2015 Artists

2015 Blue Hill Bach Festival Artists

Sonja Tengblad soprano
Abigail Lennox soprano
Marcia Gronewold Sly mezzo-soprano
Michael Albert countertenor and violin
Catharine Cloutier mezzo-soprano
Jonas Budris tenor
Francis John Vogt tenor
John David Adams bass
Bradford Gleim bass
Lisa Rautenberg and Susanna Ogata violin
Jude Ziliac violin and viola
Rachel Evans viola
Sarah Freiberg cello
Anne Trout bass
Todd Williams and Elisabeth Axtell horn
Stephen Hammer and Priscilla Herreid oboe and recorder
David Dickey oboe, countertenor Marville Young Artist Fellow
Andrew Schwartz bassoon
John Finney organ, harpsichord and conductor
Gerald Wheeler organ and harpsichord

Artist Biographies

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 as Executive Director of Blue Hill Bach, and teaches in her private studio in Brooklin, Maine.

SonjaTengbladColor-120x160Praised by the Boston Globe for her “crystalline tone and graceful musicality”, soprano
Sonja DuToit Tengblad is a versatile performer with credits spanning the Renaissance era through the most current composers of our time. Recent solo highlights include Purcell’s King Arthur, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and Handel’s Samson with the Boston Handel and Haydn Society, Knussen’s Symphony No. 2 with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro as Susanna, Brahm’s Ein Deutsches Requiem with the National Lutheran Choir, as well as her Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center debuts, both with the New York City Chamber Orchestra. She also performs with the 5-time Grammy-nominated Texas-based ensemble Conspirare, the Yale Choral Artists, the Oregon Bach Festival; Vox Humana, Texas, and Boston’s Blue Heron, Emmanuel Music, the Lorelei Ensemble, and the Handel and Haydn Society Chorus, and is an avid proponent of new music.

AbigailLennox120x160Described as “angelic and stylish” for her interpretations of Bach and Mozart, soprano Abigail Lennox is equally at home with music from early plainchant, 19th-century mélodie, and improvised avant-garde. Originally from Bartlett, Tennessee, she holds degrees from the University of Michigan and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, where she studied under James Taylor, Ted Taylor, and Judith Malafronte. Her recent solo performances include the Bach St. John Passion and Buxtehude Membra Jesu Nostri under Simon Carrington, the Mozart Vespers with Sir David Willcocks and again with Sir Neville Marriner, Bach’s Magnificat in E-flat major with Helmuth Rilling, Beethoven’s Mass in C and multiple Bach cantatas with Yale ensembles, a program of French Baroque music with the Ensemble Européen William Byrd, Steve Reich’s Daniel Variations with the New World Symphony, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with Apollo’s Fire, and the Bach Weihnachts Oratorium and Mass in B-minor and Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 with the American Bach Soloists under Jeffrey Thomas. She enjoys teaching young musicians and engaging in collaborative projects with fellow artists in addition to pursuing a solo career.

3MikeAlbert120x160Michael Percy Albert has performed as a soloist for many orchestras and chamber ensembles on oboe, recorder, Baroque violin, and as countertenor throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe. As a Baroque violinist and countertenor, Mr. Albert has performed with Seraphic Fire, the Firebird Orchestra, Ecclesia, Tableau, and St. Mary’s Schola. A jazz oboist with Initial Ascent, a Toronto-based band, Michael has played fiddle and whistle with the Beggar Boys Celtic band, and principal oboe with the Portland and Bangor Symphonies, the North Shore Philharmonic Orchestra, and the orchestra of Colby College. Mr. Albert also composes and performs music for film scores with Maine composer Jan Broberg Carter. He can be heard on the CD labels “Initial Ascent” and “Sentences from the Womb,” and in soundtracks for the P.B.S. documentaries “Haiti’s Small Miracles” and “Sweet Ambition.” A member of the faculty of Portland Conservatory of Music, he has also taught oboe and coached early music at Colby College. Mr. Albert received his education in performance from the University of Southern Maine, Interlochen, and the Longy School of Music.

KCloutierCatharine Cloutier, mezzo-soprano, is a recent graduate of the University of Maine, Orono. A music education major with a vocal concentration at the University, she has performed in ensembles that include the University of Maine Singers, Euphony, Opera Workshop, and Oratorio Society. She also served as the director of Renaissance, the University’s premier women’s a cappella group. A private voice student of Francis Vogt and previously of Diana Brookes Brown, Catharine’s most recent performances include touring New England and Quebec City with the University Singers and Renaissance and her senior recital at Minsky Hall. She is also an active performer with the Somerset Consort and Blue Hill Bach, in which she was a soloist in their performance of Handel’s Messiah.

4JonasBudris120x160Tenor 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.

bradgleim120x160The Boston-based baritone Bradford Gleim performs opera, oratorio, and chamber music to critical acclaim. “Gleim’s rich, expressive voice” has been described as “consistently impressive, his restraint only reinforced his vocal charisma” and his flexible burnished baritone praised as “reliable and resonant.” Performances in the 2014-15 season include Carmina Burana with the Andover Choral Society, Monteverdi Vespers with Boston Baroque, A Bach Christmas with the Handel and Haydn Society, Bach’s St. John Passion with Emmanuel Music, Brahms Requiem at Berklee College of Music, and Bach’s Magnificat with the Oratorio Chorale in Brunswick. Last season Mr. Gleim was featured in Mendelssohn’s Elijah with Portsmouth Pro Musica, Haydn’s Creation with the Texas Choral Consort, Brahms’ Requiem with the Oratorio Chorale, and Bach’s B Minor Mass with Boston Cecilia. Bradford Gleim is a passionate teacher and is proud to serve as Assistant Professor of Voice at Berklee College of Music.

LisaRautenberg120x160Violinist Lisa Rautenberg performs and records widely as a soloist and chamber musician. She gave her New York City solo debut with Concert Royale at the Mostly Mozart Festival in Alice Tully Hall, and performed her New York City recital debut in Merkin Hall playing virtuoso masters for the baroque violin. Lisa can be heard on over 100 recordings on labels such as Champignon International, SONY Classical, Virgin Classics, Newport Classics, MCA, Decca, Nonesuch, Telarc, and Deutsche Grammophone. She has performed concertos in many major American and European concert halls including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Kennedy Center, Orchestra Hall Chicago, Boston Symphony Hall, Hercules Hall, Concertgebouw, and BBC London. Associate Concertmaster of the Hartford Symphony and leader of Fanfare Consort, Lisa has often performed with Arcadia Players. She holds a degree with distinction in violin performance from Indiana University, where she was a student of Josef Gingold, and also studied early violin techniques with Marilyn McDonald.

9SOgata120x160Susanna Ogata received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Eastman School of Music and completed an artist diploma at the Longy School of Music. She has performed recitals in New England, including such venues as Brandeis University, Wellesley College, and University of Massachusetts. She was also featured as solo violinist for the show, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.” Ms. Ogata is committed to Baroque performance practice and has collaborated as chamber musician for such venues as Genesee Early Music Society, SO-HIP, and the Boston Early Music Festival. She is a member of the Handel and Haydn Society Chamber Orchestra and performs regularly with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Ms. Ogata collaborated as concertmaster for the contemporary ensemble, “Alarm Will Sound” in a recently released recording on the Nonesuch label. She also enjoys playing jazz with the “Harvey Diamond Quintet” which has been featured on WGBH and at the Acton Jazz Café.

JudeZiliak-120x160Jude Ziliak is a New York-based violinist and independent scholar specializing in historical performance practices. He was an inaugural recipient of the English Concert American Fellowship, which recognizes emerging artists “who appear likely to make significant contributions to the field of early music.” He has appeared with the American Bach Soloists, Gotham Chamber Opera, Sonnambula, New Vintage Baroque, Clarion Music Society, Concert Royal, American Classical Orchestra,Trinity Baroque Orchestra, and the Brooklyn Ballet. In summer 2014 he performed with William Christie in the Rencontres musicales en Vendee and at the Britten-Pears Festival with Richard Egarr. He has presented his historical work on 19th century Bach reception for the Society for Eighteenth Century Music and at the Juilliard School. Jude earned a Graduate Diploma in Juilliard’s Historical Performance program, studying with Monica Huggett and serving as concertmaster for Juilliard415 under Jordi Savall.

RachelEvans120x160Rachel Evans, viola, has been a member of the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra, jazz group String Fever, contemporary music ensemble Continuum, and the Meridian Quartet. On period instruments she has performed across the globe with Sequentia and La Stravaganza Köln, and as a principal player with Apollo’s Fire, Concert Royal, Washington Bach Consort, the Dryden Ensemble, Publick Musick, Rebel, New York Collegium, Foundling, and La Fiocco. She was a principal player and recitalist at the Carmel Bach Festival for many years and appeared at the Boston, Berkeley, and Utrecht Early Music Festivals, and the Victoria Festival in Australia. She can be heard on more than 20 recordings, spanning the Middle Ages to the present. As a sound and movement artist, Ms. Evans collaborated with Elaine Colandrea in “Venus: A Dance Dedicated to Love’s Body” and “On the Nature of the Body.” A recipient of the Coleman Chamber Music Award, she earned B.Mus. and M.Mus. degrees at The Juilliard School of Music.

11freiberg120x160Sarah Freiberg is principal cellist of Boston Baroque and a tenured member of the Handel and Haydn Society. She has performed with the New York Collegium, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Portland Baroque, Seattle Baroque, the Boston Early Music Festival and Arion. As a corresponding editor for STRINGS magazine, she has contributed numerous articles to that publication. Ms. Freiberg edited the Guerini cello sonatas for both PRB Productions and Broude Brothers, and recorded them and Laurenti sonatas for Centaur. She received her D.M.A. and M.M. degrees from S.U.N.Y. at Stony Brook, and holds degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory, Brown University, and the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. She teaches in the historical performance department of Boston University and is chair of strings and chamber music at the Powers Music School in Belmont, MA. Ms. Freiberg can be heard on numerous recordings, including as soloist on a recent release of Boston Baroque performing works by Vivaldi and Geminiani.

ANNETROUT-120x160Bassist Anne Trout enjoys a varied career that embraces early music, contemporary performance, and traditional symphonic and chamber music repertoire. A resident of Boston, she has served as principal bass, toured, and recorded with the Handel and Haydn Society, the Boston Bach Ensemble, Boston Baroque and Emmanuel Music. She has been engaged by many organizations, including the Boston Early Music Festival, Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra, Cabrillo Festival, and Pepsico Summerfare, working with such noted artists as William Christie, Dennis Russell Davies, Christopher Hogwood, Peter Sellars, and Mark Morris. Ms. Trout appears frequently with the Baroque ensemble Rebel at Trinity Church in lower Manhattan, and is often heard with Musicians of Aston Magna. She studied at Indiana University, Wellesley College, and the University of Arizona. She serves on the faculties of the Longy School of Music, the Groton School and Boston College, and as a consultant and clinician for the annual Boston Bass Bash held in Cambridge. She has recorded for Telarc, London L’Oiseau-Lyre, Sony Classical, Erato, Dorian, and Centaur.

Blue Hill Bach’s Artistic Director 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, plays recorder with Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, 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 Academy of Ancient Music, and the Mostly Mozart, Boston Early Music, Tanglewood, Ravinia, Bruges, Regensburg, Bachsommer Arnstadt, Stockholm Early Music, 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 collaborates with the instrument-maker Joel Robinson in building replicas of historical oboes. He lives in Clermont, NY, in the beautiful Hudson River valley.

Priscilla-120x160Oboist and recorder player Priscilla Herreid has been heard throughout the United States, Europe, and South America performing music from the 11th century to today. She is a member of Trinity Baroque Orchestra (NYC), the Sebastian Chamber Players, and PHOENIXtail, and has appeared with the Philharmonia Baroque, the Handel & Haydn Society, Orchester Wiener Akademie, and others. As a renaissance wind specialist she is a member of Piffaro and has performed with the Waverly Consort, Early Music New York, Hesperus, Ex Umbris, The Rose Ensemble, and Istanpitta. Ms. Herreid has also performed as principal oboist for Les Recontre Musicales en Vendee, under the direction of William Christie, and this season was part of the onstage band for the Globe Theatre’s critically-acclaimed productions of Twelfth Night and Richard III on Broadway. Ms. Herreid received a master’s degree from The Juilliard School, where she was a member of the inaugural class of Juilliard Historical Performance, and a bachelor’s degree from Temple University.

12ASchwartz120x160Bassoonist Andrew Schwartz has appeared throughout the world as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player. His intriguing career has ranged from frequent appearances with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra to jazz recordings with Winton Marsalis, children’s concerts as the principal bassoonist of the Little Orchestra Society, and touring chamber music as a member of the New York Chamber Soloists. Mr. Schwartz is also one of America’s most sought-after musicians on historical instruments, serving as principal bassoonist of The Handel and Hadyn Society, Boston Baroque, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, and The American Classical Orchestra; he was also principal bassoonist of the Royal Drottningholm Court Theatre Orchestra in Sweden for fourteen summers. He has appeared as a soloist at Lincoln Center, the Morgan Library, the Musikverein, in Vienna, Austria, and Symphony and Jordan Halls in Boston. He has recorded extensively, including Mozart’s complete chamber music for winds and late operas for Decca/ L’Oiseau Lyre. A native of Chicago, Mr. Schwartz received the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard School. He resides in New York City with his wife Jill LeVine, a professional photographer, and two teenage daughters, Hannah and Lena, and spends summers at their home in Vermont.

ToddWilliams120x160Versatile as an interpreter of the modern and natural horn, Todd Williams is an active performer and educator based in Philadelphia. He regularly performs with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Opera Philadelphia, the Academy of Vocal Arts, the Pennsylvania Ballet, and the Philly Pops; since 2003 he has served as solo horn of the opera festival Lyrique-en-Mer, France. Natural horn engagements have seen him as solo or principal horn of the Cambini Quintet, Tempesta di Mare, Bach Collegium Philadelphia, Washington Bach Consort, Bach Collegium San Diego, Madison Bach Musicians, Dallas Bach Society, Mercury, Ars Lyrica, NYS Baroque, Concert Royal, Four Nations Ensemble, Trinity Wall Street Baroque, Clarion Music Society, Apollo’s Fire, Opera Lafayette, and the Aston Magna and Blue Hill Bach festivals. In 2014, he was appointed principal horn of the Boston Handel & Haydn Society. Mr. Williams has appeared as a guest artist/lecturer at the Curtis Institute of Music, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, University of Wisconsin (Madison), and the University of Texas (Austin). He has recorded for Musica Omnia, Naxos, Chandos, Chaconne, New World Records, and Warner Brothers. Todd is a graduate of Indiana University.

EAxtell120x160Elisabeth Axtell represents a generation of musicians whose careers are equal parts artistry and entrepreneurship. She is a co-founder and core member of Grand Harmonie, a groundbreaking ensemble bringing a fresh, spontaneous voice to period music performance on the East Coast. The Grand Harmonie sound has been hailed by critics as “delicate and gauzy” (New York Times), “tight and energetic” (Boston Globe), and “lusty, rhythmic, and rustic – theirs was early music with a stomp” (Hub Review). She also serves as co-director of Emergere, a full-force wind ensemble pioneering a conductorless, player-led performance model. Recent performance engagements include Handel & Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, Boston Early Music Festival, Pacific MusicWorks, Bach Society Houston, Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity NYC, and the Harvard Baroque Chamber Orchestra. A native of Washington State, Elisabeth holds dual degrees in English and music from Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minnesota and a masters degree in music performance from Boston University. Her primary teachers include Eric Ruske, Kathleen Vaught-Farner, and David Schultz.

JFinney120x160John Finney leads a very active musical career in and around Boston, Massachusetts. He is Distinguished Artist-in-Residence at Boston College, where he conducts two large ensembles, the 160-voice University Chorale of Boston College, and the 50-member Boston College Symphony Orchestra. He has served as organist and Director of Music for the Wellesley Hills Congregational Church since 1984. He has been the conductor of the Heritage Chorale in Framingham, Massachusetts since 1987, and has led that ensemble in acclaimed performances of many major choral works. He served as Associate Conductor and Chorusmaster of the world-renowned Handel+Haydn Society in Boston from 1990 until 2014. He performed as harpsichordist/organist and conductor at the 2013 Blue Hill Bach Festival, and is delighted to return to Blue Hill for the 2014 festival. He holds degrees in organ performance from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and The Boston Conservatory. He has served on the faculty of The Boston Conservatory and taught for six years at the Academy for Early Music in Bressanone, Italy.

GWheelerA native of England, Gerald Wheeler received diplomas in piano performance and teaching from the Royal College of Music, London, where his teachers included Harold Darke and Herbert Howells. He received a Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists and was awarded an honorary doctorate in theology by the Diocesan Theological College in Montreal. Dr. Wheeler has been the Music Director at Blue Hill Congregational Church since October 2005. Previous positions include director of music at St. Francis by the Sea Episcopal Church, sub-organist of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, organist at St. Matthew’s in Ottawa, Ontario, and director of music at Christ Church Anglican Cathedral in Montreal, Quebec. He has performed around the globe in recitals, as an assisting artist, and with major symphony orchestras.