorate from the New England Conservatory. His 2016-2017 season includes the release of a disc on the Centaur label, featuring Mozart and Beethoven piano sonatas performed on a Walter fortepiano; collaborations with period violinists Daniel Stepner and Lauren Basney, the Aspen Trio, and ‘cellist Sally Singer; as well as concerts in Florence (Italy), Boston, New York, Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oregon, Virginia, South Carolina, and Maine. David’s concerts have been praised as “emotionally expansive”, “idiomatically perfect”, and featuring “spectacular interpretations.”
Recent engagements include appearances in Austria, Germany, Belgium, Italy, South Korea, and Australia; at the Universities of Michigan, Washington, Wisconsin-Madison, South Carolina, Wyoming, and New Hampshire; at Harvard, Yale, Duke, Pennsylvania State, Ohio, Indiana, and Boston universities; and at Bowdoin, Colby, Connecticut, and Gettysburg colleges. An active scholar, David has published on the Brahmsian Hairpin–in which he argues for a new understanding of hairpin notation based on evidence in early recordings–and piano organology–with a particular interest in elucidating the relationship between technical, historical instrumental features and their sonic corollaries. He is currently an Assistant Professor at Whitman College, where he teaches piano, chamber music, performance studies, and theory.
Christopher Krueger, flute
A graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, Christopher Krueger was a student of James Pappoutsakis. He has performed as principal flutist with the Boston Symphony, the Boston Pops and Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Opera Company of Boston, Boston Ballet, Boston Musica Viva, and Cantata Singers, among other organizations, and was a founding member of the Emmanuel Wind Quintet, winners of the 1981 Walter W. Naumburg Award for Chamber Music. Currently he is a member of Collage New Music, Emmanuel Music, and performs frequently as principal flutist with Cantata Singers and other organizations in Boston.
In the mid-1970’s, Mr. Krueger became interested in historical performance. His career as a Baroque flutist has taken him throughout the United States, Europe, Eastern Europe, and Australia. He has been a soloist on the Great Performers Series and Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center, the Philadelphia Bach Festival, the Aston Magna Music Festival, Tanglewood, Ravinia, the Berlin Bach Festival, the City of London Festival, and the Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music, as well as in France, Belgium, Italy, and Poland. He is a member of the Bach Ensemble and the Aulos Ensemble, and is principal flutist with the Handel and Haydn Society and Boston Baroque.
Christopher Krueger has conducted and been a soloist with the Handel and Haydn Society and Emmanuel Music, and his recordings can be heard on Sony, DG, Decca, EMI, Nonesuch, Pro Arte, CRI, Telarc, Koch, and Centaur. Mr. Krueger has served on the faculties of the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston University, Wellesley College, the Longy School of Music, Oberlin’s Baroque Performance Institute, and the Akademie für Alte Musik in Brixen/Bressanone, Italy. He is a Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Dominique Labelle, soprano
The voice of Dominique Labelle has been called “angelic,” “silvery,” and “vibrant,” and she could easily lay claim to the title “diva.” Instead, she simply calls herself a musician, and takes greatest pride not in her rave reviews, but in her work with colleagues and in her probing explorations of the repertoire from the Baroque to new music.
Her passionate commitment to music-making has led to close and enduring collaborations with a number of the world’s most respected conductors and composers, such as Iván Fischer, Nicholas McGegan, Jos van Veldhoven, Jean-Marie Zeitouni, and the Pulitzer Prize winning composer Yehudi Wyner. She also treasures her long association with the late Robert Shaw. Dominique’s many collaborations with Nicholas McGegan and his Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra include Handel’s Atalanta, Alexander’s Feast, and Teseo, which they recently revived at the 2014 Mostly Mozart Festival. Her appearances with Iván Fischer include the Countess Almaviva in Mozart’s Nozze di Figaro in Las Palmas and Budapest; a Bach B Minor Mass in Washington, D.C.; a Bach St. Matthew Passion with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra; as well as Mozart’s Requiem and a Bach St. Matthew Passion with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s.
She has also sung Britten’s Les Illuminations with Jean-Marie Zeitouni and I Musici de Montréal; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Brahms Requiem, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with Zeitouni and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. Her numerous recordings of opera and concert repertoire include Monsigny’s Le Déserteur with Opera Lafayette and Ryan Brown (Naxos). She can also be heard on recordings on the Virgin Veritas, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, RCA Victor Red Seal, Koss, Denon, New World, Carus and Muisica Omnia labels. Her recording of Handel’s Arminio (Virgin Classics) won the 2002 Handel Prize. Her latest recording Moments of Love is her recital with pianist and composer Yehudi Wyner on a program of Britten, Hahn, Ravel, Saint-Saëns and Wyner. Born in Montreal and trained at McGill and Boston Universities, Dominique enjoys sharing her technical and musical insights with young singers, and is Professor of Voice at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University. She has also taught master classes at Harvard University, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts.
Julie Leven, violin
Julie Leven, violin, is the Founder, Executive and Artistic Director of Shelter Music Boston and is the first-ever classical musician to be named a Boston Neighborhood Fellow. Julie was awarded this unique prize for her dual commitment to producing monthly classical music concerts, of the highest artistic standards, in homeless shelters throughout Greater Boston and for employing classical musicians to create social change in environments of need.
In addition to the more than fifty annual concerts she performs in shelters, Julie is concertmaster of the Bach and Beyond Festival and has performed as soloist, concertmaster, and principal second violin with Boston Baroque and the Handel + Haydn Society. A recent performance of the Vivaldi Four Seasons with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra was deemed “sweet and full of fire.” As a member of the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra she has performed across the US, in Japan and Korea. Julie performs annually at the Aston Magna Festival and has appeared at the: BBC Proms, Cactus Pear Music Festival, Casals Festival, Edinburgh Festival, Esterhazy Haydn Festival, Krakow Festival and with Scrag Mountain Music. Julie has been a member of the Jerusalem Symphony, and Aarhus (Denmark) Symfonieorkester. She is a soloist on the Boston Baroque recordings of Handel Opus 6 Concerti Grossi and the Grammy nominated Monteverdi Vespers.
Catherine Liddell, theorbo and lute, is in high demand for her skill, sensitivity and experience as a continuo player. She has performed with many of America’s leading period instrument ensembles, including Boston Baroque, the Handel & Haydn Society, Apollo’s Fire (Cleveland), the New York Collegium, and in the Boston Early Music Festivals. With the London Sinfonietta and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment she performed in the U.S. Premier of Heiner Goebbel’s Songs of War I Have Seen as part of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s 50th Anniversary Celebration.
She has recorded for Musical Heritage Society, Titanic, Dorian, Wildboar and Centaur Records. Her solo recording, La belle voilée: 17th Century French Lute Music by Jacques Gallot and others is available on the Centaur label. Her edition, Sacred Music for Lute, Vol. I is available through Lyre Editions, Fort Worth, Texas.
A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, Ms. Liddell earned the Soloist Diploma from the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel, Switzerland. She is Past-President of the Lute Society of America and is currently Lecturer in Lute in the Historical Performance Program at Boston University.
David Miller, viola, holds an undergraduate liberal arts degree from Oberlin College and a graduate music degree in viola from The Juilliard School. A devoted performer of chamber music on period instruments and a pioneer of early music performance in this country, he is a founding member of the Classical Quartet, Haydn Baryton Trio, Bach Ensemble and Concert Royal.
He has performed with Aston Magna every season since 1974 and has appeared frequently as a guest artist with the Mozartean Players and Helicon. Mr. Miller plays principal viola for numerous Baroque and Classical orchestras including the Handel and Haydn Society, New York Collegium, Boston Early Music Festival and American Classical Orchestra. Notable chamber music appearances at summer festivals include Mostly Mozart at Lincoln Center, Tanglewood Festival, Festival of Perth (Australia), Lufthansa Festival (London) and the Esterhazy Palace (Eisenstadt, Austria).
His many recordings of solo and chamber works can be heard on Decca, Dorian, Harmonia Mundi, EMI, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Collection of Recordings, among others. Mr. Miller has taught viola at Princeton University and at the Akademie für Alte Musik in Brixen, Italy.
Jisoo Ok, cello
Cellist, Jisoo Ok is a multi–faceted musician recognized as a leading interpreter of tango, classical, jazz, and contemporary music. She has closely collaborated with distinguished musicians such as clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera, pianist Pablo Ziegler, and bandoneonist Héctor Del Curto. She has also performed with many of the world’s celebrated artists including violinist Regina Carter, bassist Ron Carter, bass-baritone Erwin Schrott, and vibraphonist Stefon Harris.
Jisoo has performed at many of the prestigious venues and festivals including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest, Aspen Music Festival, Laguna Beach Music Festival, the Chautauqua Institute, Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, Soka Performing Arts Center, Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival, Birdland, (le) Poisson Rouge, Concerti di Mezzogiorno at Spoleto Festival, “Festival dei Due Mondi” in Italy, Copa Fest in Brazil and SummerStage at Central Park.
Her recording appearances include two critically acclaimed albums, Eternal Tango and Eternal Piazzolla, which she co–produced with her husband, Hector Del Curto and Rojo Tango with Erwin Schrott released on Sony Classical. She appears as a guest artist on Horizon: Piano and Chamber Works by Gareth Farr with pianist Henry Wong Doe, on Django Festival Allstars with Dorado Schmitt, and on Introducing Letizia Gambi with Lenny White, Chick Corea, Ron Carter, Gil Goldstein, and Patrice Rushen.
Jisoo Ok is the co-founder and executive director of the Stowe Tango Music Festival, the premier tango music festival in the United States, noted both for its unique series of performances and its high level of musical training.
Born in Seoul, Korea, Jisoo grew up in New Zealand. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from The Juilliard School, studying with Bonnie Hampton and Fred Sherry; she studied chamber music with Itzhak Perlman and Robert Mann. Jisoo currently resides in New York City with her husband, Hector Del Curto, and her son, young talented clarinetist Santiago.
Loretta O’Sullivan, who performs on Baroque, classical, and modern cello, has played key roles in chamber ensembles including the Four Nations Ensemble, The Haydn Baryton Trio and the Classical Quartet. In concert and recording, Ms. O’Sullivan has given memorable performances of music by Frescobaldi, Caldara, Porpora, Leclair, Handel, Haydn, Schobert, Mozart and Beethoven, performing cello sonatas, concertos, trio sonatas, arias with cello obbligato, string quartets and virtually every form and format in three centuries of well known and rarely heard music.
She plays continuo cellist for both Opera Lafayette with whom she has performed works of Philidor, Monsigny and Francouer at the Opera de Versailles as principal cellist. She is continuo and principal cellist for the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, one of America’s most venerable musical organizations. On modern cello, Ms. O’Sullivan is heard with the St Luke’s Orchestra in New York.
Ms. O’Sullivan has performed at halls including Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, Merkin Concert Hall, the New York Historical Society, Columbia University, Yale University, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England, and Esterhazy Palace in Austria and in festivals including Mostly Mozart in New York, Ottawa Chamber Music Fest, the New England Bach Festival and New Haven’s Festival of Arts and Ideas. Loretta’s recorded solo performances include sonatas of Geminiani, Vivaldi and Porpora as well as her own transcription of the Biber Passacaglia.
Deborah Rentz-Moore, alto
American Mezzo-soprano Deborah Rentz-Moore has been praised for her “deep, radiant clear tone” (Early Music America) and her “effortlessly warm and resonant mezzo, with exquisite control over vibrato” (Boston Classical Review). In addition to her many collaborations with Aston Magna, she has been featured as soloist with The Boston Camerata, Emmanuel Music, The Boston Early Music Festival, Handel & Haydn Society, several Harvard Choirs, The Bach Sinfonia, Magnificat Baroque and the Mark Morris Dance Group. At Emmanuel Music, Ms. Rentz-Moore performed the role of Joacim in the Boston premiere of Handel’s Susanna, to critical acclaim. Other Emmanuel appearances include Bach’s B Minor Mass, Christmas Oratorio, St. John Passion, Magnificat, Pergolesi Stabat Mater, Mozart’s The Magic Flute, The Rake’s Progress (Stravinsky), and various solo cantatas as part of the famed weekly Bach cantata series. Her current concert season also includes Emmanuel Music’s Boston premiere of Mozart’s Apollo et Hyacinthus (in the title role), Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (also with Emmanuel), in addition to The Boston Camerata’s Puer Natus Est, In Dulci Jubilo, and The American Vocalist.
She is pleased to be a part of Aston Magna’s landmark 45th Anniversary Season. A longtime proponent of early American music and Shaker music (and as a native Berkshire-ite), she has conducted her own Shaker manuscript research, given solo concerts at Hancock Shaker Village and Tanglewood, been featured in Tero Saarinen Dance Company/Boston Camerata’s remarkable “Borrowed Light” at Jacob’s Pillow, and is a soloist on the critically acclaimed Harmonia Mundi recording, “The Rose of Sharon,” with Ensemble Phoenix Munich. Other recordings include: Aston Magna’s “L’Orfeo: favola in musica 1607” (Centaur), “Cozzolani: Concerti Sacri (1642)” (Musica Omnia), “Cozzolani: Messa Paschale” (Musica Omnia), “The Golden Harvest” (Glissando), “J.S. Bach: Cantatas 62, 45, 140 and 192” (Musica Omnia) and Cozzolani’s, “Salmi a Otto Voci (1650)” (Musica Omnia). In addition to working under the direction of Daniel Stepner, Ms. Rentz-Moore has collaborated with: John Harbison, Christopher Hogwood, Joel Cohen, Anne Azema, Paul O’Dette, Stephen Stubbs, Grant Llewellyn, David Carrier, Edward Jones, Daniel Abraham, Julian Wachner, Tero Saarinen, Mark Morris and both Ryan Turner and Emmanuel Music founder Craig Smith.
Mr. Scheid has been praised for his “polished playing” (The Strad), for being “more than equipped to deal with the virtuosic challenges” (Seen and Heard International), and for being “both musically and technically one of the most assured and accomplished of today’s younger period violinists” (The Boston Musical Intelligencer). His performance of Strauss’s song Morgen at Carnegie Hall was described as follows: “The concertmaster, Edson Scheid, proved a worthy foil as violin soloist” (The New York Times). A native of Brazil, Edson Scheid has performed with such ensembles as Les Arts Florissants, Il Pomo d’Oro, the Trinity Baroque Orchestra, Juilliard415, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Sejong Soloists, NOVUS NY, the Aston Magna Music Festival, Orchester Wiener Akademie, and the Aspen Festival Orchestra.
He is the two-time winner of the Historical Performance Concerto Competition at The Juilliard School, and recipient of the Broadus Erle Prize at the Yale School of Music. Edson Scheid’s many performances of Paganini’s 24 Caprices, on both period and modern violins, have been received with enthusiasm around the world. He has performed the Caprices in cities in Europe, North and South America, and Asia, and has been featured live in-studio on In Tune from BBC Radio 3.
His recording of the Caprices on the baroque violin for the Naxos label has been critically acclaimed: “Far from being mere virtuoso stunts, Scheid’s Caprices abound in the beauty and revolutionary spirit of these works…” (Fanfare Magazine). As a chamber musician, he has performed as a violinist and a violist in festivals including the Juilliard Chamberfest, Utrecht Early Music Festival, Dans les Jardins de William Christie, and the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. Mr. Scheid holds degrees from the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg, the Yale School of Music and The Juilliard School, where he was a recipient of a Kovner Fellowship.
Aaron Sheehan, tenor
Grammy Award winning tenor Aaron Sheehan has quickly established himself as one of the leading American tenors of his generation. His voice is heard regularly in the U.S. and Europe, and he is equally comfortable in repertoire ranging from oratorio and chamber music to the opera stage. His singing has taken him to many festivals and venues, including Tanglewood, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, the Concertgebouw, Royal Opera of Versailles, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Théâtre des Champs Elysées, the early music festivals of Boston, San Francisco, Houston, Tucson, Washington, D.C., and Madison. Known especially for his baroque interpretations, Aaron has made a name as a first-rate singer of oratorios and cantatas.
He has appeared as soloist in concert with Boston Early Music Festival, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Tafelmusik, Calgary Philharmonic, San Juan Symphony, American Bach Soloists, Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, North Carolina Symphony, Symphony Nova Scotia, Charlotte Symphony, Carmel Bach Festival, Charleston Bach Festival, Baltimore Handel Choir, Pacific Chorale, Tempesta di Mare, Pacific Music Works, Opera Lafayette, Aston Magna Festival, Bach Collegium San Diego, Tragicomedia, Folger Consort, and Les Voix Baroques. Aaron is on the voice faculties of Boston University and Case Western Reserve University.
Peter Sykes is Associate Professor of Music and Chair of the Historical Performance Department at Boston University, where he teaches organ, harpsichord, clavichord, performance practice and continuo realization. He is Music Director of First Church in Cambridge and principal instructor of harpsichord at the Juilliard School in New York City.
He performs extensively on the harpsichord, clavichord, and organ, and has made ten solo recordings of organ and harpsichord repertoire ranging from Buxtehude, Couperin and Bach to Reger and Hindemith and his acclaimed organ transcription of Holst’s “The Planets.” Newly released is a recording of the complete Bach harpsichord partitas on the Centaur label, and an all-Bach clavichord recording on the Raven label; soon to be released will be the complete Bach obbligato violin sonatas with Daniel Stepner.
He also performs and records with Boston Baroque and Aston Magna. A founding board member and president of the Boston Clavichord Society as well as president of the Westfield Center for Historical Keyboard Studies, he is the recipient of the Chadwick Medal (1978) and Outstanding Alumni Award (2005) from the New England Conservatory, the Erwin Bodky Prize (1993) from the Cambridge Society for Early Music, and the Distinguished Artist Award from the St. Botolph Club Foundation (2011).
Bassist Anne Trout has performed, toured and been recorded widely in music of the baroque and classical periods for over two decades. She is regularly engaged by ensembles sized 5 to 50 throughout North America, appearing with a diverse group of leaders and soloists including Richard Egarr, Andrew Parrot, Mark Morris, Scott Metcalfe, Jane Glover, John Hsu, Christopher Hogwood, Rufus Mueller, Dominique LaBelle, Jaap ter Linden, Robert Levin, Kristian Bezuidenhout, Bruno Weil, William Christie and Roger Norrington. Performances include Boston Early Music Festival, Philharmonia Baroque, Tafelmusik, Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra, Clarion Society, Boston Bach Ensemble, Boston Baroque, Opera Lafayette, Tempesta di Mare, Arcadia Players and many others. Recent engagements include Vivaldi Project, Green Mountain Project, Concert Royal, Saint Thomas Boys Choir, Emmanuel Music, American Classical Orchestra, Dryden Ensemble, Spire Chamber Ensemble, Cantata Singers, Newton Baroque, Blue Hills Bach, REBEL, Handel & Haydn Society, Trinity Wall Street.
Anne serves on the faculties of Longy School of Music of Bard College, International Baroque Institute at Longy (IBIL), Early Music for Modern Instruments (EMMI) and Boston College. She recently acquired the 1610 “Delmas” Maggini and is restoring it to its original condition as a 5-string double bass.
Emily Walhout, baroque cello
Emily Walhout, whose playing has been described as “soulful and expressive” by the New York Times, grew up playing the cello and piano, but it was not until college that she discovered her love for baroque bass lines. At Oberlin Conservatory she took up baroque cello and viola da gamba, thus launching an active career in early music. She was a founding member of both The King’s Noyse and of La Luna, an ensemble of two violins and continuo devoted to music of the 17th century. She has played cello, viola da gamba, lirone, or principal bass violin for the Green Mountain Project, Boston Early Music Festival, New York Collegium, Emmanuel Music, Handel and Haydn Society, Seattle Baroque, Portland Baroque, Trinity Consort (Portland, Oregon), Les Violons du Roy, Les Boréades (Montreal), and the Montreal Baroque Festival. Current chamber ensembles include Les Délices and Nota Bene Viol Consort. She has toured as a chamber musician throughout North America and Europe, and has recorded extensively with the Boston Camerata, La Luna and The King’s Noyse.
Nancy Wilson, violin
With a repertoire ranging from early 17th-century violin solos to the string quartets of Beethoven and Schubert, Nancy Wilson is known as one of the leading early music violinists in the United States. A founding member of many of American’s pioneering period instrument ensembles, including Concert Royal, the Bach Ensemble and the Classical Quartet, she performs regularly with Aston Magna and has worked extensively with the Smithsonian Chamber Players. She has worked as concertmaster and soloist with leading conductors in early music, Jaap Schroeder, Christopher Hogwood and Nicholas McGegan among them, regularly leads period orchestra performances in New York City and the metropolitan area, and has a considerable discography to her credit. Her solo playing has been called “clear and sweet in tone, refined in articulation” by Gramophone, and “exceptionally stylish” by The Edinburgh Scotsman.
A native of Detroit, Ms. Wilson holds degrees from Oberlin College and The Juilliard School. She has been invited as guest lecturer and clinician at workshops and music schools throughout the United States and Europe, currently teaches at The Mannes School of Music in Manhattan and Princeton University, and has served on the faculty at the Academies of Aston Magna. Her recording of the complete sonatas of Tedorico Pedrini was released in 2016.
A life-long music lover, and presently a singer with Collegiate Chorale in New York City, Susan Obel, Aston Magna’s Executive Director, had her first job in Arts Management with St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble/Orchestra of St. Luke’s. “I got my feet wet as a part-time office manager, but as a member of a small staff I soon became involved in writing, fundraising and special events.” Following St. Luke’s, she joined the staff of the Harlem School of the Arts, working closely with then Executive Director Betty Allen. There she launched and co-produced an annual Radiothon with radio legend Robert Sherman and WQXR, a fundraising event that continued for many years. Following that was a 15-year stint in public relations and fundraising with Theatreworks/USA, the nation’s preeminent professional theater for young and family audiences.