Mustering up “rock solid technique” and “the kind of vocal velvet you don’t often hear in contemporary music” (Boston Phoenix), soprano Jennifer Ashe has been praised for performances that are “pure bravura, riveting the audience with a radiant and opulent voice” (The Boston Globe). A strong advocate of new works, she has sung with Boston Musica Viva, Sound Icon, Fromm Festival, Boston Microtonal Society, Harvard Group for New Music, New Music Brandeis, New Gallery Concert Series, Guerilla Opera, Ludovico Ensemble, and the Callithumpian Consort. She also sings with the Blue Heron, The Handel and Haydn Society and Boston Baroque. Ashe holds a DMA and an MM in voice and vocal pedagogy from the New England Conservatory and a BM in voice and music education from the Hartt School of Music. Formerly on the faculties of the College of the Holy Cross and Eastern Connecticut State University, she teaches for Music Together Arlington and the Dana Hall School of Music in Wellesley and is the Handel and Haydn teaching artist at the John F. Kennedy School in Jamaica Plain, teaching K-3 general music.
Originally from Long Island, New York, Anthony D’Amico, double bass, is in demand as a freelance musician throughout the New England area. He is a member of the Rhode Island Philharmonic, and the Portland and Springfield Symphonies, as well as serving as principal bass of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the Boston Philharmonic, and Opera Boston. During the summers he has recently served as principal bass of the New Hampshire Music Festival Orchestra, and currently participants in the Sebago-Long Lake Chamber Music Festival of Maine. His recording of the Elliot Schwartz Chamber Concerto I with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project was recently released on the BMOP/Sound label. A versatile artist, Mr. D’Amico’s career routinely encompasses a myriad of styles including symphonic and chamber music, jazz ensembles and musical theater productions. He is a dedicated educator, and serves on the faculties of the New England Conservatory of Music Preparatory Division, the Walnut Hill School, and Project STEP.
Sarah Freiberg Ellison, cello is a tenured member of the Handel and Haydn Society. She has performed with Boston Baroque, the New York Collegium, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (San Francisco), Portland Baroque (Oregon), Seattle Baroque, the Boston Early Music Festival, Blue Hill Bach, and Arion (Montreal). Cellist of the period instrument Rowe’s Lane Quartet and a performer with Music at Eden’s Edge, Sarah also frequently plays in the duo “Tutti Bassi” with Colleen McGary-Smith, exploring the rich repertoire of baroque cello sonatas and duos. As a corresponding editor for STRINGS magazine, she has contributed dozens of articles and reviews on a wide range of subjects. Ms. Freiberg edited the long forgotten Guerini cello sonatas for both PRB Productions and Broude Brothers, and recorded both Guerini and Laurenti cello sonatas for Centaur. As well as teaching in the Historical Performance department at Boston University, she is Chair of Strings at the Powers Music School in Belmont and teaches at the Amherst Early Music Festival. Sarah received her D.M.A. and M.M. degrees from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and holds degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory, Brown University and the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. Ms. Freiberg can be heard on numerous recordings.
An internationally acclaimed concert pianist and music educator, Sonya Ovrutsky Fensome is a graduate of the Julliard School of Music, and has performed in major concert venues across the United States and around the world, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Aspen Music Festival in the U.S., and the Palace de Beaux Arts in Brussels, Lucerne Music Festival in Switzerland, Moscow Conservatory Hall, and concert halls in Madrid, Zaragoza, Barcelona, Rome, and South Africa.Sonya began her studies at the tender age of three under the guidance of her father Ilya Ovrutsky, who at the time was a soloist with the Bolshoi Theater Orchestra in Moscow. Believing that an early start is the best for a musician, Mr. Ovrutsky nurtured Sonya’s talent by exposing her to musical concepts using engaging teaching techniques in a form that was accessible to a young child. At the age of five, Sonya began taking piano lessons with her mother Alexandra, and continued her musical education at the Special School for Gifted Children in Moscow. Soon after Sonya was performing in concert halls of Moscow and other cities in Russia.
The recipient of numerous awards, Ms. Ovrutsky won the International Piano Competition in Senigalia, Italy at age fifteen. Soon after she was accepted at The Juilliard School, where she studied with Herbert Stessin. Subsequently she was awarded first prizes at the Aspen Music Festival Concerto Competition, Lehigh Valley–Juilliard Competition, the Elizabeth Harper Vaughn Competition in Kingsport, and special prizes at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, Russia, and at the Pablo Sarasate Competition in Pamplona, Spain.
Passionate about contemporary music, violist Ashleigh Gordon performs regularly with the Callithumpian Consort, ECCE Ensemble and Sound Energy (of which she is the founder), and has performed and recorded with Switzerland’s Ensemble Proton, Germany’s Ensemble Modern, and Boston’s BMOP. As an entrepreneur, Ashleigh is Artistic Director and violist of Castle of our Skins (COOS), a concert and educational series devoted to celebrating Black artistry through music. With COOS, she brings thought-provoking concert experiences blending music, spoken word, history and culture to classrooms and concert halls in Boston and beyond. In recognition for her work, she has presented at IDEAS UMass Boston and 180 Degrees Festival in Bulgaria; has been featured in print, on air and television in the International Musician Magazine, All Ears podcast and Boston’s Neighborhood Networks; and was recently awarded the 2016 Charles Walton Diversity Advocate Award from the American Federation of Musicians. She is a 2015 St. Botolph Emerging Artist Award recipient and can be heard on chamber music and orchestral recordings under the Mode, Siemens, BMOP/Sound, Navona and Musiques-Suisse record labels.
Active as an orchestral musician, recitalist, and chamber musician, clarinetist William Kirkley’s performances have been called “emotional, committed, and intensely exciting” by the Boston Globe. Mr. Kirkley has performed to acclaim with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony, the Santa Fe Opera, and other ensembles throughout North America. Currently principal clarinet of the Cape Ann Symphony and the Lexington Symphony, he is a faculty mentor with the Gordon Symphony and is on the music faculties at Gordon College and Salem State College. Mr. Kirkley is a core ensemble member of Boston Musica Viva and the Auros Group for New Music, commissioning and recording works for clarinet and chamber ensemble. He has also performed with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the Harvard Group for New Music, and Brandeis New Music. He has given recitals and master classes at many colleges and universities in the Northeast, including the New England Conservatory and Harvard University.
Andrus Madsen is an active performer on the organ, harpsichord clavichord and fortepiano. He studied organ with Doug Bush, harpsichord with Arthur Haas, clavichord and fortepiano with Peter Sykes. He holds a BM degree in organ performance from Brigham Young University, an MM degree in musicology and MA and DMA degrees in harpsichord performance from the Eastman School of Music. He currently resides in Newton, Massachusetts where he is the Minister of Music at Second Church in Newton. He is the director and founder of the ensemble Newton Baroque, plays with Exsultemus, and appears from time to time with A Far Cry, and Open Gate. He has spearheaded a project combining the forces of Newton Baroque and Exsultemus to perform the entire cantata cycle of Georg Phillip Telemann during the year of 2011. This project has employed many of the finer Baroque specialists in the Boston area. Madsen is known for his eloquent Baroque style improvisation. He strives to play written repertoire as if he is improvising, while his improvisations often sound as if they had been notated. His recording of keyboard music by Pachelbel, has received significant critical acclaim. “Superb recordings of superb instruments by a musician who deserves to be better-known.” (Michael Barone of pipedreams) This album, played on organ, harpsichord and clavichord is available on Raven CD Recordings.
Clarinetist Rane Moore is well-regarded for her thoughtful, provocative interpretations of standard and cutting-edge contemporary repertoire. Fiercely devoted to the new music communities of the East Coast and beyond, Moore is a founding member of the New York based Talea Ensemble which regularly gives premieres of new works at major venues and festivals around the world. Ms. Moore has joined the award winning wind quintet, The City of Tomorrow, for the upcoming season, and is also a member Boston’s Callithumpian Consort and Sound Icon.
Recent projects with saxophonist and MacArthur fellow, Steve Coleman, have yielded recordings and performances at The Villiage Vanguard, Newport Jazz Festival, Saalfelden Jazz Festival, and Jazz à la Villette in Paris. Moore is also a regularly invited collaborator with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Bang on a Can All-Stars, New York New Music Ensemble, Boston Musica Viva, Emmanuel Music, A Far Cry, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Boston Philharmonic, Boston Landmarks Orchestra and the Boston Ballet Orchestra among others.
Ms. Moore’s latest festival and series performances include high profile events at the Ojai Music Festival, Tanglewood Music Festival, Lincoln Center Festival, Wien Modern, Warsaw in Autumn, Darmstadt International Music Festival, Monday Evening Concerts in Los Angeles, Bludenzer Tage Zeitgemäßer Musik, Transit Festival in Belgium, Time Spans in Colorado, Contempuls 5 in Prauge, Sacrum Profanum in Krakow, June in Buffalo, as well as local and emerging series such as Monadnock Music, Rockport Music, Kingston Chamber Music Festival, Town Hall Concerts in Seattle, and Trinity Wall Street in New York.
In addition to her very active performing schedule, Ms. Moore is on the faculty of the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice at New England Conservatory and has served in the ensemble-in-residence and guest teacher for advanced students in composition and clarinet at many universities and conservatories around the world.
Ms. Moore has recordings on Tzadik, Pi, Navona, New World, Bridge, and Gravina Música records. Critics have praised her “enthralling,” “tour-de-force,” and “phenomenal” performances. ranemoore.com
Percussionist Robert Schulz is known for his dynamic and multi-dimensional performances with many of the area’s premier ensembles. Admired by instrumentalists, composers and conductors alike for his collaborative skills, his expertise extends beyond the traditional orchestral repertory to contemporary solo and chamber ensemble works as well as into jazz, improvisational forms and world music. Currently, Schulz is principal percussionist for the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Boston Musica Viva, Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble and Opera Boston. He will work on occasion with the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, Boston Ballet, and Pro Arte orchestras as well as the Boston Chamber Music Society. He has been a featured soloist with the Bank of America Celebrity Series on several occasions and twice a concerto soloist with BMOP, performing the Boston premiere of Tan Dun’s Water Concerto in 2004 and the world premiere of Eric Moe’s drumset concerto Kick and Ride in 2009. A featured recording artist on numerous commercially available recordings, his work was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2004 for Yehudi Wyner’s The Mirror. He has led his own group, the BeatCity Art Ensemble, in performances for the Celebrity Series in Boston, Lincoln Center in New York City, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. He has toured nationally and internationally with pipa virtuoso Wu Man from Carnegie Hall to Paris and was the featured guest soloist for the CrossSound Festival in Juneau, Alaska in 2006. An experienced drummer in virtually all contemporary styles, he has performed at the Newport Jazz Festival with Dave Brubeck and as a last-minute substitute for the Boston Pops and the San Antonio Symphony. Schulz has performed in countless pop, cover and original music bands dating back to the early 1980’s.