We are extremely grateful to the Rowland Foundation for their support of Emmanuel Music’s Community Connections program.
The Fellowship honors Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (1954-2006) who began her musical career as a violist in the Orchestra of Emmanuel Music under the direction of Craig Smith. By the mid-1980s, she had become a full-time singer and moved into the ranks of the Emmanuel Chorus, honing her craft both as an ensemble musician and soloist in the environment of intellectual rigor and collegial support unique to Emmanuel Music. Her association with Emmanuel Music continued throughout her highly acclaimed career and included legendary accounts of Bach cantata arias, the role of Dejanira in Handel’s Hercules, and a riveting performance of Bach Cantatas BWV 82 and 199 staged by Peter Sellars and performed in major international venues. (Celebrated recordings of these performances are available through Emmanuel Music.) Lieberson’s talent was nurtured and developed within the Emmanuel Music community of musicians, and in particular, the weekly Bach cantata presentations. It is in this spirit that we celebrate and support the young musicians identified each year as Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Fellows. To view past Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Fellows, click here.
Critics have praised Brenna Wells for her “angelic”, “soaring”, and “captivating” soprano voice. Her operatic roles include Galatea in Acis and Galatea, First Witch Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, La Musique in Charpentier's Les Plaisirs de Versailles, and she was Première Nymphe de l’Acheron in the Boston Early Music Festival’s production and Grammy-nominated recording of Lully’s Psyché. Ms. Wells has sung and recorded with such acclaimed ensembles as the BEMF Orchestra, Blue Heron, Britten-Pears Baroque Orchestra, Boston Baroque, Opera Boston, L’Académie, Seraphic Fire, and the Handel and Haydn Society. She has appeared in many festivals world-wide including the London Handel Festival, Aldeburgh Festival, Amherst Early Music Festival, BBC Proms and in both 2008 and 2009, she was selected to perform in the Early Music Seminars at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice, Italy. Highlights from recent seasons include her soloist debut at Symphony Hall under the direction of Harry Christophers as well as soloist debuts with Emmanuel Music, Boston Baroque, Ensemble Viii, and Boston Cecilia among others. She performed in the Yale Choral Artists' inaugural season, under the baton of William Christie, and returned as a soloist in their performance of Mozart’s Mass in C Minor under director, Jeffrey Douma. The 2013-2014 Season also included solo appearances with the Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, Collage New Music, Connecticut Early Music Festival, and the Boston Early Music Festival’s tour of the Charpentier Opera Double Bill: La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers and La Couronne de Fleurs to Victoria, British Columbia and New York. This season’s highlights include appearances with Emmanuel Music as their Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Fellow, Seraphic Fire, Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, Ensemble Viii, and the Yale Choral Artists.
Boston based cellist and baroque cellist praised for playing "with maturity and panache," Cora Swenson Lee began her studies in Chicago at the age of 4. Her most influential teachers have been Eastman School of Music professor Alan Harris, Chicago Symphony member Richard Hirschl, and long-time cellist of the renowned Vermeer Quartet, Marc Johnson. Cora holds a Bachelor Degree in Cello Performance with highest distinction from the Eastman School of Music (2010) and a Master Degree in Cello Performance from Boston University College of Fine Arts (2012). An avid chamber musician, Cora performs regularly as a member of Boston Baroque and Trio Speranza. Cora has performed in venues across the United States and internationally, including appearances at the San Francisco Early Music Society, Trinity Church and Jordan Hall in Boston, Quigley Chapel and DePaul University in Chicago, and Odori Park in Sapporo Japan with former Vienna Philharmonic concertmaster Werner Hink and principal clarinetist Peter Schmiedl. A passionate educator, Cora runs a small private studio in Boston, and along with her colleagues in the Boston Public Quartet, is part of the new Celebrity Series of Boston initiative Artists in Community, which brings free concerts and school presentations to several Boston communities.