Podcast conversations with Bach Festival Artistic Director Dr. Dirk Garner and special guests. Podcasts can be accessed beginning at 8am EST on the date of broadcast.
I would never have thought in March of 2020, when we canceled our beloved Bach Festival for the first time since its inception in 1933, that we would be navigating the same waters one year later. I look forward to the time when we can gather in person again to join in the concert experience. I am thrilled, however, to share with you our 2021 virtual Bach Festival. Though I will miss being immersed in the preparation of Bach’s music, I am grateful for this opportunity to delve deeper into the history and meaning of the Bach Festival.
Last year, I drafted a letter for a program that would never be printed. We were eagerly anticipating our collaboration with nearly 100 guest artists, alumni and Cleveland Orchestra musicians on three different stages. We were excited to be able to share the world premiere of James Primosch’s composition, the winner of the Bach Institute’s 50th Anniversary Composition Contest. We were preparing to sing along side our kindred spirits from Westminster Choir College and Dr. Joe Miller in an epic performance of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. But that was not to be. We thought we might reschedule portions of the Festival for the fall. But that was not to be. And so, here we are almost a year later. This time has given me a chance to reflect and to ponder and to imagine. I’ve conversed. I’ve listened. I’ve learned.
The BACHCAST podcast series was born from a desire to reconnect with Festival participants. I hope you’ll take the opportunity to listen to these conversations with participants spanning over 60 years of the Festival. Our esteemed emeriti Artist Director, Dwight Oltman, and Director of Choral Studies, Stuart Raleigh, both of whom provided such vision, reflect on their decades as leaders of the Festival. Our 1957 alumnae reminisce about their time at BW and their participation in the Festival. They are our legacy. Conservatory faculty fulfill our mission as they recount their experiences playing for the Festivals and helping prepare students for this impactful and unique experience. Finally, our recent alumni talk about how their participation in the Festival has helped to shape their careers in music. They are our future.
The opportunity to help plan a concert to honor Professor Regina Mushabac’s 46 years of service to BW is a privilege. Her dedication to the Festival, sublime musicianship and grace-filled mentorship to BW students as a faculty member and Bach Festival Orchestra principal are beautiful legacies to leave. Please celebrate with us on Friday, April 16.
Our most unique offering during this Festival is the Mass in B Minor Retrospective. We have assembled samples from every recording of Mass in B Minor made at our Festival going all the way back to 1955. We have converted older technology to digital media and I know you’ll love hearing this amazing performance legacy of Bach’s music.
Finally, Dean Susan Van Vorst and I look forward to reconnecting with you at our Bach Festival Town Hall Reunion on April 17 at 4pm EST. We have a few updates to share, but mostly we want to hear from you – your Festival memories and moments. For 89 years now we have come together to revel in this music, to remember, to reunite with dear friends, and to marvel at this music and its history. But always to share in what music does best: it brings us together, even virtually.
Welcome to the 89th Bach Festival.
Dwight Oltman, Bach Festival Artistic Director from 1975-2014, is an internationally acclaimed conductor who has enjoyed a remarkably diverse musical career as one of the world's most versatile conductors.
A central figure in America's professional chamber orchestra movement, Oltman was Founding Music Director of the Ohio Chamber Orchestra in 1972 and conducted the orchestra for twenty years. Under his leadership, the Ohio Chamber Orchestra flourished as the third busiest orchestra in the state of Ohio, after the Cleveland Orchestra and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. In the chamber orchestra field, the Ohio Chamber Orchestra was said to be "on a comparable level with the Cleveland Orchestra's position among international orchestras." From 2000 to 2012, Oltman was Music Director and Principal Conductor of Ballet San Jose in California after serving for twenty-four years in the same capacity for Cleveland Ballet. Currently, Oltman is the artist-teacher in residence for the Smoky Mountain International Conducting Institute and Competition.
Working with Artistic Director Dennis Nahat, and other leading choreographers such as Fleming Flindt, Agnes de Mille, and Donald McKayle, and accompanying legendary dancers including Rudolf Nureyev and Cynthia Gregory, Oltman gained a reputation as one of the premiere ballet conductors in the field. Oltman conducted the Cleveland Ballet in many American cities, including New York and Chicago, and also conducted a week of performances at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland. Additionally, he has led performances with the Atlanta Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and Oakland Ballet, and was chosen to conduct all performances at the 2002 USA International Ballet Competition. His vast experience in the theater includes 14 operas and 36 musicals.
A partial list of the orchestras he has conducted includes the Buffalo Philharmonic, Canton Symphony Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, Denver Symphony Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony, Martinů Philharmonic (Czech Republic), Michigan Opera Theater Orchestra, The Scottish Philharmonic Orchestra, Saint Cecilia Orchestra (Rome), San Jose Symphony, The Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, and Volgograd Symphony Orchestra (Russia). He has also been a guest conductor at the Eastern Music Festival (NC) and Colorado Music Festival.
Concurrent with his posts with the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, Cleveland Ballet, and Ballet San Jose, Dwight Oltman was also a faculty member at the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music in greater Cleveland, Ohio. Oltman’s versatility is further evidenced by the fact that while serving as the Professor of Conducting, Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra, and Conductor of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble for 39 years, he was also Music Director of the famous Baldwin Wallace Bach Festival. His leadership with the Bach Festival gave it international visibility as he brought in distinguished Bach performers from Canada and Europe to perform at the festival along with America’s premiere artists. One of his Bach highlights was an invitation to perform two concerts at the Kennedy Center’s “Festival of Festivals”. Another memorable event was a performance of the St. Matthew Passion, conducted by Oltman, that was broadcast on 116 PBS stations across the USA and helped to establish his reputation as one of America’s leading Bach interpreters. Oltman’s outstanding work with the orchestra and wind ensemble at Baldwin Wallace resulted in both groups receiving many invitations to perform at state, regional, and national music conferences.
Oltman studied conducting with two of the 20th century’s legendary conductors and conducting pedagogues, Pierre Monteux and Max Rudolf, and composition with the leading composition teacher of the era, Nadia Boulanger in France. That training provided the foundation for Oltman's performing and teaching. Maestro Oltman’s students have been accepted into leading conservatories worldwide, music festivals including the Aspen Music Festival, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, and The National Repertory Institute and have conducted many of the world’s leading orchestras including The London Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Bratislava Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Pops Orchestra, Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, and the Orquesta Reino de Aragón to name a few. Passionate about passing on the artistry of his great mentors to the next generation, Oltman has given lectures on the legacies of Monteux and Rudolf, most notably at a National Conference of the College Orchestra Directors Association held at Florida State University. His long list of honors includes being listed in Who’s Who in America, and a proclamation from Cleveland, Ohio’s Mayor, Michel White, for “Dwight Oltman Day in Cleveland” as a “tribute of praise and gratitude for his twenty years of distinguished and dedicated service as Music Director of the Ohio Chamber Orchestra.” https://www.dwightoltman.com/
Stuart Raleigh served as Professor of Music, Director of the Baldwin Wallace College and Motet Choirs, and as BW Bach Festival Chorus Master from 1974-2008. Born, raised, and educated in Syracuse, NY, Raleigh began his collegiate teaching career at Syracuse University. Shortly after graduating from Syracuse, he spent two summers at Tanglewood where he was a rehearsal accompanist for musical greats such as Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland. He also spent five summers as a staff pianist at Blossom Music Center where he was Robert Shaw’s rehearsal accompanist. At Baldwin Wallace, Raleigh established the Motet Choir specifically to perform at Bach Festival. He also served as music director for both opera and musical theater productions, accompanist/collaborator for faculty and student chamber music performances, and teacher of courses such as vocal literature, opera history, and musical theater history. In the broader Northeast Ohio community, he served as a conductor for productions at The Cleveland Opera, Lyric Opera Cleveland, Berea Summer Theater, and Great Lakes Theater Festival, and was involved in productions with the Cleveland San Jose Ballet, Opera Cleveland, and Cain Park. Raleigh is an accomplished pianist, having been a member of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Philharmonic Orchestra, and Ohio Chamber Orchestras, and appearing as a soloist under Pierre Boulez, Marice Stith, Frederick Prausnitz, Aaron Copland, and Dwight Oltman. He has composed for all media, including choral composition and arranging.
Janet Roll Archer '57 found she enjoyed community activism after an early career teaching piano and playing the organ. First marching and organizing for civil rights in St. Louis and Cleveland, she then turned to women’s rights, including sitting in at the Ohio Capitol for the Equal Rights Amendment. After moving to Ashland, she and two friends organized a chapter of the National Organization for Women (N.O.W.). Wanting professional skills, she obtained a master’s degree in health and social services planning, which led to both career and volunteer positions. She worked as a health planner, followed by many years as Executive Director of the county United Way and then Executive Director of Leadership Ashland. However, her love of music remained constant. A longtime board member of the Ashland Symphony Orchestra, she served two terms as President, co-chaired the Symphony Women’s League, and currently chairs the search committee for a new conductor. With the professional dance troupe, Neos, She initiated the development of M.A.D.E. (Music, Art, Dance, and Education) in Ashland, a week-long program in the schools culminating in a community performance. For several years, until the pandemic, she played the piano in nursing homes and previously played for Rotary Club as a member, and wrote many musical skits and parodies for events. She and her husband Bob were major funders for the Archer Auditorium, designed to have outstanding acoustics for both music and theater. Other volunteering included serving as a charter member of the Community Foundation, and a founding member of the Center for Nonviolence, Chamber of Commerce Strategic Planning, Domestic Violence Shelter board, Women of Achievement board, Mental Health Levy Committee, Hospice Planning committee, and several others. Honors include the Ashland County Women of Achievement Leadership Award, Spirit of the Chamber Award, Women’s Fund Freedom from Selfishness Award, Salvation Army Community Service Award, Rotary Paul Harris Fellow, and a Distinguished Alumnus for Service from her high school alma mater. Janet and Bob have been married for 64 years, and their family includes three children, their spouses, and seven grandchildren who light up her life. Recently she is most happy to have endowed the Janet Roll Archer Conservatory Scholarship Fund at her beloved Baldwin Wallace, where she continues to enjoy the Bach Festival annually.
Jean Trimmer Astrop '57, a mother, grandmother, violoncellist, gardener, author, and community volunteer, lives in Atlanta, Georgia. She serves on the boards of the Forward Arts Foundation, and the Tuxedo Park Civic Association. Jean is also an honorary board member of the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University, American Friends of Blérancourt (France), Atlanta Preservation Center, the Georgia Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts (co-founder), and the Atlanta Chapter of the French Heritage Society. Her passion, along with music, still attending BW Bach Festivals, history, architecture, archeology, and travel, is gardening, especially raising hydrangeas. She is a member of the Cherokee Garden Club, Garden Club of America, and the American Hydrangea Society. With her interest in genealogy, she is a member of the Huguenot Society of America, Historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz, NY, which her ancestors helped found and settled in after arriving in New Amsterdam in 1660, DuBois Family Association, Society of the Crown of Charlemagne, Order of the Merovingian Dynasty, and the National Society of the Colonial Dames in America. In 2020, Jean was awarded The Order of the Crown Officer’s Medal by the Belgian government for all of her years of working with the Belgians in Atlanta and Belgium.
Patricia Cirigliano Ciancutti '57, married Ronald Ciancutti '50. Patricia and Ronald were married for 40 years until his death 26 years ago. They have three children and five outstanding grandchildren. Patricia was taught to read at age three and someone in the neighborhood told her parents that they should give her music lessons. This ultimately led to Patricia studying piano as a child with the head of the BW Conservatory piano department, Blair Cosman. Professor Al Riemenschneider often came in to hear her lessons and held her on his lap as she played a Bach Minuet since she couldn't reach the pedals. Patricia then studied with John Wolaver. When she was fourteen he told her that the best way to learn was to teach, so he gave her 35 students. He required that Patricia attend college courses, so after her day in high school, she attended pedagogy, theory, canon and fugue, and composition classes with the college students. She even had to play in their monthly recitals. After Mr. Wolaver left, she studied with Guilford Plumley. As a freshman, George Poinar invited her to audition for the position of accompanist for the Bach Festival Chorus. She began this job in the first week of her freshman year and held it until graduation. They performed all four of J.S Bach's major works, and to this day she considers that one of the greatest privileges of her life. Patricia became a Delta Zeta, where she directed the Interfraternity Sing for two years, for which they won first place both years. Patricia played and sang morning masses at both Catholic churches in Berea before she attended her 9 am French class at BW. She studied with and accompanied voice students of Burton Garlinghouse, as well as studied organ. Upon graduation when she earned a BM in performance and teaching, she was hired by St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Berea to be their Music Director, where she served for 45 years. At the same time, Patricia taught piano at BW and had as many as 65 students at a time. She also directed a number of musicals for a variety of organizations. When she directed them for BW, she invited faculty, local politicians, and dignitaries to perform amusing ditties, which drew in the public and made enough money to buy spotlights for the Kleist Center for Art and Drama, baffles for the Conservatory of Music, and many other items scattered around campus. Patricia’s century home has been the gathering place for so many recitals, dinners, teas, and musicals, and it was during these that her children learned to pour punch, take coats, greet dignitaries and hone their social graces. Patricia received the BW Alumni Merit Award in 2014.
Dr. Julian Ross, BW string department chair and professor of violin, is a violinist of BW’s resident ensembles, The Elysian Trio and Lyceum2. He has appeared as a soloist with orchestras and wind ensembles in repertoire ranging from Baroque and Romantic concerti to premieres of new commissions.
Ross toured the U.S. and abroad with the Arcadia Trio, the Boston Musical Arts Consortium, the Music from Yellow Barn Tours and the Memphis Piano Quartet. Before coming to BW, he served on the faculties of Memphis State University and Florida State University. Ross participated in the Yellow Barn Festival for 11 years, and was on the faculties of Brevard, Aria International, Tennessee Governor’s School and the Blue Mountain Festival.
His rich chamber music collaborations have kindled investigation of special repertoire, such as music composed by women and works by jazz great, Joe Venuti. Through four decades of performing and teaching chamber music, Ross gained unique expertise in teamwork, problem solving and communication. A devoted teacher, he composed etudes addressing tenacious violinistic problems and a melodically reinforced approach to scale studies. His original compositions have been received warmly by audiences.
Ross’s students have won competitions, earned leadership positions in professional orchestras, and established themselves on teaching faculties. A past president of the Tennessee String Teachers’ Association, Ross currently serves on the board of the Ohio String Teachers’ Association. His teachers included Arnold Steinhardt, Sylvia Rosenberg, Eric Rosenblith and Jens Ellermann.
Sean Gabriel, lecturer in flute, is the current principal flutist of the Blue Water Chamber Orchestra and the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, our city’s award-winning new music ensemble. With this group, Gabriel has taken part in dozens of world-premiere performances including one written by founding music director and composer Edwin London entitled “Scenes for Flute and Orchestra.” This work was recorded by Gabriel and the Chamber Symphony for the Albany label in 2001 and has been played by radio stations throughout the United States. Gabriel performed the flute part in the Cleveland Chamber Symphony’s recording of Olivier Messiaen’s “Oiseaux Exotiques” featuring pianist Angelin Chang. This recording won the 2006 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist with Orchestra. Works that have been written for Gabriel include “Dance Moments 2000” for flute and piano by New York composer Matthew Greenbaum, a work for flute and percussion entitled “Pinions Lie Down in Tin” by Cleveland composer and pianist Eric Ziolek and a work for flute and orchestra by JingJing Luo entitled “Lagrimas y Voces.” Gabriel was principal flutist of the Opera Cleveland Orchestra from 2002 to 2010 and has performed since 1988 in over fifty staged opera productions. He was also a member of the Lyric Opera Cleveland Orchestra and the Cleveland Ballet Orchestra. Gabriel has been a member of the Erie Philharmonic Orchestra under four music directors – Eiji Oue, Peter Bay, Hugh Keelan and current music director Daniel Meyer – performing a wide range of symphonic repertoire, and he has been an orchestral and chamber musician for the Baldwin Wallace Bach Festivals and the Bach and Handel Society of Cleveland. Gabriel also serves as flute instructor in the music department at Cleveland State University.
Altus artist George Pope has taught flute at the Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music since 2002 and is emeritus professor of flute at the University of Akron where he was on faculty from 1978 to 2013. Pope was principal and solo flute of the Akron Symphony Orchestra from 1978 to 2002 and is currently principal flute of the Blossom Festival Orchestra. He has performed with The Cleveland Orchestra, the Canton Symphony Orchestra, the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera Cleveland, the Tulsa Philharmonic, the New Mexico Symphony, the Monteux Festival Orchestra and the Brevard Music Center Orchestra.
A graduate of Northwestern University and The University of Tulsa, Pope studied with Marion McNally, Maurice Sharp, Walfrid Kujala, Bernard Goldberg, William Bennett and Geoffrey Gilbert.
Pope was a founding member of the Solaris Wind Quintet at The University of Akron. Solaris released two CDs on Capstone Records and a CD of music by Alec Wilder on Crystal Records. Pope’s solo CD was released in 2016 by Crystal Records. Gramophone writes, “The wonder of Pope’s playing is how engagingly, articulately, flowingly and objectively he pours himself into the music….” (Sept. 2016).
Pope’s master classes throughout the world have firmly established his reputation as a motivational and highly successful teacher. Pope has published transcriptions and arrangements through ALRY Publications. He is active in the National Flute Association, having served as president, program chair and as a member of the Board of Directors. Pope has served since 2013 as a Chair of the Scholarship Committee of the Tuesday Musical Association. He is a founding member and Board President of the Chamber Music Society of Ohio.
Pope was named “Arts Educator of 2009” by the Akron Area Arts Alliance. In 2018, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Flute Association.
Josh Ryan teaches percussion and percussion methods, directs the percussion ensemble and serves as chair of the woodwinds, brass & percussion department. A versatile performer and clinician, Ryan is an active musician in many genres. He has been the principal timpanist of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and has also performed with the Maryland Symphony, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Peabody Symphony Orchestra and the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. Ryan has also taught at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where he founded the summer percussion camp.
Ryan has studied African music in Ghana, West Africa with the Agbeli family and is also a student of Valerie Naranjo. He has traveled to Cuba to study with Regino Jimenez and Daniel Alfonso. He is also a long-time student of Afro-Cuban percussionist Michael Spiro and co-authored a book with him. A frequent clinician in non-Western styles of music, Ryan teaches workshops for music educators throughout the country and is a frequent clinician at music education conferences.
Ryan is co-founder of the Africa -> West Percussion trio, a professional percussion ensemble in residence at Baldwin Wallace University. The trio recently released its fourth CD, Loud Fossil, and performs in a variety of venues. The group also released a recording with world renown percussionist and singer Valerie Naranjo in 2017. Active in new music featuring percussion instruments, Ryan regularly performs as a solo marimbist and percussionist and as a chamber musician, and he has performed for notable composers including Steve Reich, Christopher Theofanidis, David Lang, Joseph Schwantner and Chen Yi.
English-American baritone, Jonathan F. Cooper '12 performs choral and early music regularly across the mid-west and east coast. Performing as a soloist with ensembles such as Apollo's Fire, Collegium Cincinnati, the Bach Ensemble of St. Thomas (Cincinnati), the Trinity Chamber Orchestra (Cleveland), and Bach Collegium Fort Wayne, Jonathan has been hailed for both his "distinct power and eloquence" and his "dark, caressing voice." Specializing in the works of Bach and in Anglican choral music, Jonathan has been a member of several high-caliber choral ensembles, including Apollo's Singers, VAE: Cincinnati's Vocal Arts Ensemble, the Trinity Chamber Singers (Cleveland), Quire Cleveland, Christ Church Cathedral Choir (Cincinnati) and most recently, the Choir of Men and Boys at Grace Church, NYC. Balancing performing with a full-time career working for the Episcopal Church, Jonathan now serves as Communications Manager for the National Association of Episcopal Schools. Jonathan holds degrees from Baldwin Wallace University (BM) and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (MM). https://jonathanfcooper.com/work/
Andrew Leslie Cooper '15 enjoys a multifaceted career as a countertenor, conductor, and keyboardist. In 2020 he made his name as a producer of virtual performances, including his viral recordings of Pearsall’s Lay a garland and Purcell’s Sound the trumpet. This culminated with Tallis’ Virtual Voice: a recording of Spem in alium sponsored by the Thomas Tallis Society. Andrew is the second countertenor in the acclaimed early music ensemble The Gesualdo Six, who normally maintain a busy schedule touring the UK, Europe, North America and Australia and recording under contract with Hyperion. Andrew also belongs to the Choir of Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace, singing for weekly services, a CD series under Resonus Classics, and certain royal occasions. Other recent and upcoming ensemble engagements include Tenebrae, the Bach Choir of Holy Trinity NYC, TENET, Ensemble Odhecaton, Gallicantus, Voces8 Foundation Choir and others. As a soloist, Andrew’s voice has been heard with Academy of Ancient Music, Academy of Sacred Drama, BWV: Cleveland’s Bach Ensemble, and numerous choral societies around the UK.
Passionate about music education and non-professional music-making, Andrew is on the music staff at the King’s School, Rochester and Frances Bardsley Academy for Girls. Previously, he directed the volunteer choirs at Grace Presbyterian Church, Jenkintown and, before that, the United Methodist Church of Berea. He is also in demand as a choral workshop leader and guest conductor.
Andrew is a versatile keyboardist and accomplished accompanist. He was a Staff Accompanist at Baldwin Wallace Conservatory, ballet pianist for Baldwin Wallace Dept. of Theatre and Dance and now serves as the Accompanist for Cranbrook Choral. An adept organist, he also regularly plays for church services and as a continuo player. Andrew has also been a Music Director for professional theatres such as the Weston Playhouse in Vermont and Playhouse Square in Cleveland.
Andrew earned a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Westminster Choir College and a Bachelor of Music in Music Theory from Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music. He lives in Rochester, Kent with his two adorable cats Archie and Maxie. Find out more about Andrew at www.AndrewLeslieCooper.com.
Soprano Madeline Apple Healey '11 is known for her “gorgeous singing" (The Washington Post) and “fetching combination of vocal radiance and dramatic awareness” (The Cleveland Plain Dealer). Specializing primarily in early and contemporary repertoire, Madeline is passionate about polyphony and loves working on music that challenges the construct of beautiful sound. In this unprecedented virtual season, she has been heard with the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, Amor Artis, the Clarion Music Society, and The New Consort. She is very much looking forward to making music for live audiences again soon!
Highlights from the last several seasons include appearances at Festival Oude Muziek Utrecht, Aldeburgh Festival/Snape Proms, the Kennedy Center, National Opera House in Wexford, Ireland, premieres at National Sawdust, Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, Ad Astra Festival, LA Opera, and PROTOTYPE Festival, as well as collaborations with Ardor Sessions, L’Académie du Roi Soleil, Academy of Sacred Drama, Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra, Variant 6, and les soûls d'amour.
She is equally at home in standard repertoire, and operatic credits include Olympia (Les Contes d’Hoffmann) a role in which she was praised for her “crystal clear coloratura” (Princeton Town Topics), La Musica/Ninfa (L'Orfeo), Hébé (Les Indes galantes), Papagena (Die Zauberflöte), Despina (Cosi fan tutte), Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), and Cunegonde (Candide).
Madeline is a member of the GRAMMY®-nominated Choir of Trinity Wall Street and co-founder of AMPERSAND, a vocal chamber ensemble that prioritizes the work of female artists. She appears internationally as a soloist and chamber musician. Madeline holds degrees in voice from Westminster Choir College and Baldwin Wallace University. A native of Cleveland, OH, she now resides in New York where, when she's not making music, she can be found cooking, rock climbing, eating french fries, and spending time with her husband Teddy and their many houseplants. madelineapplehealey.com
Hailed as an “impressive tenor” (The New York Times) who sings with “sweet vibrancy” (The Cleveland Plain Dealer) and creates “the most lasting moments” (The Virginia Gazette) of the performance, Gene Stenger ’10 2019-2020 season featured his debuts with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (Mozart's Requiem), Odyssey Opera (world premiere of Arnold Rosner's The Chronicle of Nine), Orchestra Seattle and Seattle Chamber Singers (Bach's St. Matthew Passion), Chatham Baroque (BWV 93), and the Mineola Choral Society (Haydn's Creation). His return solo engagements included performances with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra (Beethoven's Symphony No. 9), Bach Society of St. Louis (Mozart's Requiem, and Bach's Magnificat), Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra (Handel's Messiah), Colorado Bach Ensemble (Handel's Messiah), TENET Vocal Artists (Bach's Christmas Oratorio), Madison Bach Musicians (Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610), Bach Collegium at St. Peter's New York (Bach's St. Matthew Passion), the Yale Camerata (Mendelssohn’s Elijah), and Bach Akademie Charlotte (BWV 127 & 77).
Stenger has also made appearances with the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart, performing as the tenor soloist in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion under the baton of Helmuth Rilling, which included an international tour in both Germany, and South America, and was featured in a documentary about Rilling’s life entitled Ein Leben mit Bach (A Life with Bach), the American Classical Orchestra, Voices of Ascension, the Northeast Pennsylvania Bach Festival, the Yale Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, the Yale Schola Cantorum at Lincoln Center, and has also performed a solo quartet version of David Lang’s The Little Match Girl Passion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Equally at home in chamber music, he has performed with numerous professional ensembles, Including the GRAMMY® award-winning Apollo’s Fire: The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra, the Handel and Haydn Society, the GRAMMY® nominated True Concord Voices and Orchestra, the GRAMMY® nominated Choir of Trinity Wall Street, the Clarion Music Society, and the Yale Choral Artists.
Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Gene holds degrees from Yale University’s School of Music, and Institute of Sacred Music, Colorado State University, and Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music. Recent discography credits include tenor soloist in Schmelzer’s Le Memorie Dolorose with TENET Vocal Artists and ACRONYM, and tenor soloist on Yale Schola Cantorum’s album Fauré Requiem and other sacred music led by David Hill released on Hyperion Records. He currently resides in New Haven, CT where he serves as an instructor of voice at Yale. www.genestenger.com
Max Nolin ’13 is a choral conductor, music educator, and church musician based out of Bethesda, Maryland and Northern Virginia. As a music educator, Max has a passion for inspiring students to become lifelong musicians. He is currently the Middle School Choir and Handbell Director at Norwood School, located in Bethesda, Maryland where he works with grades 5-8. Max is the Artistic Director of the Loudoun Chorale, a community choir based out of Leesburg, Virginia. Max is also the Sanctuary Choir Director at Bethesda United Methodist Church in Bethesda, Maryland where he prepares a volunteer choir in varied repertoire for weekly worship services. Max received his Bachelor's in Music from Baldwin Wallace University and his Master of Music degree from Westminster Choir College. http://acdamaryland.info/about/max-nolin/
Nicole Keller enjoys a diverse career as a modern concert musician and is in demand as a recitalist, adjudicator, and clinician. As a performer, she specializes in eclectic programs suited to instrument and audience with a desire to expand the listener’s horizons by pairing familiar sounds and genres with less familiar ones. She has concertized in venues such as St. Patrick Cathedral in New York, Cathédrale Notre Dame in Paris, Dom St. Stephan in Passau, and The Kazakh National University for the Arts in Astana, Kazakhstan. Keller also serves as the Associate Organist at Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland. As an organist and church musician, he has created organ and choral scholar programs at small and mid-size parishes, developed successful children's choir programs, and has led choirs on tour in the states and abroad including choral residencies at Bristol Cathedral, U.K. and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland. As a faculty member at the Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music, she strives to foster and model a commitment to excellence in performance, scholarship and self-growth as students deepen their love of music and their instrument. Keller received the Performer’s Certificate and the Master of Music Degree in Organ Performance and Literature at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York studying organ with David Higgs. She received the Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance from the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music, studying piano with George Cherry and organ with Margaret Scharf.
Dr. Soo Han is the director of orchestral studies at Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music, a member of the Board of Directors of the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, a contributing editor for Hal Leonard’s Essential Elements for Strings, a D’Addario Orchestral Strings Artist, a Conn-Selmer Educational Clinician, program coordinator and faculty member with Los Angeles Philharmonic’s summer YOLA program and the former director of orchestras & department chair of the William H. Duke Center for the Performing Arts at Carmel High School in Indiana.
As an active conductor, he has appeared with Carmel Symphony Orchestra, Cave Run Symphony Orchestra, Michigan State Opera Theatre, Michigan State Symphony Orchestra, Valparaiso University and Butler University Symphony Orchestra. He is an active conductor for all-state, regional and honor orchestras appearing in over 30 states and has conducted internationally in Austria, China, Thailand and Australia. Han has collaborated with numerous artists, groups, and conductors such as Lynn Harrell, David Kim and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. He has produced multiple recordings of complete symphonies and has premiered several commissioned works for strings and full orchestras. He has presented workshops and clinics internationally and for nearly every major national and state music conference including: Australian String Teacher Conference, Maryborough National Australia Conference, Midwest Clinic, ASTA National Conference, NAfME National Conference and Ohio University Summer String Teacher Workshop.
Orchestras under his leadership experienced a great deal of success including nine Indiana State School Music Association (ISSMA) State Championships and being named Grand Champions at the National Orchestra Cup at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. As a passionate supporter of public school music programs, he continues to remain active in instrumental classrooms throughout the country.
Han was previously the president of the Indiana American String Teachers Association and the chapter was awarded the ‘Most Improved Chapter’ during his time as president. He recently served as the National American String Teachers Association’s K-12 Committee Chair. He received his Bachelor of Instrumental Music Education from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, Master of Science in Education from Indiana University School of Education and his Doctorate in Orchestral Conducting from the Michigan State University College of Music.
In a year like no other, we offer a Festival like no other.
The pandemic provides us with a gift—a rare opportunity to pause, reflect and celebrate the extraordinary musical tradition we steward at BW.
Join us for rich dialogue, inspired artistry, and a commemoration of those who make it all possible.
Honoring Prof. Regina Mushabac, Conservatory Faculty and Bach Festival cellist: Prof. Mushabac is retiring at the end of the 2020-2021 academic year, after 46 years of service to BW. This virtual concert features commentary, photos and favorite recordings of Prof. Mushabac, as selected by her long-time colleagues Dr. Julian Ross and Dr. Robert Mayerovitch.
Bach Festival Town Hall Reunion Highlights: In case you were unable to attend, enjoy a recording of the April 17 Town Hall Reunion. You can hear updates from Dr. Dirk Garner and Dean Susan Van Vorst and shared memories of our beloved 89 year old tradition.
Mass in B Minor Retrospective: Journey with us as we explore movements from decades of Bach Festival recordings of the Mass in B Minor. We begin with 1955 and end with our most recent performance in 2015.
To view Bach Festival historical photos as an automated slideshow, please click the photos button below, then the slideshow icon on the upper-right side on Flickr.