Hailed as “kaleidoscopic“ (San Francisco Classical Voice) and “excellent” (Gramophone) pianist Eunmi Ko recently appeared in the Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Herbst Theatre, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Festival de Musica Contemporanea, San Francisco International Piano Festival, Chautauqua Music Festival, Seoul Arts Center, among others. Praised for original interpretations, abundances of piano technique, and interesting programming, she performs a wide range of piano repertoire from premieres of new works by living composers to the traditional and rarely played piano works. As a sought after collaborator of contemporary composers, she frequently commissions and premieres new solo and chamber music repertoire. Ko is co-founder and co-director of new music ensemble Strings & Hammers, which has the unusual instrumentation of violin, piano, and double bass. Each year, Strings and Hammers collaborates with different composers for their project and gives several premieres nationally and internationally. The ensemble’s residency includes COMA’16 in Madrid, Eastman School of Music, USF New Music Consortium, McCormick Percussion Group, among others. For more information, please visit the ensemble’s Facebook page: facebook.com/StringsHammers . Since 2015 she has been the resident artist for award winning percussion ensemble McCormick Percussion Group lead by Director Robert McCormick for the Concerti for Piano and Percussion Project. Ko holds graduate degrees (MM and DMA) from the Eastman School of Music. She is on the music faculty at the University of South Florida and co-advisor of the New-Music Consortium at USF. Ko is the artistic director of international new music festival Dot The Line that takes place in Korea every May.
Hailed as "excellent", "impeccable", "limpidly beautiful", "impressive", and "stunning", Grammy-nominated mezzo-soprano Thea Lobo's recent work includes solo performances with Artist Series of Sarasota, EnsembleNewSRQ, The Series 'Great Music in a Great Space', Spectrum Singers, and The Shakespeare Concerts. She has performed with Boston Symphony Orchestra, Sarasota Choral Society, Callithumpian Consort, Halcyon Chamber Series, and Guerilla Opera. Ms. Lobo has appeared under conductors Gunther Schuller, Harry Christophers, Joshua Rifkin, Martin Pearlman, Helmut Rilling, and Andris Nelsons, and has been featured by the Firebird Ensemble, The Bermuda Festival, Boston Early Music Festival, and Europäisches Musikfest Stuttgart. Her dedication to new music, art song, and early music has seen her featured on True Concord's Grammy winning recording of Stephen Paulus's 'Prayers & Remembrances', invited to the Carmel Bach Festival as an Adams Fellow, a prizewinner at the Bach Vocal Competition for American Singers, a grant recipient of the Julian Autrey Song Foundation and the Saint Botolph Club Foundation, a featured recitalist for the Boston Portuguese Festival, and performing as a soloist under the direction of composers Steve Reich, Christian Wolff, Louis Andriessen, and many others.
Sam Nelson was born in Lynn, Massachusetts and held his first organist position at the age of 12. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Organ Performance from Gordon College in 2011 under the tutelage of Dr. Roy Brunner and Mr. Douglas Marshall. In 2012 he won second prize at the Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival. In 2018, he completed a Master of Music degree at Boston University under the tutelage of Peter Sykes. Sam was the organist at Washington Street Baptist Church in Lynn from 2002 to 2013, Music Director at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Lynnfield, MA 2013-2019, and is currently the Assistant Organist and Choirmaster at Church of the Redeemer, Sarasota, FL--the largest Episcopal church in the diocese of South West Florida. In addition to his work in Lynnfield, Sam is also a regular substitute at Park Street Church, Boston. Sam has also served as Tour Manager and Organ Technician for Cameron Carpenter and The International Touring Organ during the 2015 and 2016 US Winter Tours, as well as during the 2016 premiere of Carpenter's arrangement of "Variations on a Theme of Paganini" by Rachmaninoff with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, China.
Minneapolis-based soprano, Regina Stroncek, is a versatile artist who frequently performs as a soloist and ensemble singer. Graduating from the University of Minnesota with degrees in Vocal Performance and Spanish and Portuguese Studies, her interest lies in communicating with diverse audiences through language and music. She has been heard in concerts locally in Minnesota and abroad throughout Spain and Brazil. Ms. Stroncek is an avid recitalist with a deep-seated passion for art song, and has participated in the Barcelona Festival of Song and Source Song Festival. An advocate for new music, she has programmed numerous recitals featuring repertoire by living composers, and has sung world and regional premieres of art song and chamber music in the United States and Brazil. As a two-time Fulbright scholar to Brazil, Ms. Stroncek spent 2 years researching and performing Brazilian vocal chamber repertoire in the capital city, Brasília. There she collaborated with local ensembles and curated lecture recitals highlighting art song from the United States and Brazil, performing at venues such as Casa Thomas Jefferson, the University of Brasília (UnB), the Federal Institute of Brasília (IFB), and the Conservatory of the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG). Ms. Stroncek is an alumna of the inaugural class of the Seraphic Fire Professional Choral Institute at Aspen Music Festival and regularly performs with ensembles such as the Minnesota Chorale, Border CrosSing, MPLS-imPulse, and The First Readings Project.
Stephan Griffin enjoys an active career as a singer, conductor, and organist. Praised by Early Music America and The Washington Post for his warm tone, he has performed with various ensembles including Schola Cantorum of Boston, Texas Early Music Project, Long and Away, Pfunkhaus, and The Brookline Consort. He holds a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance and a Doctor of Music in organ performance from Boston University, and a Master of Music in organ performance with an emphasis in sacred music from the University of Texas at Austin. While in Austin, Stephan served on the music faculty at St. Stephen’s School and as the Chorus Master and bass soloist for the Austin Baroque Orchestra. An avid collaborative artist, he has worked with Berkshire Choral International, the Dallas Wind Symphony, and the Maryland State Boychoir at venues ranging from the Kennedy Center to the Boston Early Music Festival Fringe. He is currently the Director of Music at All Saints Episcopal Church in Brookline, MA. He has also served as the Director of Music at the historic Trinity Episcopal Church in Newport, RI and as Visiting Lecturer in Music and Director of the University Chorus at Brown University.
Hailed by Early Music America as “a complete master of rhetoric," Philadelphia native Sylvia Berry is one of North America's leading exponents of the fortepiano. Her disc of Haydn's London Sonatas - recorded on an 1806 Broadwood grand - garnered critical acclaim. A writer from Fanfare enthused: “To say that Berry plays these works with vim, vigor, verve, and vitality, is actually a bit of an understatement." Ms. Berry is known not only for her exciting solo and chamber music performances, but also for the engaging commentary she provides about the music and the instruments she plays In addition to delighting audiences in Europe, the UK, and the US, she is a published scholar who has written and lectured widely on the performance practices of the late 18th and 19th centuries, with a special interest in the sociological phenomena surrounding the music of that period. A frequent Art Song collaborator, she has performed with numerous vocalists in repertoire ranging from early and infrequently heard Lieder to well known favorites by Schubert that are incredibly different when performed on the pianos of his time. Recent performance highlights include collaborative performances with Les Délices (Cleveland) and Ars Antiqua (New York); solo recitals on the Pittsburgh Renaissance and Baroque series and the Museum Concerts of Rhode Island series; and performances with her ensemble, The Berry Collective, at the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston) and the Princeton University Art Museum. In October 2020 she was slated to perform with a concerto with Bach Collegium San Diego, one of North America’s preeminent period orchestras.
African American soprano, Zyda Culpepper, recently made her role debut as Susanna in the Maryland Opera Studio’s production of Le nozze di Figaro, where she was praised for “demonstrating both the charm and hardness required for the contrivances at court.” She recently returned to the role as a young artist with Chicago Summer Opera, in their production of Le nozze di Figaro. Ms. Culpepper earned her Bachelor’s degree in Voice Performance from The University of Alabama where she was seen as: Anna Reich in Nicolai’s Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor, Caroline in the world premiere of Amir Zaheri’s Freedom and Fire! A Civil War Story, and Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Ms. Culpepper was a featured soloist with the University of Alabama’s Huxford Symphony Orchestra for a performance of the Weill Music Institute’s Link Up: The Orchestra Sings. In 2016, she was a young artist at Greensboro Light Opera and Song where she performed as Angelina in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury. Later that summer, Ms. Culpepper traveled to Robbiate, Italy for the Bassi Brugnatelli Symposium as a young artist where she performed scenes as Clorinda in Rossini’s La Cenerentola and Lisette in Puccini’s La rondine. Ms. Culpepper has been a featured soloist with the Bach Cantata Series at the University of Maryland College Park where she earned a Master of Music degree in Opera Performance. Other roles with the Maryland Opera Studio include: Greta Fiorentino in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, Jessie in Weill’s Mahagonny Songspiel, covering Soeur Constance in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites, covering Servilia in Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito, and Sarah Palmer in the world premiere of Theo Popov’s Town Hall. When she is not singing, Ms. Culpepper is teaching Music Appreciation at the Georgia Military College.
Baroque cello, gamba
Internationally respected baroque cellist and violist da gamba Shirley Hunt brings fierce imagination and integrity to the music of the Renaissance, Baroque, and Contemporary eras. Praised by The Strad as “stylish and accomplished,” Ms. Hunt performs and records extensively with the nation's leading period instrument ensembles including the Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, New York Baroque Incorporated, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, The Sebastians, TENET, Les Bostonades, and Ruckus. She is a founding member of the Cramer Quartet, a period instrument string quartet performing classical and early romantic repertoire. Recent solo recitals include performances at at DePaul University, the Boston Public Library, Gore Place Carriage House Concerts, Ashmont Hill Chamber Music, and The Pindrop Sessions. Ms. Hunt has performed as a chamber musician and guest artist at the Morgan Library & Museum, the Library of Congress, the Phillips Collection, the Strathmore Mansion, Caramoor, La Jolla Music Society SummerFest, Rockport Music, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In addition to her concert appearances, Ms. Hunt can be heard on the Parma, Centaur, NCA, CORO, and Origin Classical labels. She has served on the faculty of the California Institute of the Arts and the San Francisco Renaissance and Baroque Workshop, and taught masterclasses at University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin, Adelphi University, Cornish College of the Arts, and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. In 2018, Ms. Hunt’s recording of the viol music of C.F. Abel was featured in a multimedia installation by the Mexican visual artist Mauricio Cervantes in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Margot Rood, hailed for her “colorful and vital” singing by The Washington Post, performs a wide range of repertoire.
The 2019/2020 season marks her debuts with Toronto’s Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra (Messiah), Edinburgh’s Dunedin Consort (St. Matthew Passion), South Florida’s Enlightenment Festival (BWV 202 & 211), and Washington Bach Consort (BWV 106 &198). Recent and upcoming solo appearances include those with Cleveland Orchestra (Stravinsky Threni), Boston Symphony (Benjamin Dream of the Song), Rhode Island Philharmonic (Messiah), Philharmonia Baroque (BWV 61 & 140), New Jersey Symphony (Messiah), Charlotte Symphony Orchestra (Mozart Requiem), New World Symphony (Reich Desert Music), Handel + Haydn Society (The Fairy Queen, Mass in B Minor), TENET Vocal Artists (Messiah, Praetorius Vespers), Seraphic Fire (Messiah, Vivaldi Gloria), Bach Collegium San Diego (Messiah), A Far Cry (Golijov Three Songs), and numerous concerts with acclaimed ensemble Blue Heron. Margot is a former Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Fellow at Emmanuel Music, where she is often featured on Emmanuel's nationally-known Bach cantata series.
Margot belongs to Beyond Artists, a coalition of artists that donates a percentage of concert fees to non-profit organizations. She supports My Sister’s Place, an institution that provides resources to domestic violence survivors, through her performances.
Sophia de Otero:
The young brazilian Mezzo-soprano started her studies at the age of 17 in the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, where she also participated in Lied, Opera, and Baroque Music Masterclasses, with artists such as Mitsuko Shirai, Maria Venutti, Fabio Centanni and Karine Serafin, amongst many others. Already at a young age, she set foot on stage to sing roles such as Siebel(Faust), Dorabella(Così fan Tutte), Sorceress(Dido and Aeneas) having made her debut as Kate, in Madama Butterfly. Along with her studies, she was also a Soloist with UniRio Baroque Orchestra, singing repertoire from Monteverdi to Bach. At age 22 she was selected to the Bachelors Program in the Superior School for Musik in Stuttgart, where she studied with Francisco Araiza, and after his retirement, with Prof. Turid Karlsen. Sophia is currently in the class of Prof. Gundula Schneider, since the beginning of her Masters Studies in Opera, which are scheduled to end in July this year. In these few years of study in Germany she has already sung roles on stage such as Stella (Elliot Carter’s “What Next?”), Maddalena and Giovanna in Verdi’s Rigoletto, 3. Dame in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, as well as excerpts from I Capuletti ed i Montechi (as Romeo), Carmen(as Carmen), and Hänsel und Gretel(as Hänsel), and several Chamber Music Performances. Also in Germany she participated in Masterclasses with Margreet Honig, Ingeborg Danz and Malcom Walker, and won first prize in the International Karl-Adler-Jugend-Musikwettbewerb in 2015.
Soprano, Adelaide Boedecker, has been described as “emotionally transparent and beguiling of tone” (The San Francisco Chronicle). Ms. Boedecker is a former resident artist with the Pittsburgh Opera, and completed two summers as an apprentice artist with both the Santa Fe Opera and Merola Opera Program. Upcoming, Ms. Boedecker will star as Pamina, in Die Zauberflöte, with Pittsburgh Opera. She just made her role debut as Adina in L’elisir d’amore with Sarasota Opera, and was to sing Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with Opera Las Vegas, but the production was canceled due to COVID-19. Recently, Ms. Boedecker debuted the iconic role of Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with James Conlon and James Darrah at Music Academy of the West. In the spring of 2019, Ms. Boedecker debuted as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte and covered the title role in Donizetti’s Rita with Sarasota Opera. Following that, Ms. Boedecker made her Opera Columbus debut in their Opera Swings Jazz concerts. Ms. Boedecker was seen as Meridian in the Santa Fe Opera’s tour of UnShakeable, and premiered Moon, Bride, Dogs II and Bedtime Story with NANOWorks Opera Festival. This past year Ms. Boedecker made her concert debuts with the Steamboat Symphony Orchestra, with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, with the Naples Philharmonic, and at the Santa Fe Lensic New Year’s Eve Gala, singing Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, Carmina Burana, Handel’s Messiah, and Mozart’s Exultate Jubilate, respectively.
Hailed by former Sarasota Herald-Tribune music critic Florence Fisher as an “outstanding organist whose musical interpretations always reflect the integrity and the period of the composer,” Ann Stephenson-Moe is a major musical force in the greater Sarasota area as harpsichordist, accompanist, organist, and conductor. Her reach, however, extends well beyond Southwest Florida. She has performed solo recitals at St. Thomas Church (Fifth Avenue) in New York City; at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.; at Trinity Church (Copley Square) in Boston; and at the American Cathedral in Paris, France. Dr. Stephenson-Moe co-founded the renowned and much-loved Key Chorale – the Symphonic Choir of the Florida West Coast Symphony. She also co-founded, and performed as associate conductor and keyboardist, for Gloria Musicae, a widely popular chamber chorus which performs throughout Southwest Florida. In an ecumenical spirit, Dr. Stephenson-Moe has been directing choirs at Sarasota-area synagogues since 1984. She is currently Organist and Music Director at Temple Beth Israel on Longboat Key. Dr. Stephenson-Moe holds a masters in Sacred Music, summa cum laude, from Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where she studied with Alec Wyton and Robert Baker. While living in New York, she served on the music staff of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine alongside Dr. Wyton. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Florida State University, and a Masters in History from Rollins College. She received an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Nashotah House Episcopal Seminary in 1997 in recognition of her leadership in the field of church music.
Kira Gaillard is an operatic soprano native to Sarasota, Florida. She has been praised for the warmth of her voice and her “beautiful cultured soprano.” Kira has sung for the Weimar Lyric Opera Studio, St. Petersburg Opera, and as a youth member of the Sarasota Opera. She has also had the opportunity to complete a choral residency at the Gloucester Cathedral in Gloucester, England under the direction of Sarasota’s Dr. Robert Parish. Working in Southwest Florida, Kira has been involved in many local music groups. She currently sings at the Church of the Redeemer as a soprano section leader. She has been a guest artist and soloist with Key Chorale, Musica Sacra, Gloria Musicae, Venice Chorale, Venice Concert Band, Port Charlotte Concert Band, and the Anna Maria Island Chorus and Orchestra. Kira graduated from the University of Miami in 2011. There she premiered the roles of Girl in Michael Torke’s Strawberry Fields. She also sang the roles of Emmie in Albert Herring, the First Spirit in the Magic Flute, and covered the role of Frasquita in Carmen. She is attending the University of Florida in Fall of 2020 to pursue her Master of Music as a graduate assistant.
Robin Bier has been praised for her inimitable, resonant contralto (Phindie), “particularly moving singing” (Cleveland Classical) and “mysterious, dark hue and sauntering presence” (San Francisco Classical Voice). She has appeared as a soloist with the American Bach Soloists, the Sarasota Orchestra, the Bach Festival of Philadelphia, the Cantata Collective, Bourbon Baroque, the Dartington Festival Orchestra, the English Symphony Orchestra, the Baroque Collective, the Yorkshire Baroque Soloists, Compagnia d’Istrumenti and Brandywine Baroque, among others. As an ensemble singer Robin has performed with the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, Clarion, I Fagiolini, Apollo’s Fire, Voices of Ascension, Choral Arts Philadelphia, Ensemble VIII, The Thirteen, and Opera Philadelphia. She is co-director and alto of solo-voice ensemble Les Canards Chantants. Robin holds her bachelor’s degree in voice performance from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and postgraduate degrees in solo-voice ensemble singing and historical performance practice from the University of York, UK. Originally from Alaska, Robin is now based in Philadelphia, PA, and is a student of German baritone Christian Immler.