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Cornish Announces Early Music Program

October 22, 2009

SEATTLE, WA – Cornish College of the Arts announces an expansion of the college’s music program to encompass a new emphasis on early music and period instrument performance practices of European Renaissance and Baroque music.

Newly appointed Cornish faculty member, lutenist, and internationally renowned early music expert Stephen Stubbs will provide musical direction for the College’s expanded early music program. Mr. Stubbs also serves as co-director of the Boston Early Music Festival and is the artistic director of Pacific Operaworks.

“We’re very fortunate to have someone of Stephen’s breadth of knowledge, artistry, and international reputation join our faculty,” said Cornish Music Department Chair Kent Devereaux. “I’m especially excited by the caliber of the faculty that Stephen and I have been able to attract as part of this new program. Over the past decade Seattle has been blessed with an influx of superb early music artists, and we’re proud to commit to building a truly world-class early music program at Cornish over the next few years.”

In addition to Stubbs, ten additional artists will comprise the initial Cornish early music faculty including pianist and harpsichordist Byron Schenkman, harpsichordist Jillon Stoppels Dupree, violinists Ingrid Matthews and Tekla Cunninghman, flutist Janet See, harpist Maxine Eilander, viola da gambist Margriet Tindemans, coloratura soprano Cyndia Sieden, soprano Nancy Zylstra, and tenor Ross Hauck. (Biographies of each artist follow.)

Concurrent with the start of an early music program at Cornish, Devereaux and Stubbs also announced that the Seattle Academy of Opera, a five year-old summer program started by Stubbs and dedicated to preparing musicians for a career in baroque opera performance will be relocating to Cornish College of the Arts starting in the summer of 2010.

The Seattle Academy of Opera offers singers and instrumentalists an opportunity for intensive study in the musical and dramatic aspects of 17th century opera repertoire with a faculty of specialists in music, dance, and drama. The program has established an international reputation for training musicians in the art of 17th century vocal performance and instrumental accompaniment, with past workshop participants going on to successful careers in baroque opera in North America and Europe.

“The addition of the Seattle Academy of Opera strengthens not only our early music program, but our opera program,” said Devereaux. “Our hope is to become a center for baroque opera performance as well as contemporary opera and music-theater. Artists such as Stephen [Stubbs] and Cyndia [Sieden] exemplify that sensibility and artistry in their multi-faceted careers. Cyndia, especially, has forged an international reputation singing roles such as Lulu at the Met and Ariel in Thomas Ades’ The Tempest at Covent Garden as well as more traditional roles like The Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte.”

For additional information or to request images please contact Meike Kaan or Beth Fleenor.

About Cornish College of the Arts

Cornish College of the Arts is nationally recognized as a premier college of the visual and performing arts offering Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in dance, theater, art, design and performance production, and a Bachelor of Music degree. A pioneer in arts education, Cornish College of the Arts sprang from the remarkable vision of Nellie Cornish, a woman determined to cultivate the arts in Seattle when it was scarcely more than a frontier town. Her philosophy of educating the artist through exposure to all the arts was progressive at the time, and continues to be innovative today.

Stephen Stubbs

Born in Seattle, Stephen Stubbs studied composition, lute, and harpsichord at university and privately in Holland and England before making his professional debut as a lutenist at Wigmore Hall, London in 1976. From 1980 until 2006 Stubbs served as professor for lute and performance practices at the Hochschule für Künste, Bremen. With his direction of Stefano Landi’s La Morte d’Orfeo at the 1987 Bruges festival, the multi-talented Stubbs launched his career as an opera director and simultaneously founded the ensemble Tragicomedia, which has since recorded numerous CDs and completed tours of Europe, North America and Japan. Since 1997 Stubbs has also co-directed the biennial Boston Early Music Festival opera. This has resulted in Grammy-nominated recordings of Conradi’s Ariadne in 2005 and of Lully’s Thesee in 2007. Stubbs’ solo lute recordings include the music of J.S. Bach, S.L. Weiss, David Kellner and the Belgian lutenist Jaques St. Luc, and with baroque harpist Maxine Eilander Sonate al Pizzico on the ATMA label. His performances on lute and Baroque guitar can also be heard on the Vanguard Classics and ECM labels.

Additional Artist Bios (Alphabetical)

A native of Seattle, Tekla Cunningham has performed throughout the United States and in Europe with the American Bach Soloists, Musica Angelica, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, the San Francisco Bach Choir, the Seattle Baroque Orchestra, as well as at the Carmel Bach Festival. Cunningham has appeared as a guest artist with a number of noted chamber music groups including the Artaria Quartet, the Del Sol Quartet, and Musica Pacifica. Her string quartet, the Novello Quartet, has delighted audiences throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond with period-instrument performances of the music of Joseph Haydn and his contemporaries. Cunningham studied history, German literature, and music at Johns Hopkins University and Peabody Conservatory. She continued her musical studies at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna, Austria, and earned a Master’s degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she studied with Ian Swenson.

Maxine Eilander has appeared as a soloist with leading ensembles throughout the world including Teatro Lirico, Tafelmusik, Tragicomedia, The Toronto Consort, Les Voix Humaines, and the Seattle Baroque Orchestra. Eilander plays a range of specialized early harps: the Italian triple strung harp, the Spanish cross-strung harp, the German ‘Davidsharfe’, the Welsh triple harp for which Handel wrote his harp concerto, and the classical single action pedal harp. Eilander’s most recent recording Handel’s Harp (ATMA, 2009), features Handel’s complete obligato music for harp, and includes his famous harp concerto. She has also recorded the same work with Tafelmusik (A Baroque Feast, Analekta, 2002). Other notable recordings include William Lawes’ Harp Consorts (ATMA, 2008), a recording of Italian music for harp and baroque guitar with duo partner Stephen Stubbs entitled Sonata al Pizzico (ATMA 2004), Teatro Lirico (ECM, 2006), Ay que si, Spanish 17th century music with Les Voix Humaines (ATMA, 2002), Scarlatti’s oratorio Hagar and Ishmael, with Seattle Baroque (Centaur, 2003), Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine, with Tragicomedia (ATMA, 2002), and the Grammy-nominated Conradi’s Ariadne for the Boston Early Music Festival (CPO, 2005).

Tenor Ross Hauck is known for his distinguished artistry, musicality, and versatility of expression. He has performed the role of Count Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with the Sacramento Opera and at the Aspen Music Festival. He was also heard as Nerone in L’incoronazione di Poppea with Seattle Early Music Guild, and as Belmonte in Entfuhrung aus dem Serail with Tacoma Opera. Other roles have included Ramiro in Cenerentola, Ferrando in Cosi fan Tutte, Tamino in The Magic Flute, Harlequin in Der Kaiser von Atlantis, and, at the Wolf Trap Opera Company, the title role in the North American premiere of Rameau’s Dardanus, as Ernesto in Don Pasquale, and Lippo Fiorentino in Street Scene. Hauck also created the title role in the American composer, Libby Larsen’s opera Dreaming Blue. As a very active concert artist, he has performed with numerous orchestras across the country, including the National Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, the Tanglewood Symphony, and the Chicago Symphony as a member of the Steans Institute. Frequently noted as a consummate performer on the recital stage, he has been heard in recital at the Dallas Art Museum, the Ravinia Festival, the Tanglewood Music Festival, and the Schubert Club. A recipient of awards from the MacAllister Vocal Awards Competition, the Florida Grand Opera competition, and other organizations, he has received rave reviews in Opera News, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Chicago Tribune. Hauck holds a Bachelor of Music degree from DePauw University and a Master of Music degree and Artist Diploma from the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music.

Violinist Ingrid Matthews is the Music Director of Seattle Baroque Orchestra, and one of today’s most respected exponents of her instrument. She won first prize in the Erwin Bodky International Competition for Early Music in 1989, and in 1990 joined Toronto’s esteemed baroque orchestra Tafelmusik, with whom she performed extensively throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, and Asia. Matthews’ career as a chamber musician has seen her perform at the Frick Collection (New York), the Boston Early Music Festival, the Berkeley Festival, Netwoork voor Oude Muziek (the Netherlands), the Getty Center (Los Angeles), the Cambridge Society for Early Music, the Newberry Library (Chicago), the San Francisco Early Music Society, and the Library of Congress, among many others. She has served as concertmaster for the New York Collegium, the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra and Musica Angelica (Los Angeles), and has appeared as a guest director and soloist with the New York Collegium, the Magnolia Baroque Festival Orchestra (Winston-Salem, NC), New Trinity Baroque (Atlanta), and Victoria Symphony. One of the most-recorded baroque violinists of her generation, Matthews has won international critical acclaim for a discography that ranges from the earliest solo violin repertoire through the great Sonatas and Partitas of J.S. Bach. Matthews has also served on the faculties of the University of Toronto, the University of Washington, Indiana University, the University of Southern California, the International Baroque Institute and Amherst Early Music. Ingrid Matthews is a graduate of Indiana University, where she studied with Josef Gingold and Stanley Ritchie.

Byron Schenkman performs as a solo pianist, chamber musician, and as harpsichordist with the Seattle Baroque Orchestra. A recipient of the Erwin Bodky Award from the Cambridge Society for Early Music, Schenkman has recorded more than thirty CDs of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century repertoire, including recordings on original instruments from the National Music Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. As a pianist he has been a featured guest with the Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston, the Daedalus Quartet, the Northwest Sinfonietta, and Philharmonia Northwest. He has played solo piano recitals in Boston, New York, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Winston-Salem, and on a Chilean tour sponsored by Partners of the Americas. His recording of Haydn sonatas on modern piano (CRC 2806) has been acclaimed for its “elegance, wit, and refinement” (American Record Guide), “imaginative, cleanly articulated form” (Seattle Times), and “astonishing sense of humor” (All Music Guide). In 2009 he participated in the Haydn and Mendelssohn bicentennial celebrations with performances at the Frick Collection in New York and the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Schenkman is a graduate of the New England Conservatory and received a Master of Music degree with honors in performance from the Indiana University School of Music.

One of today’s leading performers on baroque and early classical flutes, Seattle native Janet See trained at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. She has been principal flautist with the English Baroque Soloists, and co-principal flautist with the Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique under John Eliot Gardiner. She has made a highly acclaimed recording of Vivaldi concertos with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra under Nicholas McGegan for Harmonia mundi. As a soloist and with chamber ensembles, she has performed throughout Europe and North America and recorded for the Archive, EMI, Erato, Hyperion, and Titanic labels. Her interpretations of the complete flute sonatas of Bach can be heard on the Harmonia mundi label.

Coloratura soprano Cyndia Sieden moves between the Baroque, classical, and contemporary repertoire with extraordinary accomplishment and considerable acclaim. She has sung with many of the most prestigious symphony orchestras in the world, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, and at New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival. Sieden is also much in demand for Carmina Burana, the oratorios of Handel, Mozart, and Haydn, works of Bach, Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, and concert performances of operas, including most of Mozart’s oeuvre, Candide, and Ariadne auf Naxos. Sieden has performed at most of the world’s greatest opera houses, including Munich’s Bayerische Staatsoper, Paris’ Opéra Bastille, Barcelona’s Gran Teatre de Liceu, Brussels’ La Monnaie, and London’s English National Opera, as well as in Beijing and Australia. Her Metropolitan Opera debut was an acclaimed performance as Berg’s Lulu. She frequently performs Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos (Munich, Japan, Vienna) as well as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier (Paris’ Châtelet) and Aminta in Die schweigsame Frau (Palermo). Her performance in the high-flying role of Ariel in the premiere of Thomas Adès’ The Tempest at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden garnered her rave reviews. London’s Daily Telegraph said “her ability to keep control over the stratospherically high writing for Ariel [is] astonishing.” The Times called her “sensational,” and The New Yorker “Brilliant.” She has garnered equally enthusiastic acclaim for her portrayal of The Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and as Blondchen in Die Entführung aus dem Serail. Her Archiv recordings of these two works, both conducted by John Eliot Gardiner, affirmed her status as one of the preeminent Mozart interpreters of her generation.

Harpsichordist Jillon Stoppels Dupree has captivated audiences in London, Amsterdam, Chicago, New York, Boston, and Los Angeles. Her playing, described by the Chicago Tribune as “lively and colorful,” can be heard on the Meridian, Wild Boar, Decca and Delos labels; she has also appeared live on BBC England, Polish National Television, CBS Television and National Public Radio. She has been a featured artist at the York Early Music Festival (England), the Boston Early Music Festival, the Berkeley Early Music Festival, the National Music Museum, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the San Francisco Early Music Society series. Other notable engagements include the world premiere recording of Philip Glass’s Concerto for Harpsichord and Chamber Orchestra with the Northwest Chamber Orchestra. A recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts Solo Recitalists grant, Dupree has taught at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, University of Washington, and University of Michigan.

Margriet Tindemans has performed, recorded, and taught early music on four continents. A 2005 Grammy nominee, she has been called a rare combination of charismatic performing and inspiring teaching, a scholar with a profound knowledge of music, poetry and art of the Middle Ages. Tindemans was a founding member of the German ensemble Sequentia and the Huelgas Ensemble of Belgium. As a player of early stringed instruments, such as medieval fiddle, rebec, and harp, she performs and records with Medieval Strings. On viola da gamba she performs as a soloist, is a member of the Gallery Baroque Players, and is a frequently invited guest with the Folger Consort of Washington, D.C., the Newberry Consort of Chicago and other leading early music ensembles in North America and Europe. On Renaissance and Baroque viola she performs and records with the King’s Noyse and with the Seattle Baroque Orchestra. She directs the Medieval Women’s Choir of Seattle. In addition she has been a much sought after teacher at many workshops including the Port Townsend Early Music Workshop, the Pacific Northwest Viols Workshop, the Seattle Medieval Workshop, Viols West, and the Accademia d’Amore.

Soprano Nancy Zylstra has earned critical acclaim and recognition for her pure and expressive singing in a wide variety of repertoire. She performed with such conductors as James De Priest, Andrew Parrott, Gustav Leonhardt, and Ton Koopman, and with orchestras such as the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Oregon Symphony, Tafelmusik, Northwest Chamber Orchestra, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and the American Bach Soloists. She has performed at early music festivals in Vancouver, Anchorage, Berlin, Versailles, Berkeley, and Regensburg, and her performances can be heard on the Erato, Wildboar, Koch and Gasparo labels. A popular clinician, she has taught master classes at the University of Washington, Portland State University, Reed College, Swarthmore College, Willamette University, University of Toronto, and at the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and Voice Foundation’s annual symposiums. Additionally, she has taught at the Vancouver Early Music Workshop and Festival, the Kitchener-Waterloo Baroque and Classical Workshop and is an ongoing faculty member of Accademia d’Amore and other workshops presented by the Seattle Academy of Opera.