Bach Festival

 

76th Bach Festival Soloists, Guest Artitsts, and Directors

With a repertoire spanning three centuries, NANCY ARGENTA, has been hailed not only as the supreme Handel soprano of our age, but also as a major performer of works by composers as diverse as Mozart and Schoenberg. She regularly works with such conductors as Trevor Pinnock, Christopher Hogwood, John Eliot Gardiner, and Sir Roger Norrington. Recent and upcoming engagements include performances of Handel's Messiah with the North Carolina Symphony and the Vancouver Bach Choir. She has appeared at many leading festivals including Aix-en-Provence, Mostly Mozart, and the BBC Proms. As a devotee of the song repertoire of all periods, Ms. Argenta tours widely as a recitalist, presenting songs with their "original" keyboard accompaniment of harpsichord, fortepiano, or modern piano. Recent recital locations include the Netherlands, Hungary, Israel, Canada, and Spain. Her extensive discography includes major works by Bach, Haydn, and Mozart, as well as Schubert lieder and Scarlatti cantatas. O Solitude, her disc of Purcell songs and airs on EMI, was honored with a Classic CD Award in the "Bach and Before" category.

CHRISTINE ABRAHAM, mezzo-soprano, has performed major works of J. S. Bach with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, the Bethlehem Bach Festival at Carnegie Hall, and the Baldwin Wallace University Bach Festival, where she makes her fifth appearance. She has sung with the New York City Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Santa Fe Opera, the Boston Lyric Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, and others. Recently she sang the role of Bradamante in Alcina with Boston Baroque, of Blanche in Dialogues of the Carmelites with Palm Beach Opera, and of Sesto in Giulio Cesare with Utah Opera. Recent appearances include ones with the Metropolitan Opera (as Ida in Die Fledermaus), Toledo Opera, Bard Festival, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Lyric Opera, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, the Santa Barbara Grand Opera, and the Vermont Symphony. She sang the role of Diana in Cavalli's La Calisto; a recording of this performance was released by the BBC.

FRANK KELLEY, tenor, has performed in concert and opera throughout North America and Europe. Mr. Kelley's baroque credits include Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine with the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the St. John Passion with Emmanuel Music and the Berkshire Choral Festival.  Previously he has performed the St. Matthew Passion with Boston Baroque and Emmanuel Music. His career includes performances with such distinguished entities as the Boston Lyric Opera, the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Frankfurt Opera, and the Aston Magna Festival.  Recent and upcoming engagements include Bach's Mass in B Minor with Music of the Baroque in Chicago, Tosca with the Boston Lyric Opera, The Consul with Opera Boston, and Impresario with Music of the Baroque in Chicago.  His recent recordings include three Deutsche Harmonia Mundi CDs with the ensemble Sequentia, a Teldec release of Stravinsky's Renard with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Kurt Weill's Das Kleine Mahagonny with Kent Nagano, available on London video and on CD from Erato.

FREDERICK URREY, tenor, returns this season for his twelfth Bach Festival appearance. He has performed throughout the United States, in Europe and Asia, and has appeared with the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, the Washington Bach Consort, the Carmel Bach Festival, the Marlboro Music Festival, Les Violons du Roy of Quebec, and the Bach Societies of Vienna, Vancouver, Orleans, Louisville, and Kalamazoo. Recent highlights include Bach's St. John Passion with the Vancouver Bach Society and the Vancouver Symphony, Handel's Messiah with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Academy of Music, and Purcell's King Arthur with Les Violons du Roy in Quebec City and for a CBC production in Montreal. Mr. Urrey's recordings range from troubadour songs to operas, choral works, and contemporary compositions. He is featured as tenor soloist on the acclaimed Dorian recording of Bach's Mass in B Minor. His discography currently lists twenty-eight other titles on the Dorian, RCA/BMG, Harmonia Mundi, Telefunken-Decca, Newport Classic, Vox Classic, Albany, and Koch International labels.

KEVIN DEAS, bass-baritone, returns for his fifth Baldwin Wallace Bach Festival. Mr. Deas has gained international acclaim as one of America's leading basses. His recent performances include Handel's Messiah with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Handel & Haydn Society, the National Philharmonic, and Musica Sacra at Carnegie Hall, and Handel's Agrippina with Boston Baroque. He is especially celebrated for his portrayal of the title role in Porgy and Bess, which he has performed with the New York Philharmonic, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony, and at the Ravinia and Saratoga Festivals. He sang Beethoven's Ninth Symphony under the baton of Daniel Barenboim with Filarmonica della Scala in Accra, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding of Ghana. He has recorded Bach's Mass in B Minor and Handel's Acis and Galatea on Vox Classics. Other recordings include Die Meistersinger with the Chicago Symphony and Varese's Ecuatorial with the ASKO Ensemble, both on Decca/London, and Dave Brubeck's To Hope! with the Cathedral Choral Society on the Telarc label.

CURTIS STREETMAN, bass, makes his Baldwin Wallace Bach Festival debut this year. Mr. Streetman was featured in a Canadian tour of Bach's St. John's Passion, with Bernard LaBadie and Les Violons du Roi. He performed the role of Christus in Sir Jonathan Miller's acclaimed fully staged production of the St. Matthew Passion, produced by The Brooklyn Academy of Music. He has sung the major roles and leads in operas by Mozart, Puccini,Verdi, Handel, and Rossini. Recent performances include appearances at The Salzburg Festival and opera houses in Vienna and Victoria. This season Mr. Streetman will make operatic debuts in Geneva and Paris, and concert debuts in Amsterdam and Vienna. He made his Kennedy Center debut with The National Symphony in performances of Handel's Messiah. Recent debuts include ones with The Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall and Mozart's Requiem with The San Diego Symphony. Recording credits include Monteverdi's Vespers for Musical Heritage Society, Charpentier Christmas Cantatas for Naxos, and Sony's forthcoming release of Handel's Riccardo Primo.

JOHN HOLLOWAY, JAAP TER LINDEN, and LARS ULRIK MORTENSEN have performed together for many years as an international ensemble with a shared pleasure in joyful, spontaneous music-making. They made the first complete recording of Buxtehude's chamber music, winning a Danish Grammy in 1995 for the first of three CDs. These recordings were followed by a CD with Emma Kirkby of Buxtehude vocal music, which earned the trio another Danish Grammy in 1998. In 2000 they were invited to record a recital CD of eighteenth-century sonatas written in London. It was released by the record label Naim and earned critical acclaim. They have recorded a CD of sonatas by Veracini for ECM New Series, to be followed by one of Leclair sonatas (recently recorded). Other recording plans include Telemann's Paris Quartets with Linde Brunmayr and Lorenz Duftschmidt.

JOHN HOLLOWAY is one of the pioneers of the modern Early Music movement in England. He founded his first Baroque ensemble in 1975, and the ensemble made the first complete recording of the chamber music of Handel. From 1977 to 1991 he was concertmaster of Andrew Parrott's Taverner Players, and from 1978 to 1992, concertmaster of Roger Norrington's London Classical Players. In addition to his concert schedule, John Holloway has an extensive and award-winning discography: in 1991 he won a Gramophone Award for his recording of Biber's Mystery Sonatas. He has also recorded the violin sonatas of Bach, Corelli, and Handel, as well as two versions of Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Recent recordings include a series for the distinguished label ECM: Schmelzer's Sonatae unarum fidium was followed by two CDs featuring the 1681 Sonatas by Biber, and a recently released double CD of the complete sonatas and partitas for solo violin by J. S. Bach. John Holloway is Professor of Violin and String Chamber Music at the Hochschule fur Musik in Dresden.

JAAP TER LINDEN is one of Europe's best known Baroque musicians. As one of the first specialists in this field he was involved in the formation of several ensembles which have since become an important part of international musical life. He founded the ensemble Musica da Camera with his fellow Dutchman Ton Koopman. He was subsequently a member of Musica Antiqua Koln and of the English Concert and Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, where he was principal cello. With these ensembles, as well as with distinguished colleagues such as Gustav Leonhardt, Rene Jacobs, and Peter Schreier, Jaap ter Linden has recorded an extensive discography. Among recent CDs is an acclaimed recording of the Suites for solo cello by Bach. He is among the very few conductors to have recorded the complete symphonies of Mozart.  Jaap ter Linden teaches in the world-famous Early Music Department in The Hague.


LARS ULRIK MORTENSEN
is Musical Director of the baroque orchestra Concerto Copenhagen and Artistic Director of the European Union Baroque Orchestra. As Denmark's best-known harpsichordist, he has performed as soloist and in chamber music concerts throughout Europe and in the USA, Australia, Mexico, South America, and Japan. His duo partnership with Emma Kirkby has taken him all over the world. His contribution to Danish musical life has been repeatedly recognized: he received the Danish Music Critics' Award in 1984, he was "Danish Musician of the Year 2000," and this year he will receive Denmark's most prestigious music award, The L'onie Sonning Music Prize. He has made numerous recordings, winning a "Diapason d'Or'' in France, two Danish Grammys, and the Cannes Classical Award 2001.  Mortensen is presently recording the complete harpsichord concertos by J. S. Bach for CPO; current volumes are receiving lavish praise in the international press.


JOAN LIPPINCOTT
has been acclaimed as one of America's outstanding organ virtuosos.  She performs extensively in the United States and has toured throughout Europe and Canada. She has been especially in demand for Bach recitals and classes. She was recitalist at the Alice Tully Hall Bach-Handel Tercentennial and she has performed at Bach festivals in Massachusetts (Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood), New York, Ohio, and Oregon. In 2001-2002 she performed a highly acclaimed series of eight Bach organ concerts on outstanding organs throughout New York City, called "Bach in the Big Apple." Dr. Lippincott has been a featured recitalist at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City, at The American Bach Society Biennial, and at the Dublin (Ireland) International Organ Festival. Presently, she devotes full time to concertizing and recording. Dr. Lippincott was Principal University Organist at Princeton University (1993-2000) and is currently Professor Emerita of Organ at Westminster Choir College of Rider University. At Westminster she was Head of the Organ Department, the largest organ department in the world. Her recordings on major American organs on the GOTHIC label include music of Bach, Durufl, Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Widor.

THE OHIO BOYCHOIR is a community choir conducted by Dr. David Kienzle. It has been called upon to sing for Ohio governors and Presidents Carter and Bush, as well as President Reagan at the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. The Ohio Boychoir has participated in nine international concert tours, including a Sunday morning high mass at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris as well as performances in the great and historic Canterbury Cathedral of England and St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland.

 


wm_oltman.jpgMUSIC DIRECTOR

DWIGHT OLTMAN, who celebrates his thirty-third season as Music Director of the Festival, is also conductor of the Baldwin Wallace Symphony Orchestra and the Baldwin Wallace Symphonic Wind Ensemble. Selected students from those ensembles form the core of the Festival Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Oltman has established a reputation as one of America’s leading interpreters of the music of J. S. Bach.

    Career highlights include two concerts at Kennedy Center when the Festival was invited to appear in Washington, D.C. at the “Festival of Festivals.” Another event receiving national acclaim was a telecast of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion seen on 116 PBS stations. In past seasons Mr. Oltman has collaborated with an impressive array of distinguished American, Canadian, and European singers. This list includes artists such as Arleen Auger, Phyllis Bryn-Julson, Lorna Haywood, Jan DeGaetani, Catherine Robbin, Marietta Simpson, Ingeborg Danz, Jon Humphrey, Karl Markus, Seth McCoy, Kurt Equiluz, Thomas Paul, Ruud van der Meer, and Richard Zeller. Adding further to the international dimensions of the Festival, Mr. Oltman has invited ensembles and instrumental artists, including Anner Bylsma, Frans Brüggen, Catherine Crozier, Peter Hurford, Roberto Micconi, Sergiu Luca, Monica Huggett, Elizabeth Wallfisch, Paula Robison, the Quink Vocal Ensemble, the New York Baroque Dance Company, and the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra.

    Throughout his years at the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory, Mr. Oltman has maintained a busy professional conducting schedule. During twenty-four seasons as Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Cleveland Ballet, he conducted for the company in major cities including New York, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, and San Jose, and at the prestigious Edinburgh Festival in Scotland. Founding Music Director of the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, he conducted an impressive range of music during his twenty-year tenure.

    Currently Mr. Oltman is Music Director of Ballet San Jose in California where he continues to collaborate with many gifted choreographers and dancers. In May he will conduct for the company at the Grand Theater in Shanghai. Orchestral guest conducting engagements have taken him to orchestras and festivals throughout the United States and in eight other countries. His honors have included a Northern Ohio Live award for the Bach Festival, ASCAP awards for the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, and a proclamation from Mayor Michael White for “Dwight Oltman Day in Cleveland.”


wj_raleigh.jpgCHORAL DIRECTOR

STUART RALEIGH is Professor of Music and Director of the Baldwin Wallace College and Motet choirs, both of which perform each year in the Bach Festival. He has served as Chorus master of the Festival since 1974. Raleigh will retire at the end of this school year.

Born, raised and educated in Syracuse, New York, Raleigh also began his collegiate teaching career at Syracuse University. Shortly after graduating from Syracuse, he spent two summers at Tanglewood where he was a rehearsal accompanist for such musical greats as Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland. He also spent five summers as a staff pianist at Blossom Music Center where he was Robert Shaw’s rehearsal accompanist.

Since coming to BW, Raleigh has become an integral part, not only of the Conservatory but the musical scene in Northeast Ohio. At BW he conducts the College and Motet choirs, the latter of which he established specifically to perform at the Bach Festival, but which also developed as a separate entity. He also serves as music director for both opera and music theatre productions, favorite accompanist/collaborator for faculty and student chamber music performances and teacher of courses such as vocal literature, opera history and music theatre history. In the broader Northeast Ohio community, he has served as conductor for productions at Cleveland Opera, Lyric Opera Cleveland, Berea Summer Theater and Great Lakes Theater Festival and been involved in productions with Cleveland San Jose Ballet, Opera Cleveland and Cain Park.

Raleigh is also an accomplished pianist, having been a member of the Syracuse Symphony, Cleveland Philharmonic, and Ohio Chamber Orchestras, and appearing as a soloist under Pierre Boulez, Marice Stith, Frederick Prausnitz, Aaron Copland, and Dwight Oltman. He has composed for all media, but in recent years has concentrated on choral composition and arranging.

 
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BACH SERVICE DIRECTOR

MELVIN UNGER holds the Riemenschneider Chair in Music at Baldwin Wallace University, where he serves as director of the Riemenschneider Bach Institute and conductor of the BW Singers. Since 2001 he has also been conductor of the Singers’ Club of Cleveland, a male chorus now in its 115th season. Before moving to the US from Canada, Dr. Unger served for 18 years as music director of the Da Camera Singers in Edmonton. He holds the D.M.A. degree in choral music from University of Illinois (where he was a University fellow), the M. Mus. degree in choral conducting from the University of Oregon (home of the Oregon Bach Festival), and the B. Mus. degree in choral music education from the University of Saskatchewan (Canada).

He was one of the first North American conductors to study with Bach specialist, Helmuth Rilling, at the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt, while on a scholarship from the German government. His ensembles have appeared at national and international conventions and festivals, including the Classical Music Seminar-Festival in Austria, where his choir served as principal chorus-in-residence, an honor that included a performance of Vierne’s Messe solennelle at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna. His North American appearances have taken him to twenty-four states and provinces. Dr. Unger has published numerous scholarly articles, several critical music editions, and four books on choral-related topics. Currently he is writing a Historical Dictionary of Choral Music for Scarecrow Press. He is a recipient of the American Bach Society’s William H. Scheide Fellowship (1996), two American Choral Directors Association’s Research Awards (1991, 1997), and the Association of Canadian Choral Conductors’ 1998 Book Award

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FESTIVAL BRASS DIRECTOR

JOHN BRNDIAR, Director of the Festival Brass, is also an instructor of trumpet at the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory where he has taught conducting classes and directed rehearsals of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble. He is Principal Trumpet of the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, a member of the Opera Cleveland Orchestra, and Red {an orchestra}. He has performed, recorded and toured with The Cleveland Orchestra as an extra and substitute musician since 1974. As a member of the Paragon Brass Quintet he has toured Europe and traveled three times to China, playing concerts and giving master classes at the conservatories in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenyang.

 As an active freelance musician, Mr. Brndiar has performed with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and on many occasions with the Erie Philharmonic, Akron Symphony, Canton Symphony, and the Blossom Festival Orchestra and Band. He is a member and soloist of the Freedom Brass Band, and has been conductor and soloist of the Lakewood Hometown Band. Mr. Brndiar has played with the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra and Jazz Unit, has worked in the pit for Broadway touring companies and has recorded numerous radio and TV commercials.

He is a former member of the Metropolitan Brass Quintet and has taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University and the University of Akron. Mr. Brndiar earned the B.M.E. degree from the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory and a Master of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music.

 Use the back button to return to festival pages:

Nancy Argenta appears courtesy of Askonas Holt.
Christine Abraham appears courtesy of Herbert Barrett.
Frank Kelley appears courtesy of Thea Dispeker, Inc..
Frederick Urrey's faculty page.
Kevin Deas appears courtesy of Thea Dispeker, Inc.
Curtis Streetman appears courtesy of Fernandez Artist Management Enterprises, LLC.
John Holloway, Jaap ter Linden, and Lars Ulrik Mortensen appear courtesy of Moens Artist Management.
        John Holloway's  and Jaap ter Linden's personal Web sites
        Lars Ulrik Mortensen's baroque ensemble, Concerto Copenhagen (English available at the bottom left)
Joan Lippincott appears courtesy of Karen MacFarlane Artists, Inc.
Ohio Boychoir Web site: http://www.ohioboychoir.org

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