Handel Sonata in C minor for Oboe, Violin, and Continuo, Op. 2, No. 1a, HWV 386a
James Austin Smith, oboe; Ani Kavafian, violin; Keith Robinson, cello; Paolo Bordignon, harpsichord
Handel "Sweet Bird" for Soprano, Flute, Cello, and Continuo from L'Allegro, il Pensieroso ed il Moderato
Erika Baikoff, soprano; Tara Helen O'Connor, flute; Joshua Gindele, cello; Lucille Chung, harpsichord
Handel Concerto Grosso in D major for Two Violins, Cello, Strings, and Continuo, Op. 6, No. 5
Todd Phillips, Aaron Boyd, Chad Hoopes, violin I; Adam Barnett-Hart, Bella Hristova, Sean Lee, violin II; Pierre Lapointe, Matthew Lipman, viola; Brook Speltz, Timothy Eddy, cello; Anthony Manzo, double bass; Michael Sponseller, harpsichord
Handel "Quella fiamma" from Arminio for Soprano Castrato, Oboe, Strings, and Continuo, HWV 36
Anthony Roth Costanzo, countertenor; James Austin Smith, oboe; Ani Kavafian, Chad Hoopes, violin; Yura Lee, Viola; Keith Robinson, cello; Anthony Manzo, double bass; Paolo Bordignon, harpsichord
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James Austin Smith
Tara Helen O'Connor
Anthony Roth Costanzo
A chamber musician praised for his “virtuosic,” “dazzling,” and “brilliant” performances (New York Times) and his “bold, keen sound” (New Yorker), James Austin Smith is driven by the communicative nature of live performance. As an oboist and on-stage host he appears regularly at leading national and international chamber music festivals, at Carnegie Hall and on tour as Co-Principal Oboe of the conductor-less Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and as an artist of the International Contemporary Ensemble. As Artistic and Executive Director of Tertulia Chamber Music he curates intimate evenings of food, drink, and music designed to engage audiences hungry for singular cultural experiences in New York, San Francisco, and Serenbe, Georgia. He mentors graduate-level musicians as a professor of oboe and chamber music at Stony Brook University and the Manhattan School of Music, and as a regular guest at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama. An alum of CMS’s Bowers Program, he holds a master’s degree from the Yale School of Music and bachelor’s degrees in political science and music from Northwestern University. He spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar at the Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Conservatory in Leipzig, Germany, and is an alum of Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect. Born in New York and raised in Connecticut, Smith’s principal teachers are Stephen Taylor, Christian Wetzel, Humbert Lucarelli, and Ray Still.
Violinist Ani Kavafian enjoys a prolific career as a soloist, chamber musician, and professor. She has performed with many of America’s leading orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and San Francisco Symphony. In the 2019-20 season, she continued her longtime association as an artist of the Chamber Music Society with appearances in New York and on tour. Last summer she participated in several music festivals, including the Heifetz International Institute and the Sarasota Chamber Music, Bridgehampton, Meadowmount, Norfolk, and Angel Fire festivals. She and her sister, violinist and violist Ida Kavafian, have performed with the symphonies of Detroit, Colorado, Tucson, San Antonio, and Cincinnati, and have recorded the music of Mozart and Sarasate on the Nonesuch label. She is a Full Professor at Yale University and has appeared at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall numerous times with colleagues and students from Yale. She has received an Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions award and has appeared at the White House on three occasions. Her recordings can be heard on the Nonesuch, RCA, Columbia, Arabesque, and Delos labels. Born in Istanbul of Armenian heritage, Kavafian studied violin in the US with Ara Zerounian and Mischa Mischakoff. She received her master’s degree from The Juilliard School under Ivan Galamian. She plays the 1736 Muir McKenzie Stradivarius violin.
Cellist Keith Robinson is a founding member of the Miami String Quartet and has been active as a chamber musician, recitalist, and soloist since his graduation from the Curtis Institute of Music. He has had numerous solo appearances with orchestras including the New World Symphony, the American Sinfonietta, and the Miami Chamber Symphony, and in 1989 won the P.A.C.E. “Classical Artist of the Year” Award. His most recent recording released on Blue Griffin Records features the complete works of Mendelssohn for cello and piano with his colleague Donna Lee. In 1992 the Miami String Quartet became the first string quartet in a decade to win First Prize of the Concert Artists Guild New York Competition. The quartet has also received the prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award, has won the Grand Prize at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, and was a member of CMS’s Bowers Program. He regularly attends festivals across the United States, including the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Music@Menlo, Kent Blossom Music, Bravo! Vail, Savannah Music Festival, and the Virginia Arts Festival. Highlights of recent seasons include international appearances in Bern, Cologne, Istanbul, Lausanne, Montreal, Rio de Janeiro, Hong Kong, Taipei, and Paris. He also teaches chamber music at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Robinson hails from a musical family and his siblings include Sharon Robinson of the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, and Hal Robinson, principal bass of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He plays a cello made by Carlo Tononi in Venice in 1725.
Paolo Bordignon is harpsichordist of the New York Philharmonic and organist and choirmaster of St. Bartholomew’s Church, Park Avenue. 2022–23 appearances include concertos with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the American Symphony Orchestra, and performances with Camerata Pacifica, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Mark Morris Dance Company, and The Knights. He has recently performed with the MET Orchestra Musicians, Boston Symphony Chamber Players, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, All-Star Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, and ECCO. He has appeared on NBC, CBS, PBS Great Performances, CNN, NPR (including Pipedreams and Performance Today), the CBC, and on Korean and Japanese national television. He has also appeared in solo performance for New York Fashion Week. Born in Toronto of Italian heritage, Bordignon attended St. Michael’s Cathedral Choir School before attending the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He is an Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Music and a Fellow of the Royal Canadian College of Organists, and he earned master’s and doctoral degrees from the Juilliard School.
Russian-American soprano Erika Baikoff is a recent graduate of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. As a Lindemann Young Artist, she sang the roles of Xenia in Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov and Barbarina in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. At Maestro Nézet-Séguin's invitation, she joined the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra’s tour of Das Rheingold and the Orchestre Métropolitain as the soprano soloist in Bach’s Mass in B minor. She has also recently made her debut with the Ulster Orchestra, under the baton of Maestro Rustioni, and the Schubertíada festival, where she gave the inaugural recital in Vilabertran in 2023. She is the first-prize winner of the 2019 Helmut Deutsch Liedwettbewerb and the 10th Concours international de chant-piano Nadia et Lili Boulanger with her duo partner, Gary Beecher. Other awards include the 6th Prize, Oratorio-Lied Prize, and Schubert Prize at the Tenor Viñas Contest, George London Foundation Award, Sullivan Foundation Career Development Grant, 2020 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Semi-finalist, Career Bridges Grant, Mondavi Young Artist Founders’ Prize, and the Bouchaine Young Artist Scholarship. Baikoff is an alum of the Atelier Lyrique at the Verbier Festival and the Académie du Festival d’Aix-en-Provence. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in French Studies from Princeton University and a Master of Music from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Tara Helen O'Connor is a charismatic performer noted for her artistic depth, brilliant technique, and colorful tone spanning every musical era. Recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and a two-time Grammy nominee, she was the first wind player to participate in CMS’s Bowers Program. She regularly appears at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Music@Menlo, Chamber Music Festival of the Bluegrass, Spoleto Festival USA, Chamber Music Northwest, Mainly Mozart Festival, Music from Angel Fire, the Banff Centre, Rockport Music, Bay Chamber Concerts, Manchester Music Festival, the Great Mountains Music Festival, Chesapeake Music Festival, and the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival. She is the newly appointed co-artistic director of the Music From Angel Fire Festival in New Mexico. She is a member of the woodwind quintet Windscape, the legendary Bach Aria Group, and is a founding member of the Naumburg Award-winning New Millennium Ensemble. She has premiered hundreds of new works and has collaborated with the Orion String Quartet, St. Lawrence Quartet, and Emerson Quartet. She has appeared on A&E's Breakfast for the Arts, Live from Lincoln Center and has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, EMI Classics, Koch International, CMS Studio Recordings with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and Bridge Records. A Wm. S. Haynes flute artist, she is an associate professor at Purchase College. Additionally, she is on the faculty of Bard College, Manhattan School of Music, and is a visiting artist at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Ontario.
Canadian pianist Lucille Chung debuted at age ten with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and toured with Charles Dutoit in Asia. She has performed with over 70 leading orchestras including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Moscow Virtuosi, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Israel Chamber Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Weimar, Dallas Symphony, and St. Louis Symphony, and has appeared with conductors such as Penderecki, Spivakov, Nézet-Séguin, Petrenko, and Dutoit. She has given solo recitals in over 35 countries in venues including New York’s Weill Hall and Lincoln Center, Washington’s Kennedy Center, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Wigmore Hall in London, and Madrid’s Auditorio Nacional. Her festival appearances include the Verbier, Incontri in Terra di Siena, Music@Menlo, and Santander. She has received excellent reviews for her discs of the complete piano works of Ligeti and Scriabin on the Dynamic label, garnering five stars from BBC Music Magazine and Fono Forum (Germany), as well as the highest rating, R10, from Répertoire Classica (France). Her vast discography includes Saint-Saëns piano transcriptions, Mozart rarities, and more recently for Signum Records, Poulenc piano works, Liszt piano works, and a piano duo album with her husband, pianist Alessio Bax. Chung graduated from both the Curtis Institute and The Juilliard School. She furthered her studies in London, at the “Mozarteum,” and in Imola, Italy. She and Bax live in New York City with their daughter Mila and are co-artistic directors of the Joaquín Achúcarro Foundation.
Violinist Aaron Boyd enjoys a versatile career as soloist, chamber musician, orchestral leader, recording artist, lecturer, and teacher. Since making his New York recital debut in 1998, he has concertized throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Formerly a member of the Escher String Quartet, he was a recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Martin E. Segal prize from Lincoln Center, and was also awarded a Proclamation by the City of Pittsburgh for his musical accomplishments. A passionate advocate for new music, he has been involved in numerous commissions and premieres, and has worked directly with such legendary composers as Milton Babbitt, Elliott Carter, and Charles Wuorinen. He is also founder of the Zukofsky Quartet (quartet-in-residence at Bargemusic); the only ensemble to have played all of Milton Babbitt's notoriously difficult string quartets. As a recording artist, he can be heard on the BIS, Music@Menlo Live, Naxos, Tzadik, North/South and Innova labels. He has been broadcast in concert by NPR, WQXR, and WQED, and was profiled by Arizona Public Television. Born in Pittsburgh, Mr. Boyd began his studies with Samuel LaRocca and Eugene Phillips and graduated from The Juilliard School where he studied with Sally Thomas and coached extensively with Paul Zukofsky and cellist Harvey Shapiro. He now serves as Director of Chamber Music and Professor of Practice in Violin at the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University and lives in Dallas with his wife Yuko, daughter Ayu, and son Yuki.
American violinist Chad Hoopes is a consistent and versatile performer with the world’s leading orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, l’Orchestre de Paris, l’Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, and the Minnesota and National Arts Centre orchestras, as well the San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Houston, and National symphonies. An alum of CMS’s Bowers Program, he performs regularly on tour and at Alice Tully Hall with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He has been a guest of the Moritzburg Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival, and Aspen Music Festival, and has been featured on recordings including the recent Moritzburg Festival Dvořák album with cellist Jan Vogler, released by Sony Classical, and with the MDR Leipzig and conductor Kristjan Järvi performing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto on the Naïve label. He has performed in recital at the Ravinia Festival, the Tonhalle Zürich, and the Louvre, as well as on Lincoln Center’s Great Performers series. He is a 2017 recipient of Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Career Grant and appeared as the cover feature on the November 2021 edition of The Strad. Hoopes attended the Cleveland Institute of Music before studying with Ana Chumachenco at the Kronberg Academy. He plays the 1991 Samuel Zygmuntowicz, ex Isaac Stern violin.
Acclaimed for her passionate, powerful performances, beautiful sound, and compelling command of her instrument, violinist Bella Hristova has performed extensively as a soloist with orchestras including the Charlotte, Milwaukee, and Kansas City symphonies as well as orchestras in Asia, Europe, Latin America, and New Zealand. Highlights of the 2023–24 season include performances of Wynton Marsalis’s Violin Concerto with the Charleston Symphony and Eugene Philharmonic, Prokofiev’s Second Concerto with the New York Youth Symphony at Carnegie Hall, and the Barber Concerto with the Orlando Philharmonic. Hristova was the featured soloist for a concerto commissioned by a consortium of eight major orchestras and written for her by her husband, acclaimed composer David Serkin Ludwig, which she continues to perform. A sought-after chamber musician at festivals, she has performed at Australia’s Musica Viva, Music@Menlo, Chamber Music Northwest, and Marlboro Music. Following multiple tours of New Zealand with renowned pianist Michael Houstoun, she and Houstoun recorded the complete Beethoven Sonatas for Piano and Violin, and more recently the Brahms Sonatas, both released on Rattle. She received a 2013 Avery Fisher Career Grant and first prizes in the Michael Hill International Violin Competition and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, and is a Laureate of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. Hristova attended the Curtis Institute of Music, where she worked with Ida Kavafian, and received her artist diploma with Jaime Laredo at Indiana University. She is an alum of CMS’s Bowers Program and plays a 1655 Nicolò Amati violin.
Violinist Sean Lee has captured the attention of audiences around the world with his lively performances of the classics. A recipient of a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant, he is one of few violinists who dares to perform Niccolò Paganini’s 24 Caprices in concert, and his YouTube series, Paganini POV, continues to draw praise for its use of technology in sharing unique perspectives and insight into violin playing. He has performed as a soloist with orchestras including the San Francisco Symphony, Israel Camerata Jerusalem, and Orchestra del Teatro Carlo Felice, and his recital appearances have taken him to Vienna's Konzerthaus, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. As a season artist at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and an alum of CMS’s Bowers Program, he continues to perform regularly at Lincoln Center and on tour. Originally from Los Angeles, Lee studied with Robert Lipsett of the Colburn Conservatory and legendary violinist Ruggiero Ricci before moving at the age of 17 to study at the Juilliard School with his longtime mentor, violinist Itzhak Perlman. Lee performs on violins made by Samuel Zygmuntowicz in 1995 and David Bague in 1999, with bows made circa 1890 by Joseph Arthur Vigneron and circa 1910 by W. E. Hill & Sons.
American violist Matthew Lipman has been praised by the New York Times for his “rich tone and elegant phrasing” and by the Chicago Tribune for a “splendid technique and musical sensitivity.” Recent seasons have included appearances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, American Symphony Orchestra, Munich Symphony Orchestra, and Minnesota Orchestra. He has performed recitals at Carnegie Hall, Aspen Music Festival, and the Zürich Tonhalle; was invited by Michael Tilson Thomas to be a soloist at the New World Symphony Viola Visions Festival; and has appeared in chamber music with Anne-Sophie Mutter at the Berlin Philharmonie, Vienna Musikverein, and on Deutsche Grammophon Stage+. An alum of the Bowers Program, he performs regularly on tour and at Alice Tully Hall with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, where he occupies the Wallach Chair. In 2022, he made his Sony Classical debut on The Dvořák Album, and his 2019 solo debut recording, Ascent, was released by Cedille Records, marking world premieres of the Shostakovich Impromptu and Clarice Assad Metamorfose. Additionally, he recorded the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante with violinist Rachel Barton Pine and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, conducted by the late Sir Neville Marriner. An Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient and major prize winner at the Primrose and Tertis International Viola Competitions, he studied with Heidi Castleman at Juilliard and Tabea Zimmermann at the Kronberg Academy. Lipman is on faculty at Stony Brook University and performs on a 2021 Samuel Zygmuntowicz viola, made for him in New York.
Praised for his “fluid virtuosity” and “soulful melodies,” Los Angeles native Brook Speltz has been inspired since childhood by the long tradition of deep musical mastery of artists such as Jascha Heifetz, Pierre Fournier, and the Guarneri String Quartet. As of 2015, he is the new cellist of the internationally renowned Escher String Quartet and a season artist of the Chamber Music Society. He has performed as a soloist, chamber musician, and recitalist throughout the US, Canada, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. First Prize winner of the prestigious Ima Hogg Competition, he has performed with the Houston Symphony, Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, and International Contemporary Ensemble, and is a regular performer at England’s IMS Prussia Cove and on tour with Musicians from Marlboro. Chamber music tours with Itzhak Perlman and Richard Goode caused him to be nominated for the inaugural Warner Music Prize, a newly established prize presented by Warner Music and Carnegie Hall. He has also toured with the cello rock band Break of Reality, whose cover of music from Game of Thrones has received over 19 million views online. The band’s recent US tour raised funds and awareness for music programs in public schools all around the country. After studying with Eleanor Schoenfeld, Mr. Speltz attended the Curtis Institute of Music with Peter Wiley and The Juilliard School with Joel Krosnick. He performs on an 1857 J.B. Vuillaume on loan from his father, a cellist and his first inspiration in a family of professional musicians.
Cellist Timothy Eddy has earned distinction as a recitalist, soloist with orchestra, chamber musician, recording artist, and teacher of cello and chamber music. He has performed with numerous symphonies, including Dallas, Colorado, Jacksonville, North Carolina, and Stamford. He has appeared at the Mostly Mozart, Ravinia, Aspen, Santa Fe, Marlboro, Lockenhaus, Spoleto, and Sarasota music festivals. He has won prizes in numerous national and international competitions, including the 1975 Gaspar Cassado International Violoncello Competition in Italy. Eddy is currently Professor of Cello at the Juilliard School and New York’s Mannes College of Music, and he was a frequent faculty member at the Isaac Stern Chamber Music Workshops at Carnegie Hall. A former member of the Galimir Quartet, the New York Philomusica, and the Bach Aria Group, he collaborates regularly in recital with pianist Gilbert Kalish. He has recorded a wide range of repertoire from Baroque to avant-garde for the Angel, Arabesque, Columbia, CRI, Delos, Musical Heritage, New World, Nonesuch, Vanguard, Vox, and Sony Classical labels. He performs on a 1728 Matteo Goffriller cello.
Anthony Manzo’s vibrantly interactive and highly communicative music-making has made him a ubiquitous figure in the upper echelons of classical music, performing at noted venues including Lincoln Center, Boston’s Symphony Hall, and the Spoleto Festival in Charleston. He appears regularly with the Chamber Music Society, both in New York and across the country. He serves as the solo bassist of San Francisco’s New Century Chamber Orchestra and as a guest with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and A Far Cry. He is a regular guest with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Smithsonian Chamber Society, and the Baltimore Symphony when he happens to be near his home in Washington, DC. Formerly the solo bassist of the Munich Chamber Orchestra in Germany, he has also been guest principal with Camerata Salzburg in Austria, where collaborations have included a summer residency at the Salzburg Festival and two tours as soloist alongside bass-baritone Thomas Quasthoff, performing Mozart’s “Per questa bella mano.” He is an active performer on period instruments, with groups including the Handel & Haydn Society of Boston (where his playing was lauded as “endowed with beautiful and unexpected plaintiveness” by the Boston Musical Intelligencer), Philharmonia Baroque in San Francisco, and Opera Lafayette in Washington, DC. He is on the double bass and chamber music faculty of the University of Maryland. Manzo performs on a double bass made around 1890 by Jérôme Thibouville-Lamy in Paris (which now has a removable neck for travel!).
Grammy Award–winner Anthony Roth Costanzo has appeared in opera, concert, recital, film, and on Broadway.
Recently, he returned to the Metropolitan Opera in his acclaimed performance of the title role in Philip Glass’s Akhnaten. Last season he was the New York Philharmonic’s Artist-in-Residence, performing and curating programming to reflect on questions of identity.
Over the pandemic, when concert life was paused, he partnered with the Philharmonic to create and produce NY Phil Bandwagon, an initiative that brought over a hundred concerts to all five boroughs.
This fall, he took London’s BBC Proms into a nightclub for the first time with his film/fashion/dance/opera extravaganza Glass Handel. His live show Only an Octave Apart with cabaret legend Justin Vivian Bond received numerous “Best of 2021” accolades for its New York run.
Violinist/violist Yura Lee is a multifaceted musician, as a soloist and as a chamber musician, and one of the very few that is equally virtuosic on both violin and viola. She has performed with major orchestras including those of New York, Chicago, Baltimore, Cleveland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. She has given recitals in London’s Wigmore Hall, Vienna’s Musikverein, Salzburg’s Mozarteum, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. At age 12, she became the youngest artist ever to receive the Debut Artist of the Year prize at the Performance Today awards given by National Public Radio. She is the recipient of a 2007 Avery Fisher Career Grant and the first prize winner of the 2013 ARD Competition. She has received numerous other international prizes, including top prizes in the Mozart, Indianapolis, Hannover, Kreisler, Bashmet, and Paganini competitions. Her CD Mozart in Paris, with Reinhard Goebel and the Bayerische Kammerphilharmonie, received the prestigious Diapason d’Or Award. As a chamber musician, she regularly takes part in the festivals of Seattle, Marlboro, Salzburg, Verbier, and Caramoor. Her main teachers included Dorothy DeLay, Hyo Kang, Miriam Fried, Paul Biss, Thomas Riebl, Ana Chumachenko, and Nobuko Imai. An alum of CMS's Bowers Program, Lee is on the faculty at the USC Thornton School of Music in Los Angeles. She lives in Los Angeles with her dog Nugget.