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 is an artist-in-residence at the University of Washington. She founded and directs the Whidbey Island Music Festival, now entering its twelfth 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". She has appeared as concertmaster/leader or soloist with the American Bach Soloists, Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Musica Angelica (Los Angeles) and Pacific Baroque Orchestra and has played with Apollo’s Fire, Los Angeles Opera, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and at the Berkeley, Carmel Bach, San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, Indianapolis, Oregon Bach, Vancouver Bach, Savannah, Bloomington Festivals and Valley of the Moon 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. Tekla plays on a violin made by Sanctus Seraphin in Venice, 1746.
Curtis Foster, Baroque oboe and recorder, whose playing has been praised for its "brilliantly introverted charm" (Seattle Times), has appeared with some of North America's most respected early music ensembles, including Pacific MusicWorks, Les Boréades de Montréal, the Seattle and Pacific Baroque Orchestras, Mercury Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, Musica Angelica, the Newberry Consort, Victoria Baroque Players, Indy Baroque, and Chicago Opera Theater. His many festival performances have included the Vancouver, Chicago, and Bloomington Early Music Festivals, Oregon Bach Festival, Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, and the Phoenix Bach Festival. A ravenous chamber musician, Curtis has performed with small ensembles in concert from San Francisco to Dubai, including regular appearances with his Seattle-based chamber groups, sound|counterpoint and the Così Quartet. Mr. Foster is also an enthusiastic advocate for music of our own time, and regularly commissions and premiers new works by contemporary composers for old instruments. A dedicated pedagogue, Curtis teaches Baroque oboe as part of the Baroque Orchestra Mentorship Programme at the University of British Columbia, and is regularly invited to teach workshops and masterclasses around the US and Canada. His recordings can be heard on ATMA Classique, Naxos, Cedille Records, and IU Press. Originally hailing from Wichita, Kansas, Curtis now makes his home in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. He is a graduate of Wichita State University and Indiana University's Early Music Institute.
Internationally acclaimed Scottish fiddler and violinist, Brandon Vance, is the recipient of Scotland's 2017 Royal National Mòd "Sutherland Cup" in Scottish Fiddle, as well as being the youngest to win the U.S. National Open Scottish Fiddling Championship in both 1999 and 2001. Vance has performed and taught internationally, serving as a guest lecturer at the University of Limerick’s Irish World Academy, appearing as guest artist for the 50th Anniversary of the Armagh Piper’s Club at the William Kennedy Piping Festival, and being selected as a featured soloist at the 2017 Scottish Royal National Mòd in Fort William. With a M.M. from the Cleveland Institute of Music, one of the continent's most distinguished conservatories, Vance performs with Seattle-based Pacific Music Works, Early Music Vancouver, Northwest Sinfonietta, mandolinist John Reischman, vocalist Nadia Tarnawsky, Alex Fedoriouk, uilleann piper Eliot Grasso, and composer Stephen Rice. In addition to being a founding member of Celtic Ensemble Dréos and World Music Ensemble Alchymeia, Vance is a composer with a distinctive melodic and harmonic vocabulary, having given the world premiere of his original composition “Gael Storm” for fiddle and orchestra with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra at Severance Hall. Vance has had the honor of serving as music director and violin soloist for the world premiere of "Odyssey of These Days," a work composed by Eliot Grasso, and presented at the Hult Center in Eugene, Oregon,as a musical response to a set of nine paintings by Wesley Hurd that deal with loss, grief, and hope. Recently, Vance has worked with his Celtic ensemble Dréos to compose, arrange, and perform music for the world premiere of Ballet Fantastique's "Sleepy Hollow." In addition to having a well-established international career as a violinist and fiddler, Vance is also emerging as a traditional Gaelic singer, having been ranked 3rd in the Skye and Sutherland Open Competition at the 2017 Royal National Mòd.
Hailed by The Miami Herald for his “superb continuo… brilliantly improvised and ornamented,” Henry Lebedinsky performs on historical keyboards across the United States and the United Kingdom, both as a soloist and as a member of Agave Baroque, Pacific MusicWorks, The Vivaldi Project, and The Live Oak Baroque Orchestra. He has also played with The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, The Charlotte Symphony, Seraphic Fire, and Boston Revels, among others. He has taught master classes and workshops on historical repertoire and performance practice at the University of Edinburgh and at colleges and universities across the USA. An avid composer of sacred music for choir and organ, his works are published by Paraclete Press, Carus-Verlag Stuttgart, and CanticaNOVA. He is the founder and director of the Pacific MusicWorks Underground Concerts (formerly Early Music Underground), which brings old music to new audiences in brewpubs, wineries, and fun unconventional venues across the greater Seattle metropolitan area. Mr. Lebedinsky holds degrees from Bowdoin College and the Longy School of Music, where he studied with Peter Sykes. He currently serves as Organist and Choirmaster at Seattle’s historic Christ Episcopal Church.
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.
Romaric Pokorny, viola, is an avid chamber music player. Based out of Seattle, he has been a member in several chamber music ensembles in the Puget Sound area, most notably the Oceana String Quartet, SCREE! String Quintet, and especially the Rocoempo Trio, alongside his brothers. He also enjoys performing with Seattle’s Pacific MusicWorks, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, SeattleMusic, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and various other ensembles. A native of France, he received his early musical training there, studying violin, piano, composition and music theory at the Conservatoire a Rayonnement Regional de Boulogne-Billancourt and later at the Conservatoire d'Aulnay-sous-Bois under violinist Jose Alvarez, and earning a Diplome Superieur de Solfege. After moving to the United States, he finished his studies with a degree in Viola Performance from the University of Washington. His interests also grew to include some experience in pipe organ building and restoration, working for an organ supply and restoration company for several years, and is currently working with The Harpsichord Shop. His other current music interests include genre-crossing musical exploration (with the Rocoempo Trio) and the promotion of classical and early music performances to include a broader audience, with Pacific MusicWorks Underground.
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. Stephen will make his debut Messiah performance with Houston Symphony this December. His extensive discography as conductor and solo lutenist include well over 100 CDs, many of which have received international acclaim and awards.
Joanna Blendulf is associate professor of music in baroque cello/viola da gamba at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Blendulf has performed and recorded with leading period-instrument ensembles throughout the United States and abroad. She is currently co-principal cellist and principal viola da gamba player of the Portland Baroque Orchestra. She has also performed as principal cellist of Pacific MusicWorks, Pacific Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, Apollo’s Fire Baroque Orchestra, and the New York Collegium. She was a principal cellist of the New World Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas and has performed with other modern orchestras, including the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Nashville Chamber Orchestra. Blendulf is an avid chamber musician, performing regularly on major concert series and appearing on numerous recordings with her groups, including the Ensemble Electra, Ensemble Mirable, Music of the Spheres, Nota Bene Viol Consort, and Wildcat Viols. She appears as a frequent guest viol player with the Catacoustic Consort and Parthenia, and has collaborated with acclaimed artists such as Monica Huggett, Stephen Stubbs, Matthias Maute, Bruce Dickey, and Joan Jeanrenaud. Blendulf’s world-premiere recording of the complete cello sonatas of Jean Zewalt Triemer with Ensemble Mirable was released in 2004. Blendulf’s festival engagements have included performances at Tage Alter Musik Regenburg, Musica Antigua en Villa de Leyva in Colombia, the Bloomington, Boston, and Berkeley early music festivals, and the Ojai Music Festival, as well as the Carmel and Oregon Bach Festivals. She is also sought after as a teacher and chamber music coach and has served as a classroom and private instructor at the University of Oregon and the Berwick Academy. As an active member of the Viola da gamba Society of America, she teaches regularly at viol workshops such as the annual Conclave, Viols West, and Young Players Weekend, and has served as a national Circuit Rider teacher. She holds performance degrees with honors from the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Jacobs School of Music, where she earned a Performer's Certificate for her accomplishments in early music performance.
Cynthia Miller Freivogel is the leader and concertmaster of the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado and of the ARTEK chamber orchestra (New York). She has been a leader and concertmaster for Handel and Haydn Society (Boston), Concerto Köln, Concerto d'Amsterdam and Joshua Rifkin's Bach Ensemble at the Stockholm and Antwerp Early Music Festivals, as well as in the Hague with Collegium Musicum den Haag and Musica Poetica. She recently appeared as a soloist (Sinfonia Concertante) at the Festival of Mozart in den Haag and with Philharmonia Baroque (Beethoven Triple Concerto). As a chamber musician, Ms. Freivogel was a founding member of the Novello Quartet and the Coriolan Quartet, both of which were dedicated to the performance of the string quartets of Haydn and his contemporaries on period instruments. She was also a core member of Brandywine Baroque in Wilmington, Delaware, where she made several recordings, including Corelli Op. 5, on the Plectra label. Since relocating to the Netherlands, she has founded the Hopkinson trio which explores repertoire from the 17th century through the early classical era.As a solo artist, she has been heard playing Biber at the Berkeley Early Music Festival and the Vilsmayr Partitas at the Utrecht Fabulous Fringe. In the last year Ms Freivogel was featured playing solo Bach at the Seizoen Oude Muziek Bach Days and at Bach-Sommer Arnstadt. She has enjoyed collaborating both with visual artists and dancers, most recently performing early music with newly choreographed works by Garrett Ammon of Wonderbound in Denver, Colorado. She has played in the section with chamber orchestras from the west coast to the east coast and now in Europe, including with Holland Baroque Society, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, Apollo's Fire, Portland Baroque, Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Early Music Festival Opera and she was a tenured member of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. Before completely dedicating herself to early music, Ms Freivogel played in many symphony orchestras including State Orchestra of Sao Paulo in Brazil, New World Symphony (Miami), Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (Amsterdam), Colorado Music Festival Orchestra in Boulder, as well as at Tanglewood, San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, American Russian Young Artist’s Orchestra, and new music with Left Coast Ensemble. Ms. Freivogel received a BA in musicology at Yale University and an MM in violin performance at the San Francisco Conservatory. She studied principally with Camilla Wicks and Marylou Speaker Churchill, and is a dedicated and certified Suzuki teacher now at the Muziekschool in Heemskerk. She lives in Amsterdam with her husband Ben, a theoretical physicist at the University of Amsterdam, and son Eliot.
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.
John Lenti, described by the Seattle Times as "a joy to behold," is regularly beheld playing lute, theorbo, and baroque guitar with lots of orchestras, choirs, and opera companies on both coasts of the United States, as well as in the interior, non-coastal part, and a few, coastal or otherwise, in other countries. While orchestral work as an accompanist and concerto soloist comprises most of his career, chamber music is John's primary interest and he enjoys touring with his groups Wayward Sisters, the I-90 Collective, and Ostraka, while appearing as a guest with many other notable ensembles. With various groups he is frequently heard on most early music concert series and at lots of festivals. His recording credits include several well-received albums with some of the aforementioned bands, and his liner notes, program notes, and lectures have drawn praise. While his time is spent doing a great many things on a great many historical plucked instruments and teaching a bit, his most intense musical love is the English golden-age lute song repertoire, and his sincere desire is to become the Gerald Moore of the lute (currently accepting applications for a quiet Fischer-Dieskau with no vibrato), once that becomes remunerative. His repertoire extends from the early 16th century to the present day, but other than something really neat like an electric theorbo concerto, his commitment to the music of our own time is negligible if not actually averse. A native of South Carolina, John attended the North Carolina School of the Arts and Indiana University, and he studied lute with Jacob Heringman, Elizabeth Kenny, and Nigel North, also receiving valuable guidance from Pat O'Brien, Walter Gray, and Ricardo Cobo.
Since 1996, harpsichordist, fortepianist, and organist Katherine Heater has made her home in the San Francisco Bay Area where she is a frequent performer with Magnificat, Mazzetto, Voices of Music and others. She has taught at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, San Jose State University, UC Santa Cruz, San Francisco School of the Arts and The Crowden School, as well as at three of the San Francisco Early Music Society’s summer workshops. She has performed throughout the United States, including at the Berkeley Early Music Festival, the Bloomington Early Music Festival, and the Tropical Baroque Festival of Miami, as well as abroad in Iceland, Taiwan, France, and the Netherlands. Katherine received her B.A. in music from UC Berkeley and her M.M. in historical performance from Oberlin Conservatory. Thanks to fellowships from her alma mater and Philanthropic Ventures Foundation, Katherine studied early keyboards at the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam.