Guests

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Léonie Adams

Celestial Soundtrack

Léonie Adams studied in Moscow, the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music in London. She has been Principal with Scottish Opera, Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria, Northern Ballet, Orchestra of the Swan and the British Philharmonic Orchestra, No.2 with the Royal Opera House, English National Opera, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Opera North and the Philharmonia and No.3 with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. She has also played as a soloist for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace, recorded at Abbey Road and played with artists including Jason Donovan, Shirley Bassey and Jeff Beck as well as live on BBC Radio 3 and as a soloist on Radio New Zealand.

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Dror Biran

Inside the Goldbergs

Winner of top prizes at the M.K Čiurlionis International Piano Competition, the Cleveland International Piano among others, Israeli-American pianist Dror Biran has been described by The Cleveland Plain Dealer as “his fortissimos crashed and roared, but next to them came pianissimos that whispered seductively…he has technique to burn and uses it effectively.” Biran’s superb tonal control combined with interesting phrasing and voicing has won him consistent critical acclaim and enthusiastic audiences. Biran taught at the University of Louisville, Youngstown State University and Case Western Reserve University. Currently, he serves as Professor of Piano at the College-Conservatory of Music University of Cincinnati. 

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Karin A. Cuéllar Rendón

Rebroadcast: Phoenix of Mexico

Karin A. Cuéllar Rendón is a Bolivian historical violinist and scholar currently residing in Montreal, Canada. Cuellar performs regularly with Montreal-based period ensembles such as Arion, Les Boreades, and L’Harmonie des saison. Past collaborations have included Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightenment, Florilegium, Oxford Bach Soloists, Ex Cathedra, American Bach Soloists, Apollo’s Fire, ARTEK, and the National Symphony Orchestra of Bolivia. Cuellar earned a Master of Arts degree in Historical Performance from Case Western Reserve University under the guidance of Julie Andrijeski and Ross Duffin, and obtained an Advanced Diploma on baroque violin from the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she studied with Maggie Faultless, Rachel Podger, and Matthew Truscott as a beneficiary of the San Marino and Vincent Meyer scholarships. Cuellar is currently pursuing a PhD. in musicology at McGill University with a research focus on performance practices in South America in the first half of the 19th century, using as a case study the music of composer Pedro Ximenez Abrill Tirado.

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Hannah De Priest

Communications & Special Projects Manager; Curator: Gilded Age Chicago

Hannah De Priest is a fearless performer of a wide range of lyric soprano repertoire. Hailed a “breakout artist” (Boston Globe) with “a voice that is theater itself” (Classique News), recent credits include her Kennedy Center debut, European debut at the Innsbruck Early Music Festival, and multiple productions with Boston Early Music Festival. The young soprano is set for more important debuts in the 2023-24 season, including role and house debuts with Chicago Opera Theater, Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, and Haymarket Opera, among others. On the concert stage, notable upcoming and recent engagements include Handel’s Messiah with Apollo Chorus & Orchestra and Billings Symphony Orchestra, Bach’s Johannes-Passion with Columbus Symphony and Elmhurst Symphony, and Handel’s Dixit Dominus with the Elgin Master Chorale & Symphony. Her critically-acclaimed debut performing French baroque cantatas with Les Délices was hailed as “sensational” (Schmopera) and more engagements with the renowned ensemble have followed, including the ensemble’s debut concert at the Boston Early Music Festival. SDe Priest has garnered attention at numerous important competitions, recently winning 2nd Prize at the 2021 International Cesti Competition for Baroque Singing. She has been a finalist in The Handel Aria Competition (2021), Le Concours Corneille (2019), Audrey Rooney Bach Competition (2020), and the Bethlehem Bach Competition (2021). She is also a laureate of the prestigious Luminarts Cultural Foundation’s competition’s Encouragement Award (2022).

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Mark Edwards

Inside the Goldbergs

First prize winner in the 2012 Musica Antiqua Bruges International Harpsichord Competition, Canadian harpsichordist and organist Mark Edwards is recognized for his captivating performances, bringing the listener “to new and unpredictable regions, using all of the resources of his instrument, […] of his virtuosity, and of his imagination” (La Libre Belgique). An active chamber musician, he is the artistic director of Poiesis, collaborates regularly with Les Boréades de Montréal, and has performed with Il Pomo d’Oro, Pallade Musica, and Flûtes Alors!. He has also given solo recitals at the Utrecht Early Music Festival and Brussels’ Bozar and performed concertos with a number of award-winning ensembles, including Il Gardellino (Belgium), Neobarock (Germany), and Ensemble Caprice (Canada). He is currently a PhD student at Leiden University and the Orpheus Instituut, Ghent, where his research examines the intersection of memory, improvisation, and the musical work in seventeenth-century France. Since 2016, he is Assistant Professor of Harpsichord at Oberlin Conservatory.

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Samantha Ege

Gilded Age Chicago

Dr Samantha Ege is an Anniversary Research Fellow at the University of Southampton. She was the Lord Crewe Junior Research Fellow in Music at Lincoln College, University of Oxford (2020-2022). She holds a PhD in Musicology from the University of York and a BA with honours in Music from the University of Bristol. Dr Ege is a leading interpreter and scholar of the African American composer Florence B. Price. Dr Ege’s publications and performances shed an important light on composers from underrepresented backgrounds. In 2023, she won the Society for American Music’s Irving Lowens Article Award for “Chicago, the ‘City We Love to Call Home!’: Intersectionality, Narrativity, and Locale in the Music of Florence Beatrice Price and Theodora Sturkow Ryder” (American Music journal). In 2021, she received the American Musicological Society’s Noah Greenberg Award for her Black Renaissance Woman album. 
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Catalina Guevara Klein

Rebroadcast: Phoenix of Mexico

The Costa Rican bassoonist Catalina Guevara Klein holds a Master’ s Degree in Music from the University of Montreal and a Graduate Diploma in Historical Performance from the Juilliard School. Since 2005, she traveled extensively through the USA, Canada, Europe and Latin America as a performer, pedagogue and community leader. She attended recognized early music festivals such as Oficina de Música Antigua de Curitiba (Brazil), Varmia Musica Academia (Poland) Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute (Canada), Tafelmusik Winter Institute (Canada), American Bach Soloists (San Francisco), Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute (Ohio), Oregon Bach Festival and Amherst Music Festival. Catalina has collaborated with different ensembles as Camerata Antiqua de Curitiba (Brazil), McGill Baroque Orchestra (Montreal), Ensemble Telemann (Montreal), Erathos (Montreal) and Juilliard 415 (New York). She has performed operas and concerts featuring the early music scene conducted by Hank Knox, Barthold Kuijken, Luc Beauséjour, Jeffrey Thomas, Robert Mealy, Richard Egarr, Pablo Heras-Casado, Avi Stein, Nicholas McGegan and Ruben Valenzuela. In 2020 Catalina launched the Mount Parnassus Foundation in Canada in order to empower women in Historical Performance. 

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Haitham Haidar

Songs for Social Justice

Haitham Haidar is a Lebanese-Palestinian Canadian tenor based in Montreal. He is a proud graduate of Yale’s Institute of Sacred Music, McGill’s Schulich School of Music, and the University of British Columbia. Praised for his ‘ductile,’ ‘bright,’ and ‘robust’ tenor, Haitham enjoys performing oratorio, opera, and chamber music across North America, Europe, and Asia. Haitham is also a proud member of Kaleidoscope Vocal Ensemble (KVE), whose mission aims to present vocal music with the highest artistic excellence, while celebrating racial, ethnic, and gender diversity. Haitham has been seen as a tenor soloist on a US and European tour with Apollo’s Fire and as the Evangelist in Bach’s St. John Passion at the Winnipeg Baroque Festival. He has also been a recent soloist and ensemble member TENET Vocal Artists, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and Conspirare. Coming up, Haitham will be performing as the Evangelist in Schütz’s Weinachtshistorie with Folger Consort as well as the tenor soloist for Bach’s Easter Oratorio with Apollo’s Fire. Haitham’s approach to performance has always been humanity first. Being an Arab immigrant in North America comes with its unique set of oppressive challenges and it is because of that and what he sees around him in the field, that he aims to touch people’s hearts with music and compassion and make change in the world the best way he knows how.

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Christine Jobson

Gilded Age Chicago

Dr. Christine Jobson, Jamaican-American soprano, has performed in Spain, Portugal,
Austria, Russia, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Bermuda, and throughout the United States.
For two seasons starting in 2019, Christine was a featured soloist at the Metropolitan Opera for their Grammy award-winning production of Porgy and Bess. Recently, she covered Evenlyn in the Metropolitan Opera’s Grammy award-winning production of Fire Shut Up in My Bones. Dr. Jobson remains an advocate for the preservation and dissemination of vocal music by African American composers, including Negro spirituals, anthems, art song, gospel, and hymns. This passion inspired Dr. Jobson’s recordings: By Faith, a collection of hymns and Negro spirituals with Dr. Wayne Bucknor and Nearly Lost: Art Songs by Florence Price with Dr. Gregory Thomspon which was recently named one of Opera Wire’s “10 Essential & Historic Opera Recordings of Music by Black Composers.” Dr. Jobson’s piece I Dream a World, was featured in a production by English National Opera in 2020. Dr. Jobson is a musical entrepreneur who has launched a variety of endeavors including the release of her first children’s book, Lily’s First Trip to the Opera, in 2020 which was featured in Sigma Alpha Iota’s Pan Pipes Magazine. She also founded the Jobson Academy of Music in 2020, a virtual music school providing individual music instruction and performance opportunities for students of all ages.

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Michele Kennedy

Gilded Age Chicago

 Praised by The Washington Post as “a fine young soprano with a lovely voice” possessing “a graceful tonal clarity that is a wonder to hear” (SF Chronicle), soprano Michele Kennedy is a versatile specialist in early and new music. Her recent concert venues include Carnegie Hall, Davies Symphony Hall, Getty Museum, Lincoln Center, and Washington National Cathedral.A graduate of Yale University and NYU, Michele is committed to working toward greater equity and representation for BIPOC and female voices. A lifelong lover of Redwoods and Bay vistas, Michele lives in Oakland with her husband, visual artist Benjamin Thorpe, and their daughter, Audra May.

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Allison Monroe

Shipwreck!

A multi-instrumentalist, Allison Monroe has appeared with the Boston Camerata, Newberry Consort, Les Délices, Apollo’s Fire, Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, and Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, playing violin, viola, vielle, rebec, and singing. Since earning her DMA in Historical Performance Practice from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), Allison particularly enjoys creating her own musical opportunities: as Artistic Director and performer for Fair and Princely Branches, an album of English Renaissance music, released in 2020; as violinist and violist on an album of classical and early romantic duos with multi-instrumentalist Cynthia Black, recorded in July 2021; and as a founding member and co-director of Cleveland-based medieval ensemble Trobár. In the 2021-22 season, Allison looks forward to resuming live performances as a freelancer, presenting Trobár’s Cleveland series and a residency at Purdue University, Fort Wayne, teaching courses for the Siegal Lifelong Learning Center at CWRU, and directing CWRU’s Collegium Musicum and Baroque Orchestra.

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Debra Nagy

Executive Producer, Host

“A baroque oboist of consummate taste and expressivity” (Cleveland Plain Dealer) with a musical approach that’s “distinctly sensual…pliant, warm, and sweet,” (New York Times), Debra Nagy, director, is one of North America’s leading performers on the baroque oboe. She plays principal oboe with the American Bach Soloists, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, and Apollo’s Fire, and is a regular guest with the Handel & Haydn Society, Boston Early Music Festival, and Portland Baroque Orchestra, among other ensembles. Following studies at the Oberlin Conservatory, Conservatory of Amsterdam, and Case Western Reserve University, Debra has received many awards for her creative and scholarly pursuits including first-prize in the American Bach Soloists Young Artists Competition, a 2009 Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and a 2010 Creative Workforce Fellowship from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. She has recorded over 30 CDs with repertoire ranging from 1300-1800 on the Chandos, Avie, CPO, Capstone, Bright Angel, Naxos, and ATMA labels, and has had live performances featured on CBC Radio Canada, Klara (Belgium), NPR’s Performance Today, WQXR (New York City) and WGBH Boston.

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Michael Walker II

Songs for Social Justice

Countertenor Michael Walker II is celebrated both as a brilliant soloist and versatile chamber musician. Praised for his “luminous tone, weighted with pathos,” Michael performs nationally as a recitalist, a soloist with orchestra, and a chamber ensemble member. As an early music specialist, Michael finds pleasure in exploring literature from the medieval, renaissance, and baroque eras. He has been heard as a soloist with the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra (Bach’s St. John’s Passion), Kokomo Symphony Orchestra (Handel’s Messiah), Marquette Choral Society (Bach’s Magnificat), and Incantare (Schütz, Magnificat). As a new works and contemporary music enthusiast, Michael was the featured soloist in the U.S. premiere of Tarik O’Regan’s Triptych for wind band and the countertenor soloist in Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with IU Summer Philharmonic Orchestra. As a passionate advocate for celebrating inclusion, diversity, equity, and access (IDEA) within the classical arts, Michael in collaboration with the historical instrumental ensemble, Alchymy Viols, developed a program of Negro Spirituals arranged for voice and viols da gambas title Deep River: American Spirituals My Mother Taught Me. Also, Michael is a member of the Kaleidoscope Vocal Ensemble; a group of dynamic professional singers that promote IDEA while presenting vocal music with artistic excellence. Michael holds a Master of Music in Early Music Performance Practices from the Historical Performance Institute at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.

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Peter Walker

Shipwreck!

Described as a “commanding” singer by a recent Boston Globe review, Peter Walker performs with the GRAMMY-nominated Skylark Ensemble, Handel + Haydn Society, Three Notch’d Road, Chapter House, GRAMMY-nominated Clarion Society Choir, Kuhmo Kamarimusiiki, Staunton Music Festival, Early Music New York, Blue Heron, and Pomerium, and is a member of the Schola Cantorum at the Oratory of Saints Cyril and Methodius. Peter is active as a researcher of early music ranging from the early Middle Ages through the eighteenth century, and has presented lectures at Vassar College and Case Western.  Peter holds degrees from Vassar College and McGill University, where he studied with Drew Minter and Sanford Sylvan.  He won the Overseas Class in the Lowland and Border Pipers’ Society Competition in 2016, and his article on tablature for the sordellina appeared in the journal of the Bagpipe Society in 2019.  He has performed with Three Notch’d Road since 2015.

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Charles Weaver

Celestial Soundtrack

Charles Weaver teaches historical plucked instruments, Baroque music theory, and improvisation at Juilliard. He is also a visiting artist at Case Western Reserve University and has served as adjunct faculty at the CUNY Graduate Center, Baruch College, Brooklyn College, Queens College, and St. Joseph’s Seminary and College. He has been assistant conductor for Juilliard Opera and has participated in opera productions at the University of Maryland, the Cleveland Institute of Music, Princeton University, Yale University, and the Boston Early Music Festival. As a continuo player, he has performed with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Virginia Symphony. In addition to being a regular member of the ensemble Quicksilver, his chamber-music projects have included engagements with Piffaro, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Folger Consort, Apollo’s Fire, Blue Heron, the Newberry Consort, and Musica Pacifica. He is organist and choirmaster at St. Mary’s Church in Norwalk, Connecticut, where he specializes in the liturgical performance of medieval and renaissance music. He holds a BM in Lute Performance from Queens College, City University of New York (CUNY) and an MA in Music Theory and Analysis from the CUNY Graduate Center. He is currently pursuing a PhD in music theory at CUNY, with a research focus on the rhythmic interpretation of plainchant.

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Raquel Winnica Young 

Rebroadcast: Phoenix of Mexico

Hailed by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as a “beautifully voiced singer-actor” and by the American Record Guide as a mezzo-soprano of “gorgeous expressive singing” Raquel Winnica Young was a finalist of the Vocal Art Song Discovery Series DC, two-time winner of the Pittsburgh Concert Society Major Artist Competition and a finalist for The American Prize in Art Song and Oratorio. Specializing in Spanish and Latin-American baroque music, with a deep interest in the influence and transformation of the Spanish language and its origins across the centuries, Ms. Winnica Young’s career has taken her to concert halls throughout the Americas and Europe. In the US, she has appeared in concert with Chatham Baroque, The Newberry Consort, The Rose Ensemble and Apollo’s Fire. Born in Córdoba, Argentina, Ms. Winnica Young holds a degree from the Instituto de Arte del Teatro Colon and an Artist Diploma from Duquesne University. Ms. Winnica Young is Adjunct Faculty in Voice at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she teaches Applied Voice and Vocal Repertoire.

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Jonathan Woody

Sancho's Songbook

Jonathan Woody is a versatile musician maintaining an active schedule as a bass-baritone soloist, chamber musician and composer across North America. Jonathan appears regularly with historically-informed ensembles including Apollo’s Fire, Pacific MusicWorks, the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, Seraphic Fire, Kaleidoscope Ensemble, and TENET Vocal Artists. Festival appearances include the Boston Early Music Festival, Staunton Music Festival, Five Boroughs Music Festival, Portland Bach Festival, Carmel Bach Festival, and the Aldeburgh Festival at Snape Maltings. Recent and upcoming opera roles include Pandolfe in La Servante Maîtresse with Opera Lafayette, Le Grand Prêtre in Circé with Boston Early Music Festival and Elymas/Sorceress in Dido’s Ghost with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. Recording credits include the Choir of Trinity Wall Street’s Grammy®-nominated Israel in Egypt (Musica Omnia), ACRONYM’s Cantica Obsoleta (Olde Focus Recordings), Boston Early Music Festival’s Circé (CPO), New York Polyphony’s Roma Æterna (BIS Records), and Skylark Ensemble’s it’s a long way.

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Shelby Yamin

SalonEra Associate Producer; Curator: Celestial Soundtrack

Violinist Shelby Yamin brings signature vivacity to performances across the globe, from the historic state rooms of George Washington’s Mount Vernon to the storied chapel at Versailles. Shelby has appeared as a soloist with Philharmonia Baroque Chamber Players, Voices of Music, New York Baroque Incorporated and The Oregon Bach Festival orchestra. Dedicated to diversifying the canon, Shelby regularly researches, performs, and records lesser known works, including 18th-century repertoire from the music library of Nelly Custis and, more recently, the violin duets of Maddalena Lombardini Sirmen (1745-1818). Shelby’s discography includes the first ever recording of Sirmen’s entire opus of violin duets on period instruments (Orpheus Classical Label, 2021). Shelby has earned degrees from the Manhattan School of Music, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and The Juilliard School, where she won the Historical Performance Concerto Competition. In addition to performing regularly with Les Délices in concert, Shelby is the Associate Producer of SalonEra. She currently resides in New York City.