David Angus has just extended his contract for a third time as the Music Director of Boston Lyric Opera, where he conducts the majority of the productions each year and oversees all musical matters. Previously he was the Music Director of Glimmerglass Opera, in upstate New York. He is also the Honorary Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of Flanders, following several years as its Principal Conductor, when he played a major part in establishing it as Belgium’s most exciting and successful new orchestra. In recent seasons he made his debuts with the Hong Kong Philharmonic and the OFUNAM orchestra in Mexico City, and he returned to Wexford Festival Opera, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and to his former orchestra in Belgium for the opening of the Flanders Festival. Born in England, David Angus spent his early years in Belfast. He was a boy chorister at King's College, Cambridge, under Sir David Willcocks, and he read music at Surrey University where he specialised as a pianist. He finished his training with a Fellowship in Conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, where he won several prizes for his opera conducting. His professional career began as a repetiteur with Opera North (UK), before becoming Chorus Master and Staff Conductor for Glyndebourne Festival Opera. At Glyndebourne he conducted many operas, both in the Festival and on tour. David Angus’ operatic career then took him to Italy, where he conducted several productions and concerts in Turin, Milan, Bologna and Modena. He has worked with Scottish Opera, Opera North and English Touring Opera, and conducted many productions elsewhere in the UK and Ireland, including several British premieres for the Brighton Festival. He has also conducted at the Canadian Opera Company, Cleveland Opera, Opéra National de Paris, Danish National Opera, Malmö Opera and Icelandic Opera. On the UK concert platform David Angus regularly conducts the London Philharmonic, both in concert and in the recording studio, and has given many concerts all over the country with the London Mozart Players. He has conducted most of the major orchestras in the country, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, the BBC's Philharmonic and Scottish Symphony Orchestras, the Ulster Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Northern Sinfonia. David Angus broadcasts frequently on BBC Radio 3 and abroad, in Austria, Ireland, Holland, Denmark, Italy, and particularly on Klara, the Belgian Classical Music channel. He conducts orchestras and choirs all over Europe, particularly in Scandinavia where he has been a regular guest with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra and several Danish orchestras. In North America he has appeared with the Utah Symphony, the San Antonio Symphony and the Calgary Philharmonic. Future plans include several operas in Boston, Elgar and Macmillan with the Huddersfield Choral Society and the BBC Philharmonic, 2 CD recordings with the orchestra of Opera North and with the London Philharmonic, and orchestral concerts in the USA, the UK, Sweden and Italy. www.david-angus.com
Richard B. Beams is the founder and director, Opera con Brio (www.operaconbrio.com). He has been teaching opera history and opera-related courses for over forty years, the last thirty-five primarily through Opera con Brio which he founded as an opera-education program for adults in the Boston area in 1979. This program has offered over 60 different courses, ranging from studies of individual composers (Verdi, Rossini, Mozart, Handel, Bach, Vivaldi, Mahler, Strauss, Wagner, Puccini, Britten, Berlioz) to period and history courses (The Age of Bel Canto, Russian Opera, French Opera, Classical Literature and Legend as Opera, Shakespeare and Opera, Wagner’s RING: Music, Myth, and Meaning.) For years these courses were also available to Pine Manor College students as Directed Studies. Mr. Beams has also led numerous opera tours, both for Opera con Brio and for other organizations. Among the many tours have been the following: The Salzburg Festival, The Rossini Festival (Pesaro, Italy), The Bayreuth Festival, The Glyndebourne Festival, The Glimmerglass Festival, The Aldeburgh Festival, The Santa Fe Festival, Moscow and St. Petersburg. Recent tours: Donizetti Bicentennial Tour to Northern Italy (1998), The Halle and Gottingen Handel Festivals in Germany (1999), Bellini tour to Sicily (2002), Rossini tour to Italy (2003), Vivaldi’s Venice (2008), Haydn Bicentennial Tour to Berlin (2009), Britten Tour to England (2010), Wexford Opera Festival, Ireland (2011), Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires (2012). Mr. Beams is also a frequent lecturer on opera. In addition to lectures for the University of New Hampshire and various independent organizations, he has lectured for such opera companies as The Omaha Opera, The Sarasota Opera, The Handel and Haydn Society, Opera North, Boston Baroque and The Opera Company of Boston. For fifteen years he was the regular pre-opera lecturer for The Boston Lyric Opera. Mr. Beams has been a recipient of two NEH Fellowships and was on the advisory board of the Boston Concert Opera, The Berkshire Opera Company and The Boston Chamber Music Society as well as a consultant to Opera World Inc.
Historical keyboardist Sylvia Berry, a Philadelphia native, has performed as a soloist, chamber musician, and Art Song collaborator in the US, Canada, The Netherlands, the UK, and Italy. Her recording of Haydn’s London Sonatas on an 1806 Broadwood and Son grand (Acis, 2013) earned critical acclaim, with a review in Early Music America heralding her as “A complete master of the rhetoric throughout, whether in the driving passagework of the allegros of the cantabile adagios.” Her work in Opera Boston’s production of La Clemenza di Tito led Lloyd Schwartz to write “Special applause for continuo fortepianist Sylvia Berry, who played as if she were one of the actors.” Her new ensemble The Berry Collective, whose aim is to present a wide range of repertoire dating roughly from Schobert to Schubert, recently performed a number of programs featuring rarely heard works such as C.P.E. Bach’s Concerto for Harpsichord and Fortepiano. She is known not only for exciting performances, but for engaging commentary about the music and the instruments she plays; while primarily known as a fortepianist, she also concertizes at the harpsichord, clavichord, and organ. Ms. Berry was recently invited to present lectures on the history of the piano at The Stowe School in Buckinghamshire (UK) and has also lectured regularly on the sociological history of women keyboardists of the 18th and early 19th centuries - with an emphasis on famous works written for noted female “amateurs” - at Simmons College. Though getting a late start in music, she attended the New England Conservatory, the Oberlin Conservatory, and the Royal Conservatory in The Hague.
Ya-Fei Chuang’s international appearances include the Berlin Radio Symphony, the Boston Philharmonic, the City of Birmingham Symphony, the Israel Symphony, the Malaysian Philharmonic, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra; and on fortepiano include Boston Baroque, Handel & Haydn Society, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Philharmonia Baroque, and Concerto Köln. Performances at the National Concert Hall in Taipei, the Berlin Philharmonie and Schauspielhaus Berlin, the Gewandhaus Leipzig, London’s Queen Elisabeth Hall, and Suntory Hall in Tokyo. Her Boston appearances include Symphony and Jordan Halls, the Celebrity Series, the Fromm Foundation Concerts, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has performed at numerous international festivals, including the Beethoven Festival (Warsaw), the European Music Festival in Germany, the Bach Festival (Leipzig), the Taipei International Music Festival, the Ruhr Piano Festival (numerous appearances), and the festivals of Schleswig-Holstein, Gilmore, Ravinia, Sarasota, and Tanglewood. Ya-Fei Chuang is a frequent duo partner with Steven Isserlis and Robert Levin, and has appeared at the International Music Sessions in Prussia Cove, England, with the New York Philomusica, and frequently with the Spectrum Ensemble Berlin. Appearances in recent seasons include the festivals of Verbier, Ruhr, Oregon Bach, Nevada, the Mozartwoche in Salzburg, the Mozart Festival in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, and in Boston, New York, San Francisco, Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tokyo, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and at the International Grieg Piano Competition in Norway as a member of the jury. She has recorded for ECM, Harmonia Mundi, Naxos, and New York Philomusica Records, Ruhr Festival; and upcoming CD releases include all-Liszt and all-Chopin recordings, as well as the complete piano solo works by Ravel to be released worldwide on Harmonia Mundi.
Cited by the Huffington Post for his “inner sense of creative flow, fueled by an abundance of musical imagination and desire,” harpsichordist Paul Cienniwa has an active career as a soloist, ensemble player, recording artist, and teacher. His playing of Francis Poulenc’s Concert champêtre was heralded by the New Bedford Standard-Times as “exquisite—no drama, no posturing—just consummate artistry and a superb performance of a marvelous concerto,” and The Boston Musical Intelligencer called his performance of Bach’s Harpsichord Concerto in A Major “a joyous romp.” His recording with Grammy Award-winning uilleann piper Jerry O'Sullivan was named one of the top ten Irish traditional albums of 2010 by The Irish Echo. A frequent chamber music collaborator, he has performed the complete Bach Violin Sonatas with renowned violinist Rachel Barton Pine on Chicago’s WFMT radio and during the 2013 Boston Early Music Festival. As an orchestral continuo player, he plays with the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra and the Rhode Island Philharmonic. A resident of Fall River, Massachusetts, Paul Cienniwa leads an active musical life in southeastern Massachusetts and the Boston/Providence regions. He is on the faculties of Music School of the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Framingham State University, and UMass-Dartmouth. He also serves as music director at First Church in Boston, where he can be heard weekly on WERS (88.9 FM) Boston. He was awarded the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in harpsichord from Yale University in 2003. For more information, visit www.paulcienniwa.com.
Richard Dyer’s most recent appearance in musical theater was when he performed, with a few helpful transpositions, the role of Nanki-Poo in The Mikado in 1959. In between those performances and this one his principal occupation was writing about music in The Boston Globe and many other newspapers and magazines, as well as the New Grove Dictionaries of Music, Opera, and American Music, the Encyclopedia Americana, and the Metropolitan Opera Encyclopedia of Opera; he was twice the winner of the Deems Taylor/ASCAP award for distinguished music criticism. Since his retirement from The Globe in 2006 after 33 years there, he has remained active as a teacher (at the Tanglewood Music Center, Aspen, the Bard Graduate Vocal Arts Program); he has written program notes and interviews or given talks for the Boston Symphony, Opera Boston, the Boston Lyric Opera, and Boston Midsummer Opera and several other organizations and spent four seasons on the board of Emmanuel Music. He has covered European and Asian tours by the Boston Symphony, the Opera Company of Boston, and the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. He has served on the eight different juries of four international piano competitions as well as at the Miss America Pageant. He is delighted to have been invited to perform a speaking role in Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail, and is even more relieved than the audience tonight that he won’t have to sing.
John Finney enjoys an extremely active musical career in and around Boston, Massachusetts. He has established himself as a keyboard player, and as a choral and orchestral conductor of great vitality and versatility. He holds degrees in organ performance from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and The Boston Conservatory; his teachers have included David S. Boe, Lisa Goode Crawford, and James David Christie. He has performed solo recitals throughout the United States and in Europe, and has been a prize-winner in several international organ competitions, including the competition in Bruges, Belgium. John Finney recently celebrated his 30th anniversary as Director of Music at the Wellesley Hills Congregational Church in Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts. He holds the title of Distinguished Artist-in-Residence at Boston College, where he is Director of the 150-voice University Chorale and the Boston College Symphony Orchestra. He has been the conductor of the 90-voice Heritage Chorale in Framingham for over 25 years. He has performed as harpsichordist/organist and conductor at the acclaimed Blue Hill Bach Festival in Blue Hill, Maine, since 2013. He was Associate Conductor and Chorusmaster of the world-renowned Handel & Haydn Society in Boston from 1990 until 2014. He has served on the organ faculty of The Boston Conservatory, and taught for six years at the Academy for Early Music in Bressanone, Italy.
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 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. Gordon studied with Patricia Zander at the New England Conservatory of Music, where she was given an Outstanding Alumni Award in 2009. photo: matt dine
John Heiss is an active composer, conductor, flutist, and teacher. He has received awards and commissions from the National Institute of Arts and Letters, Fromm Foundation, NEA, Rockefeller Foundation, Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities, ASCAP, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Mr. Heiss has been principal flute of Boston Musica Viva and has performed with many local ensembles, including the BSO. He has been a faculty member of New England Conservatory since 1967, and has taught New England Conservatory students the roots of 20th-century modernism both in the classroom and as a conductor and coach. His courses on Ives, Schoenberg, and Stravinsky have shaped generations of musicians.
Teresa M. Neff is the Christopher Hogwood Historically-Informed-Performance Research Fellow for the Handel and Haydn Society and co-editor of The Handel and Haydn Society: Bringing Music to Life for 200 Years. Teresa is a lecturer at MIT where she received a Levitan Teaching Prize in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.
Pianist Esther Ning Yau, native of Hong Kong, is currently a faculty member of the Collaborative Piano Department at Longy School of Music of Bard College, and the Preparatory and School of the Continuing Education departments at New England Conservatory. In the summer, Yau is also a member of the Piano Faculty at International Music Academy in Cremona (Italy) and previously, Regensburg (Germany). An active soloist and chamber musician, Yau’s performances have brought her to numerous concert venues world-wide, including Jordan Hall in Boston, Merkin Concert Hall in New York, Museum of Arts in Puerto Rico, Giovanni Arvedi Auditorium in Cremona, National Concert Hall in Taipei, Esplanade in Singapore and Government House in Hong Kong. As founding member of New Piano Quartet, Innonet Trio and Duo Anime, Yau is featured frequently at the Longy Septemberfest, Harvard-Epworth Church Concert Series, WCRB Live at Copley, First Night Boston, Newport Symposium Chamber Music Concert and Bar Harbor Music Festival. Yau holds a double Master’s Degree in Piano Performance and Collaborative Piano from New England Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Patricia Zander and Irma Vallecillo. She has received fellowships from International Institute of Vocal Arts in Italy, UCLA Song Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Music Academy of the West and Yellow Barn Music Festival. She has also worked as a staff pianist at Boston Conservatory and Meadowmount School of Music. Apart from her musical duties, Yau is currently serving as a member of the New England Conservatory Alumni Council. www.estherningyau.com
Born in Hong Kong, Edwin Sung, winner of Emmanuel Music's Handel Overture Competition, discovered at the age of 12 that he has a natural talent for creating new music and has been an amateur composer ever since. His influences have stemmed from the classical training he has received on piano, violin and trombone, all of which he has achieved high standards of playing; however a lot of his music comes from more modern influences such as electronic sounds, and more recently, world influences - primarily from Ireland and Scotland. Edwin moved to the UK at the age of 17 where his musical experience continued to flourish. There he discovered many more inspirations for his compositions as well as gaining many more opportunities to perform them. During his time at Cambridge University, Edwin continued to write music at a fast rate and gave many concerts where he and many of his fellow students performed his works. Despite his degree in Mathematics, music remains a major part of Edwin’s life in England, where he is a valued member of many amateur orchestras and other groups, some of which have performed his music alongside their standard repertoire. Within these orchestras, he has performed throughout the world, from France to Thailand. Edwin prides himself in arranging well-known works for many different groups of instruments, and these arrangements see a lot of his success as a composer. However, his original works for orchestra have been played around the world, from Ireland to Germany. Edwin Sung is married and lives in Cambridge, UK.
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, 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).
Christoph Wolff is Adams University Professor at Harvard University. Born and educated in Germany, he studied organ and historical keyboard instruments, musicology and art history at the Universities of Berlin, Erlangen, and Freiburg, taking a performance diploma in 1963 and the Dr. Phil. in 1966. He taught the history of music at Erlangen, Toronto, Princeton, and Columbia Universities before joining the Harvard faculty in 1976 as Professor of Music; William Powell Mason Professor of Music, 1985-2002; and Adams University Professor, 2002-the present. At Harvard he served as Chair of the Music Department (1980-88, 90-91), Acting Director of the University Library (1991-92), and Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (1992-2000). Recipient of various international prizes, several honorary degrees, he holds an honorary professorship at the University of Freiburg and memberships in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the Sächsische Akademie der Wissenschaften. He currently serves as Director of the Bach-Archiv in Leipzig and President of the Répertoire International des Sources Musicales. He has published widely on the history of music from the 15th to the 20th centuries. Bach: Essays on His Life and Music (Cambridge, 1991), Mozart's Requiem (Berkeley, 1994), The New Bach Reader (New York, 1998), and Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician (New York, 2000-translated into eight languages) are his most recent books.