We are extremely grateful to the Rowland Foundation for their support of Emmanuel Music’s Community Connections program.
Over 150 artists perform each year with Emmanuel Music. The Community Connections Program features three of these talented performers each season for special career opportunities within the concert and cantata series and as part of our community collaborations. Below are past Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Fellows at Emmanuel Music.
2015-2016 Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Fellows
Margot Rood, hailed for her “luminosity and grace” by The New York Times, performs a wide range of repertoire across American stages. Following her solo debut at Boston’s Symphony Hall in 2011, she has been a frequent soloist with Handel and Haydn Society under the direction of conductor Harry Christophers. Recent and upcoming solo appearances include Rhode Island Philharmonic (Messiah); New World Symphony (Reich's Desert Music); Handel and Haydn Society (Messiah, Vivaldi Gloria, Bach Mass in B Minor); Seraphic Fire (Messiah, Vivaldi Gloria, Mozart Requiem); Bach Collegium San Diego (Messiah); A Far Cry (Golijov's Three Songs); Oratorio Chorale (Brahms Requiem); Kent Singers (Brahms Requiem); Tucson Chamber Artists (Bach St. John Passion and Mozart C Minor Mass); Back Bay Chorale (Bach St. John Passion); Brookline Symphony (Mahler Fourth Symphony); and the Boston Early Music Festival Fringe. She is often featured on the Marsh Chapel Choir Bach Cantata Series. Recent stage appearances include Amor in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice with Grand Harmonie, Emily Webb in Rorem’s Our Town with Monadnock Music, Johanna in Sweeney Todd with St. Petersburg Opera, the title role in Handel's Esther at Harvard University, and Ramiro in Helios Early Opera’s production of Cavalli’s Artemisia. In addition to opera and oratorio, Ms. Rood has performed as soloist with some of the United States’ premiere new music ensembles, and was a 2015 recipient of the St. Botolph Club Foundation's Emerging Artist Award for her work in new music. Notable recent engagements include her Carnegie Hall debut in the world premiere of Shawn Jaeger’s Letters Made with Gold under the direction of Dawn Upshaw, and Evangelist in Arvo Pärt's Passio with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Ms. Rood is a core member of Boston’s Lorelei Ensemble, an all-female vocal ensemble dedicated to the performance of new music, and is a founding member of the Michigan Recital Project, which features commissions by emerging composers. Also sought after as a collaborator, Ms. Rood has been invited by composers at Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Louisville and Keene State College for performances and masterclasses. Her new recording with composer Heather Gilligan, Living in Light, will be released in 2017.
Violinist Sarah Atwood is completing her Masters degree at New England Conservatory with Tamara Smirnova, Associate Concertmaster of Boston Symphony Orchestra. Sarah currently holds the position of assistant principal second with the Cape Symphony, and throughout the past year acted as concertmaster of New England Conservatory’s unconducted Chamber Orchestra. Sarah’s performance experience includes Carnegie’s Perelman Hall with the New York String Orchestra, Carnegie's Weill Hall in a performance of solo Paganini, and Jordan Hall, as part of many ensembles. First place winner of the 2014 American Protege International Piano and Strings Competition and recipient of the 2013 Presser Award, Sarah has won both Grand and First Prizes in Boston University's Solo Bach Competition, in addition to concerto competitions throughout New England. Sarah performs with Emmanuel Music, Cantata Singers, Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, and substitutes for the New World Symphony. Festivals include Sarasota Music Festival, Yellow Barn Music Festival, and Tanglewood Music Center. Performances as part of summer festival residencies include Rockport Chamber Music Festival and Monadnock Music. As a chamber musician, Sarah has been on faculty at Arts Ahimsa Music Festival and coached at the Rivers Conservatory. She has also given extensive masterclasses in schools with her New England Conservatory Ensemble Fellowship quartet, as part of the Virginia Arts Festival.
2014-2015 Lorraine Hunt Lieberson FellowsCritics 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.
Cora has participated in masterclasses by musicians including Steven Isserlis, Malcolm Bilson, and Pamela Frank. She has performed under wonderful conductors including David Zinman, Fabio Luisi, Leonard Slatkin, and Nicholas McGeegan. Cora has also worked with artists such as James Dunham, Rachel Barton Pine, Larry Combs, the Vermeer Quartet, the Ying Quartet, Pacifica Quartet and members of Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.
2013-2014 Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Fellows
Tenor Jonas Budris performs early and modern music with equal passion. As a concert soloist, he sang with Boston Baroque in Handel’s Chandos Anthem, No. 8 and Charpentier’s Missa Assumpta est Maria; and with the Handel and Haydn Society in Bach’s Magnificat and Christmas Oratorio. In opera, Mr. Budris recently performed with Guerilla Opera as Garcin in No Exit and as John in Giver of Light. He performed as Bastien in Opera Boston’s production of Mozart’s Bastien und Bastienne, as the Young Gypsy in Aleko with Commonwealth Lyric Theater, and in the title role of Candide with Lowell House Opera. This season, Mr. Budris will sing the role of Henrik in Sondheim’s A Little Night Music with Emmanuel Music and Anfinomo in Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria with Boston Baroque.
Georgia native Gabriela Diaz began her musical training at the age of five, studying piano with her mother and violin with her father. Gabriela came to Boston to study at New England Conservatory, where she completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, studying with James Buswell. As a cancer survivor, Diaz is committed to cancer research and treatment. In 2004 Diaz was a recipient of a grant from the Albert Schweitzer Foundation which enabled her to begin organizing a series of chamber music concerts in cancer units at various hospitals in Boston called the Boston Hope Ensemble. Devoted to contemporary music, Gabriela has been fortunate to work closely with many significant living composers on their own compositions, namely Pierre Boulez, Magnus Lindberg, Frederic Rzewski, Roger Reynolds, Alvin Lucier, John Zorn, Osvaldo Golijov, Steve Reich, Brian Ferneyhough, Hans Tutschku, and Helmut Lachenmann. Gabriela is a member of several Boston-area new music groups, including Sound Icon, Ludovico Ensemble, Dinosuar Annex, Firebird Ensemble, and Callithumpian Consort. Last year, Gabriela joined the faculty of Wellesley College. Gabriela can be heard on New World, Naxos, Centaur, BMOPSound, Mode, and Tzadik records.
Double Bassist Kate Foss is an active classical performer in the Boston and New England area, appearing often with ensembles such as the Orchestra of Indian Hill and Discovery Ensemble. She began performing with Emmanuel Music in the fall of 2011, serving in both continuo and orchestral roles. Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she performed with groups including the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Ballet, and Madison Symphony Orchestra, Kate moved to Boston for New England Conservatory’s Master of Music program in 2008. While at NEC, she studied with Boston Symphony bassist Todd Seeber. She has traveled far and wide for music, attending summer orchestra festivals in Japan, Austria, and British Columbia. Kate also enjoys performing for musicals, often appearing in pit bands on upright and electric bass in several of Boston's theaters.
Described by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a dignified and beautiful singer, Paul Max Tipton, baritone, is building a career in opera, oratorio, and early music. He has soloed and recorded under such notable figures as Leonard Slatkin, Masaaki Suzuki, Helmuth Rilling, Ton Koopman, Nicholas McGegan, Paul Hillier, Craig Hella Johnson, and Simon Carrington. Recent highlights include Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610 with the Grand Rapids Symphony, Bach's Christmas Oratorio for the Oregon Bach Festival's Discovery Series, Handel’s Dettingen Te Deum at Carnegie Hall, and Frank Martin’s song cycle Sechs Monologe aus Jedermann in recital with Ted Taylor in New Haven. Mr. Tipton trained on a full fellowship at the University of Michigan School of Music in Ann Arbor, where he was mentored by mezzo-soprano Luretta Bybee and bass-baritone Greer Grimsley, and studied with Grace Bumbry and the late Lorraine Hunt-Lieberson. While at the University of Michigan, he performed the title role in Don Giovanni under the baton of Martin Katz, and soloed under Leonard Slatkin on the Naxos recording of William Bolcom’s Songs of Innocence & of Experience, a project that won three Grammys. Mr. Tipton is a 2010 graduate of the Yale University Institute of Sacred Music where he studied with tenor James Taylor.
Mark Berger, violist and violinist, has performed with many of Boston’s finest ensembles, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops Esplanade, Emmanuel Music, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Opera Boston, and Boston Lyric Opera. An avid chamber musician with a particular interest in performing new music, he is a member of Music at Eden’s Edge and the Worcester Chamber Music Society. He has a duo partnership “The Two Composers” with pianist/composer Ketty Nez, and he has performed with the Lydian String Quartet, Radius Ensemble, and Ludovico Ensemble. Mark also maintains an active career as a composer, having received awards from the League of Composers/ISCM and ASCAP. His works have been presented locally by the New York New Music Ensemble, Dinosaur Annex, ALEA III, the Worcester Chamber Music Society, Xanthos Ensemble, Music at Eden’s Edge, QX String Quartet, and the Lydian String Quartet. He is currently on the music faculty at Clark University, UMass Lowell and Middlesex Community College.
With “a voice of lambent beauty,” soprano Teresa Wakim enjoys an active performance career in Boston and beyond and is perhaps best known as “a fine baroque stylist.” Ms. Wakim recently won first prize in the Internationaler Solistenwettbewerb für Alte Musik in Brunnenthal, Austria. In April 2011 she made her European solo debut with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra in Bach’s Johannes Passion in the Netherlands, France, Spain, and Portugal. Noted engagements include Handel’s Messiah with the Charlotte, San Antonio, and New Bedford Symphonies, Papagena in The Magic Flute with Apollo’s Fire, Haydn’s The Seasons with Back Bay Chorale, a title role in Handel’s Acis and Galatea with the Boston Early Music Festival, and Brahms’ Requiem with Seraphic Fire. In addition, she will appear with The Cleveland Orchestra twice in the 2011-2012 season, singing Mendelssohn at the Blossom Music Festival with Nicolas McGegan, and Bach with Ton Koopman. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in both Vocal Performance and Music History from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and a Master’s degree in Historical Performance from Boston University.
Violinist Heather Braun currently studies with Peter Zazofsky at Boston University where she is pursuing her Doctoral of Musical Arts degree. An avid freelancer in the New England area, she performs regularly with Cantata Singers, Back Bay Chorale, and Firebird Ensemble, and has appeared as concertmaster and soloist with the Orchestra of Emmanuel Music. Twice a Tanglewood Music Center fellow, she received the Jules C. Reiner Violin Prize in 2005 and sat concertmaster under Seiji Ozawa and Herbert Bloomstedt. Heather performs as the first violinist of the Arneis Quartet, and has attended quartet programs at Juilliard, the Banff Center, Stanford University, and Park City, Utah. She received her bachelors degree from the Eastman School of Music, studying with Mikhail Kopelman, and her masters degree from Boston University. Heather has appeared in concert with the Ying Quartet, Menahem Pressler, Peter Zazofsky, and Bayla Keyes. She currently teaches private lessons for Brookline Public Schools and is a chamber music coach for the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra.
Thomas Van Dyck, double bassist, is an active chamber and orchestral musician in the U.S. and abroad. A recipient of the Maurice Schwarz Prize at Tanglewood, Thomas has played chamber music at The Mostly Mozart Festival in New York City, People’s Symphony Concerts at New York City’s Town Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center’s Perelman theater, the Boston Chamber Music Society, Harvard University’s Houghton Library Chamber music series, The Union College Chamber Music Series, Innsbrook Institute, and Bay Chamber Concerts in Rockport, Maine. He is a member of the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO) that tours internationally under Frank Solomon Management. He has collaborated with the Ying Quartet and the Lydian Quartets. A former member of the New World Symphony, he has played as a substitute with The Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the San Diego Symphony. Thomas is Artist Professor of Double Bass at the Longy School of Music’s Conservatory in Cambridge and also regularly participates in outreach programs through Monadnock Music in New Hampshire.
Tenor Zachary Wilder is an avid performer of both early music and modern music. In 2007, he made his debut in a trio of roles with the Boston Early Music Festival's production of Lully's Psyché. Zachary has worked with a number of early music luminaries including Michael Beattie, Matthew Dirst, John Harbison, Ellen Hargis, Paul O'dette, Albert Ledoux, Antoine Plante, and Steven Stubbs, and has performed with the Houston Bach Society, Emmanuel Music, Mark Morris Dance Group, Pacific Musicworks, Camerata Ventepane, Mercury Baroque, Apollo's Fire and Ars Lyrica Houston.
Zachary received his master’s degree in music from te University of Houston in 2008. He is currently under instruction of Elizabeth Colson. Recent engagements include Nutrice in L'Incorinazione di Poppea, Coridon in Acis and Galatea, and Uriel in die Schöpfung. He is also a 2008 Tanglewood Vocal Fellow and 2010 Gerdine Young Artist at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis. Upcoming engagements include Lully's Armide as Renaud at the Théâtre de Gennevilliers, a tour of the Monteverdi Vespers of 1610 with Apollo's Fire, and Mozart's Requiem with Mercury Baroque.
Soprano, Susan Consoli, has been a soloist with Emmanuel Music since 2005. Her active career in oratorio, opera and recital have led her throughout the United States and abroad. She has worked under such notable conductors as Grant Llewellyn, Bruno Weil, Laurence Cummings, William Jon Gray, Craig Smith, John Harbison, John Finney, Tom Hall and Ryan Turner as well as director/choreographer Chen Shi-Zheng and choreographer Tero Saarinen. Ms. Consoli has been a soloist with the Carmel Bach Festival since 2004. She can be heard on the Handel & Haydn Society recording of All is Bright for Avie Records. Ms. Consoli is a member of the voice faculty at both Phillips Academy of Andover and Phillips Exeter Academy.
Mezzo-soprano Thea Lobo has appeared as a soloist with such musical organizations as Firebird Ensemble, Europäisches Musikfest Stuttgart, Brandeis New Music Concerts, New Gallery Concert Series, Boston Early Music Festival, Callithumpian Consort, and Chorus pro Musica, and under such conductors as Helmut Rilling, Martin Pearlman, and Stephen Stubbs. Ms. Lobo completed her Master’s degree in 2009 at Boston University, where she performed the role of Third Lady in Mozart's The Magic Flute and Ino in Eccles’s Semele. She was also recently seen as L'Enfant in MetroWest Opera's production of L'Enfant et les Sortilèges, and on tour in Japan with Cambridge Concentus performing Bach’s St. Matthew Passion solo-voice under the direction of Joshua Rifkin.
Oboist Jennifer Slowik performs regularly with Cantata Singers and the Orchestra of Indian Hill, and has served as Principal Oboist with Opera Boston and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. She has also appeared with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Chamber Music Society, Alea III, the Vermont Mozart Festival and North Shore Music Theater. A committed advocate of new music, Ms. Slowik has worked closely with composers Robert Ceeley and Alla Cohen, with Boston's Dinosaur Annex, Auros Group for New Music, New York's Sequitur Ensemble, and Alarm Will Sound. She is a founding member of the award-winning woodwind quintet Southspoon Winds. Ms. Slowik is on the faculty of St. Mark's School in Southboro, MA.
Matthew Anderson has been praised for the warm tenor voice and polished musicality he brings to the repertoire of oratorio, opera, and musical theater. An accomplished interpreter of Baroque and early music, Anderson has twice been a national finalist and prizewinner in the American Bach Society Vocal Competition. He has appeared as a soloist with Emmanuel Music, the Handel & Haydn Society, Back Bay Chorale, Musicians of the Old Post Road, Williamstown Early Music, and the Concord Chorus. Anderson made his Boston Symphony Hall and Tanglewood Festival debuts in Carousel with the Boston Pops. He holds a degree in Classics from Harvard University and in Voice from the New England Conservatory.
Violinist Heidi Braun-Hill has been featured as a guest artist on chamber music series presented by Emmanuel Music, Winsor Music, the Chameleon Arts Ensemble, Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, and the Warebrook Contemporary Music Festival. Since 1999, she has been a soloist in Emmanuel Music’s Bach Cantata Series, having performed over 150 cantatas. Ms. Braun-Hill has made guest appearances as concertmaster with many orchestras, including the Chamber Orchestra of Boston and the Vermont Symphony Orchestra. She is a graduate of Boston University and is currently on the music faculty at Phillips Exeter Academy.
Pianist Brett Hodgdon, a versatile collaborative artist and coach, has performed both song and instrumental recitals at venues including The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory, Aspen Music Festival, and Token Creek Chamber Festival. He recently premiered John Harbison’s Milosz Songs for soprano and piano with NEC’s Contemporary Ensemble. Mr. Hodgdon received his MM and BM degrees from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and is currently a doctoral candidate at the New England Conservatory.
In 2007, the Emmanuel Music Fellowship program was renamed in honor of Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, who began her career with Emmanuel Music and continued to perform with us throughout her career.
Soprano Kristen Watson, praised for her “silver-spun tone” and “winning stage presence,” has appeared as a soloist with Emmanuel Music on several occasions as part of the ongoing Bach Cantata Series. Anticipated to “become a valuable presence in the early-music world” (Richard Dyer, Boston Globe), she recently garnered acclaim for her performances as soloist in Handel’s Messiah, as well as Purcell’s Fairy Queen and Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 in productions that toured Ravinia, Tanglewood, and Disney Hall. Opera audiences have also heard Ms. Watson in productions with the Boston Lyric Opera, Opera New England, Opera Boston and the Boston University Opera Institute.
Tenor Jason McStoots, tenor, has been hailed as one of the "new generation of New England singers" and described by critics as "particularly outstanding" with "a perfect light-opera voice," "sweet, appealing tone and real acting ability." He is a soloist with the Bach Cantata Series of Emmanuel Music and has also appeared in their concert and opera performances. Mr. McStoots has established himself on the operatic stage, in the concert hall, and in the recital hall. His broad repertoire includes music ranging from Mozart operas to Handel oratorios and from Britten's Canticles to Floyd's Susannah.
Cellist Rafael Popper-Keizer has been hailed by the New York Times as "imaginative and eloquent", and praised by the Boston Globe for his "dazzling dispatch of every bravura challenge" and "melodic phrasing of melting tenderness." Mr. Popper-Keizer maintains an active and diverse career as chamber musician, soloist, and orchestral section leader. He enjoys affiliations with Emmanuel Music, Winsor Music, and Boston Musica Viva, and has performed with the Borromeo and Muir String Quartets, the Museum of Fine Arts Trio and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Mezzo-soprano Paula Murrihy sang the title role in Emmanuel Music’s January 2007 performance of Handel’s Ariodante. A frequent singer and soloist on the Bach Cantata Series, Paula has performed opera and oratorio roles with Santa Fe Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Handel and Haydn Society, Opera Theatre of St. Louis and the Boston Symphony Orchestra in addition to recital performances at the Aldeburgh Festival (UK), Tanglewood Music Center, and the Marilyn Horne Foundation Masterclass Series at Carnegie Hall, New York.
Harpsichordist Michael Sponseller played in 2006-2007 season’s performance of Ariodante in addition to regular performances on the Bach Cantata series. He performed in Emmanuel Music’s production of BWV 82 and 199 with Lorraine Hunt Leiberson in the U.S. and Europe. He has appeared with the Handel and Haydn Soceity, Smithsonian Chamber Players, American Bach Solosits, New York Collegium, and Apollo’s Fire. Past winner of the American Bach Soloists Competition and the Jurow International Harpsichord Competition, he holds the distinction of being a two-time prizewinner at the Festival of Flanders International Harpsichord Competition (Bruges).
Soprano Jessica Tarnish debuted with Emmanuel Music in 2007 in the title role of Alcina. Ms. Tarnish also performed that season with the New England String Ensemble and in Moses und Aron with the Boston Symphony Orchestra with James Levine conducting. She has been a regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and a national finalist in the Lotte Lenya Competition. A Young Artist this past summer at Central City Opera, she performed the roles of Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Sarah in The Ballad of Baby Doe, and fortuna in L’Incoronazione di Poppea.
Mezzo-soprano Krista River has appeared as a soloist with the Boston Symphony, the Santa Fe Symphony, Handel & Haydn Society, the Florida Orchestra, the Charlotte Symphony, Emmanuel Music, the North Carolina Symphony andthe Pittsburgh Bach and Baroque Ensemble. Winner of the 2004 Concert Artists Guild International Competition and a 2007 Sullivan Foundation grant recipient, her opera roles include Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia. Annio in La clemenza di Tito, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Anna in Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins, and Nancy in Britten’s Albert Herring. For Ms. River’s New York Recital debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the New York Times praised her "shimmering voice…with the virtuosity of a violinist and the expressivity of an actress.” Ms. River began her musical career as a cellist, earning her music degree at St. Olaf College. She resides in Boston and is a regular soloist with Emmanuel Music’s renowned Bach Cantata Series.
Tenor Charles Blandy is a versatile lyric tenor, equally at home in Mozart and Bach as in the most challenging contemporary music. At Emmanuel Music in Boston, he has sung Tamino in Alice Goodman’s English translation of The Magic Flute, conducted by Craig Smith, and the role of Lurcanio in Handel’s Ariodante. Mr. Blandy was a finalist in the 2005 Oratorio Society of New York solo competition. He is often a soloist with the Cantata Singers in Boston, with whom he appeared in Bach’s St. John Passion, under guest conductor John Harbison. He teaches in Harvard University’s Holden Voice Program and at Tufts University. In 2003 and 2004, he was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, where he was awarded the Grace B. Jackson prize. He received his Master’s Degree from Indiana University, where he studied voice with Alan Bennett and Lieder with Leonard Hokanson, and has studied at the Britten-Pears School in Aldeburgh, England. In Chicago he studied with Ronald Combs and Winifred Brown. He is a native of Troy, NY, and graduated from Oberlin College with a BA in religion.
Soprano Alice Tillotson began her association with Emmanuel Music in 2002 as a soloist in the choir for the Bach Cantata Series. She is the recipient of the 2002 American Traditions Competition Oxnard Gold Medal, Savannah, GA, and has also appeared with the Brevard Music Center, the Spartanburg Philharmonic, Florida State Opera, and the Boston University Opera Institute. Her operatic roles include Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Coloratura Soprano in Postcard from Morocco, and Eurydice in Orpheus in the Underworld. Equally at home with the musical theatre repertoire, she has performed Maria in Sound of Music, Tuptim in The King and I, and Cinderella in Into the Woods. Of her performance as Susannah in Le Nozze di Figaro, The Boston Globe noted that she "…is a natural stage personality who breathed life into her character." In addition to performing onstage, she has worked as guest stage director and choreographer for several productions including Peter Pan, Annie, Robert Kapilow’s Green Eggs and Ham, and The Secret Garden.
Violinist Rose Drucker performs regularly with the Orchestra of Emmanuel and Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, where she currently serves as principal second violin. Recent chamber music engagements have included performances in New York and the Banff Centre for the Arts with the Arneis String Quartet as well as concerts and outreach with Winsor Music, Sarasa Ensemble and Emmanuel Music's Community Connections program. Ms. Drucker has performed throughout Europe and South America on tours with the Festival Ensemble of Stuttgart and Youth Orchestra of the Americas, playing in a wide variety of venues from Lucern and Salzburg to Bogota and Buenos Aires. A native of Tucson, Arizona, Rose attended Boston University where she earned a Master of Music degree as a student of Peter Zazofsky, and holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Arizona. She has also performed with the New World Symphony and participated in the National Orchestral Institute and Round Top Festival.