Nathan Whittaker

Nathan Whittaker, violoncello, enjoys a unique and diverse career as a concert soloist, chamber musician, recitalist, teacher, and historical cello specialist with concert stops ranging from New York to Seattle to Dubai. He is the Artistic Director of Gallery Concerts (Seattle), a concert series of chamber music on period instruments, and regularly performs with the Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Pacific Baroque Orchestra, New York Baroque Incorporated, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Rosa Barocca, Byron Schenkman and Friends, and the Pacific Northwest Ballet. Recent appearances include the Vancouver Bach Festival, Pacific Baroque Festival, Pacific MusicWorks, 45th Parallel, Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, Berkeley Early Music Festival, Ottawa ChamberFest, the Boston Early Music Festival, and as a guest lecturer at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris. An active pedagogue, he has served on the faculty of Cornish College of the Arts and runs a dynamic private studio. He can be heard on recordings by ATMA Musique, Harmonia, and Centaur, as well as live broadcasts by NPR, CBC, and KING FM. Dr. Whittaker holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Washington and Bachelors and Masters degrees from Indiana University. He performs on a cello of Mario Gadda from 1957, and a baroque cello of Johann Christian Ficker II from c. 1770.

The Irish Baroque: Randal Bays, Irish fiddle and Clint Dye, guitar


Click image to view November 7, 2020 performance

Randal Bays is an American born, Irish style fiddler who brings power and passion to the old tradition. He has devoted years to learning not just the tunes, but more importantly the feeling of Irish traditional music as handed down by the many great fiddlers and music lovers past and present. He renders the music with an intensity not commonly heard in any genre, powered by a deep love of the music, the culture, and a heartfelt wish to share this magnificent tradition with audiences. Randal has long had a special love for the traditional fiddle styles of Counties Clare and Galway. He has toured and recorded with many of the great Irish musicians of the day, including Martin Hayes, James Keane and Daithi Sproule (in the band Fingal), James Kelly, Michéal O’Domhnaill, and many more. He has a string of acclaimed independent recordings to his credit, including his most recent release “Up The West.”  Randal is also a noted teacher of Irish fiddling. He has taught at most of the major Irish music events in North America and is the Artistic Director of Cascadia Irish Music Week in Washington state. Randal is also famed as a fingerstyle guitarist. He recorded two seminal albums with Irish fiddler Martin Hayes in the early 90s (“Martin Hayes” and “Under the Moon”) and later contributed two tracks to the “Masters of the Irish Guitar” CD on Shanachie Records. In 2012 Randal released his first album of solo guitar work, “Oyster Light”.

“Bays is among the best Irish style fiddlers of his generation”. – Fiddler Magazine (US)

Guitarist Clint Dye is a fairly recent addition to the Seattle Irish music community. His great musicality, rhythm, and style have made him very welcome in sessions and concerts around the Northwest. Clint got his start playing traditional Irish music by accompanying step dancers and singers in the Busch Gardens show Celtic Fyre in Williamsburg, VA. During this time, he began to cut his teeth in Irish music sessions and work in small groups. He has appeared at numerous festivals and events on the east coast and since relocating to Seattle has worked with several local bands.

SBO SPOTLIGHT: Kris Kwapis, Trumpet

Acclaimed for her ‘sterling tone’ in the New York TimesKris Kwapis appears regularly as soloist and principal trumpet with period-instrument ensembles across North America, including Portland Baroque Orchestra, Early Music Vancouver, Pacific MusicWorks, Bach Collegium San Diego, Staunton Music Festival, Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, Chicago’s Haymarket Opera Company, Tafelmusik, Bach Society of Minnesota, Oregon Bach Festival, Callipygian Players, Bourbon Baroque, and Lyra Baroque, making music with directors such as Andrew Parrott, Monica Huggett, Alexander Weimann, Barthold Kuijken, Matthew Halls, Jacques Ogg, and Masaaki Suzuki.  Her playing is heard on Kleos, Naxos, ReZound, Lyrichord, Musica Omnia and Dorian labels, including the 2013 GRAMMY nominated recording of Handel’s Israel in Egypt, and broadcast on CBC, WNYC, WQED (Pittsburgh), Portland All-Classical (KQAC), Sunday Baroque and Wisconsin Public Radio.

A student of Armando Ghitalla on modern trumpet, with a BM and MM in trumpet performance from the University of Michigan, Dr. Kwapis holds a DMA in historical performance from Long Island’s Stony Brook University. She often lectures on historical brass performance practice with appearances at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, University of Wyoming, University of Minnesota-Duluth, University of Louisville, Madison Early Music Festival, Pacific Lutheran University, Seattle Recorder Society, and Rutgers University, in addition to writing program notes and delivering pre-concert lectures. On modern trumpet, Kris was adjunct professor of trumpet at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY from 2000-2010 and taught as a sabbatical replacement at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA for the fall semester of 2019.

Dr. Kwapis enjoys sharing her passion with the next generation of performers as a faculty member at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music Historical Performance Institute (baroque trumpet and cornetto) since 2010 in addition to teaching at her home in Seattle and online. When not making music, Kris explores the visual art medium of encaustic painting, cooking and gardening.

Visit Kris Kwapis’ website

SBO Spotlight: Curtis Foster

Curtis Foster, Baroque oboe and recorder, whose playing has been praised for its “brilliantly introverted charm” (Seattle Times), has appeared with many of North America’s most respected early music ensembles, including Handel & Haydn Society, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Les Boréades de Montréal, the Seattle and Pacific Baroque Orchestras, and Victoria Baroque Players. He has also performed with American Bach Soloists, Arion, and Mercury. In the summer, he can typically be found performing or teaching at various festivals, including the Oregon Bach Festival, Vancouver Bach Festival, Victoria Baroque Instrumental Academy, Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, and the Whidbey Island Music Festival.

An enthusiastic advocate for music of our own time, Curtis regularly commissions and presents new works by contemporary composers for old instruments. An equally dedicated pedagogue, Mr. Foster teaches Baroque oboe as part of the Baroque Orchestra Mentorship Programme at the University of British Columbia, and is regularly invited to present workshops and masterclasses around the US and Canada. He can be heard on recordings from ATMA Classique, Naxos, Cedille Records, and IU Press.

Originally hailing from Wichita, Kansas, Curtis now makes his home in Seattle, Washington. He is a graduate of Wichita State University and Indiana University’s Early Music Institute.

SBO Spotlight:  Jillon Stoppels Dupree, Harpsichordist


Click image to meet Jillon Stoppels Dupree

Five Seattle Baroque Orchestra musicians including Jillion, have come together after many months of being isolated at home to practice, record, and celebrate music for the upcoming performance of COMING TOGETHER: MUSIC FROM MORAVIA on October 17, 2020. Learn more about her below.

Jillon Stoppels Dupree, has been described as “one of the country’s top Baroque musicians, a superior soloist and a baroque star” (Seattle Times). She performs with the Seattle Symphony, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, San Francisco Bach Choir, San Francisco Choral Artists, and Ensemble Electra; her chamber music partnerships include such acclaimed artists as Ellen Hargis, Vicki Boeckman, Ingrid Matthews, Janet See, Wieland Kuijken and Marion Verbruggen. She received both Fulbright and Beebe Fund awards for study abroad, and her teachers included Gustav Leonhardt, Kenneth Gilbert and Lisa Goode Crawford. An honors graduate of the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and Masters recipient at the University of Michigan, Ms. Dupree has taught at both her alma maters, at Seattle’s Cornish College of the Arts, and was an artist in residence at Stanford University and the University of Washington. She received the National Endowment for the Arts Solo Recitalist award for performances of contemporary harpsichord music, and her world-premiere recording of Philip Glass’s Concerto for Harpsichord was heralded as “Superb!” by the New York Times. Ms. Dupree performed the harpsichord music for the 2017 film, Early Music, by Patrick Penta. Her new solo Bach recording, J.S. Bach: Fantasy and Caprice, will be released in November 2020 on Centaur Records; she can also be heard on the Meridian, Decca, Orange Mountain, and Delos labels.