Brian Shaw, baroque trumpet

Brian Shaw, baroque trumpet

“Brian Shaw epitomizes the versatile twenty-first century trumpeter.”
– Elisa Koehler, Fanfares and Finesse

Brian Shaw is Julian & Sidney Carruth Associate Professor of Trumpet/Jazz Studies at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He is also Principal Trumpet of the Baton Rouge Symphony, Co-Principal Trumpet of the Dallas Winds, and enjoys an international performing career as a modern and historical trumpet artist. This season, Shaw has performed as a soloist in Houston, Denver, and continues as Visiting Professor of Baroque Trumpet Studies at the Eastman School of Music. He also continues his research as co-author (with Nick Smart of the Royal Academy of Music, London) of a biography titled Song For Someone: The Musical Life of Kenny Wheeler for Equinox Books, UK.

 Over the past year, Shaw has performed in concert alongside saxophonist Branford Marsalis. as guest principal trumpet of the Kansas City Symphony, made his debut on keyed trumpet (performing Haydn's Concerto in E-flat with Austin's La Follia Baroque), and was the featured trumpet soloist with the Dallas Wind Symphony on John Williams' "With Malice Toward None" from the Spielberg film Lincoln. He has recently toured Europe with the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, was the only American Baroque trumpet soloist featured in the final concert of the 2014 International Trumpet Guild Conference, and performed as a soloist with the Hong Kong Wind Philharmonia. Shaw's most recent solo CD, redshift (accompanied by the Dallas Wind Symphony), was issued in 2014 on Klavier Records.

 Shaw has won prizes in several international trumpet competitions and is the dedicatee of numerous new works, including Brett William Dietz’s redshift and Joseph Turrin’s Two Images. He can also be heard as principal trumpet on recordings with the University of Texas Wind Ensemble (Naxos Records) the Eastman Wind Ensemble (Danzante, on Summit Records), the Dallas Wind Symphony (Reference Recordings), and the professional choral ensemble Conspirare (Harmonia Mundi).

 Active as a Baroque trumpet player, Shaw has performed throughout North America and Europe. His 2008 recording Virtuoso Concertos for Clarino includes some of the most difficult pieces ever written for the instrument and was accompanied by an orchestra comprising New York’s finest period musicians. Early Music America observed: “Shaw’s tone is beautiful, and his playing unfailingly musical… His is a voice that will make a major mark on Baroque trumpet playing.”

As a jazz musician, Shaw performs regularly on the popular LSU concert series “Hot Summer Nights and Cool Jazz” alongside his colleagues pianist Willis Delony and bassist Bill Grimes. He also directs the LSU Jazz Ensemble, which has hosted such luminaries as Bobby Shew, Wayne Bergeron, Wycliffe Gordon, Denis DiBlasio, and Rufus Reid during his leadership. His books and transcriptions are published by Advance Music, Presser, Schott, and Universal Edition.

 Shaw holds degrees from Eastern Illinois University (B.Mus), the Eastman School (M.Mus) and the University of Texas at Austin (D.M.A.).

 Brian Shaw is proud to be a Yamaha Performing Artist


Boel Gidholm, violin

Boel Gidholm, violin

Boel Gidholm has more than 20 years experience performing throughout Europe and the US as a baroque violinist and violist, working with early music ensembles such as Ensemble Aperto (Germany), Fiori Musicali-Barockorchester Bremen, Pegasus Early Music, NYS Baroque, Publick Musick, Apollo's Fire, ARTEK, Ars Lyrica Houston, La Follia Austin Baroque and Texas Early Music Project. Since 2004 she has performed with the Victoria Bach Festival, TX, on both the modern and baroque versions of her instrument, with repertoire ranging from Biber to Britten and beyond. Chamber music performances have taken her to Italy, France, Latvia, the Canary Islands, Canada, Sweden and Denmark. She studied violin at the University of Gothenburg in her home country of Sweden, and studied baroque violin and performance practice at the Akademie für Alte Musik in Bremen, Germany. She lives in Rochester, NY, with her husband, Christopher Haritatos, with whom she co-directs Publick Musick, performing and presenting period-instrument concerts in the greater Rochester area. Together they also explore and perform lesser-known 17th- and 18th-century duo repertoire for violin and cello.


Mary Riccardi, violin

Mary Riccardi, violin

Mary Riccardi grew up playing violin in Detroit, Michigan, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in violin performance under the guidance of Slovak violinist Peter Michalica. During that time, she was drawn into the excitement of Detroit’s rich and varied musical culture. A taste for improvisation coupled with a love of traditional European violin music found their perfect conjunct in historically informed performance, and she decided to move to Europe to pursue the baroque violin. She studied with Monica Huggett in Germany at the Akademie für Alte Musik and with Enrico Gatti as a Fodella Foundation scholarship recipient in Milan, Italy. She spent 17 years playing and recording with some of Europe’s most outstanding ensembles including Barockorchester Bremen, Il Complesso Barocco, Modo Antiquo and La Capella de’ Turchini. Mary returned to the United States in 2011 and has regularly collaborated with groups such as Apollo’s Fire, Pegasus Early Music and Publick Musick. She has been central to a growing interest in early music in her native city and helped lead Detroit’s first ever performance on period instruments of the Monteverdi Vespers in spring of 2016. That same year, Mary co-founded the ensemble l’Invenzione alongside her husband, recorder player Eloy Cortinez.


Aika Ito, a native of Tokyo, Japan, joined the first violin section of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in September 2014. Previously she was a member of the Canton Symphony Orchestra and the Akron Symphony Orchestra. She has participated in several summer festivals including the Pacific Music Festival, Schleswig Holstein Music Festival, and the Tanglewood Music Festival. She plays in the Blossom Festival Orchestra and Rochester Chamber Orchestra, and subs in the Cleveland Orchestra.

She is a violist of the Salaff String Quartet formed by RPO members Thomas Rodgers, Molly Mcdonald, and Benjamin Krug. As a baroque violinist, she is a member of the Christ Church Consort and Schola Cantorum.

Ito began studying the violin at the age of four. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Toho School of Music in Tokyo, where she studied with Tsugio Tokunaga, former concertmaster of the NHK Symphony Orchestra. She earned an artist diploma at the Cleveland Institute of Music with Stephen Rose, principal 2nd violinist of the Cleveland Orchestra. During her education, she also studied with Mayumi Ohira, Kumi Iguchi, Akihiro Miura and Asako Urushihara.

Aika Ito, viola

Aika Ito, viola


Christopher Haritatos, cello

Christopher Haritatos, cello

Cellist Christopher Haritatos has gained a reputation as a passionate and intelligent performer on both the baroque and modern forms of his instrument. He has collaborated in chamber music with artists such as Marc Destrubé, Kristian Bezuidenhout, Elizabeth Wallfisch, and Sergiu Luca, and has played in ensembles such as Apollo's Fire (Cleveland), the Handel and Haydn Society (Boston), Ars Lyrica (Houston), and Tafelmusik (Toronto). While living in Europe, he was the continuo cellist of Fiori Musicali-Barockorchester Bremen, with whom he took part in several recordings and tours, and worked with Andrew Lawrence-King’s ensemble “The Harp Consort.” Chris is now based in Rochester, NY, where he is a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, co-directs The Publick Musick, plays with Pegasus Early Music, and is the cellist of the baroque chamber ensemble Fioritura. Also sought after as a teacher, he has been on the faculty of Texas State University-San Marcos and has given workshops and master classes at several other colleges and universities. He studied at the University of Chicago, the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Eastman School of Music, and as a Fulbright Scholar at the Akademie für Alte Musik Bremen.


Naomi Gregory, organ and harpsichord

Naomi Gregory, organ and harpsichord

Naomi Gregory holds degrees in music (B.A. Hons, first class) and musicology (M. Phil.) from the University of Cambridge, UK, where she was Organ Scholar at Sidney Sussex College.  In May 2014, Naomi was awarded the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in organ performance and literature from the Eastman School of Music, in the studio of David Higgs.  Her lecture recital (advised by Edoardo Bellotti and Roger Freitas) presented a reconstruction of Vespers from mid-seventeenth century Rome, featuring the Italian Baroque Organ at the Memorial Art Gallery.  Her studies at Eastman also included organ improvisation, harpsichord, and theatre organ with William Porter, and organ repertoire and continuo realization with Edoardo Bellotti.  Naomi is currently completing a PhD in musicology at Eastman School of Music.  Her dissertation (advised by Patrick Macey) explores the five and six-voice motet at the royal French court in the early sixteenth century and its role in the performance and practices of royal piety.  She has presented her research at the annual meetings of the American Musicological Society, the Renaissance Society of America, and the Medieval and Renaissance Music Conference.  Naomi is currently a graduate instructor of Early Music at Eastman School of Music and project coordinator for ‘Performing History: The Italian Baroque Organ and its Cultural Intersections,’ a Humanities Project of the University of Rochester.  She serves as Music Director and Organist of the Episcopal Church of St. Luke and St. Simon Cyrene in Rochester, NY, and sings in the Christ Church Schola Cantorum.


Steven Zohn, flute

Steven Zohn, flute

Steven Zohn performs on historical flutes with many ensembles in the eastern United States, including (in his home base of Philadelphia) the Bach Collegium and Night Music. From 1995 to 2004 he served as founding Artistic Director of Publick Musick. In addition to concertizing, he has taught for The Juilliard School’s graduate program in historical performance and Amherst Early Music. His contributions to the study and performance of early music were recognized by the American Musicological Society with its Noah Greenberg Award. Among his recordings are world premieres of recently discovered Telemann flute duets and the composer’s moral cantatas, with soprano Julianne Baird. Also active as a musicologist, he has published widely on eighteenth-century topics, especially on Telemann and the Bach family, and is Laura H. Carnell Professor of Music History at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance. When he is not performing, lecturing, or writing, he enjoys playing with his son Elliott.


James E. Bobb, harpsichord

James E. Bobb, harpsichord

James E. Bobb joined the faculty of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota in September of 2012 with more than 20 years’ experience directing church music in Lutheran and United Church of Christ congregations. As Cantor to the Student Congregation, Bobb succeeds the retired John Ferguson in three main spheres of activity at St. Olaf. As Cantor to the Student Congregation, Bobb plays organ and/or oversees the preparation of music for the six live-streamed chapel services each week (http://www.stolaf.edu/multimedia/), including Sunday morning Eucharists, for which the five large choral ensembles of St. Olaf rotate liturgical leadership. As Assistant Professor of Organ and Church Music, Bobb is one of two professors of organ and teaches church music classes in one of the few undergraduate-only programs leading to a Bachelor of Music degree in Church Music.  As director of the 100-voice St Olaf Cantorei, Bobb leads the upper-class ensemble in concerts, worship services, and the annual St. Olaf Christmas Festival.

Following in the Lutheran cantorial tradition, Bobb regularly composes or improvises music for weekly worship. He recently composed a new congregational setting of the Holy Communion liturgy which was introduced to the St. Olaf College Congregation in September of 2013.

Bobb holds performer’s certificates and M.M. degrees and in organ and harpsichord performance and literature from the Eastman School of Music where his teachers included Russell Saunders and David Craighead in organ and Arthur Haas in harpsichord. His undergraduate work was at Capital University where his teachers were Janet Linker in organ and Frank Hussey in piano.

As the Minister of Music at First Congregational Church, Columbus, Ohio from 2009-2012, Bobb presided over a three-manual 1972 Rudolph von Becherath organ of 73 ranks, a four-manual 1931 W. W. Kimball organ of 66 ranks, four parish ensembles and two concert series. He also taught organ and organ literature at Capital University in Columbus. For fifteen years prior to that, Bobb served the Lutheran Church of the Incarnate Word in Rochester New York.  There he led parish ensembles of all ages, conducted the St. John Passion and other works by Bach, Buxtehude, Schütz, Gabrieli, Purcell, and Telemann, and led the choir on a tour of Sweden. Also in Rochester, he was director of the Rochester Bach Festival, an instructor in Sacred Music at the Eastman School of Music, Adjunct Professor of organ at Nazareth College, and a chapter dean of the American Guild of Organists.

At the harpsichord, Bobb has performed Bach’s Goldberg Variations in Manhattan, Boston, Rochester, and Baltimore. He has appeared as organ and harpsichord soloist, conductor, and continuo player with The Publick Musick and the Rochester Bach Festival. With The Publick Musick, he had appeared in New York, Indiana, Maine, and Germany, and has recorded music of Telemann and Vivaldi. Bobb has also enjoyed leading hymn festivals in Ohio, New York, Georgia, and Oklahoma.


Deborah Fox, theorbo

Deborah Fox, theorbo

Deborah Fox is the Artistic Director and founder, in 2005, of Pegasus Early Music, an early music concert series in Rochester, NY. She is a lutenist with a span of repertoire ranging from medieval to baroque music, as a soloist, chamber music player, and baroque opera continuo specialist. She has performed with the major early music ensembles and festivals in North America, including the Carmel Bach Festival, Glimmerglass Opera, Les Violons du Roy (Montreal), Spoleto Festival, Opera Atelier (Toronto), Aradia (Toronto), Tafelmusik, Concert Royal, Brandywine Baroque, Music of the Baroque and Callipygian Players (Chicago), NYS Baroque (Ithaca), and others. She has made frequent trips to Australia to work with Pinchgut Opera in Sydney. She received the Certificate of Advanced Studies in Early Music at London's Guildhall School of Music, specializing in the improvised accompaniment practices of the seventeenth century. Her teachers have included Paul O'Dette and Nigel North. She performs as a regular member of the baroque chamber music ensemble Fioritura. She has made recordings for Naxos, Sonabilis, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), and Centaur. She has been a Teaching Artist for the Aesthetic Education Institute.


Praised for her “sparkle and humor, radiance and magnetism” and hailed for “a voice equally velvety up and down the registers”, Laura Heimes is widely regarded as an artist of great versatility, with repertoire ranging from the Renaissance to the 21st century. She has collaborated with many of the leading figures in early music, including Andrew Lawrence King, Julianne Baird, Tempeste di Mare, The King’s Noyse, Paul O’Dette, Chatham Baroque, Apollo’s Fire, The New York Collegium, Voices of Music, Brandywine Baroque, Trinity Consort, and Piffaro – The Renaissance Band. She has been heard at the Boston, Connecticut, Berkeley and Indianapolis Early Music Festivals, at the Oregon and Philadelphia Bach Festivals under the baton of Helmuth Rilling, at the Carmel Bach Festival under Bruno Weil, and in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Brazil in concerts of Bach and Handel. With the Philadelphia Orchestra she appeared as Mrs. Nordstrom in Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music. December 2003 marked her Carnegie Hall debut in Handel’s Messiah with the Masterwork Chorus and in December 2011 appeared in the acclaimed staged production of the same work with the Pittsburgh Symphony under Maestro Honeck. A native of Rochester NY, she holds her Bachelors degree from SUNY Geneseo and Master of Music degrees in Choral Conducting and Voice Performance from Temple University.

Laura Heimes, soprano


Shari Alise Wilson, soprano

Shari Alise Wilson, soprano

Austin-based soprano Shari Alise Wilson is among the new generation of singers specializing in early and modern music, demonstrating great versatility and stylistic sensitivity. Recent highlights include Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Conspirare at the Victoria Bach Festival, Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri with Pegasus Early Music and New York State Baroque, a world premiere performance and recording of music by Gavin Bryars with The Crossing choir and the PRISM Quartet, the world premiere performance of John Luther Adams' "Sila: The Breath of the World" at Lincoln Center, David Lang’s Little Match Girl Passion with skybetter and associates and the Ear Heart Music Ensemble, and performances with The Crossing choir at Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival. Ms. Wilson is an active ensemble singer, performing with the Grammy award-winning ensemble Conspirare (Austin), The Crossing (Philadelphia), the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Texas Early Music Project (Austin), Spire Chamber Ensemble (Kansas City), and Boston’s Blue Heron. She can be heard on the newly-released Blue Heron discs of Nicholas Ludford’s “Missa Regnum mundi” and “Missa Inclina cor meum,” Conspirare’s Grammy-award winning “Sacred Spirit of Russia,” and Kile Smith’s “Vespers” with The Crossing and Piffaro.


Mischa Bouvier, baritone

Baritone Mischa Bouvier has been praised for his “extraordinary and varied background” and “rare vocal and interpretive gifts” (San Francisco Classical Voice), "beautiful tone" ([Q]onStage], and “rich timbre” and “fine sense of line” (New York Times). He continues to impact audiences with his keen musicality and remarkable communicative ability.

Mischa’s recent performances have included the New York premiere of Jocelyn Hagen’s amass with Musica Sacra at Lincoln Center; Arvo Pärt’s Passio (Evangelisti) for the “collected stories” series at Zankel Hall, curated by David Lang and conducted by Julian Wachner; Apollo in Handel’s Apollo e Dafne and Polyphemus in Handel’s Acis and Galatea with the American Bach Soloists; the role of Dr. P in Michael Lyman’s opera The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and New York Live Arts; Fauré’s Requiem and Vaughan Williams’s Five Mystical Songs with the Princeton Glee Club; Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Iván Fischer and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Stern Auditorium, and with Helmuth Rilling and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Puerto Rico at the Festival Casals; and recitals throughout the United States, and in Europe and Asia.

Other highlights include Handel’s Messiah with the American Bach Soloists at Grace Cathedral and the Mondavi Center; the premiere of Bryan Page's song cycle The Edith Poems at Strathmore; Bach’s St. John Passion (Pilate and arias) with the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys under the direction of the late John Scott; the role of Lucifer in Handel’s La Resurrezione with the Helicon Ensemble at the Morgan Library and Yale University; the role of Malatesta in Don Pasquale with Opera in the Heights and Bronx Opera; the premiere of songs by several living Swedish composers with the Mirror Visions Ensemble in Paris; the role of Alwan in Mohammed Fairouz’s opera Sumeida’s Song at Zankel Hall; performances with the Alabama Symphony (Messiah), the Columbus Symphony Orchestra (Brahms’s Requiem), the Colorado Symphony (Messiah) and the Stamford Symphony (Mozart’s Requiem); and a Boston Symphony Hall debut singing the role of Jigger Craigin in a semi-staged performance of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops.


Christel Thielmann, viola da gamba

Christel Thielmann, viola da gamba

Christel Thielmann is assistant professor of Conducting and Ensembles at the Eastman School of Music, where she has directed and coached the Eastman Collegium Musicum, the Eastman Collegium Baroque Orchestra, the Eastman Collegium Viol Consort, and numerous other ensembles since 1978. As viola da gambist, flutist, and recorder player, she has toured extensively as a member of The Musicians of Swanne Alley and has appeared with Fretwork, The Parley of Instruments, The Harp Consort, Tafelmusik, and the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra. She has performed at many of the leading early music festivals including those in Boston, Vancouver, Barcelona, Edinburgh, Aldeburgh, Bath, and Regensburg, as well as numerous appearances on the English and Dutch Early Music Networks. She has recorded for the BBC, Westdeutscher Rundfunk, NPR, Virgin Classics, harmonia mundi, Hyperion, CBC, Focus, and Pantheon Records.


Rosamund Morley , viola da gamba

Rosamund Morley , viola da gamba

On treble, tenor and bass violas da gamba, and their medieval ancestors, Rosamund Morley has performed with many renowned early music ensembles as diverse as ARTEK, The Boston Camerata, The Catacoustic Consort, Lionheart, Piffaro and Sequentia. In addition to her position in Parthenia, New York's premiere consort of viols, she is a founding member of the Elizabethan group, My Lord Chamberlain's Consort. An interest in playing contemporary music as well as early music was fostered by many years working with the New York Consort of Viols. She has toured worldwide as a long-standing member of the Waverly Consort, and has appeared as soloist at the Brooklyn Academy of Music with Les Arts Florissants. Her busy teaching schedule has included numerous national and international workshops such as Charney Manor and the Benslow Music Trust in Hitchin, UK, Triora Musica in Liguria, Italy, the Cammac Music Center in Quebec, Canada, Amherst Early Music in New England, the Port Townsend workshop in Seattle and the Viola da Gamba Society of America's annual Conclave. She directs the summer music course, Viols West, at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California and holds teaching positions at Columbia and Yale Universities. Ms. Morley has recorded for CBS Masterworks, Arabesque, Musical Heritage Society, Classic Masters, EMI/Angel, Museovich Productions and MSR Classics.


Cora Swenson Lee, viola da gamba

Cora Swenson Lee, viola da gamba

Praised by the San Francisco Classical Voice for playing "with maturity and panache," Cora Swenson Lee performs actively in the Boston and Rochester areas. Cora began her studies in Chicago at the age of 4. Her most influential teachers have been Eastman School of Music professor Alan Harris and long-time cellist of the renowned Vermeer Quartet, Marc Johnson.  Cora holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the Eastman School of Music (2010) and a Master’s Degree Boston University College of Fine Arts (2012).  Cora is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Cello Performance at the Eastman School of Music.

Cora is a member of Boston Baroque and Emmanuel music, and has appeared with the Handel and Haydn Society, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the New World Symphony. She is the former cellist of the Boston Public Quartet and Les Sirenes, and current cellist of Trio Speranza, which was a prizewinner at the 2014 Early Music America Baroque Performance Competition. Cora was named as a 2014-2015 season Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Fellow at Emmanuel Music. 

Cora is currently on the faculty of the Hochstein School of Music and Dance in Rochester, NY. She also works as a teaching assistant for Alan Harris and as a secondary lesson teacher at the Eastman School of Music. 


Edoardo Bellotti, organ

Edoardo Bellotti, organ

Edoardo Bellotti, associate Professor of Organ, Harpsichord and Improvisation at the Eastman School of Music, has extensive teaching experience, having been Professor of Organ, Harpsichord and Improvisation in several musical institutions and universities including the Conservatory ofTrossingen and the University of Bremen in Germany, the University of Udine and the Conservatory of Trento in Italy.

A virtuoso organist and renowned improviser, Bellotti performs at leading festivals and concert venues throughout the world. He is currently collaborating in a project of new organ music and visual art in Milan, in conjunction with the art installation of the American minimalist Dan Flavin. He has performed the complete works of Cesar Franck, and has worked with orchestras in Italy and abroad, performing a wide spectrum of repertoire, including the Italian premiere ofSatyagraha by Philip Glass. He is also considered a leading expert in the performance of renaissance and baroque keyboard music.

He combines his international performing career with musicological research and teaching, publishing articles as well as new critical editions of music of the 17th and 18th centuries. He is a frequent guest lecturer at international conferences. He has made several critically acclaimed recordings on historical instruments, including Promenade (Loft Recordings), a recording of organ repertoire and original improvisations on the Eastman School of Music’s Italian baroque organ at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester.


Cynthia Roberts, violin

Cynthia Roberts is one of America's leading baroque violinists and has appeared as soloist, leader, and recitalist throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. She has served as concertmaster of the New York Collegium, Apollo's Fire, Concert Royal, and Les Arts Florissants. She performs regularly with Trinity Baroque Orchestra, Tafelmusik, and the American Bach Soloists and is a principal player with the Carmel Bach Festival. She has appeared with the London Classical Players, Taverner Players, Clarion Music Society, American Bach Soloists and Smithsonian Chamber Players. Her playing was featured on the soundtrack of the film Casanova and she has performed live on the Late Show with David Letterman. She has toured South America as concertmaster of the Los Angeles ensemble Musica Angelica with actor John Malkovich in The Infernal Comedy: Confessions of a Serial Killer and appeared as guest soloist and concertmaster with the New World Symphony conducted by Michael Tilson ThomasMs. Roberts teaches at the Juilliard School, the University of North Texas, and the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute. She has given master classes at Eastman, Indiana University, the Cleveland Institute, Cornell, Rutgers, the Minsk Conservatory in Belarus, the Leopold Mozart Zentrum in Augsburg, the Utrecht Early Music Festival, The Middle School of the Shanghai Conservatory, and for the Jeune Orchestre Atlantique in Santes, France. Her recording credits include Sony, Analekta, BMG/Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, and Eclectra.


Molly Werts McDonald, violin

Molly Werts McDonald, violin

Molly Werts McDonald, a native of Fairway, Kansas, joined the RPO in October of 2013 as Acting Assistant Principal Second Violin.  She has been playing in the first violin section since September 2014. With a Bachelor of Music degree and a Certificate in World Music, McDonald was one of RPO Concertmaster Juliana Athayde’s first students at Eastman. McDonald then continued on to complete a Master of Music degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music with William Preucil, concertmaster of The Cleveland Orchestra.  

McDonald grew up playing music with both of her parents, and gained exposure to chamber music and orchestral playing through local festivals in Kansas City. In the coming years she attended many other summer festivals including the Interlochen Arts Camp, the Castleman String Quartet Program, the Round Top Festival Institute, the National Repertory Orchestra, Music Academy of the West, and the Tanglewood Institute. Prior to the RPO, she was Assistant Principal Second Violin of the Canton Symphony Orchestra, and she has made appearances with the Kansas City Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the New World Symphony.  

During her education, McDonald explored Early Music, Balinese Gamelan, folk, and many other styles of music. She is passionate about teaching and playing chamber music, and continues to do both in addition to her position with the RPO.  


Daniel Elyar, viola

Daniel Elyar is an active performer and recording artist and has specialized in baroque performance practice in Europe and North America for over twenty years. Mr. Elyar has performed and recorded with ensembles in North America and Europe such as Tafelmusik, the Utrecht Baroque Consort, Concerto d’Amsterdam, Teatro Lirico, Concerto Palatino, the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, the New York Collegium, Ensemble REBEL (NYC), NYSEMA, Tempesta di Mare and Clarion Players and Choir (NYC) and the Trinity Baroque Orchestra on Wall street. Mr Elyar is the former director of the renaissance collegium at Temple University. Mr. Elyar has taught over twelve years at the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia and is full-time faculty there. Mr. Elyar holds a Bachelor of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and Artist’s Diploma from the Sweelinck Conservatory (Amsterdam) and a Masters of Music from the Royal Conservatory (the Hague). Some of Mr. Elyar’s teachers are Heidi Castleman, Sigiwald Kuijken, Lucy van Dael and Monica Huggett. Mr. Elyar has performed under the baton of directors as Andrew Parrott, Gustav Leonhardt, Ton Koopman & William Christie. Mr Elyar has recorded for Chandos, Naxos, ELECTRA, ATMA, Musica Omnia and Hungarton labels.


Beiliang Zhu, cello

Beiliang Zhu won the 1st prize and the Audience Award at the XVIII International Bach Competition in Leipzig 2012 (Violoncello/Baroque Violoncello) as the first string player to have received this honor on a baroque instrument. She received her Master of Music from the Juilliard School in Historical Performance with Phoebe Carrai (Baroque cello) and Sarah Cunningham (Viola da Gamba), Bachelor of Music Degree and Performer's Certificate from the Eastman School of Music. Beiliang is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts in Violoncello, under the guidance of Steven Doane, and a Master of Arts in Ethnomusicology at the Eastman School of Music.

Hailed by the New York Times as “particularly exciting”, and by the New Yorker as bringing “telling nuances” and being “elegant and sensual, stylishly wild”, Beiliang has given solo recitals at the Bach Festival Leipzig, Boston Early Music Festival, the Seoul Bach Festival, the Helicon Foundation, among others; has performed with internationally acclaimed artists and ensembles, such as William Christie, Masaaki Suzuki, Monica Huggett, Paul O’Dette, Stephen Stubbs, Alexander Weimann, the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, the Early Music Vancouver Orchestra, the Juilliard Baroque, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Trinity Wall Street Orchestra among many others. As Beiliang seeks artistry in a wide range of repertoire and different roles as a modern cellist, baroque cellist, and violist da gamba, she has won a section cellist position of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra during undergraduate, has held the principal cellist position of Mercury Houston, and has won awards including the Arthur Foote Prize given by the Harvard Musical Association, 2nd prize in the Holland America Music Society International Competition, the Eastman Cello Concerto Competition, and the 2010 Henry I. Goldberg Young Artist Prize at the American Bach Soloists Academy. Fascinated by studies of cultures, Beiliang believes firmly in the communicative qualities of musical performances therefore invites the listeners to converse with her through various means. More information can be found on www.beiliangzhu.com if so desired.