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Cornish College of the Arts Announces Expansion of Early Music Program

February 24, 2010

SEATTLE, WA – Cornish College of the Arts announces an expansion of the college’s early music program with the appointment of three new faculty members to the already impressive roster of early music specialists now teaching at Cornish. The College will also offer a new summer Baroque Orchestra Workshop designed especially for young artists ages 14-19.

One of only two undergraduate early music programs in the nation, Cornish’s program places a special emphasis on period instrument performance practices of European Renaissance and Baroque music. Internationally renowned lutenist and early music expert Stephen Stubbs directs the program as well as the Seattle Academy of Opera—a five year-old summer program dedicated to preparing musicians for a career in baroque opera performance—as part of an expanded line-up of early music offerings at Cornish College of the Arts.

The newly appointed Cornish early music faculty members are recorder specialist Vicki Boeckman, baroque trumpet and cornetto virtuoso Kris Kwapis, and baroque cellist Nathan Whittaker.

“The addition of Kris [Kwapis], Vicki [Boeckman], and Nathan [Whittaker] now gives us one of the most comprehensive early music faculties to be found anywhere in the world,” said Stubbs. “I believe it also demonstrates Cornish’s continued commitment to building a world-class early music program.”

Boeckman, Kwapis, and Whittaker, join Stubbs and ten other talented artists who comprise the 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 this press release.)

Concurrent with the expansion of the Cornish early music faculty, Cornish Music Department Chair Kent Devereaux and Stubbs also announced a new offering in the College’s expanded summer program: the Baroque Orchestra Workshop, to be offered this summer and taught by violinist and Seattle Baroque Orchestra artistic director Ingrid Matthews.

“I’m absolutely thrilled with this new summer workshop,” said Devereaux. “This is truly a unique opportunity for talented young high school students to study with world-class artists while exploring the rich tradition of baroque music.”

Additional details about the Baroque Orchestra Workshop are available on the Cornish website at

For additional information or to request images please contact Meike Kaan (see information above) or visit

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.

Vicki Boeckman is in great demand as a teacher of the recorder and related performance practices. Boeckman has performed, coached ensembles and taught in the United States, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, England, Scotland and Germany. Her recordings can be heard on the Kontra Punkt, Classico, Da Capo, Horizon, Musical Heritage America, Paula, Kadanza, and Primavera labels. Boeckman taught at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen for twelve years, and together with colleague Dorte Lester co-founded a regional recorder orchestra for children and young adults that continues to flourish. Since moving to Seattle in 2004, she has been a featured soloist with the Seattle Baroque Orchestra, the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Portland Opera, Philharmonia Northwest Orchestra and the Gallery Concerts Series. She is also active in the Seattle Recorder Society and is Music Director of the Portland Recorder Society. Her Seattle-based chamber trio, Ensemble Electra, with violinist Tekla Cunningham and harpsichordist Jillon Stoppels Dupree, specializes in music of the 17th and 18th centuries as well as newly composed works.

Acclaimed by the New York Times for her “sterling tone,” Kris Kwapis plays baroque trumpet and cornetto with several period instrument ensembles including New York Collegium, Tafelmusik, Tempesta di Mare, New York State Baroque, Vancouver Early Music, Seattle Baroque, Clarion Music Society, Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Rebel, Piffaro, Santa Fe Pro Musica, American Opera Theatre, I Furiosi, Concert Royal, Ciaramella and Early Music New York. Her playing can be heard on the Kleos, Naxos, ReZound, Lyrichord and Dorian labels and streaming on CBC. Kwapis is the Artistic Director of Spiritus Collective, an ensemble dedicated to performing rarely heard brass music of the 17th century. She holds degrees in trumpet performance from the University of Michigan, a doctorate in historical performance from Stony Brook University and lectures on early brass performance practice and trumpet history clinics with recent appearances at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the University of Wyoming, Madison Early Music Festival, Yale University Institute of Sacred Music and Rutgers University.

Nathan Whittaker has been described as a soloist with “musicianship of the highest order.” As a member of the early music ensemble Plaine & Easie, Whittaker won the Grand “Unicorn” Prize in the 2009 Early Music America Medieval and Renaissance Competition. He has served on the faculty at the Indiana University String academy, as principal cellist of the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, and as associate principal cellist with the Terra Haute Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed in early music festivals in Bloomington, Berkeley, and Vancouver, as well as the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. Currently, Whittaker is a member of the Seattle Baroque Orchestra and Pacific Baroque Orchestra. He can be heard on CBC broadcasts, and has recorded on the NPR and ATMA Classique labels. Whittaker graduated cum laude from Indiana University with Bachelor and Masters of Music degrees in Cello Performance. He is currently a DMA candidate in Cello Performance at the University of Washington where he studies with Toby Saks. His private instructors have included Helga Winold, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Stanley Ritchie, and Peter Wiley.

Stephen Stubbs

After a thirty-year career in Europe, Stephen Stubbs returned to his native Seattle in 2006 and established a new opera company: Pacific Musicworks. The company’s inaugural production of Monteverdi’s Return of Ulysses, designed and stage-directed by South African artist William Kentridge and featuring the Handspring Puppet Company, received rave reviews in the national press. For the 2009-2010 season Stubbs directs a program of “Rameau in Versailles” with the Boston Early Music Festival, Handel’s Acis and Galatea in Boston, and Cavalli’s Giasone at the University of California in Los Angeles. Stubbs will direct Handel’s Esther as well as Acis and Galatea in Seattle in the spring of 2011 as part of the biannual Handel Festival. Since 1997 Stubbs has co-directed the biannual Boston Early Music Festival opera. The Festival’s recordings of Conradi’s Ariadne, Lully’s Thesee, and Psyché were nominated for Grammy awards in 2005, 2007, and 2009. Besides his ongoing commitments to the Boston Early Music Festival and Pacific Musicworks, other engagements as music director have taken him to Bilbao, Spain to conduct Handels’ Guilio Cesare and Gluck’s Orfeo as well as Handel’s Guilio Cesare in Murcia, Spain. In 2007 he returned to the Netherlands Opera, Amsterdam, where he directed Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo. Stubbs has also taken an interest in the passions of J.S. Bach, recently conducting the St. John Passion in Bratislava, Slovakia. 2011 will see his debut conducting the Seattle Symphony Orchestra performing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.

Additional Early Music Faculty 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.