ELIZABETH ANKER, CONTRALTO
Contralto Elizabeth Ankers wide repertoire spans from medieval chant
to contemporary pieces written for her unique voice. She has performed
with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra (the premiere of John Adams
Grand Pianola Music), Philharmonia Baroque (Messiah), Handel and Haydn
(Vivaldis Gloria and Messiah), Boston Bach Ensemble (Bachs
Christmas Oratorio and chamber music), Boston Cecilia (Bach programs),
Back Bay Chorale, Emmanuel Music, and at Bach festivals in San Francisco
and France. She has toured with Sequentia of Köln and the Boston
Camerata. In the field of Baroque opera, she sang the title role in the
modern revival of Cestis Semiramide and the role of Galatea in Handels
Aci, Galatea e Polifemo.
Elizabeth regularly sings recitals and chamber music, and has performed
at Bostons Gardner Museum, San Franciscos Old First Church,
and at many other concert series. Among the composers who have written
pieces for her are Julian Wachner, Eric Sawyer, Douglas Johnson, Tamar
Diesendruck, and Mark Winges. As a chamber music soloist, she has performed
at the International Congress on Women in Music, Tanglewood Music Festival,
and festivals in France and Mexico. She has recorded Bachs Christmas
Oratorio on Titanic, several discs of American and Shaker hymns with the
Boston Camerata on Erato, and song cycles written for her deep contralto
Ms Anker studied in the U.S. and Europe, and her teachers include Jessica
Cash, Edward Zambara and Robert Honeysucker. She also took master classes
with Max van Egmond, Judith Nelson, Ian Partridge, Rene Jacobs and William
Parker. She is on the voice faculty of the New England Conservatory of
Music, Extension Division, and the Longy School of Music.
||LESLIE AMPER, PIANO
Leslie Amper, recipient of the NEA Solo Recitalist Fellowship Grant, has
delighted audiences with her piano recitals in cities across the nation,
including Boston, New York, San Francisco and Chicago. She has appeared
in concerto performances with the Boston Pops, the New Hampshire Music Festival
Orchestra, and the Pittsburgh Symphony. Ms. Amper is a frequent performer
on Boston's Emmanuel Music Series, and she has also appeared in chamber
music concerts at Bargemusic, Eastern Music Festival, Monadnock Music, and
in Strada, Italy. She was chosen to present a special program with an art
lecturer on Debussy and the Visual Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Her recording of Andrew Imbrie's "Short Story" was selected for
the WGBH "Art of the States," an international radio broadcast.
Ms. Amper also presented the music of Scriabin on stage for Peter Sellar's
American National Theater production of "A Seagull." Leslie Amper
studied with Russell Sherman and holds faculty positions at Longy School
of Music and New England Conservatory. She has lectured on music at Harvard
University and Boston University.
GREGORY VITALE, VIOLIN
Gregory Vitale is an active soloist, chamber and orchestral musician.
He is concertmaster of the New England String Ensemble (NESE), and has
appeared as guest soloist with NESE on numerous occasions. He has also
appeared as soloist with many other orchestras, including the Brookline
Symphony, Wellesley Symphony, Cascade Festival Orchestra and the Nashua
Chamber Orchestra. In Boston, Greg has participated in numerous live WGBH
radio broadcasts. He has also performed with the Boston Symphony, Boston
Pops and Pops Esplanade orchestras, the Boston Ballet and Boston Lyric
Opera. Greg has a particular interest in exploring the twentieth century
repertoire. Recently, Greg performed Hartmanns Concerto Funebre
with NESE under the direction of Susan Davenny Wyner.
Greg also performed the Barber and Vaughn-Williams violin concertos with
orchestra, both 20th century works which are gaining in widespread appeal.
At an early age, Greg won first prize in the New England Conservatory
Competition and was an ARTS Competition semifinalist. Varied interests
led him to pursue academics at Phillips Exeter Academy and the Wharton
School of the University of Pennsylvania. He then worked for a stint on
Wall Street before delving into music full-time.
Among his other accomplishments, Greg was a soloist at the Mozarteum Festival
in Salzburg, and he was awarded a Fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival.
Showing his more whimsical side, he was once concertmaster of the Walt
Disney All-American College Orchestra at Epcot Center. His past teachers
include Josef Gingold, Denes Zsigmondy and Stephanie Chase. Gregs
parents are both violinists; his mother is in the Boston Ballet while
his father is retired from the Boston Symphony.
CHRISTINE VITALE, VIOLIN
A native of Germany, Christine studied at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen,
with Vesselin Parashkevov, before she came to the United States in 1995.
As a recipient of the Starling Scholarship Award she continued her studies
at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) with
Kurt Sassmannshaus and Piotr Milewski, as well as with Dorothy DeLay.
She graduated in 2000 with a Masters of Music degree from Boston University,
where she studied with the concertmaster of the BSO Malcolm Lowe.
Christine participated at the Aspen Music Festival, the Banff Music Centre
and the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival. Her chamber music experience
include recitals in Europe and Philadelphia and Boston and she had chamber
music coaches of worldwide acclaim such as Menahem Pressler, Peter Oundjian,
Samuel Sanders, Henry Meyer, the Muir String Quartet and Christiane Edinger.
Highlights of her performance career include a live performance on WCUG
Cincinnati public Radio, serving as concertmaster for the Cincinnati Philharmonia
Orchestra on a tour to Portugal, and playing as a soloist with the New
England String Ensemble in Jordan Hall. Christine performed in chamber
music concerts and series at the French Library, King's Chapel, Goethe
Institute, Brandeis University, Longy School of Music and with the Art
of Music Chamber Players.
Christine is a member of the Boston Ballet Orchestra, the New England
String Ensemble, and performs with the Boston Pops and the Boston Pops
Esplanade Orchestra, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Auros Group
for New Music, and the Cantata Singers, among others.
JENNIFER STIRLING, VIOLA
Jennifer Stirling was born and educated in Great Britain where she attended
the Guildhall School of Music as a violin student of David Takeno. Diverting
for many years to a career as a professional chef, her love for music
led her to pursue further violin studies at the New England Conservatory
of Music, receiving her Bachelor of Music degree in 1990. One year later,
she was invited to participate as both teacher and performer at the Point
Counterpoint Summer Music Festival in Vermont. This experience began her
gradual transformation from violinist to violist. In 1993, she entered
graduate school to study viola with Caroline Levine and Joyce Robbins
at SUNY Stony Brook, New York.
Jennifer is very active in the chamber music scene. She is presently the
violist in the Boston-based Triptych String Trio, and she has appeared
several times on WGBH Radio, has toured Europe with the Ensemble Modern
of Frankfurt, and has participated in summer festivals at the Yellow Barn
in Vermont and the Prussia Cove International Musicians Seminar
in the U.K., and she is a regular guest artist at the Warebrook Contemporary
Music Festival in Vermont. She is also a member of the chamber groups
Sarasa (bringing music to underprivileged people in homeless shelters,
hospitals and prisons) and the Coleridge Ensemble (committed to the performance
and recording of works by black composers).
As a soloist, Jennifer has performed with the Nashua Chamber Orchestra
and the New England String Ensemble, with whom she is principal violist.
Jennifer has also performed often with the orchestra of Emmanuel Music.
In addition to her playing career, Jennifer is a dedicated teacher and
chamber music coach at Phillips Exeter Academy.
EMMANUEL FELDMAN, VIOLONCELLO
Called by Grammy award winning conductor and composer John Williams, an
outstanding cellist and truly dedicated artist, Emmanuel Feldman
is active as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. Mr. Feldman
has performed in concerts worldwide including recitals in France, Germany,
Spain, Austria, Hungary, the US and Canada and frequently is guest artist
for chamber music. He has performed as soloist with the Boston Philharmonic,
Greensboro Festival Orchestra, Boston Pops, Connecticut Orchestra, New
England String Ensemble and has performed in chamber music with pianists
Gilbert Kalish, Robert Levin, Yehudi Wyner, Max Levinson, Jorge Bolet,
mezzo soprano DAnna Fortunato and soloed with world renowned pop
and jazz artist Bobby McFerrin. The Boston Globe called his playing as
beautiful as it is enormous, and he can carry a long line with great flexibility,
never sacrificing the logic of its direction. A consummate champion
of new music, he has given the premieres of cello works by composers Aaron
Kernis, David Diamond, Charles Fussell, John McDonald, Pamela Marshall,
Yakov Yakoulov, Jan Swafford and others. He has participated in the Pablo
Casals Festival, Schlesswig Holstein Musik Festival, has taught at the
Yellow Barn Music Festival and is on the faculty of the Summit Music Festival
in New York. Co-founder of the Axiom Duo with double bassist Pascale Delache-Feldman,
his own compositions have been performed by the Duo, the New England String
Ensemble, and the Warebrook Contemporary Music Festival. A graduate of
the Curtis Institute of Music and a scholarship student at the Paris Conservatory,
Mr. Feldman currently teaches cello at Tufts University and New England
Conservatory preparatory school.
RAFAEL POPPER-KEIZER, VIOLONCELLO
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,"
cellist Rafael Popper-Keizer maintains an active and diverse career as
chamber musician, soloist, and orchestral section leader. Imprimis, Mr.
Popper-Keizer has appeared nationwide in various capacities, including
performances in the Rockport Chamber Music Festival in Massachussetts,
the Warebrook Festival of Contemporary Music in Vermont, and the Monadnock
Chamber Music Festival in New Hampshire. Locally, Mr. Popper-Keizer has
enjoyed guest affiliations with Emmanuel Music, Winsor Chamber Players,
Boston Musica Viva, and the Walden Chamber Players, as well as long-term
relationships with Chameleon Arts Ensemble, the Red House Chamber Music
and Opera Festival, and the Firebird Ensemble of Contemporary Music. Mr.
Popper-Keizer has concertized with many of New England's most esteemed
chamber musicians, including members of the Borromeo and Muir String Quartets,
the Museum of Fine Arts Trio, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra; as well
as recent appearances with the Boston Trio, flautist Eugenia Zuckerman,
and pianist Virginia Eskin. Mr. Popper-Keizer has toured extensively with
the CORE Ensemble, a nationally acclaimed percussion trio with over twenty
commissions to its name, through which he was recently invited to appear
as both soloist and chamber musician in the contemporary music festival
"Contrasts" in Lviv, Ukraine. Mr. Popper-Keizer has been featured
as a soloist throughout the United States, including recitals in New England
Conservatory's Jordan Hall; the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.;
and as a guest artist on the faculty concert series at Grinnell College.
Recent engagements include the Saint-Saëns Concerto in a minor with
the Boston Philharmonic; the Beethoven Triple Concerto, with the Indian
Hill Symphony; and the Dvorak Concerto, with the University of Santa Cruz
Orchestra. Mr. Popper-Keizer is also currently engaged in the production
of a compact disc of cello sonatas by Grieg and Franck to be released
next year. Since 2001, Mr. Popper-Keizer has been principal cellist of
the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and the New England String Ensemble,
and has made principal appearances with the New Hampshire Symphony and
Boston Modern Orchestral Project, among others. In 1998 and 1999, Mr.
Popper-Keizer was invited to the Tanglewood Music Festival, where he acted
as Yo-Yo Ma's understudy for Richard Strauss' Don Quixote under the direction
of Seiji Ozawa. This year, Mr. Popper-Keizer has been pleased to form
his own piano trio, Ariadne, with longtime collaborators violinist Heidi
Braun-Hill and pianist Shuann Chai.