Baroque Bonanza – June 20th Artist Biographies

Geoffrey Burgess is known internationally as a performer on historical oboes. For twenty years a member of the Paris-based opera company Les Arts Florissants, he has also given concerts with leading early music groups throughout Europe, Australasia and North America. Widely sought after as a refined interpreter of baroque music, he has appeared as soloist with the Washington Bach Consort, Dallas Bach Society, and Philadelphia Bach Festival, and in recitals with prominent artists such as Julianne Baird and Elizabeth Futral. After initial studies in his hometown of Sydney, Australia, he specialized in baroque music in The Hague with Ku Ebbinge, followed by a doctoral degree in musicology at Cornell University. Dr. Burgess has taught at the Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin College and on the musicology faculties of Stony Brook, Case Western, Duke and Columbia Universities, and is currently the baroque oboe instructor at the Eastman School of Music. His book The Oboe (Yale University Press) written in collaboration with the late Bruce Haynes, won the 2007 Bessaraboff Prize from the American Musical Instrument Society. Meg Owens owns nine oboes of various shapes and sizes and enjoys playing all of them. In demand as a performer on historical oboes, she appears regularly with many of North America's Baroque orchestras, including American Bach Soloists, Opera Lafayette, Tafelmusik, Washington Bach Consort, Mercury Baroque, and the National Cathedral Baroque Orchestra. Recent concerts include solo appearances with REBEL, Four Nations, Chatham Baroque, the Sebastian Chamber Players, and the Berkshire Bach Society. Originally from Wilmington, North Carolina, she earned degrees in music performance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (B.M.), the Manhattan School of Music (M.M.), and the City University of New York (D.M.A.). Her scholarly pursuits center around the oboe band tradition at the courts and chateaux of Louis XIV, leading to recreations of, and lectures about, the music of the Philidor family of wind players. Dr. Owens currently teaches at George Mason University and Episcopal High School. Stephanie Corwin performs extensively on both historical and modern bassoons with a wide array of ensembles, including the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the American Classical Orchestra, Handel and Haydn Society, Cambridge Concentus, Opera Lafayette, REBEL, Arcadia Players, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Apollo’s Fire, and Musica Angelica. As a soloist, she was named the inaugural winner of the Meg Quigley Vivaldi Bassoon Competition and was a semifinalist in the 2008 Ima Hogg Young Artists Competition. Born and raised in Marietta, Georgia, she holds degrees from Davidson College, Yale University (M.M.), and Stony Brook University (D.M.A.), as well as a Performer’s Diploma from Indiana University’s Early Music Institute, where she studied with Michael McCraw. Cellist Rebecca Humphrey recently returned to the United States from Melbourne, Australia, where she was a founding member of Pleiades and performed regularly with the Eclectus Consort, the Australian Chamber Choir and the Australian Baroque Ensemble. Previously, Rebecca lived in Philadelphia, where she was an active freelancer, performing as a core member of Tempesta Di Mare and as a founding member of Aurelio and The Merion Trio while also appearing frequently with the Washington Bach Consort, the Handel Choir of Baltimore, and in New York City with Rebel and Quicksilver. She is a founding member of Belladonna Baroque Quartet, which has toured widely in the United States, Brazil and in Europe. Her recordings with Tempesta di Mare on the Chandos Label have received wide acclaim and the group has toured extensively with their Handel program “Flaming Rose”, featuring soprano Julianne Baird. Harpsichordist Leon Schelhase, a native of Cape Town, South Africa, found himself resonating with Baroque music from an early age. His musical studies brought him to the United States, where he has rapidly become sought after as both soloist and continuo performer. The holder of a master’s degree in historical performance from Boston University, where he was a student of Peter Sykes, he is also a recipient of the American Bach Soloists' prestigious Goldberg Prize. In the Boston area, his most notable musical collaboration has been with Cambridge Concentus, of which he is a founding member; he has also appeared with Emmanuel Music, Ensemble Florilege, and the Gardner Museum Orchestra. Elsewhere, Mr. Schelhase has performed with the chamber ensemble Old City Music, Ars Antiqua, the Philadelphia Bach Festival Orchestra, New York State Baroque, and Pegasus Early Music. He is continuo accompanist fellow at the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute and since 2012 has taught at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
MODERN MUSICK Risa Browder, Leslie Nero, Annie Loud, and Marlisa Woods, baroque violin John Moran and Rebecca Humphrey, baroque cello William Simms, theorbo; Leon Schelhase, harpsichord
Risa Browder received her professional training at Oberlin Conservatory. After completing graduate studies at the Royal College of Music in London and the Schola Cantorum in Basel, she began her professional career in Europe, performing with the Academy of Ancient Music, the English Concert, Purcell Quartet, and London Baroque, among other leading ensembles. Ms. Browder’s interest in historical performance on violin, viola, and viola d’amore ranging from the 17th century to the Romantic era, has led her to perform as a soloist with the Folger Consort, Washington Bach Consort (concertmaster), Capriole, Smithsonian Chamber Players, and Rebel. She is also on the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory, where she teaches baroque violin and viola and together with her husband, John Moran, directs the Baltimore Baroque Band. Leslie Nero, a native Washingtonian, spent many years in Ontario and Quebec performing in modern orchestras before returning to the D.C. area, where she is currently an active freelance musician on both modern and baroque violin and viola. In recent years she has performed locally with Opera Lafayette, Modern Musick, Folger Consort, the Handel Choir of Baltimore, and the Washington Bach Consort, and has participated in summer early-music festivals in Oberlin, Vancouver, Boston, Toronto, and Albuquerque. In addition to her performing career, Ms. Nero teaches beginning strings for the Alexandria City Public Schools. Annie Loud teaches both violin and viola at the Washington Conservatory of Music and the National Cathedral School and performs regularly with both modern and early music groups including Opera Lafayette, Washington Bach Consort, the National Cathedral Baroque Orchestra, Wolf Trap Opera Orchestra, Bloomington Early Music Festival, and Magnolia Baroque Music Festival. Prior to moving to the Washington, D.C. area, she taught at Chowan College in North Carolina, where she founded and directed the Meherrin Chamber Orchestra and Meherrin Youth Orchestra. Her solo and chamber music performances include concerts in Japan, Germany, Holland, and France. Marlisa Woods joined Pershing’s Own United States Army Orchestra in 2000 upon completion of her master’s degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Highly acclaimed as a solo artist, chamber musician, and orchestral violinist, her versatility in different styles has been featured in many of the world’s leading venues, from Bluegrass a the White House to the Brahms Double Concerto at the Kennedy Center. As a baroque violinist, Ms. Woods has performed with the Washington Bach Consort, Bach Sinfonia, Opera Lafayette, Apollo’s Fire, Harmonious Blacksmith, and the Vivaldi Project. Her most recent recording, with the Bach Sinfonia and lutenist Ronn McFarland, was selected as CD pick of the week by WETA-FM. John Moran, a native of the Washington, D.C. area, appears regularly as soloist and chamber musician on baroque and classical cello and viola da gamba on both sides of the Atlantic. He received his professional training at the Oberlin Conservatory and the Schola Cantorum (Basel, Switzerland). After a decade in Europe, where he appeared with groups such as The Consort of Musicke, English Baroque Soloists, Les Musiciens du Louvre, and Ex Cathedra, he returned to America where he has played with the Violins of Lafayette, Capriole, Trio Riot, the Smithsonian Chamber Players, the New York Collegium, the Boston Early Music Festival, and the Washington Bach Consort, among others. He is artistic director of the Washington, DC-based period instrument orchestra Modern Musick and is on the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. William Simms, theorbo and guitar, holds degrees from Peabody Conservatory (M.Mus.) and College of Wooster (B.Mus.). He appears regularly with such groups as Opera Lafayette, Apollo’s Fire, Modern Musick, and Olde Friends Concert Artists. Active as a continuo player, he has performed numerous operas and oratorios, including performances with the Cleveland Opera, New York State Baroque, and Tempesta di Mare. Mr. Simms serves on the faculties of Mount Saint 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. For Rebecca Humphrey and Leon Schelhase, please see the biographies of members of Kleine Kammermusik.