David A. Wells
David A. Wells plays period and modern bassoons in a wide variety of ensembles and styles. On baroque bassoon, he has performed recently with the American Bach Soloists, Capella Antiqua, Pacific Baroque Orchestra, the Sacramento Baroque Soloists, Sinfonia Spirituosa, and at the Oregon and Carmel Bach Festivals. On modern bassoon, he freelances with orchestras throughout Northern California, collaborates with colleagues in chamber groups, and plays with the swing sextet Hot Club Faux Gitane.
He is also active as a music scholar, having presented papers at the conferences of the American Musicological Society, the Society for American Music, and the International Double Reed Society. Wells is on faculty at California State University, Sacramento, where he teaches bassoon and music history.
He holds both a D.M.A. in bassoon performance and an M.A. in musicology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and previously studied at Florida State University and Arizona State University. His principal teachers include Jeffrey Lyman, Jeff Keesecker, and Marc Vallon. When not playing or teaching, he can be found swimming, taking photographs, collecting records, and trying to keep up with his super-librarian/yogi wife, Veronica.
Cellist Annabeth Shirley, a native Oregonian, performs regularly with ensembles throughout the Pacific Northwest, including Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Vancouver Early Music, the Oregon Bach Festival, Baroque Music Montana, and Portland Baroque Orchestra, where she is honored to hold the Ruth K. Pointdexter Chair. Past performances in Europe include concerts with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Nederlandse Bachvereniging, and Le Concert d’Apollon, as well as multiple appearances in the Utrecht Early Music Festival.
She teaches in workshops including the Seattle Baroque Flute Summer Workshop and Baroque Music Montana’s Period Performance Workshop. Annabeth holds a bachelors and masters degree in Baroque Cello from the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, and bachelors degrees in Cello Performance and Biology from the University of Michigan. She plays a cello of anonymous origin from approximately 1830, and she currently resides in Salem, OR, with her husband, bassoonist Nate Helgeson.
A native of the UK, Andrew Arthur enjoys a fine reputation as a conductor, keyboard soloist, ensemble player, and teacher of exceptional versatility. He combines these disciplines within his principal position as Fellow and Director of Music at Trinity Hall, Cambridge where he is also an Affiliated Lecturer in the University’s world-renowned Faculty of Music.
An acknowledged specialist in the music of the Baroque and Classical periods, Andrew is in great demand as a conductor, keyboard soloist, and consort player and has appeared at many prestigious international festivals. He currently holds the positions of Associate Director of The Hanover Band and Musical Director of his own period-instrument ensemble and vocal consort, Orpheus Britannicus. Andrew’s solo and directorial recordings encompass repertory spanning over 400 years.
Alongside his busy concert schedule, he works throughout the year training the Organ Scholars and conducting the Chapel Choir at Trinity Hall with whom, in addition to their regular schedule of services in the College Chapel, he undertakes a number of concerts, recordings, and international tours.
During her quarter-century career as baroque violinist, Marika Holmqvist has appeared as a concertmaster for orchestras and opera companies on three continents, directed ensembles on both sides of the Atlantic, and served as artistic co-director for groups in the USA such as Sinfonia New York and the Boston-based ensemble, Cambridge Concentus. Currently her leadership positions include Zenith Ensemble (New England), Washington Bach Consort (DC) and Reykjavik International Baroque Orchestra (Iceland), among others.
Marika is also a dedicated and passionate educator. She has served as coach and guest leader for baroque operas at Cornell, Harvard and Rutgers Universities, and given master-classes and lectures at institutions across Europe. Alongside her master’s degree in baroque violin performance from the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague in the Netherlands, she also graduated with a master’s in baroque violin pedagogy—the first such degree ever granted in Europe.
Her 20-odd recordings include the Grammy-nominated Handel’s Israel in Egypt with the Trinity Wall Street Choir and Baroque Orchestra. Marika has a Finn’s love for the outdoors and when she is not performing or teaching, you will most likely find her cross country skiing, hiking, kayaking, or gravel or mountain biking.
Oboist Stephen Bard performs regularly with many of the preeminent period instrument ensembles throughout North America including Portland Baroque, Tafelmusik, Philharmonia Baroque, the Carmel Bach Festival Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, Handel & Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, Bach Collegium San Diego, and Haymarket Opera.
His playing has been praised for “supple tone and incisive technique … at times sounding truly acrobatic in florid passagework” (Chicago Classical Review), “long, amber-tinted lines and pertly articulated phrases” (San Francisco Classical Voice), and being “especially noteworthy for its sensuous lyricism” (Philadelphia Inquirer).
He can be heard on recordings with many of these fine ensembles with the Chandos, Naxos, CBC, and ATMA Classique labels. Stephen has also made appearances at the Oregon Bach Festival and at the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center. He holds degrees in Music and in Computer Science from Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music and is currently based in Philadelphia.
Keyboards, Organ, Harpsichord
Michael Beattie has received international attention as a conductor, keyboardist, and vocal coach specializing in the music of the Baroque period. Conducting engagements have included Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (Glimmerglass Opera); Handel’s Rinaldo, Rodelinda, and Riccardo Primo (Pittsburgh Opera); and Handel’s Teseo (Chicago Opera Theater). For Boston’s Emmanuel Music, he has conducted Handel’s Ariodante, the St. John Passion, the complete Bach Motets, and more than one hundred Bach cantatas.
A highly regarded keyboard player, Mr. Beattie has performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, BachFest Leipzig, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Boston Baroque, the Handel and Haydn Society, Les Violons du Roy, New World Symphony, and the Mark Morris Dance Group. He toured in the US and Europe with director Peter Sellars: as Assistant Conductor for the Mozart/Da Ponte cycle and as organist for staged Bach cantatas with Lorraine Hunt Lieberson.
Beattie is currently Artistic Administrator and Principal Keyboardist of Emmanuel Music. He has recorded for KOCH International Classics and Nonesuch records.
Associate Principal Second Violin
Canadian violinist Cristina Zacharias has been a core member of the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra since 2004. Frequently featured in solo and chamber music repertoire, she has performed extensively across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Cristina has been part of the Carmel Bach Festival since 2006, and can be heard on over 25 recordings for the ATMA, Analekta, CBC, BIS, Naxos and Tafelmusik Media labels. As an educator, Cristina is active in Tafelmusik’s training institutes as well as at the University of Toronto.
Equally passionate about baroque, classical and modern repertoire, Cristina is a frequent collaborator, guest soloist and director with a diverse group of ensembles, including the Toronto Bach Festival, Theatre of Early Music, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Pacific Baroque Orchestra, the Brandon Chamber Players. Cristina holds a Master’s degree in music from McGill University.
Filipino-American bass-baritone Enrico Lagasca has traveled long musical distances in the short time since he began his career – comprising 16 oratorios, 17 new-music works, seven opera roles plus 13 song cycles and collections. Heard on four Grammy Award-nominated recordings, Enrico is both a solo and ensemble singer in settings as diverse as New York’s mission-specific TENET Vocal Artists and major orchestras under conductors such as Riccardo Muti, Zubin Mehta, Pablo Heras-Casado, Nicholas McGegan, Jane Glover, John Butt, John Nelson, Matthew Halls and Carl St. Clair.
Amid the wide-ranging demands of his repertoire, critics note that Enrico is readily heard: “Bass-baritone Enrico Lagasca summoned nearly as much volume as everyone else onstage put together, and matched that visceral force with vivid phrasing,” wrote Baltimore’s Tim Smith regarding the U.S. premiere of the Jonathan Dove opera The Monster in the Maze by the Baltimore Choral Arts Society.
Other performances have been noted for their emotional magnitude. “Lagasca’s singing was an outpouring of devotion and grief as elegant as it was moving.” wrote Rick Perdian in Seen and Heard International regarding Bach’s St. Matthew Passion at New York’s Saint Thomas Church in New York.
Soloist highlights of his current season include Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with Voices of Ascension in New York, Handel’s Messiah at Ann Arbor’s University Musical Society and at Carnegie Hall with Musica Sacra, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio at Washington Bach Consort, and Mendelssohn’s Walpurgisnacht with the St. Louis Symphony. “Whether it’s opera or oratorio, it’s storytelling to me,” he says, “even when singing the often-heard words Kyrie Eleison.”
As much as the great sacred works of Bach, Handel, Haydn and Mozart remain in his bones, Enrico is increasingly inclined to seek out music by living composers such as Wolfe, Dove, Caroline Shaw, and Reena Esmail. He has sung Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Mass for the Endangered, Jake Heggie’s The Moon is a Mirror and Nico Muhly’s The Last Letter. Joby Talbot’s Path of Miracles will figure repeatedly in his 2022-2023 season, along with Craig Johnson’s Considering Matthew Shepard – the latter reflecting Enrico’s particular interest in works that address the LGBTQ+ community. He is a member of the Kaleidoscope Vocal Ensemble, which is dedicated to diversity and social justice.
He continues moving between solo and ensemble, deriving great satisfaction from participating in concert ensemble repertoire, with highlights this season including two hybrid presentations -Tyshawn Sorey’s Monochromatic Light (afterlight) directed by Peter Sellers in September 2022 at the Park Avenue Armory with Trinity Wall Street, and joining the Grammy-award winning ensemble The Crossing in the New York Philharmonic’s premiere of Julia Wolfe’s multi-media unEarth. He also will participate in performances of Rachmaninoff’s Vespers and St. John of Chrysostom in Old Church Slavonic. Chamber-group singing is a touchstone of his career so far; regular engagements of this sort include Bach Collegium San Diego, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Seraphic Fire, Skylark, Clarion, Kaleidoscope Vocal Ensemble and the LEONIDS.
Opera roles include Collatinus in Britten’s Rape of Lucretia and Lorenzo in Bellini’s I Capuleti e I Montecchi. His willingness to take risks onstage has brought him to the attention of forward-looking directors such as Thaddeus Strassberger, RB Schlather and Kevin Newbury.
In the art song world, his contest entries include the Das Lied International Song Competition in Berlin, where he was a finalist in 2013 and the 2015 24th International Vocal Arts Competition Le Centre Lyrique in Clermont-Ferrand, France. In 2019, he participated in Renee Fleming’s inaugural Song Studio at Carnegie Hall. His song repertoire includes Schubert’s Winterreise, Schumann’s Dichterliebe and Mahler’s Rückert Lieder. An educator himself, he maintains a small private vocal studio, and conducts visiting artist residencies in schools such as Southern Virginia University and Amherst College.
In his native Manila, Enrico was named as such purely out of preference, not in reference to any of the great Italian-born vocal icons. With his vocal talent recognized early, Enrico studied at the University of the Philippines, and from ages 16 to 20, sang in the Philippine Madrigal Singers. “The choral tradition is huge for us,” Enrico explains. “We went on tour, and we got to see the world. It captivated my love for what I’m currently doing right now.”
He is a graduate of New York’s Mannes College of Music and lives in New York City with his domestic partner of several years.
Principal Double Bass
Bassist, Jordan Frazier, has performed worldwide with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra since 1993 and was appointed a member of the orchestra in 2006. He is a former member of L’Orchestra Ciutat de Barcelona, and currently is a member of the American Symphony Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, and is Principal Bass of the Westchester Philharmonic, Little Orchestra Society, and the Carmel Bach Festival Orchestra in California. Jordan has also performed as Principal Bass of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Australian Chamber Orchestra, as well as the Pittsburgh and Cincinnati Symphonies, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, New York City Ballet, and the American Ballet Theater Orchestras. Jordan has also performed and recorded with the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, both in Toronto and at the Klang und Raum Festival in Bavaria.
As a Chamber musician, Jordan has been a guest with Bargemusic, Helicon Ensemble, Speculum Musicae, Los Angeles Piano Quartet, and the Corigliano, Jupiter, Parker, and Daedalus Quartets. His recording credits include Sony Classical, Harmonium Mundi, Nonesuch, London, Decca/Argo, EMI, Koch, Musical Heritage Society, Blue Note, and Deutsche Grammophon, including the Grammy winning “Shadow Dances”, music of Stravinsky, with Orpheus and the Grammy winning Blue Note album, Emanon, with the Wayne Shorter Quartet and Orpheus. He is also a member of Gerard Schwartz’s All-Star Orchestra and has recorded 20 episodes(10DVD’s)for Naxos and PBS.
A native of Cleveland, Jordan received his musical training at the Interlochen Arts Academy and the Manhattan School of Music. He has been on the faculty of the Mannes College of Music and has given masterclasses at the Interlochen Arts Academy, Yale and Rice Universities and at the National Orchestral Institute. Jordan lives in Fredonia, NY with his wife, bassoonist Laura Koepke, and their two boys.
Widely praised for her musical intelligence, American mezzo-soprano Meg Bragle is quickly earning an international reputation as one of today’s most gifted and versatile mezzo-sopranos.
Frequently a featured soloist with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the English Baroque Soloists, she made her BBC Proms debut with them singing Bach’s Easter and Ascension Oratorios, has performed with them at the Leipzig Bachfest and the Prague Spring, Luzerne, Aldeburgh and Brighton festivals, and has made four recordings with the group including the recently released Bach B Minor Mass.
Meg has sung in North America and Europe with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Les Violons du Roy, Apollo’s Fire, and the Dunedin Consort. She has also appeared with many symphony orchestras in the US and Canada including the Houston, Indianapolis, Pacific, and Colorado Symphonies; the National Arts Center Orchestra, and a series of concerts with the Calgary Philharmonic including Handel’s Messiah and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.
Highlights of her 2016/17 season include appearances with Milwaukee Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, Dunedin Consort, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and Early Music Vancouver. Meg also performs this season at the Winter Park, Carmel Bach, and London Baroque Festivals, with Voices of Music, and Catacoustic Consort. Other recent highlights include Bruno Moretti’s Vespro with New York City Ballet, tours of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Christmas Oratorio with the Netherlands Bach Society and Bach’s Lutheran Masses with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
Her recent opera roles include Idamante in Mozart’s Idomeneo, Dido and the Sorceress in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Dardano in Handel’s Amadigi, Amastre in Handel’s Serse, Speranza in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, Ippolita in Cavalli’s Elena, and Elpina in Vivaldi’s La Fida Ninfa.
In addition to those with the English Baroque Soloists, she has made several recordings with Apollo’s Fire: Mozart’s Requiem (Koch), Handel’s Dixit Dominus and Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne (Avie), and Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine (Avie), and L’Orfeo (Eclectra). Other recordings include Cozzolani’s Vespro della Beata Vergine and Messa Paschale with Magnificat (Musica Omnia), Music of Medieval Love with New York’s Ensemble for Early Music (Ex Cathedra), Toby Twining’s Chrysalid Requiem (Cantaloupe), Anthony Newman’s Requiem (Khaeon World Music) and Copland’s In the Beginning with the late John Scott and the Men and Boy Choir of St. Thomas Fifth Avenue and the Oratorio Singers of Charlotte on their own labels.
Equally at home in the world of historical performance practice and modern viola, Brandon Chui joined Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra in September 2018. He has been a member of the Hamilton Philharmonic since 2007 and held the position of assistant principal viola with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony from 2015 to 2017.
He has performed extensively with the Canadian Opera Company, Malaysian Philharmonic, and Toronto Symphony Orchestras. Having previously held leading roles at Italy’s Centre for Operatic Studies, Switzerland’s Verbier Festival, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival in Germany, Brandon is a regular mentor/principal at Boris Brott Music Festival’s National Academy Orchestra in Hamilton, Ontario (Canada).
A native Torontonian, his musical travels have brought him throughout North America, Europe, Australia and Asia to such stages as Los Angeles’ Disney Hall, New York’s David Geffen Hall (Lincoln Center), Berlin’s Konzerthaus, Lucerne’s KKL, Zurich’s Tonhalle, and the opera houses of Genova, Lyon, and Versailles.
Brandon received his first violin lessons at the age of thirteen. Before that, he started piano at a young age and took up a keen interest in the trombone, an instrument he started in sixth grade and faithfully continued with nerdy love until the end of high school, by which time he had added trumpet, tuba, and timpani to the home cacophony.
A native of Seattle, soprano Clara Rottsolk earned her music degrees at Rice University and Westminster Choir College, and was recognized for musical excellence by the Metropolitan Opera National Council (Northwest Region). She is based in Philadelphia and teaches voice at Swarthmore, Haverford, and Bryn Mawr College. In a repertoire extending from the Renaissance to the contemporary, her solo appearances have taken her across the United States, the Middle East, Japan, and South America. She specializes in historically informed performance practice singing with orchestras and chamber ensembles including American Bach Soloists, Santa Fe Pro Musica, Les Délices, Pacific MusicWorks, the American Classical Orchestra, St. Thomas Church 5th Avenue, Bach Collegium San Diego, Atlanta Baroque, Trinity Wall Street, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Folger Consort, and ARTEK among others.
Minnesota-born tenor Thomas Cooley has established a reputation on both sides of the Atlantic — and beyond — as a singer of great versatility, expressiveness, and virtuosity.
Possessing a lyric tenor voice of great flexibility, dynamic range, and precision, he has appeared with such conductors as Helmuth Rilling, Donald Runnicles, Osmo Vänskä, Eji Oue, Michael Tilson-Thomas, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Nicholas McGegan, Robert Spano, David Robertson, Carlo Rizzi, Franz Welser-Möst, Manfred Honneck, Michael Schønwandt, Gil Shohat, and Kryzstof Penderecki. His repertoire on the concert stage comprises works such as Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Berlioz’s Requiem, Nuits d’été and L’enfance du Christ, Haydn’s Seasons, Stravinsky’s Les Noces, Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang, Kodály’s Psalmus Hungaricus, Honneger’s King David, Mozart’s Requiem, Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, Bernstein’s Candide, and Penderecki’s Credo. He is frequently invited to perform in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, a role that has taken him to Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, Germany, Italy, Spain, and throughout the United States. In the Baroque repertoire he is a well-known interpreter of the works of Bach and Handel, most especially in the role of the Evangelist in Bach’s Passions and in the great oratorios of Handel.
Recent and upcoming appearances of note include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Milwaukee Symphony; Britten’s War Requiem with the Indianapolis, Atlanta, and Oregon Symphonies; Handel’s Messiah with the Oregon, Houston, and Charlotte Symphonies as well as the Calgary Philharmonic and National Symphony Orchestra; “ Peter Quint” in Britten’s Turn of the Screw with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra; Bob Boles in Britten’s Peter Grimes with the St. Louis Symphony in Carnegie Hall; the title role in Handel’s Samson with the American Classical Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall (Nicholas McGegan conducting); the world premiere of Christopher Theofanidis’ Creation Oratorio with Atlanta Symphony; “Tristan” in Frank Martin’s Le vin herbé with Bergen National Opera; “Crown Prince” in Kevin Puts’ Silent Night with Cincinnati Opera; “Acis” in a new production of Handel’s Acis and Galatea and L’Allegro with the Mark Morris Dance Group; Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Seattle Symphony and St. John Passion with Pacific Musicworks and the Pittsburgh Symphony; and performances at the Oregon and Carmel Bach Festivals.
As Artist in Residence with Chicago’s Music of the Baroque, Cooley performs Monteverdi’s Vespers, Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus, and a program of Bach Cantatas this season.
Gonzalo X. Ruiz
Born in La Plata, Argentina, Gonzalo X. Ruiz is one of the world’s most critically acclaimed baroque oboists. He performs as principal oboist and soloist with groups such as Philharmonia Baroque, Ensemble Sonnerie, Boston Early Music Festival, The English Concert, Wiener Akademie, and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. He has collaborated with conductors McGegan, Savall, Pinnock, Rattle, Egarr, Manze, Leonhardt, Hogwood, Hassellböck, and many others.
His playing is featured on dozens of recordings including his 2010 Grammy™-nominated recording of reconstructions of the four orchestral suites and the concertos of J.S. Bach. In addition to frequent appearances in recital and with chamber ensembles, his groundbreaking work in new music with American Baroque earned the ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming and the WQXR Record of the Year Award.
Ruiz was appointed to the faculty of The Juilliard School in 2009 and for many years prior taught at Oberlin Conservatory’s Baroque Performance Institute and the Longy School’s International Baroque Institute and has given master classes at many of the best American and European conservatories. His former students now fill most of the key oboe positions in baroque ensembles across this country. Ruiz is an acknowledged expert in reed design, and examples of his work are on permanent display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In his free time he enjoys playing guitar and dancing tango.