DEBRA NAGY (oboe & recorder) has been hailed for her "dazzling technique and soulful expressiveness" (Rocky Mountain News), and recognized as "a Baroque oboist of consummate taste and expressivity" (Cleveland Plain Dealer). She is in demand as a soloist and collaborative musician on both coasts, performing with baroque ensembles and orchestras in San Francisco (American Bach Soloists), Los Angeles (Musica Angelica), Portland (Portland Baroque Orchestra), Seattle (Seattle Baroque Orchestra), Cleveland (Apollo's Fire), Philadelphia (Tempesta di Mare) and New York (Clarion Society and Ensemble Rebel). A first-prize winner in the American Bach Soloists (ABS) Young Artist Competition, Debra has performed concertos by Bach, Telemann, Handel, and Vivaldi with ABS, Apollo's Fire, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado, and the San Francisco Bach Choir. She is also the founder of Les Délices, a Cleveland-based ensemble dedicated to chamber music of the French Baroque. Debra has a second specialty in fifteenth century music. She performs on shawms, recorders and as a singer as a member of Ciaramella, and has joined Piffaro, the Newberry Consort, and the Blue Heron Renaissance Choir as a guest artist.
Debra received her Doctor of Musical Arts in Early Music from Case Western Reserve University, where she directs the singers and instrumentalists of the Collegium Musicum in programs spanning the fourteenth to seventeenth centuries. Her research projects at Case included an edition of unique pieces from the Chansonnier Nivelle de la Chaussée (c. 1465), an analysis of the synthesis of instrumental virtuosity and vocal aesthetics in the works and performing career of Ludwig August Lebrun (for which she received Case's Adel Heinrich Musicology Prize), and a reevaluation of the late-seventeenth century airs and brunettes repertory as a source of solo music for woodwinds. Dedicated to developing her scholarly interests, Debra has presented lecture recitals and papers for the Society for Seventeenth Century Music, and for the Americam Musicological Society, and recently published an article in NOTES entitled, "Scratched-out Notes, Erased Pieces, and other Lacunae in the Chansonnier Nivelle de la Chaussée" (Fall 2009). In addition, Debra received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2009 to participate in a seminar on Music-Book Culture at the Newberry Library, conducted research in Paris in 2008 with the help of an Eva L. Pancoast Fellowship, and spent 2002-2003 researching Renaissance double reed instruments in Brussels as the receipient of a Belgian American Educational Foundation Grant. She studied baroque oboe at the Conservatory of Amsterdam with Alfredo Bernardini, and received her undergraduate and master's degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory, where she studied with James Caldwell and Gonzalo Ruiz.
Debra's wide ranging discography includes two discs of fifteenth-century instrumental and vocal music with Ciaramella (Naxos & Yarlung), "Stolen Gold" for amplified baroque and tape – a work written for Debra by composer Anna Rubin (Capstone Records), collaborations with vielle player Shira Kammen ("Mistral" on Bright Angel Records), Handel's Acis and Galatea with the Montreal-based ensemble Les Boréades (ATMA), sacred music of Vivaldi with Toronto's Aradia Ensemble (Naxos), Masses of Joseph Haydn with Ensemble Rebel & the Trinity Choir (Naxos), Brandenburg Concertos with the American Bach Soloists, instrumental music by Johann Friedrich Fasch with Philadelphia's Tempesta di Mare (Chandos), Lully's Psyché, Charpentier's Acteon, and Blow's Venus & Adonis with the Boston Early Music Festival (CPO), and Lutheran Masses of J.S. Bach with the Washington Bach Consort (Loft Recordings). Les Délices's debut CD, The Tastes Reunited, Ciaramella's Music from the Burgundian Courts, and a disc featuring BWV 170 "Vergnügte Ruh" with Ian Howell and the American Bach Soloists have also recently been released.
Debra has appeared at many international early music festivals including the Boston & Berkeley Early Music Festivals, Bloomington (Indiana), Regensburg (Germany), and Laus Polyphoniae (Belgium), and has had live performances featured on CBC Radio Canada, Klara (Belgium), NPR's Performance Today, WQXR (New York City), WKSU Kent, WCPN Cleveland, and WGBH Boston. She has taught baroque oboe and early double reeds at summer workshops including the American Bach Soloists ACADEMY, and the Amherst and Madison Early Music Festivals.
Debra was named a Creative Workforce Fellow in 2010. The Creative Workforce Fellowship is a program of the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture, generously funded by Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.