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Jeffrey Thomas & Corey Jamason, co-directors

Faculty
 
Elizabeth Blumenstock
ELIZABETH BLUMENSTOCK (violin & viola) is widely admired as a performer of interpretive eloquence and technical sparkle. A frequent soloist, concertmaster, and leader with American Bach Soloists, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and the Italian ensemble Il Complesso Barocco, she is also a member of several of California's finest period instrument ensembles, including Musica Pacifica, Ensemble Mirable, the Arcadian Academy, and Trio Galanterie. She has appeared with period orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout the United States and abroad, and has performed for the Boston and Berkeley Early Music Festivals, Germany's Goettingen Handelfestspiel, Los Angeles Opera, the Carmel Bach Festival, the Oulunsalo Soi festival in Finland, and the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, among many others. Ms. Blumenstock has recorded for Harmonia Mundi, Deutsche Grammophon, Virgin Classics, Dorian, BMG, Reference Recordings, Koch International, and Sono Luminus. She is instructor of baroque violin at the University of Southern California, teaches regularly at the International Baroque Institute at Longy, has taught at the Austrian Baroque Academy, and has coached university Baroque ensembles at USC, Roosevelt University, the University of Virginia, and California Institute of the Arts.
Max von Egmond
MAX VAN EGMOND (bass-baritone) was born in 1936, on the isle of Java (Netherlands East Indies, at the time). After World War II, he completed his education and musical studies in the Netherlands.. He became a member of the Nederlandse Bachvereniging (Dutch Bach Society) at the age of eighteen. In 1959 (three years after his friend and compatriot, Elly Ameling) he became one of the prizewinners at the 's‑Hertogenbosch Vocal competition. He took prizes also in Brussels (1959) and Munich (1964) competitions. Those prizes marked the beginning of his full-time distinguished career as a singer of oratorio, lieder, and baroque opera. Max van Egmond achieved his greatest fame as an interpreter of J. S. Bach's cantatas, masses, and passions, and from 1965 participated in complete recordings and performances of these masterpieces with conductors Gustav Leonhardt, Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Frans Brüggen. One of Holland's most beloved artists, he has received numerous awards and honors including a special decoration from Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands for his decades of service to Dutch musical life. His forty-year career has taken him throughout Europe, Canada, the USA, Israel, and Asia. For many years a professor at Amsterdam's Sweelinck Conservatory, Max van Egmond continues to give master classes throughout the world and has taught every summer in Mateus, Portugal and at the Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin, Ohio. His recent recordings with the Belgian-based Ricercar Consort have explored the extensive seventeenth-century German cantata repertory in a highly successful ongoing series, "Deutsche Barock Kantaten." In recent years, Max van Egmond has concentrated on performing lieder and French art songs, and has produced highly acclaimed recordings of Schubert's Winterreise and chansons of Gabriel Fauré (Channel Classics). His concerts, recordings, and many prominent students all provide eloquent testimony not only to his expertise in all areas of the vocal repertoire, but also to his great kindness and humanity in the service of music.
Corey Jamason
COREY JAMASON (harpsichord & Academy co-director) is a Grammy-nominated harpsichordist whose playing of Bach was described in the Los Angeles Times as displaying “the careful, due balance of objective detachment and lofty passion.” He appears frequently with American Bach Soloists, with whom he is principal keyboardist and has performed with a variety of ensembles including the San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Opera, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Musica Angelica, Camerata Pacifica, Yale Spectrum, Musica Pacifica, and El Mundo. Festival appearances include the Berkeley, Bloomington, San Luis Obispo Mozart, Music in the Vineyards, Whidbey Island, and Norfolk festivals. In 2007 he conducted performances of Monteverdi's Orfeo at the Bloomington Early Music Festival in celebration of the 400th year anniversary of its premiere and from 2007 to 2014 was artistic director of the San Francisco Bach Choir. He is co-artistic director and conductor of Theatre Comique, a new ensemble specializing in late nineteenth and early twentieth century American musical theatre. Recordings include performances with American Bach Soloists, violinist Gilles Apap, recorder player Astrid Andersson, and El Mundo, with whom he performs on the 2012 GRAMMY-nominated CD The Kingdoms of Castille. He is a contributing author to History of Performance, published in 2012 by Cambridge University Press and is preparing an article on the performance practice of early 20th century musical theatre for Oxford Handbooks Online, to be published in the fall of 2014 by Oxford University Press. Jamason received degrees in music from SUNY-Purchase, Yale University, and the Early Music Institute at Indiana University where he received a D.M. degree. He joined the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory in 2001, where he is director of the school’s historical performance program and professor of harpsichord.
Steven Lehning
STEVEN LEHNING (violone & contrabass) is a remarkable and versatile musician who is equally at home with violas da gamba, violone, violone grosso, and historical keyboards. The founder of Stylvs Phantasticvs, he has worked with many of the luminaries of the early music world including Jeffrey Thomas, John Butt, Andrew Parrott, and Ton Koopman. Mr. Lehning has performed throughout the U.S. and in Europe, appearing with the American Bach Soloists (since their inaugural season), Taverner Consort, Philharmonia Baroque, San Francisco Bach Choir, Santa Fe Pro Musica, Concert Royale, to name a few. He has performed at the acclaimed Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, as well as the Early Music Festivals in Boston and Berkeley. In addition to his performing career, he is sought after for his informative lectures on issues of performance practice, organology, as well as the cultural contexts in which works were conceived and performed. He is currently working toward a Ph.D. in musicology at the University of California (Davis). Mr. Lehning has been recorded on the American Bach Soloists, Delos, EMI, Harmonia Mundi, and Koch labels.
JUDITH MALAFRONTE (voice) has appeared with numerous orchestras and oratorio societies including the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, the San Francisco Symphony, the St. Louis and Baltimore Symphonies, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, and the Handel and Haydn Society. She has sung at the Tanglewood Festival, the Boston Early Music Festival, and the Utrecht Early Music Festival, and is a frequent guest artist with the American Bach Soloists, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, the Dave Brubeck Quartet, and The Harp Consort. Her operatic performances have included the title role in Handel's Serse at the Göttingen Festival, Scarlatti's L'Aldimiro at the Berkeley Festival, Dido and Aeneas with Mark Morris Dance Group (singing both Dido and the Sorceress), and Nero in Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea for the Aston Magna Festival. She has also sung leading roles at the opera houses of Lyon, Liège, and Montpellier. Ms. Malafronte has won several top awards in Italy, Spain, Belgium, and the United States, including the Grand Prize at the International Vocal Competition in 's‑Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands. She holds degrees with honors from Vassar College and Stanford University, and pursued post-graduate studies at the Eastman School of Music, with Mlle. Nadia Boulanger in Paris, and with Giulietta Simionato in Milan as a Fulbright scholar. She has recorded a wide range of repertoire, from the twelfth century chant of Hildegard von Bingen to the Deutsche Motette of Richard Strauss, including Handel operas, Bach cantatas, and the St. Matthew Passion with American Bach Soloists, medieval music, and Spanish 17th-century music. Ms. Malafronte's writings on music have appeared in Opera News, Early Music America, Stagebill, Schwann Inside, and Opus, and she is on the faculty at Yale University where she conducts the Yale Collegium Singers.
Robert Mealy
ROBERT MEALY (violin & viola) is one of America's leading historical string players. He has been praised for his "imagination, taste, subtlety, and daring" by The Boston Globe; The New Yorker called him "New York's world-class early music violinist." He has recorded and toured a wide variety of repertoire with many distinguished ensembles both here and in Europe, including Sequentia, Tragicomedia, Les Arts Florissants, and Tafelmusik; as a soloist and chamber musician, he has appeared at major early music festivals from Berkeley to Belgrade and from Melbourne to Bergen. A frequent leader and soloist in New York, Mr. Mealy is concertmaster at Trinity Wall Street, as they embark on a complete series of Bach cantata performances. Since 2004, he has led the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, making three Grammy-nominated recordings with them and many festival concerts, including a special appearance at Versailles. He has also led the Mark Morris Dance Group Music Ensemble in performances in New York, New Haven, and Moscow, and accompanied Renée Fleming on the David Letterman Show. A devoted chamber musician, he directs the 17th century music ensemble Quicksilver, and is a member of the King's Noyse and the Medieval quartet Fortune's Wheel. Since 2009, Mr. Mealy has been a professor at Yale University, where he directs the postgraduate Yale Baroque Ensemble. Prior to teaching at Yale, he founded and directed the Harvard Baroque Chamber Orchestra for a decade. He was recently appointed Director of Juilliard's Historical Performance Program. In 2004, he received EMA's Binkley Award for outstanding teaching and scholarship. He has recorded over eighty CDs on most major labels.
Sandra Miller
SANDRA MILLER (flute) had an early fascination with the music of Johann Sebastian Bach that ultimately led her to the baroque flauto traverso, upon which she is widely regarded to be one of the finest performers of her generation. Trained at the North Carolina School of the Arts and the Curtis Institute of Music in the conservatory curriculum traditional for woodwind players, she chose—instead of the path leading to membership in a symphony orchestra—to settle in New York City, where she leads an active musical life, appearing in a variety of chamber music performances, solo recitals and orchestral concerts. Ms. Miller was winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition, the Erwin Bodky Competition for Early Music, and of a Solo Recitalist's Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She is frequently invited to perform and record with many well-known period instrument ensembles, including the American Bach Soloists, American Classical Orchestra, Clarion Society orchestra, Sinfonia New York, New York Collegium, Boston's Handel & Haydn Society, and Tafelmusik. As a founding member and Associate Director of the ensemble Concert Royal, she has toured throughout the United States and in Canada, England, Germany, Brazil, and Mexico. For many years Professor (now Emerita) of Music at the Purchase College Conservatory of Music (SUNY), Ms. Miller has also taught at the Mannes College of Music, in CUNY's doctoral program, at the New England Conservatory of Music, and as Kulas Visiting Artist at Case Western Reserve University. She is currently on the faculty of the Historical Performance Program at the Juilliard School of Music in New York City. Her solo recordings include the complete Bach flute sonatas and, on six- and eight-keyed classical flutes, the three Mozart concertos.
Debra Nagy
DEBRA NAGY (oboe & recorder) has been praised for her “dazzling technique and soulful expressiveness,” (Rocky Mountain News), and deemed “an elegant soloist” (Cleveland Plain Dealer). She performs with baroque ensembles and orchestras on both coasts including American Bach Soloists, Portland & Seattle’s Baroque Orchestras, Tempesta di Mare, Rebel, Apollo’s Fire, Musica Pacifica, and many others. Ms. Nagy was the first-prize winner in the 2002 American Bach Soloists Young Artist Competition and is the director of Les Délices, whose debut recording was named “One of the Top Ten Early Music Discoveries of 2009.” She performs 15th-century music on shawms and recorders as a member of Ciaramella. Ms. Nagy serves on the Early Music faculty at Case Western Reserve University, where she earned her doctorate, and completed undergraduate and master’s degrees at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. She has recorded for Capstone Records, Bright Angel, Naxos, Chandos, Koch, Yarlung, CPO, and ATMA. Ms. Nagy makes her home in Cleveland, Ohio, where she was recently awarded a 2010 Creative Workforce Fellowship (a program of the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture, generously funded by Cuyahoga Arts & Culture).
Elizabeth Reed
WILLIAM SHARP (voice) is a consummate artist possessing the rare combination of vocal beauty, sensitivity, and charisma. Praised by The New York Times as a "sensitive and subtle singer" who is able to evoke "the special character of every song that he sings," Mr. Sharp has earned a reputation as a singer of great versatility and continues to garner critical acclaim for his work in concerts, recitals, operas, and recordings. Mr. Sharp has appeared throughout the United States with major orchestras and music festivals. In recent seasons he has performed with the New York Philharmonic, St. Louis Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. He is a frequent participant in Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Colorado Music Festival, and the Marlboro Music Festival. Mr. Sharp also enjoys his work in the performance of baroque and pre-baroque music. He has made numerous appearances with the Bach Aria Group, the Handel and Haydn Society, and the Maryland Handel Festival. William Sharp was nominated for a 1989 Grammy award for Best Classical Vocal Performance for his recording featuring the works of American composers such as Virgil Thomson and Lee Hoiby on the New World Records label. Mr. Sharp can also be heard on the 1990 Grammy award-winning, world premiere recording of Leonard Bernstein's Arias and Barcarolles on the Koch International label. Other recent recordings of Mr. Sharp's include the songs of Marc Blitzstein with The New York Festival of Song (Koch), J.S. Bach solo cantatas with the American Bach Soloists (Koch), and a collaboration with soprano Judith Kaye and pianist Steven Blier on Gershwin's Songs and Duets. Mr. Sharp has also recorded for Vox-Turnabout, Newport Classics, Columbia Records, Nonesuch, and CRI. William Sharp is the winner of the 1987 Carnegie Hall International American Music Competition.
William Skeen WILLIAM SKEEN (violoncello) regularly performs with American Bach Soloists, Philharmonia Baroque in the Bay Area, and Musica Angelica in Los Angeles. He also has appeared as solo cellist with the Los Angeles, Portland and Seattle baroque orchestras. Mr. Skeen is a notable and frequent continuo ‘cellist at major American opera houses such as Chicago Opera and San Diego Opera. A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music and the University of Southern California, Skeen has gone on to join the faculty at USC. where he has taught baroque cello and viola da gamba since 2000. In addition, he performs with the New Esterhàzy Quartet, El Mundo, Galanterie, and La Monica, which he co-founded in 1999. William is associate principal 'cellist of the Stockton Symphony and was, for seven seasons, a member of the Carmel Bach Festival orchestra. He has recorded for Koch, Delos, BIS, Hannsler, Sono Luminus, and Pandore records.
Kenneth Slowik KENNETH SLOWIK (viola da gamba and violoncello) is the Artistic Director of the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society. He first established his international reputation as a cellist and viola da gamba player through his work with the Smithsonian Chamber Players, Castle Trio, Smithson String Quartet, Axelrod Quartet, and with Anner Bylsma’s L’Archibudelli. Conductor of the Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra since 1988, he became conductor of the Santa Fe Bach Festival in 1998, and led the Santa Fe Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra from 1999 to 2004. He has been a soloist and/or conductor with numerous other orchestras, including the National Symphony, the Baltimore, Vancouver, and Québec Symphonies, the Filharmonia Sudecka, the Pleven Philharmonic, and the Cleveland Orchestra. Mr. Slowik’s impressive discography comprises over sixty recordings ranging from the Baroque to the early twentieth century. Of these, many have won prestigious international awards, including France’s Diapason d’Or and Choc, the British Music Retailers’ Award for Excellence, Italy’s Premio Internazionale del Disco Antonio Vivaldi, and two GRAMMY nominations. Recent releases include the first of several CDs of Haydn baryton trios with the ensemble Esterházy Machine, and a DVD film about Schönberg’s First Chamber Symphony and Verklärte Nacht. As an educator, he has presented lectures at colleges and universities throughout the United States and has contributed to a number of symposia and colloquia at museums in the United States and Europe. He serves on the faculties of the University of Maryland and L’Académie de musique du Domaine Forget, and was named Artistic Director of the Baroque Performance Institute at the Oberlin College Conservatory in 1993. In 2011, he was named recipient of the Smithsonian Secretary's Distinguished Research Lecture Award.
DOMINIC TERESI (bassoon) is principal bassoon of Tafelmusik, teaches historical bassoons and chamber music at The Juilliard School, and plays with Boston Early Music Festival, Quicksilver, American Bach Soloists and Juilliard Baroque. In demand on dulcian, baroque, classical and modern bassoon, he has also enjoyed playing with Le Concert d’Astrée, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, Arion Orchestra, Ensemble Caprice and Apollo’s Fire. His playing has been lauded as “stellar” (New York Times), “breath-stopping … managing to plumb every technical trick while also shaping the music with great skill” (Toronto Star) and “reminding us of the expressive powers of the bassoon” (The Globe and Mail). Dominic has been a featured artist on CBC Radio, performing a live radio concert of bassoon concertos and sonatas, and has appeared as an acclaimed concerto soloist throughout Europe, Australia and North America. Recent recordings include projects with Tafelmusik, Quicksilver, Four Centuries of Bach, Chatham Baroque, Toronto Consort, and Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Ensemble. A native of California, Mr. Teresi holds a masters degree and artist diploma from Yale University, and a doctorate in early music from Indiana University.

John Thiessen
JOHN THIESSEN (trumpet) has performed with American Bach Soloists for nearly 15 years, and appears as soloist and principal trumpet with early music ensembles throughout the US and Canada, including Tafelmusik, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Boston Early Music Festival, and Juilliard Baroque. He has performed with the English Baroque Soloists, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Taverner Players, Academy of Ancient Music, and Handel & Haydn Society, and has appeared frequently at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood, Wolf Trap, and the Mostly Mozart Festival. Mr. Thiessen is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and King's College, University of London, and the recipient of grants from the Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council. He has presented masterclasses for the International Trumpet Guild, University of Southern California, University of Texas, and University of North Texas. Mr. Thiessen has taught at the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute and at the International Baroque Institute of the Longy School of Music in Boston. He has coached for Carnegie Hall's Academy program and served as adjunct instructor for the Juilliard School and Université de Montréal. Mr. Thiessen has recorded extensively for Sony Classical Vivarte, Telarc, EMI, BMG, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, London Decca, Analekta, CBC, American Bach Soloists, and Denon, including Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, Orchestral Suites, Magnificat, and Christmas Oratorio; Telemann's Concerto In D Major; Handel's Messiah, Water Music, and Music for the Royal Fireworks; Vivaldi's Gloria and Concerto for Two Trumpets (with Crispian Steele-Perkins); Beethoven Symphonies; and Haydn's Masses and Symphonies.
Jeffrey Thomas
JEFFREY THOMAS (conductor & Academy co-director) is Artistic and Music Director of the American Bach Soloists, with whom he has directed and conducted recordings of more than 25 cantatas, the Mass in B Minor, Musical Offering, motets, chamber music, and works by Schütz, Pergolesi, Vivaldi, Haydn, and Beethoven. Before devoting all of his time to conducting, he was one of the first recipients of the San Francisco Opera Company's prestigious Adler Fellowships. Cited by The Wall Street Journal as "a superstar among oratorio tenors," Mr. Thomas' extensive discography of vocal music includes dozens of recordings of major works for Decca, EMI, Erato, Koch International Classics, Denon, Harmonia Mundi, Smithsonian, Newport Classics, and Arabesque. Educated at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Manhattan School of Music, and the Juilliard School of Music, with further studies in English literature at Cambridge University, he has taught at the Amherst Early Music Workshop, Oberlin College Conservatory Baroque Performance Institute, San Francisco Early Music Society, and Southern Utah Early Music Workshops, presented master classes at the New England Conservatory of Music, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, SUNY at Buffalo, Swarthmore College, and Washington University, been on the faculty of Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, and was artist-in-residence at the University of California, where he is now professor of music (Barbara K. Jackson Chair in Choral Conducting). He was a UC Davis Chancellor's Fellow from 2001 to 2006; and the Rockefeller Foundation awarded him a prestigious Residency at the Bellagio Study and Conference Center at Villa Serbelloni for April 2007, to work on his manuscript, "Handel's Messiah: A Life of Its Own."

 
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