2014 Blue Hill Bach Festival Artists
Marcia Gronewold Sly mezzo-soprano
Michael Albert alto, violin
Jonas Budris tenor
Francis John Vogt tenor
Peter Sly tenor
John David Adams bass
Lisa Rautenberg and Susanna Ogata violin
Rachel Evans viola
Sarah Freiberg cello
Anne Trout bass
Josh Cohen trumpet
Stephen Hammer and Priscilla Herreid oboe and recorder
John Finney organ, harpsichord and conductor
Gerald Wheeler organ and harpsichord
Marcia Gronewold Sly, who has a received high praise for her “clear, strong, luminous mezzo-soprano” (San Francisco Examiner), is a versatile artist whose repertoire ranges from the Baroque to the avant-garde in opera, oratorio, and chamber music. Working with such esteemed conductors as Kent Nagano, Nicholas McGegan, Joanne Falletta, and William McGlaughlin, Marcia has appeared with organizations that include Bangor Symphony Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, the Carmel Bach Festival, San Francisco Opera, and the Kronos Quartet. A founding member of two vocal ensembles dedicated to contemporary music, Modus Novus and Ariel, she has sung in premiere performances and recordings of numerous works. A graduate of San Francisco Conservatory of Music who began studying music and theater at University of Illinois, Ms. Gronewold Sly also holds a degree in Interdisciplinary Creative Arts from San Francisco State University and a Master of Fine Arts in Music Performance and Literature from Mills College. She currently serves on the voice faculty at University of Maine, Orono, and teaches in her private studio in Brooklin, Maine.
Hailed by critics for her “blithe and silvery” tone and “winning stage presence,”
Kristen Watson has been a featured soloist with such groups as Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, American Classical Orchestra, Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, Emmanuel Music, Mark Morris Dance Group, Aston Magna Festival and the Carmel Bach Festival at such venues as Alice Tully Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and Boston’s Symphony Hall. Originally from Topeka, Kansas, opera audiences have heard her perform with Boston Lyric Opera and Opera Boston; as a versatile crossover artist she has appeared with the Boston Pops and on musical theater stages.
Tenor Jonas Budris performs as a soloist and in small ensembles, singing new works and early music with equal passion. As a concert soloist, he sang most recently with the Handel & Haydn Society in Bach’s Magnificat and Christmas Oratorio. With the Boston Baroque ensemble, Mr. Budris performed as a soloist in Handel’s Chandos Anthem No. 8 and Charpentier’s Missa Assumpta est Maria. He sings regularly with Emmanuel Music as a soloist and chorister, both in their weekly Bach Cantata series and in their special evening concerts. He also sings with Canto Armonico and the Skylark Vocal Ensemble, performing sacred and secular choral music in a small chamber ensemble setting. Mr. Budris is a graduate of Harvard University, where he sang as a Choral Fellow with the University Choir and enjoyed his summer vacation touring six continents with the Harvard Krokodiloes. As a toddler, he once climbed up and stood on his seat during a BSO performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and proceeded to “conduct” the piece along with Maestro Ozawa.
Tenor Francis John Vogt teaches voice at the University of Maine where he has also taught choral music and opera. He is Music Director of the Orono-based chamber choir Euphony. Recently he was assistant professor at Clarke College in Dubuque, Iowa where he conducted the Clarke Collegiate Singers and taught European and American music history, world music, and conducting. From 2006-2009 he was the Music Director of the Dubuque Chorale. He holds degrees in Vocal Performance from the Hartt School of Music and the State University of New York College at Fredonia, and is a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He has performed, recorded, and toured nationally and internationally with the Dale Warland Singers of Minneapolis/St. Paul, and the Gregg Smith Singers of New York City. Additional performing credits include appearances with the Connecticut Choral Artists, the Ohio Light Opera, the Connecticut Opera, the Maine Shakespeare Festival, and the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Maine. He was nominated for Best Male Singer at the International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival in Gettysburg, PA in June 2011.
Bass John David Adams is acclaimed as a powerful and insightful soloist, his rich and flexible voice especially well-suited for Baroque literature, including Bach and Handel. He studied voice and opera at the Hartt School of Music and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, establishing his music career in California before returning to New England where he now enjoys a busy schedule of performing engagements. A versatile artist, his concert repertoire spans works by Monteverdi, and Purcell, through Mozart, Haydn, Brahms, Bruckner, Verdi, and Vaughan Williams, to world-premier compositions. He has been featured in programs with the San Francisco Symphony, Berkeley Symphony, Berkeley Lyric Opera Orchestra, Marin Chamber Orchestra, North Shore Philharmonic, Arlington Philharmonic, New England Wind Symphony, Midcoast Symphony, Maine Pro Musica, Maine Music Society, Oratorio Chorale, Masterworks Chorale, St. Mary Schola, White Mountain Bach Festival, and Portland Early Music Festival. He is equally praised for portrayals in diverse opera and stage roles, from Cosi fan tutte to Sweeney Todd, in productions by Opera Boston, Granite State Opera, PORTopera, San Francisco Lyric Opera, Berkeley Opera, Apollo Opera, and New England Light Opera, to name a few.
Stephen Hammer, enjoys an eclectic musical life playing and teaching oboes and recorders of all periods. He is principal oboist of the Bach Ensemble, Concert Royal, Boston Handel and Haydn Society, Clarion Music Society, Columbia Festival Orchestra, and the Arcadia Players, and was a co-founder and artistic director of the New York Collegium. He is a regular participant at the Aston Magna festival and workshops, and has been a featured soloist with Great Performers at Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Opera, and the Mostly Mozart, Tanglewood, Ravinia, Bruges, Regensburg, City of London, and BBC Proms festivals. His more than 200 solo, chamber, obligato, and orchestral recordings appear on the Decca l’Oiseau-lyre, EMI, Sony, Pro Arte, Dorian, Smithsonian, and other labels. He teaches oboe at Bard College and the rhetoric of Baroque performance at the Longy School of Music, and also also collaborates with the New York instrument-maker Joel Robinson in building replicas of historical oboes. He lives in Clermont, NY, in the beautiful Hudson River valley.