Medieval & Renaissance Faculty

Anne Azéma, voice and collegium
Adam Gilbert, Workshop Director, recorder, loud band, and collegium
Bianca Hall, voice
Shira Kammen, vielle
Debra Nagy, recorder, shawms, and douçaine
Mary Springfels, viola da gamba
Jason Yoshida, lute, vihuela, and Renaissance guitar

Anne Azéma, voice and collegium

Anne AzémaFrench-born vocalist, scholar, and teacher Anne Azéma directs The Boston Camerata and the French ensemble Aziman and is co-founder of the Camerata Mediterranea. L’Union-Reims (France) praises her “charismatic leadership.” Since assuming the directorship of The Boston Camerata in 2008, she has created a series of new production acclaimed by press and public alike, including a suite of five new medieval programs pressented in celebration of the 800th anniversary of the Reims Cathedral in France in June 2012. her current discography of 35 recordings (Grand Prix du Disque, Edison Prize) includes five widely acclaimed solo CD recitals. Anne Azéma tours internationally as a vocal soloist and is in demand as a solo recitalist, presenting her original programs to audiences in North America, Europe and Asia. She has contributed articles to scholarly and general audience publications. In 2010, Anne Azéma was named Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government. She has taught at master classes, seminars, and residencies at conservatories and universities in France, Holland and the U.S.

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Adam Gilbert, Workshop Director - recorder, loud band, and collegium

gilbert adamAdam Gilbert  is one of the premiere international players of the Renaissance shawm. He grew up in Columbia, South Carolina. The first graduate of the Early Music program at the Mannes College of Music in New York City, he has performed as a member of New York’s Ensemble for Early Music, the Waverly Consort and Piffaro, the Renaissance Band. He has appeared with ensembles such as Calliope, ARTEK, New York Cornet and Sackbut Ensemble, The Court Dance Company of New York, the Folger Consort, Concert Royal, The Bach Ensemble, Chatham Baroque, Newberry Consort, Canto (Colombia) and La Caccia Alta (Belgium) among others. He is also a founding member of ensemble Ciaramella, which performs concerts of fifteenth-century music in the U.S., Israel, and Belgium, and has recorded on the Naxos label.

Gilbert studied recorder at Rotterdams Conservatorium and studied in Leuven, Belgium from 1998 to 2000 as a recipient of the Fulbright and Belgian American Education Foundation Grants working on his dissertation “Elaboration in Heinrich Isaac’s Three-Voice Mass Sections and Untexted Compositions.” He completed his PhD at Case Western Reserve University in 2003, and taught for two years as a visiting assistant professor at Stanford University. Gilbert can be heard on Dorian, Deutsche Grammophon’s Archiv, Passacaille, Musica Americana and Lyrichord labels. His research specialties include allusion in fifteenth-century song and Mass, pastourelles and their symbolism, improvisation, compositional processes and embellishment from 1400–1700. He lectures, gives master classes internationally and is an adjunct faculty of Tilburg Conservatorium in Holland.

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Bianca Hall, voice

hall bianca picSoprano Bianca Hall began playing piano at the age of four, but only began studying voice after completing a Bachelor of Science degree at UCLA. She has since received both Master of Music and Bachelor of Music degrees in vocal performance from CSU Fullerton and is currently in the doctoral program in Early Music Vocal Performance at USC, where she is also minoring in recorder performance. Her past and present instructors and coaches include Adam Knight Gilbert, Rotem Gilbert, Karen Clark, and Ji Yung Suk Hall.

She has performed the roles of Drusilla (Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea) and Cherubino (Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro) and both Dido and the Sorceress (Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas) as part of L.A. Microfest 2011. Ms Hall’s recordings include“Ancient Christmas Melodies” (Virlouise Records, 2006), “J.S. Bach: The Six Motets BWV 225-230”(Bach Collegium San Diego, 2010), and “Popery Music Project,” which accompanies 1688: The First Modern Revolution (Yale University Press, 2011). She has been a guest performer with Ciaramella, Ensemble for Music of the 15th Century, and is a regular soloist and chorister with Bach Collegium San Diego and with De Angelis Vocal Ensemble. In addition, she is a founding member of Natur Historical Music Ensemble, the director of the Collegium Musicum at CSU Fullerton, a soloist at St. Matthew’s Anglican Church in Newport Beach, and a freelance vocalist. She maintains a private piano and voice studio in Orange County, California.

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Shira Kammen, vielle

kammen shira picMulti-instrumentalist and occasional vocalist Shira Kammen has spent well over half her life exploring the worlds of early and traditional music. A member for many years of the early music Ensembles Alcatraz and Project Ars Nova, and Medieval Strings, she has also worked with Sequentia, Hesperion XX, the Boston Camerata, the Balkan group Kitka, the King’s Noyse, the Newberry and Folger Consorts, the Oregon, California and San Francisco Shakespeare Festivals, and is the founder of Class V Music, an ensemble dedicated to providing music on river rafting trips. She has performed and taught in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Israel, Morocco, Latvia, Russia and Japan, and on the Colorado, Rogue, Green, Grande Ronde, East Carson and Klamath Rivers.

Shira happily collaborated with singer/storyteller John Fleagle for fifteen years, and performs now with several groups: a medieval ensemble, Fortune’s Wheel: a new music group, Ephemeros; an eclectic ethnic band, Panacea; an English Country Dance band, Roguery,the early music ensembles Cançoniér and In Bocca al Lupo, as well as frequent collaborations with performers such as storyteller/harpist Patrick Ball, medieval music experts Margriet Tindemans and Anne Azéma, and in many theatrical and dance productions. She has worked with students in many different settings, among them teaching summer music workshops in the woods, coaching students of early music at Yale University, Case Western, the University of Oregon at Eugene, and working at specialized seminars at the Fondazione Cini in Venice, Italy and the Scuola Cantorum Basiliensis in Switzerland.

She has played on several television and movie soundtracks, including ‘O’, a modern high school-setting of Othello and ‘’The Nativity Story’, and has accompanied many diverse artists in recording projects, among them singers Azam Ali and Joanna Newsom. Some of her original music can be heard in an independent film about fans of the work of JRR Tolkien. The strangest place Shira has played is in the elephant pit of the Jerusalem Zoo. She has recently taken courses in Taiko drumming and voiceover acting.

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Debra Nagy, recorder, shawms, and douçaine

nagy debra picDebra Nagy has been praised for her “dazzling technique and soulful expressiveness,” (Rocky Mountain News) and deemed “a baroque oboist of uncommon elegance” (Cleveland Plain Dealer). She frequently performs with baroque ensembles in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia, and is the founder of the Cleveland-based ensemble Les Délices, whose debut CD was named “One of the Top Ten Early Music Discoveries of 2009″ by NPR’s Harmonia.

She received her doctorate in Early Music from Case Western Reserve University where she directs the Collegium in programs spanning the fourteenth through seventeenth centuries, teaches baroque oboe, and has taught medieval and renaissance notation.  A graduate of Oberlin, Debra has received many prizes and awards for her artistry and scholarship: she was the first-prize winner in the 2002 American Bach Soloists Young Artist Competition, spent 2002-2003 researching Renaissance double reed instruments in Brussels and Amsterdam on a Belgian American Educational Foundation Grant, received a 2007 Eva L. Pancoast Fellowship to support research in Paris in the spring of 2008, a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship in 2009, and Creative Workforce Fellowship from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture in 2010.  Debra has recorded for the Capstone, Bright Angel, Naxos, Chandos, Delos, Yarlung, Loft, CPO, and ATMA labels and has had live performances featured on CBC Radio Canada, Klara (Belgium), WKSU Kent, WGBH Boston, WNYC New York, and NPR’s Performance Today.

A dedicated and inspiring teacher, Debra serves on the artist faculties of the American Bach Soloists’ Summer Academy and has given masterclasses at Juilliard, the Cleveland Institute of Music, San Francisco Conservatory, Cincinnati Conservatory, and University of Washington.

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Mary Springfels, viola da gamba

springfels mary picMary Springfels is an American player of the viola da gamba, a highly respected professor, and director of early music programs.

She purchased her first viola da gamba while attending UCLA and began studying with the New York Pro Musica’s Judith Davidoff. She went on to join the New York Pro Musica herself, then studied with Dutch Baroque gambist Wieland Kuijken for a year.

At the suggestion of the Chicago musicologist Dr. Howard Mayer Brown, she was appointed in 1982 as musician-in-residence at the Newberry Library and given the task of organizing an early music concert program. This led to her co-founding The Newberry Consort in 1986, one of America’s best and most versatile Renaissance music groups, which has become ensemble-in-residence at the Newberry and at Northwestern University.

She remains director of the Newberry Consort. She has also played with the New York Pro Musica and the Waverly Consort as well as many other U.S. and European ensembles and is a founding member of the ensembles Elizabethan Enterprise and Les Filles de Sainte-Colombe.

She has recorded for the Harmonia Mundi USA label as member of the Newberry Consort, as a soloist in a set of Stradella solo cantatas (with Christine Brandes and Paul O’Dette) and in solo instrumental works with recorder player Marion Verbruggen. She has also appeared on the Decca, Columbia, Nonesuch, and Titanic labels.

Springfels believes in getting close to the audience, literally by performing in smaller venues, but also by teaching and educating them about the music and the theories behind performance of early music. Therefore, she is frequently found at workshops and conferences. Academically, she has taught at Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Chicago, and the Northwestern University School of Music.

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Jason Yoshida, lute, vihuela, and Renaissance guitar

yoshida jason picJason Yoshida specializes in solo and continuo performance on lutes and early guitars. He has received international recognition for his CD “Mozart Encomium,”  which features a world premier recording of C.G. Scheidler’s Variations on a theme by Mozart. This work for the Baroque lute is regarded one of the most virtuosic and technically demanding of the lute repertoire. In the summer of 2009 he recorded works of Boismortier and Vivaldi with Alexander Suleiman for a recording to be released in conjunction with state of Bremen and Radio Bremen in Germany. In the Fall of 2009, he performed continuo in the production of Handel’s Tamerlano with Los Angeles Opera featuring Placido Domingo.

Mr. Yoshida has been awarded prizes from the Portland Guitar Festival Competition and the American String Teachers’ Association Competition. He completed his Masters degree at the USC Thornton School of Music, where he studied classical guitar with James Smith, and where he is currently in the early music performance D.M.A. program. He earned a Bachelor of Music at UC Santa Barbara, where he studied and performed with Alejandro Planchart.

Mr. Yoshida is on the faculty of the music department at Pomona College in Claremont, California. Students under his tutelage have won awards in competitions and concerto auditions as well as acceptance into programs at leading institutions including USC, the Manhattan School of Music and the Eastman School of Music.

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