Songs of Love and War

November 9, 2014 | 3:00pm | Pre-concert chat with Stephen Stubbs at 2:15
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Stephen Stubbs, and Pacific MusicWorks; Catherine Webster, soprano; Danielle Sampson, soprano; Reginald L. Mobley, countertenor; Ross Hauck, tenor; Aaron Sheehan, tenor; Douglas Williams, bass; Tekla Cunningham, violin; Linda Melsted, violin; Elisabeth Reed, viola da gamba; Stephen Stubbs, lute and direction; Maxine Eilander, harp & harpsichord


“The man is a genius. Oh, I meant Stubbs. But Monteverdi, too, was no slouch.” – The Seattle Times

“If Pacific MusicWorks ever does a concert at St. James Cathedral, just go. Don’t even stop to look at what’s on the program. Actually, see them anywhere. And actually, do look at the program, because it’s bound to be brilliant.” 

John Sutherland, The Seattle Times, Dec.2, 2012

Claudio Monteverdi’s Eighth and last book of Madrigals includes his most revolutionary and stirring music. In these works, Love and War become indivisible metaphors that Monteverdi evokes with the most exciting musical devices of the period. Book 8 represents the pinnacle of 17th-century musical expression and still has the power to move listeners today.

Generously sponsored by Early Music Vancouver’s Board of Directors.


Programme

Hor ch’el ciel Prima Parte e Seconda Parte
Chiomo d’oro
Gira il nemico insidioso Amore
Instrumental Sonata X – Dario Castello
Ego flos campi
Su,su,su pastorelli vezzosi
Lamento d’Arianna
Augelin

Intermission

Lamento della Ninfa
Instrumental
Ogni amante è guerrier
Altri Canti di Marte –Prima parte


Programme notes

In Claudio Monteverdi’s extraordinarily long composing career he led the way for the entire musical world from the Renaissance to the Baroque, from the a cappella madrigal to the fully realized “madrigali concertanti” replete with continuo accompaniment and obbligato strings, and from the early court opera to the world’s first public operas in Venice. He published his eighth book of “madrigals” (Madrigali guerrieri, et amorosi…libro ottavo, Venice, 1638) when he was seventy-one years old, nineteen years after the seventh book of madrigals was printed. Book Eight holds a place of highest significance both for its contents and for its extensive preface. This preface serves as a kind of manifesto not only of his personal philosophy of composition, but for the aesthetic goals of modern music in his time.

Monteverdi’s explicit aim was for music to express the entire range of man’s passions. He came to believe that there was a particular element heretofore missing from the expressive range of music, and he determined to supply it. Earlier composers, he believed, had realized only two of man’s three major passions: the soft and the moderate. A third passion, agitation, was too important to be overlooked, and he now intended to rectify the omission:

I have reflected that the principal passions or affections of our mind are three, namely, anger, moderation and humility or supplication; so the best philosophers declare, and the very nature of our voice indicates this in having high, low and middle registers. The art of music also points clearly to these three in its terms “agitated,” “soft,” and “moderate” (concitato, molle, and temperato). In all the works of earlier composers I have indeed found examples of the “soft” and the “moderate” but not of the “agitated,” a genus described by Plato in these words: “Take that harmony that would fittingly imitate the utterances of a brave man who is engaged in warfare”. And since I was aware that it is contrasts which greatly move our minds, and that this is the purpose which all good music should have—for this reason I have applied myself with no small diligence and toil to rediscover this genus.

My development of this warlike genus has given me occasion to write certain madrigals that I have called guerrieri. And since the music played before great princes at their courts to please their delicate taste is of three kinds according to the method of performance, I have indicated these in my present work with the titles guerriera, amorosa, and rappresentativo.

The phrase “contrasts which greatly move our minds” explains not only the title of the book, but also the organization of the collection and nearly each work within it. For this collection, Monteverdi chose poems with highly contrasted or conflicting emotions, often depicting the lover as warrior, or the internal state of war in the lover’s heart. The two contrasting emotions of the title—warlike and amorous—become the subheadings for the two halves of the book: Canti Guerrieri for the first, and Canti Amorosi for the second. The two large works that open and close our program are emblematic of each half in turn. Hor che’l ciel, the quintessential canto guerriero, sets a magnificent sonnet by Petrarch which presents the opportunity for vivid musical contrasts: the night is serene with all of nature at peace, yet in the lover’s heart, war rages. The introduction to the Canti Amorosi is the setting of Marino’s poem Altri canti di Marte, in which the first line announces the poetic agenda: “Let others sing of War, I sing of Love.”

Hor che’l ciel, e la terra
(Monteverdi, Madrigali guerrieri, et amorosi…libro ottavo, Venice, 1638)
With this deeply expressive setting of Petrarch’s sonnet, Monteverdi simultaneously declares his aesthetic allegiance to the venerated fourteenth-century poet and also to the newest musical credo of limpid declamation. The piece begins with a hushed, almost motionless, depiction of the stillness of night… then erupts with the full force of Monteverdi’s new invention of musical warfare to depict the inner life of the harried lover.

Chiome d’oro
(Monteverdi, Concerto. Settimo libro de madrigali, Venice, 1619)
One of Monteverdi’s most perennially popular pieces, this charming duet for a pair of sopranos, set against a pair of violins, dances along above a jaunty walking bass until the two moments depicting the lovers death (in this genre, likely to be the “little death” of sexual climax), which are given an expansive and sensuous treatment.

Gira il nemico
(Monteverdi, Madrigali guerrieri, et amorosi…libro ottavo, Venice, 1638)
Although this piece has in common with Hor che’l ciel and Ogni amante
è guerrier the use of Monteverdi’s concitato (warlike) style, it is here put to use in a jocular context that harkens back to the sixteenth-century Neapolitan canzone villanesca, which was a musical emanation of the large phenomenon of street theater known as commedia dell’arte.

Ego flos campi
(Monteverdi, Seconda raccolta de sacri canti, Calvi, Venice, 1624)
This lovely setting of a text from the Song of Songs belongs to the same lineage as Nigra sum and Pulchra es from Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers.

Sonata terza
(Dario Castello, Sonate Concertate in Stil Moderno, Libro II, Venice, 1629)
Dario Castello, whose biography is almost a perfect blank, was known to have worked at San Marco during Monteverdi’s regime as maestro di cappella there. His plastic and expressive music is the closest instrumental idiom we have to Monteverdi’s exclusively vocal output.

Et e pur dunque vero
(Monteverdi, Scherzi musicali, Venice, 1632)
This piece is unique in its form, not only within Monteverdi’s works, but altogether. There are many pieces for solo voice with continuo which partake of the formal device here of strophic variation, where each succeeding strophe uses a given harmonic ground on which to build various melodic structures, but these are usually divided by a recurring “ritornello,” either for the continuo alone or with violins. The departure here is to vary the interludes for solo violin as much as the vocal strophes themselves—in a sense, the violin takes on its own narrative. It seems that Monteverdi’s thought was to have the violin assume the emotional state at the end of each strophe, and lead the way to the emotional state at the beginning of the next.

Augellin
(Monteverdi, Concerto. Settimo libro de madrigali, Venice, 1619)
Like Chiome d’oro, Augellin begins with the foundation of an energetic walking bass line to support the delightful figurations for the two tenors and bass that together paint a picture of the delicate bird; then, to express the first-person message of the tortured lover, the music changes abruptly to an adagio outpouring of emotion.

Lamento della Ninfa
(Monteverdi, Madrigali guerrieri, et amorosi…libro ottavo, Venice, 1638)
Amongst the various “staged” and “unstaged” compositions of book eight, the Lamento della Ninfa occupies a unique position. Although Monteverdi places it explicitly in the category of “genera rappresentativa,” its poetic origin is a modest canzonetta by Rinuccini, which had previously been set by other composers as a simple strophic song. Monteverdi, however, saw the potential to create a voice of the narrator for three men’s voices, and to organize the scena as a scene-setting prologue for the narrator, followed by the nymph’s hyper-expressive (one could easily say operatic) lament of lost love and abandonment, and ending with a summation from the trio.

Sonata Undecima
(Dario Castello, Sonate Concertate in Stil Moderno, Libro II, Venice, 1629)
Just as in Monteverdi’s duets for two sopranos or two tenors, Castello’s sonatas featuring two violins use the gamut of techniques from playful counterpoint to homophonic rhetoric to solo flights of fancy. Here, as in Monteverdi’s trios for two tenors and bass which feature so prominently in this program, there is the addition of a third independent part for the bowed bass instrument.

Ogni amante è guerrier
(Monteverdi, Madrigali guerrieri, et amorosi…libro ottavo, Venice, 1638)
The title “Every Lover is a Warrior” expresses succinctly the atmosphere not only of this piece, but of the whole collection. Beginning with a tenor duet like those that had dominated the seventh book in 1619, the centerpiece of this work is an extended monologue for bass. It is during this section that Monteverdi pays explicit homage to the dedicatee of book eight—the new Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand III.

L’eroica à 3
(Andrea Falconieri, Il libro primo di canzone, sinfonie, fantasie…, Naples, 1650)
Born in Naples, Falconieri received his musical training in Parma and worked at the courts of Mantua (where he may have known Monteverdi) and Florence. After travels in Spain and France he ended up in Genoa, until he was censured for “distracting the nuns with music.” He eventually returned to his hometown, where he became maestro di cappella. His L’eroica, from his one published volume of instrumental music, includes a wonderfully wayward ciaccona as its middle section.

Altri canti di Marte
(Monteverdi, Madrigali guerrieri, et amorosi…libro ottavo, Venice, 1638)
This large-scale piece, designed by Monteverdi to introduce his Canti Amorosi, will serve for us as the farewell to this rich repertoire of striking contrasts, sensuous beauties, and stirring emotions. Next to the final operas, L’incoronazione di Poppea and Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, this is Monteverdi’s final musical will and testament.

Joan Conlon and Stephen Stubbs


Artist Bios

Stephen Stubbs, and Pacific MusicWorks

Stephen Stubbs, who won the GRAMMY Award as conductor for Best Opera Recording 2015, spent a 30-year career in Europe. He returned to his native Seattle in 2006 as one of the world’s most respected lutenists, conductors, and baroque opera specialists and in 2014 was awarded the Mayor’s Arts Award for ‘Raising the Bar’ in Seattle.

Before his return, he was based in Bremen, Germany, where he was Professor at the Hochschule für Künste.

In 2007 Stephen established his new production company, Pacific MusicWorks, based in Seattle, reflecting his lifelong interest in both early music and contemporary performance. The company’s inaugural presentation was a production of South African artist William Kentridge’s acclaimed multimedia staging of Claudio Monteverdi’s opera The Return of Ulysses in a co-production with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. PMW’s performances of the Monteverdi Vespers were described in the press as “utterly thrilling” and “of a quality you are unlikely to encounter anywhere else in the world”.

Stephen is also the Boston Early Music Festival’s permanent artistic co-director along with his long time colleague Paul O’Dette. Stephen and Paul are also the musical directors of all BEMF operas, recordings of which were nominated for three GRAMMY awards, and won the GRAMMY for Best Opera Recording 2015.

In addition to his ongoing commitments to PMW and BEMF, other recent appearances have included Handels’ Giulio Cesare and Gluck’s Orfeo in Bilbao, Mozart’s Magic Flute and Cosi fan Tutte for the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival and Handel’s Agrippina for Opera Omaha. In recent years he has conducted Handel’s Messiah with the Seattle, Edmonton and Birmingham Symphony orchestras.

His extensive discography as conductor and solo lutenist include well over 100 CDs, which can be viewed at stephenstubbs.com, many of which have received international acclaim and awards.

In 2013, Stephen was appointed Senior Artist in Residence at the University of Washington School of Music. His first major production there was Handel’s Semele in May 2014 followed by Mozart’s Magic Flute in 2015.

Stephen is represented by Schwalbe and Partners (schwalbeandpartners.com).

Catherine Webster, soprano

Soprano Catherine Webster is engaged regularly by many leading early music and chamber ensembles in North America. She has appeared as a soloist with Tafelmusik, Tragicomedia, Theatre of Voices, Netherlands Bach Society, Apollo’s Fire, American Baroque Orchestra, Magnificat, Musica Angelica, El Mundo, Four Nations Ensemble, Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montreal, Ensemble Masques, Les Voix Baroques, Early Music Vancouver, and at the Vancouver, Berkeley, Montreal and Boston Early Music Festivals.

Active also in contemporary music, Webster has appeared with The Kronos Quartet in Terry Riley’s Sun Rings and with Theatre of Voices and the Los Angeles Philharmonic in John Adam’s Grand Pianola Music.

Catherine Webster is a frequent collaborator with baroque opera directors Stephen Stubbs and Paul O’Dette, appearing under their direction in Early Music Vancouver’s production for the 2013 edition of Festival Vancouver in Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea and the premiere of Mattheson’s Boris Goudenov for the Boston Early Music Festival. She has recorded for Harmonia Mundi, Naxos, Musica Omnia, Analekta and Atma.

Catherine holds a Master’s in Music from the Early Music Institute at Indiana University and has been a guest faculty member and artist for The San Francisco Early Music Society’s summer workshops and the Madison Early Music Festival.

Danielle Sampson, soprano

Danielle Sampson is an avid performer of baroque, classical, and contemporary music. Highlights of her last season included a gala performance with Pacific MusicWorks, Praetorius’ Christmas Vespers with Early Music Vancouver, and collaborations with Amaranth String Quartet to perform new and existing works for voice and strings. Danielle performed with the Boston Early Music Festival in Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria (Melanto) and L’incoronazione di Poppea (La Virtù, Pallade), and with Early Music Vancouver in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (the Sorceress) and Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater. She performed as Ruggiero in Handel’s Alcina with Black Box Baroque in April, and appeared with Liaison, Nash Baroque Ensemble, and Jarring Sounds for the 2016 Berkeley Early Music Festival. She most recently appeared with California Bach Society in their Bach St. Matthew Passion.

Danielle has sung with the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado, American Bach Soloists, California Bach Society, San Francisco Symphony Chorus, and San Francisco Bach Choir, among others. She is a founding member of the guitar/voice duo Jarring Sounds (with Adam Cockerham), and performs with Cappella SF, the new bay area octet Gaude, and Seattle’s Byrd Ensemble. She earned her BM at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music, and her MM at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Danielle currently resides in Seattle.

Reginald L. Mobley, countertenor

Countertenor Reginald Mobley fully intended to speak his art through watercolors and oil pastels until circumstance demanded that his own voice should speak for itself. Since reducing his visual color palette to the black and white of a score, he has endeavored to open a wider spectrum onstage.

Particularly noted for his “crystalline diction and pure, evenly produced tone” (Miami Herald), as well as “elaborate and inventive ornamentation” (South Florida Classical Review), Reggie is rapidly making a name for himself as soloist in Baroque, Classical, and modern repertoire. His natural and preferred habitat as a soloist is within the works of Bach, Charpentier, Handel, Purcell, as well as other known Baroque Period mainstays. Not to be undone by a strict diet of cantatas, odes, and oratorios, Reggie finds himself equally comfortable in rep of later periods and genres. Such works as Haydn’s Theresienmesse, Mozart’s Requiem, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, and Orff’s Carmina Burana. He has also performed the title role of “Paris” in the Florida premiere of John Eccles’ Judgment of Paris, under the direction of Anthony Rooley and Evelyn Tubb.

A longtime member of the twice GRAMMY® nominated Miami based professional vocal ensemble, Seraphic Fire, Reggie has had the privilege to also lend his talents to other ensembles in the US and abroad. Such as the Dartmouth Handel Society, Apollo’s Fire, Vox Early Music, Portland Baroque Orchestra, North Carolina Baroque Ensemble, Ensemble VIII, San Antonio Symphony, Early Music Vancouver and Symphony Nova Scotia under direction of Alexander Weimann, and the Oregon Bach Festival under the direction of Matthew Halls.

Not to be held to conventional countertenor repertoire, the “Barn-burning, [...]phenomenal” male alto has a fair amount of non-classical work under his belt. Not long after becoming a countertenor, he was engaged in several musical theatre productions as a principal or secondary role. Most notable among them was the titular role in Rupert Holmes’ Mystery of Edwin Drood, and “Jacey Squires” in Meredith Willson’s The Music Man. In addition to his work in musical theatre, he performed many cabaret shows and sets of jazz standards and torch songs in jazz clubs in and around Tokyo, Japan. Reggie studied voice at the University of Florida with Jean Ronald LaFond, and Florida State University with Roy Delp.

Ross Hauck, tenor

Lyric tenor Ross Hauck is a resident of Issaquah, Washington, where he lives with his wife, Laura, twin boys, Daniel and Benjamin, daughter Lillian Rose, and baby girl Charlotte Grace. Hailed by the Seattle Times as “almost superhuman in musical effect”, Mr. Hauck maintains a busy and eclectic career, often specializing in both early and new music.

This past year Mr. Hauck made concert debuts with the Phoenix Symphony, the Oregon Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, Orchestra Kentucky, the Lincoln Symphony, and the Chautaqua festivals in Boulder, Co and upstate New York. Other debuts included appearances with Les Voix Baroque in Montreal and “Celtic Crossings” countryside concerts with Apollo’s Fire in Cleveland. Last season Mr. Hauck released two recordings: Messiah with Apollo’s Fire(Avie Label), and the world premiere of composer Lori Laitman’s oratorio “Vedem”(Naxos Label).

A frequent collaborator with Stubbs and Pacific MusicWorks, Mr. Hauck was also featured this past season singing the title role in Jepthe and the role of Tempo in Handel’s Il Trionfo del Tempo, and was also recently heard in the title role of William Kentridge’s production of Il ritorno di Ulisse in Patria both in Seattle and San Francisco. Recent Opera credits include multiple performances of the role of Tamino in Magic Flute, most recently with Apollo’s Fire in Cleveland, but also with the Atlanta Ballet. Other recent roles include Frederic in Pirates of Penzance with Opera Idaho, and Lucano with the Boston Early Music Festival in their production of L’incoronazione di Poppea. Mr. Hauck has sung roles with Tacoma Opera, Sacramento Opera, Indianapolis Opera, and the Aspen Music Festival, where he sang Almaviva in The Barber of Seville.

As a concert artist, Mr. Hauck is a regular with the Seattle Symphony, and has also sung with the National Symphony, Chicago Symphony as a member of the Steans Institute, and the Tanglewood symphony. A frequent performer of sacred music, Mr. Hauck is in demand for oratorio work. In the past few seasons, He has sung Handel’s Messiah with Apollo’s Fire(the Cleveland Baroque Orchestra), Portland Baroque Orchestra, Seattle Baroque, Dallas Bach Society, Helena Symphony, Portland Chamber Orchestra, and Orchestra Kentucky. Other concert work includes Elijah with Seattle Pro Musica and the Modesto Symphony, evangelist in Bach’s St. John’s Passion with Choral Arts and Gonzaga University Choirs, and Beethoven’s 9th and Mozart Requiem with both the Oregon Symphony and Seattle Symphony. Highlights of this season include revisiting Handel’s Messiah with the Seattle Symphony and the Kansas City Symphony, making return trips to the Grand Rapids Symphony, and a national tour of the show “Come to the River” with Apollo’s Fire.

A distinguished alumnus of DePauw University(B.M.), and Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music(M.M. and Artist Diploma), Mr. Hauck is also a cellist and pianist, and began at age 3 with the Suzuki method of music instruction. Because of this life-long exposure to music as a “mother tongue”, Mr. Hauck has developed a reputation as a consummate musician, and he has stepped in frequently to learn new roles and music on short notice. Mr. Hauck is frequently noted for his expressive capabilities in delivering the text of a song. Of his singing, the San Francisco Classical Voice and Opera News commented on, “an elevated and extraordinary range of subtle inflections. The singing was as nuanced as one would expect from a consummate art-song recitalist or bel canto specialist. ” Mr. Hauck is an adjunct professor of voice at Seattle University and a contributing faculty member at Cornish College of the Arts. Mr. Hauck is the son of music educators, and grew up in the church. As such, his true passion is the intersection of fine arts and faith, and he maintains a keen interest in history, culture, theology, and worship. He is a frequent soloist at church worship services, and often provides sacred concerts and creative presentations for ministries, non-profits, or christian colleges. He also leads a monthly gathering of christians involved in the arts called “artists at the arbor”.

Aaron Sheehan, tenor

A first rate interpreter of the works of Bach, Handel and Mozart, Aaron Sheehan sang the title role in Boston Early Music Festival’s (BEMF’s) Grammy Award-winning recording of Charpentier’s La déscente d’Orphée aux enfers.

He made his professional operatic début with BEMF where his roles have included L’Amour and Apollon Psyché, Actéon Actéon, Orfeo Orfeo, Eurimaco Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, Acis Acis and Galatea and Liberto/Soldato L’incoronazione di Poppea. With Boston Baroque he sang Telemaco Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria.

He has performed in concert at Tanglewood, the Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Washington National Cathedral, the Early Music Festivals of San Francisco, Vancouver, Washington DC, Carmel and Regensburg, and with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Handel and Haydn Society, Tafelmusik, North Carolina Symphony, New York Collegium, Charlotte Symphony, and Pacific Music Works.

Recent engagements include Orfeo Le Carnaval de Venise (BEMF), Messiah with Portland Baroque Orchestra, Bach Mass in B minor (Calgary Philharmonic and Boston Baroque), Alexander’s Feast (American Bach Soloists), Gluck’s Orphée (title role – Pacific Music Works), and performances of Handel Messiah, Bach Easter Oratorio, Monteverdi Vespers, Rameau Cantatas and Charpentier’s La Fête de Ruel.
Forthcoming performances include Apollon and Trajan Le Temple de la Gloire (Rameau – Philharmonia Baroque), Orfeo Le Carnaval de Venise (Campra – BEMF), Eumete Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (Opera Atelier), Mozart Requiem (Mercury Houston), and further performances of Messiah, St John Passion and Mass in B Minor.

His many recordings for BEMF include the Grammy nominated operas Thésée and Psyché, Agostino in Steffani’s Niobe, and also Acis Acis and Galatea.

Douglas Williams, bass

Douglas Williams, bass-baritone, has appeared this year in two landmark new opera productions from two of the world’s most celebrated director-choreographers: Handel’s Acis and Galatea in Mozart’s orchestration with Mark Morris at Lincoln Center in the role of Polyphemus, conducted by Nicolas McGegan, and Monteverdi’s Orfeo with Sasha Waltz at the Dutch National Opera in the role of Caronte, conducted by Pablo Heras-Casado. Both productions will tour this season taking Mr. Williams to the Grand Théâtre Luxembourg, Kansas City Kauffman Center, Bergen Festival,

Baden-Baden Festspiehaus, and Berlin Staatsoper. Other highlights of the season include Handel’s Agrippina with Boston Baroque, Pergolesi’s La Serva Padrona with the Boston Early Music Festival, and an appearance with James Levine and the Metropolitan Opera Chamber Ensemble at Carnegie Hall in Charles Wuorinen’s It Happens Like This, a piece that Mr. Williams premiered in 2011.

Visit Douglas on the web at: www.douglasrwilliams.com

Tekla Cunningham, violin

Tekla Cunningham, baroque violin, viola and viola d’amore, leads an active and varied musical life. At home in Seattle, she is Orchestra Director and concertmaster of Pacific MusicWorks, and plays an active role at the University of Washington where PMW is ensemble-in-residence. She directs the Whidbey Island Music Festival, a summer concert series now entering its tenth season, producing and presenting vibrant period-instrument performances of repertoire ranging from Monteverdi to Stephen Foster, and plays regularly as concertmaster and principal player with the American Bach Soloists in California. Her concert performances have earned glowing praise from reviewers and have been described as “ravishingly beautiful” and “stellar”.

From 2006-2013 she was principal second violin with Seattle Baroque Orchestra & Soloists. She has appeared as concertmaster/leader or soloist with the American Bach Soloists, Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, and Musica Angelica (Los Angeles) and has played with Apollo’s Fire, Los Angeles Opera, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and at the Carmel Bach, San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, Indianapolis, Savannah and Bloomington Festivals. Tekla received her musical training at Johns Hopkins University and Peabody Conservatory (where she studied History and German Literature in addition to violin), Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna, Austria, and at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she completed a Master’s degree with Ian Swenson. She teaches Suzuki violin in both German and English and is on the early music faculty of Cornish College for the Arts. Tekla plays on a violin made by Sanctus Seraphim in Venice, 1746.

Linda Melsted, violin

The passionate artistry of violinist Linda Melsted has won the hearts of audiences across North America, Europe, and Japan. She has appeared as soloist, member, and leader of many outstanding ensembles including Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Pacific Baroque Orchestra, and Pacific Music Works.

Linda is the featured soloist in Tafelmusik’s TV documentary, DVD and CD “Le Mozart Noir,” where she musically incarnates the remarkable 18th-century virtuoso and adventurer, the Chevalier de Saint-Georges. An active chamber musician, Linda has appeared on many series including Early Music Vancouver, Gallery Concerts, Primavera Concerts, Bloomington Early Music Festival, the Calgary Symphony’s Italian Music Festival, Folia, Toronto Music Garden, Quadra Island Discovery Chamber Music Festival, and Tactus.

Linda was a member of Tafelmusik 1992-2004, Music Director of Nota Bene Baroque Orchestra, 2005-2009, a regular guest leader and soloist of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra’s “Baroque and Beyond” series, and taught violin at the University of Waterloo. Happily back in Seattle since 2010, she formed the Salish Sea Players, a group dedicated to performing chamber music in retirement and nursing facilities and directs Seattle’s community Baroque orchestra, the New Baroque Orchestra. Linda performs on a Nicolo Amati violin from 1670.

Elisabeth Reed, viola da gamba

Elisabeth Reed teaches Baroque cello and viola da gamba at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she is co-director of the Baroque Orchestra. Her playing has been described in the press as, “intense, graceful, suffused with heat and vigor” and “Elisabeth Reed provided the authentic Baroque sound, with her delicately nuanced and powerful playing of the Baroque cello and viola da gamba.”

A member of the American Bach Soloists, Voices of Music, and Wildcat Viols, she has also appeared with the Seattle, Portland, and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestras, and at the Boston Early Music Festival, the Berkeley Early Music Festival, the Ohai Festival, the Whidbey Island Music Festival, and the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival. A graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts, the Oberlin Conservatory, the Eastman School of Music, and Indiana University’s Early Music Institute, she can be heard on the Virgin Classics, Focus, and Magnatune recording labels. She also teaches baroque cello and viola da gamba at the University of California at Berkeley. Highlights of this current season include performances of Haydn trios with Ian Swensen and Ken Slowik at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.; 17th century German chamber music with Monica Huggett in Portland, OR; French Baroque chamber with Byron Schenkman and Ingrid Matthews and the St. John Passion with Steven Stubbs and Pacific Musicworks in Seattle, WA. She is a Guild-certified practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method of Awareness Through Movement, with a focus on working with musicians and performers.

Stephen Stubbs, lute and direction

Stephen Stubbs, who won the GRAMMY Award as conductor for Best Opera Recording 2015, spent a 30-year career in Europe. He returned to his native Seattle in 2006 as one of the world’s most respected lutenists, conductors, and baroque opera specialists and in 2014 was awarded the Mayor’s Arts Award for ‘Raising the Bar’ in Seattle.

Before his return, he was based in Bremen, Germany, where he was Professor at the Hochschule für Künste.

In 2007 Stephen established his new production company, Pacific MusicWorks, based in Seattle, reflecting his lifelong interest in both early music and contemporary performance. The company’s inaugural presentation was a production of South African artist William Kentridge’s acclaimed multimedia staging of Claudio Monteverdi’s opera The Return of Ulysses in a co-production with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. PMW’s performances of the Monteverdi Vespers were described in the press as “utterly thrilling” and “of a quality you are unlikely to encounter anywhere else in the world”.

Stephen is also the Boston Early Music Festival’s permanent artistic co-director along with his long time colleague Paul O’Dette. Stephen and Paul are also the musical directors of all BEMF operas, recordings of which were nominated for three GRAMMY awards, and won the GRAMMY for Best Opera Recording 2015.

In addition to his ongoing commitments to PMW and BEMF, other recent appearances have included Handels’ Giulio Cesare and Gluck’s Orfeo in Bilbao, Mozart’s Magic Flute and Cosi fan Tutte for the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival and Handel’s Agrippina for Opera Omaha. In recent years he has conducted Handel’s Messiah with the Seattle, Edmonton and Birmingham Symphony orchestras.

His extensive discography as conductor and solo lutenist include well over 100 CDs, which can be viewed at stephenstubbs.com, many of which have received international acclaim and awards.

In 2013, Stephen was appointed Senior Artist in Residence at the University of Washington School of Music. His first major production there was Handel’s Semele in May 2014 followed by Mozart’s Magic Flute in 2015.

Stephen is represented by Schwalbe and Partners (schwalbeandpartners.com).

Maxine Eilander, harp & harpsichord

Maxine Eilander has appeared as a soloist with leading ensembles throughout the world including Teatro Lirico, Tafelmusik, Tragicomedia, The Toronto Consort, Les Voix Humaines, and the Seattle Baroque Orchestra. Eilander plays a range of specialized early harps: the Italian triple strung harp, the Spanish cross-strung harp, the German ‘Davidsharfe’, the Welsh triple harp for which Handel wrote his harp concerto, and the classical single action pedal harp. Eilander’s most recent recording Handel’s Harp (ATMA, 2009), features Handel’s complete obligato music for harp, and

includes his famous harp concerto. She has also recorded the same work with Tafelmusik (A Baroque Feast, Analekta, 2002). Other notable recordings include William Lawes’ Harp Consorts (ATMA, 2008), a recording of Italian music for harp and baroque guitar with duo partner Stephen Stubbs entitled Sonata al Pizzico (ATMA 2004), Teatro Lirico (ECM, 2006), Ay que si, Spanish 17th century music with Les Voix Humaines (ATMA, 2002), Scarlatti’s oratorio Hagar and Ishmael, with Seattle Baroque (Centaur, 2003), Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine, with Tragicomedia (ATMA, 2002), and the Grammy-nominated Conradi’s Ariadne for the Boston Early Music Festival (CPO, 2005) .


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