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It takes a lot of talent and dedication to be a professional musician, and Sunday Baroque host Suzanne Bona invites some of the BEST to share their inspirations, challenges, and triumphs on her podcast SUNDAY BAROQUE CONVERSATIONS. These top-tier artists give a fascinating insider's look at what makes them tick, and what fuels their passion. Go to sundaybaroque.org for more information or subscribe to Sunday Baroque Conversations wherever you get your podcasts.
 
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Brooklyn native Eric Rice did not set out to become a professional musician and musicologist. He discovered early music while studying at Bowdoin College and, after four years as a schooner captain at the South Street Seaport Museum, he earned his PhD in Musicology and a Certificate in Medieval and Renaissance studies from Columbia University. He w…
 
North Carolina native André Raphel is an award-winning orchestral conductor with an international career. An expert in the classic orchestral repertory as well as a proponent of new music, Maestro Raphel's experience with US orchestras includes appearances with the Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra and t…
 
Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction! The celebrated French violinist and composer Jean-Marie Leclair was found murdered in his Paris apartment. Despite several obvious potential suspects, no one was ever charged with the crime. It remains an unsolved mystery, and the Canadian group Infusion Baroque has crafted a unique and clever concert exper…
 
In 4th grade, Stephen Schultz had a chance to learn an instrument to play in the school band. He ended up being assigned to play his third choice – the flute – which was a very good thing, because the instrument is his perfect match. Stephen Schultz is one of the foremost baroque flute players, and he says that baroque music is his first love. He s…
 
When Jason Vieaux started playing guitar he was immediately smitten with the instrument and with music, in general, practicing long and hard on his own. His tenacity paid off with some early competition wins, and he continued to hone his skills thanks to teachers and mentors who recognized and further cultivated his talent and determination. Now th…
 
The multi-talented performer Anthony Roth Costanzo is a young countertenor whose projects include operas, recitals, films, and Broadway. The New York Times called him "Vocally brilliant and dramatically fearless." Suzanne spoke with the remarkable, Grammy-winning musician about his multi-faceted passions and interests.…
 
There have been numerous studies over the years about the positive impact of music on people's lives. Children, especially, seem to benefit from early musical training, although not all kids have equal access to quality musical education. Music Haven in New Haven, Connecticut is a program that offers tuition-free music education, mentoring, and per…
 
Baroque music expert JungHae Kim is a sought-after harpsichordist who performs as a soloist and chamber music collaborator all over the world. Her training included studies at Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam with legendary Dutch musician Gustav Leonhardt, who profoundly influenced her own approach to teaching music theory, ear training, keybo…
 
Cellist Khari Joyner is a sought-after musician who performs with numerous top ensembles such as Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. The charismatic young American instrumentalist is also a passionate music teacher who has inspired students all over the world. Dr. Joyner has performed for a number of important occasions, such as the 2008 Maya Angelou Birthd…
 
Flutist Demarre McGill exudes energy and passion – for music, for his students, for whatever project he is working on. The Seattle Symphony's Principal Flute is also a busy soloist and chamber musician who immerses himself in the moment, applying his extraordinary talent to playing everything from baroque, classical and romantic era music, to cutti…
 
Professional musician and teacher Patricia Ann Neely is also a highly respected advocate for diversity and inclusion in the world of classical music and, specifically, early music. She and Suzanne have an ongoing discussion, and in this interview they address the question: what is Black History Month and is it still needed in the year 2022?…
 
British violinist Rachel Podger is internationally renowned as a leading interpreter of music from the Baroque and Classical periods in history. Since childhood, when she was still a beginner violin student, she was a trailblazer – secretly signing up for lessons on Baroque violin in addition to her other studies. Rachel Podger is founder and direc…
 
Antonio Vivaldi's Four Seasons Concertos are some of the "greatest hits" of the baroque era. They've been recorded many times, and in many different instrumentations. Conductor and keyboard player Jeannette Sorrell and her group Apollo's Fire collaborated with violinist Francisco Fullana on a recording of the Four Seasons that uniquely reflects the…
 
"Davóne Tines Is Changing What It Means to Be a Classical Singer" That was headline of a New Yorker article about the versatile bass-baritone. It's just one of many profiles of the extraordinary young musician and his passion for opera, gospel music, spirituals, and so much more. The award-winning musician spoke with Suzanne about his life in music…
 
Dr. Albert Lee is a tenor who has crafted a broad career as a classical vocalist in opera, oratorio, recital, and liturgical music. Dr. Lee received his degrees from The University of Connecticut, The Juilliard School, and Florida State University. Since summer of 2021, Dr. Lee has been Associate Professor of Music and the inaugural Director of Equ…
 
Emily Lau is a composer, singer, teacher and restauranteur who has carved out her own, unique career blending many art forms – and her projects often bridge the gaps between ancient music and modern themes. Her work includes helping creative people channel their empathetic impulses in healthy ways, and impart a spirit of true understanding and coll…
 
Mexican musician Krishnasol Jiménez is an expert in baroque guitar and lute, and historical performance practice. He studied in his native Mexico City, as well as in Spain and Switzerland. Krishnasol Jiménez talked with Suzanne about his career in music, including his collaboration with singer Maria Cristina Kiehr and bassist Roberto Koch on a prog…
 
Laury Gutiérrez is a performer, scholar, teacher, and passionate advocate for underrepresented musicians. The Venezuelan viola da gamba player became a Fellow in 2008–2009 for the Harvard Radcliffe Institute working on a project to develop the repertory of music composed by Italian women into concert and educational programs for performance and pro…
 
Award winning cellist Bion Tsang is an international soloist and chamber musician, as well as a teacher. He recently released a recording of Johann Sebastian Bach's 6 Suites for Unaccompanied Cello – the "holy grail" for all serious cellists. Bion Tsang's performance is extra-special because he used an extraordinary instrument considered one of the…
 
Johann Sebastian Bach's Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello are such exquisite compositions that it's not only cellists who are eager to play them. Zachary Carrettín is a violinist, violist, and conductor. He has a new recording of Bach's Cello Suites played on viola, and he joined Suzanne to talk about it, and about his varied career as a musician.…
 
Rafael Sanchez Guevara is a viola da gamba player and cellist based in his hometown of Mexico City. Suzanne discovered one of his exquisite performances on YouTube and featured it on her daily BEAUTIFUL MUSIC blog. She connected with the musician about his early introduction to music, his passion for the baroque era, and his international career as…
 
Award-winning American musician Richard Danielpour is a prolific composer, and many of his high-profile works have embraced timely, topical and historic subjects. In early 2020, Danielpour was deeply troubled by COVID-19. Suffering from insomnia and anxiety, he found solace in pianist Simone Dinnerstein's Bach recordings. As he witnessed extraordin…
 
Dr. Joyce Chen is an award-winning harpsichordist who performs frequently as a soloist and in various ensembles in the northeast US, across the country, and internationally. She is a woman of many talents, interests and accomplishments, and Suzanne was fortunate to speak with her about some of them, including her pandemic-era apprenticeship in maki…
 
Bassoonist Andrew Brady is at the top of the top tier instrumentalists. Immediately after graduating from the prestigious Colburn School in Los Angeles he won the audition to become Principal Bassoonist in the Louisiana Philharmonic in 2013. Soon after, he earned the Principal Bassoon job in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. The young virtuoso has al…
 
Acclaimed soprano Sherezade Panthaki has an international career as a singer, teacher, and expert in the field of baroque and early music. Born and raised in India, Ms. Panthaki began her musical education at an early age, first as an accomplished pianist, until she discovered that singing was a more personal and expressive means for her to connect…
 
Guitarist Richard Savino and his group El Mundo released a new recording in Spring 2021 featuring music from the Cathedral of Guatemala City. The Grammy-nominated musicians are exploring a rich variety of music from colonial Latin America during the baroque era. Richard Savino and two of the singers on the recording, Nell Snaidas and Jennifer Ellis…
 
Musician, teacher and administrator Patricia Ann Neely has been Chair of Early Music America's IDEA Task Force, and she continues her ongoing conversation with Suzanne about making the world of early music more welcoming and inclusive for all. In this installment, Ms. Neely talks about the importance of ongoing conversations about how to move forwa…
 
Patricia Ann Neely is a seasoned professional musician. She is an expert performer on a variety of early bowed string instruments including viola da gamba, an expert in historical performance practices, a music teacher, and an administrator. Ms. Neely is also Chair of Early Music America's IDEA Task Force, and she continues her ongoing conversation…
 
Melanie Punter has had a busy career as a double bass player for decades. The versatile and talented musician is in demand in modern symphony orchestras, as well as for her work playing baroque and early music with period instrument groups. She spoke with Suzanne about her experiences coming up through the prestigious High School of Music and Art i…
 
Sallynee Amawat is a violinist whose passion is for baroque and early music. She was so young when she started playing that she doesn't remember life before the violin and making music! Now she imparts her passion to her own students, who range in age from toddlers to retirees. Sallynee Amawat also a co-founder of the Canadian quartet, Infusion Bar…
 
Composer Melika M. Fitzhugh is a multi-instrumentalist whose interests transcend centuries, from modern instruments and genres, all the way back to Renaissance and Baroque instruments and music. She especially loves composing modern music for historical instruments because of the unique "chocolatey" sound they impart. Mel Fitzhugh is energetic and …
 
Like many musicians, Dr. Justin Bland has had to adjust his career and his expectations for life during COVID-19 lockdown. 2020 was supposed to be a big year for the American musician, who now lives in Denmark. His engagements as a concerto soloist were all put on hold, and he has used the time to practice and work on projects he might not otherwis…
 
Although Ann Hobson Pilot retired in 2009 after decades as Principal Harpist for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, she continues to make music and inspire others. The award-winning international musician spoke with Suzanne about her introduction to music, her trailblazing career as an orchestral harpist, and even how she stays in physical shape to pla…
 
Morris "Mo" Pleasure is a global artist with a career spanning more than three decades. He moves effortlessly between a wide range of musical genres including rock, R&B, and jazz, and his early training was in classical piano and gospel music. The Connecticut native is now based in the UK, where even the pandemic has not stopped his projects, such …
 
Canadian musician Brandyn Lewis is a professional double-bass player, currently an interim member of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, which he has called a "dream come true." He chatted with Suzanne about the trial and error process of finding the right instrument to play when he was still a child, the teachers, mentors and experiences he had along…
 
Oleg Timofeyev plays guitar and lute, and is a musicologist. The Moscow-born musician has a particular interest in reviving the Russian 7-string guitar and its repertory. He lives in Iowa now, where he teaches, and recently released a download-only album, MUSIC BY 18TH CENTURY WOMEN COMPOSERS. He spoke with Suzanne about his career, the Russian gui…
 
Kayoko Dan stands confident and poised in front of the orchestras she conducts, drawing on her extensive training as a conductor and educator, and her innate passion for music. So it's a bit disarming that she describes herself as "shy" and "introverted." She says she simply knows when and how to assert herself to get what she wants. That started a…
 
Pianist Kyle P. Walker is a busy musician with a wide range of interests and activities: soloist, chamber musician, teacher, and social justice advocate. He says he, "believes music can speak to social issues better than verbal language can." Kyle P. Walker spoke with Suzanne about his career and collaborations, including The Dream Unfinished, an a…
 
Have you ever seen a carillon? Better yet, have you ever heard one played? There are more than 150 carillons across the United States, and one of them may well be in your community. David Maker is a retired University of Connecticut music professor who became smitten with carillons many years ago when he learned there was one on the UConn campus. H…
 
Brought up in Israel, the eldest child of two University Professors, David Greilsammer is a curious man. He is curious about music, of course. But he is also curious about the world in general: the environment, social issues, and other important issues of our time. He spoke with Suzanne and shared a glimpse into his passionate curiosity, and his br…
 
California native Lara Downes was already studying piano at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music as a 5 year old! She grew up to be a virtuoso player with passionate curiosity and a voracious appetite for interesting music and musicians, captivating projects, and meaningful collaborations, and she refuses to be constrained to a singular definiti…
 
A fine musical instrument is a vital tool for a professional musician. String players often use instruments that are centuries-old, with characteristics particular to the luthier who crafted them. Ilya Finkelshteyn has had the great fortune to play many extraordinary cellos, including the 17th century Montagnana instrument he uses as principal cell…
 
As a child, Brandon Patrick George was instantly drawn to the flute. It looked beautiful, and shiny, and he just knew in his heart that he was meant to play it. When he finally had the chance to pick an instrument to learn, there was no question he would choose the flute, and it has proven to be his perfect partner. The talented young musician is f…
 
Countertenor Reggie Mobley is a man of many talents. He once considered becoming a visual artist, then he tapped into his extraordinary musical ability. He has sung all over the world, and has a broad range of musical interests, as well as a passion for social justice. Suzanne spoke with him about his career and favorite baroque music and composers…
 
Countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen sings the role of David in Philharmonia Baroque's 2020 recording of George Frideric Handel's oratorio SAUL. Still in his 20s, the young American musician is a rising star with numerous awards and ambitious projects already under his belt. He chatted with Suzanne about his path to becoming a professional musician.…
 
Violinist Julien Chauvin is a baroque music specialist who has studied with some of the world's prominent early music experts, including flutist Wilbert Hazelzet, cellist and viol player Jaap ter Linden and cellist Anner Bylsma. Julien Chauvin has also played in many of the leading European Baroque ensembles AND has founded several period instrumen…
 
Mark Kroll is a harpsichord and fortepiano player, a scholar, educator and enthusiastic advocate for early music. He is Early Music America's 2020 Howard Mayer Brown Award winner for lifetime achievement for his career, which spans more than a half century. He is passionate about music and, especially, the harpsichord and he is an engaging raconteu…
 
One of the most important jobs in a symphony orchestra is that of the Concertmaster. What exactly are the Concertmaster's duties and what skills make for an outstanding Concertmaster? Stefani Matsuo became Concertmaster of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in September 2019, following a competitive audition process that attracted candidates from ar…
 
I recently had the pleasure to meet Patricia Ann Neely (Pat Neely) in person, when I interviewed her about her career as a musician for this podcast series. Pat has had a long and varied career as a musician, educator, and administrator. She is also a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion, especially in the early music community, and serv…
 
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