CD Release: "Territory of the Heart"

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Performer Biographies

Songs of Time, of Love, of Wonder

 

ELIZABETH ANKER, CONTRALTO
Contralto Elizabeth Anker’s 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 (Vivaldi’s Gloria and Messiah), Boston Bach Ensemble (Bach’s 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 Cesti’s Semiramide and the role of Galatea in Handel’s Aci, Galatea e Polifemo.
Elizabeth regularly sings recitals and chamber music, and has performed at Boston’s Gardner Museum, San Francisco’s 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 Bach’s 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 voice.
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.

Elizabeth Anker

 

  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.

 

il terzodecimo canto

Two Essays for String Quartet

 

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 Hartmann‚s 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. Greg‚s 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 Musician’s 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 D’Anna 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.

 

 

...at evening, in the shadow of the volcano, they are dancing...

 

ANTHONY DE BEDTS, PIANO
Anthony de Bedts was born in Atlanta in the United States, and lived in California, Massachusetts, England and France before moving to Vienna at the age of 13. He studied piano at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna, where his principal teacher was Noel Flores, completing his studies with the Concert Soloist's Diploma and Piano Chamber Music Diploma with unanimous distinction. A finalist at the XIII. International Chamber Music Competition in Colmar, France, he was the winner of the Special Prize of the New York Beethoven Society at the 7th International Beethoven Competition in Vienna. He has performed both as soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe and the US.
In 1998, de Bedts joined the Merlin Ensemble for "The Case of Hanns Eisler", a project for reciter, singer and chamber ensemble to mark the double centenary of Bertolt Brecht & Hanns Eisler in that year, with performances in Vienna at the Burgtheater's stage for experimental productions (Casino am Schwarzenbergplatz), at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and at the Kulturbrauerei in Berlin, as well as at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. Since 1990 he has also regularly joined the Chamber Orchestra of Europe for keyboard work on various tours.
As a soloist, he devoted much of his time in the 1990's to the study and performance of the 32 Beethoven Piano Sonatas; more recently, he completed the rarely performed cycle of Scriabin's 10 Piano Sonatas and intends to continue his exploration of Scriabin's piano music.
In addition to his work as a performing musician, Anthony de Bedts has worked as a music journalist in Vienna, and has taught piano at the Vienna Music Academy (now Vienna University of Music) since 1989. He has also been one of the official simultaneous interpreters at the Vienna Film Festival since 1993, and works as a translator, primarily for film, in his spare time.