Seattle Baroque Orchestra

Meet the talented musicians you see on stage and learn about their education and performance experience.

 

Music Director

Alexander Weimann

2020–21 Season Soloists

John Lenti, theorbo

Jillon Stoppels Dupree, harpsichord

2020-21 Orchestra Musicians

Christine Wilkinson - Beckman, violin

Jillon Stoppels Dupree, harpsichord

Curtis Foster, oboe

Nate Helgeson, bassoon

Courtney Kuroda, violin

Kris Kwapis, trumpet

Todd Larsen, contrabass

Caroline Nicholas, cello/Viola da gamba:

Elizabeth Phelps, violin

Laurie Wells , violin

Special Guests

Randal Bays, Irish fiddle

Clint Dye, guitar

 
Music Director
Alexander Weimann

Alexander Weimann has been Music Director of Seattle Baroque Orchestra since 2015 and is one of the most sought-after ensemble directors, soloists, and chamber music partners of his generation. After traveling the world with ensembles like Tragicomedia, Cantus Cölln, the Freiburger Barockorchester, the Gesualdo Consort and Tafelmusik, he now focuses on his activities as Artistic Director of the Pacific Baroque Orchestra in Vancouver, and as music director of Les Voix Baroques, Le Nouvel Opéra and Tempo Rubato.

Weimann can be heard on some 100 CDs. He made his North American recording debut with the ensemble Tragicomedia on the CD Capritio (Harmonia Mundi USA), and won worldwide acclaim from both the public and critics for his 2001 release of Handel’s Gloria (ATMA Classique). Volume 1 of his recordings of the complete keyboard works by Alessandro Scarlatti appeared in May 2005. Critics around the world unanimously praised it, and in the following year it was nominated for an Opus Prize as the best Canadian early music recording. He has also released an Opus Award-winning CD of Handel oratorio arias with superstar soprano Karina Gauvin and his new Montreal-based ensemble Tempo Rubato. In 2017 he was nominated for a Juno Award for his recording of J.S. Bach’s Magnificat with Arion Baroque Orchestra.

Weimann was born in 1965 in Munich, where he studied the organ, church music, musicology (with a summa cum laude thesis on Bach’s secco recitatives), theatre, medieval Latin, and jazz piano, supported by a variety of federal scholarships for the highly talented. To ground himself further in the roots of western music, he became intensely involved over the course of several years with Gregorian chant. He lives in Vancouver, BC, with his wife, three children and pets, and tries to spend as much time as possible in his garden and kitchen.

oboe
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.

trumpet
Kris Kwapis

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.

Kris Kwapis website

theorbo
John Lenti

John Lenti, described by the Seattle Times as a joy to behold” is regularly beheld playing lute, theorbo, and baroque guitar with lots of orchestras, choirs, and opera companies on both coasts of the United States, as well as in the interior, non-coastal part, and a few, coastal or otherwise, in other countries. While orchestral work as an accompanist and concerto soloist comprises most of his career, chamber music is John’s primary interest and he enjoys touring with his groups Wayward Sisters, the I-90 Collective, and Ostraka, while appearing as a guest with many other notable ensembles.  With various groups he is frequently heard on most early music concert series and at lots of festivals. His recording credits include several well-received albums with some of the aforementioned bands, and his liner notes, program notes, and lectures have drawn praise. While his time is spent doing a great many things on a great many historical plucked instruments and teaching a bit, his most intense musical love is the English golden-age lute song repertoire, and his sincere desire is to become the Gerald Moore of the lute (currently accepting applications for a quiet Fischer-Dieskau with no vibrato), once that becomes remunerative. His repertoire extends from the early 16th century to the present day, but other than something really neat like an electric theorbo concerto, his commitment to the music of our own time is negligible if not actually averse. A native of South Carolina, John attended the North Carolina School of the Arts and Indiana University, and he studied lute with Jacob Heringman, Elizabeth Kenny, and Nigel North, also receiving valuable guidance from Pat O’Brien, Walter Gray, and Ricardo Cobo.

John Lenti website

harpsichord:
Jillon Stoppels Dupree

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.

Bassoon
Nate Helgeson

Nate Helgeson is one of the West Coast’s leading specialists in historical bassoons. Born into a musical family in Eugene, Oregon (his brother, Aaron Helgeson, and uncle Stephen Gryc are both accomplished composers), Nate studied modern bassoon with Steve Vacchi and Richard Svoboda before taking up the baroque instrument, continuing his studies with Dominic Teresi at the Juilliard School.

Now based in Portland, he performs on stages large and small throughout North America. In addition to solo and orchestral appearances with premier period ensembles across the country, he can be heard on recordings by Apollo’s Fire, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, and the Trinity Baroque Orchestra. Beginning in 2018, Nate has performed works of Rossini and Bellini on period instruments as part of Teatro Nuovo, a newly formed festival in New York exploring 19th century ‘bel canto’ sounds and performance practices on the opera stage.

Cello/Viola da Gamba
Caroline Nicholas

Acclaimed cellist/gambist Caroline Nicolas enjoys an active and multifaceted career as one of the outstanding performers of music from the Renaissance to the Romantic eras. She regularly appears with leading ensembles as a soloist, chamber musician, and music director, and has collaborated with such eminent musicians as Andrea Marcon, Amandine Beyer, Kristian Bezuidenhout, Jordi Savall, William Christie, Rachel Podger, Harry Bicket and Stephen Stubbs. Noted for her “eloquent artistry and rich, vibrant sound” (Gainesville Times), she has been praised for her ability to combine emotionally rich interpretations with a historically inquisitive spirit.

Awards include having been selected as a fellow of The English Concert in America, given to young musicians “who appear likely to make significant contributions to the field of early music.”  As the winner of The Juilliard School’s Historical Performance concerto competition, she made her solo debut in Alice Tully Hall, New York City. Ensembles she has worked with include Trinity Baroque Orchestra, Mercury Baroque Orchestra, Ars Lyrica, Juilliard Baroque, Kammerorchester Basel and Sinfonieorchester Liechtenstein. Festival appearances include the Boston Early Music Festival, Bach Festival Leipzig and Styriarte Festival in Austria. Her performances have been broadcast on KING FM in Washington, KUHF in Texas, WDIY in Pennsylvania, and CCTV in China.

For the 2019-2020 season, Caroline looks forward to debut collaborations with the New World Symphony (Michael Tilson Thomas) and the Seattle Baroque Orchestra (Alexander Weimann). Caroline will also be engaged in return performances with Pacific MusicWorks (Stephen Stubbs), Victoria Baroque (Jeanne Lamon), Byron Schenkman & Friends, and The English Concert in America. She will be embarking on a variety of tours with programs ranging from English broken consort pieces to sonatas of Beethoven and Schubert.

A dedicated educator, Caroline is often invited by early music organizations to lecture on various topics in historical performance practice, from Renaissance improvisation to bow technique. She has taught at the Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University, the University of Victoria and at the University of Washington School of Music. This year, she has also been appointed Music Director of the New Baroque Orchestra, where she will be leading programs that explore the musical life of the radical intellectual, Christina, Queen of Sweden. Caroline’s commitment to bringing classical music to the community has led her to curate a wide range of programs for elementary schools, hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and bars. She has also assisted in developing school music curriculum for children with neurodevelopmental disorders.

A native of Winnipeg, Canada, Caroline was first introduced to the cello by her mother, an elementary school music teacher. After falling in love with the expressive possibilities of gut strings, she studied with Phoebe Carrai at The Juilliard School and Christophe Coin and Paolo Pandolfo at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. She lives in Seattle with her husband, lutenist Kevin Payne, where she serves on the board of Pacific Northwest Viols.

Caroline Nicolas website

violin
Christine Wilkinson-Beckman

Christine Wilkinson Beckman is a baroque violin specialist based in Olympia, WA.  She enjoys performing throughout her native Northwest with early music ensembles large and small, and she appears regularly with such groups as the Seattle, Portland, and Pacific Baroque Orchestras and Pacific MusicWorks.  From 2015 to 2017 she directed the New Baroque Orchestra, one of the Community Collegia of the Early Music Guild of Seattle.

Christine began her studies on baroque violin with Ingrid Matthews, and she graduated in 2013 with an MA from the Historical Performance Practices program at Case Western Reserve University where she studied with Julie Andrijeski.  She has also participated in masterclasses with Marc Destrubé, Monica Huggett, and Cynthia Roberts.  Christine’s modern performance studies began with Barbara Riley, and she received a BM in Violin Performance from St. Olaf College where she studied with Charles Gray. She has also studied with Walter Schwede and Grant Donnellan.

In addition to performing, Christine maintains a busy Suzuki violin and viola studio in Olympia where she enjoys fostering compassionate hearts and a love of music and diligent work in her young students.  Her Suzuki teacher training has been with Elizabeth Stuen-Walker and Dr. Susan Baer.

When not busy performing or teaching, Christine enjoys baking, reading about linguistics and the natural sciences, drinking tea with lots of milk and sugar, and listening to the rain with her husband and young children.

 

Christine Wilkinson-Beckman website

violin
Elizabeth Phelps

Violinist Elizabeth Phelps, whose playing has been described as “vigorous and vivacious” with “impressive technique and interpretive sensibility” (CVNC), leads a diverse musical career. Her repertoire spans across centuries and genres, from period-instrument performances of the early baroque to contemporary works and collaborations with singer-songwriters. Growing up in New Haven, Connecticut, Elizabeth began violin just shy of her fourth birthday at the Bethwood Suzuki School in Bethany, CT with Lisa Barca-Hall.

Elizabeth was a fellow in the New World Symphony from 2009 to 2013, working with a myriad of conductors and musicians. Among the highlights of her fellowship include playing in masterclasses for Jorja Fleezanis, Jordi Savall, and joining Paula Robison for a performance Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire as well as Christian Tetzlaff for Brahms’ Viola Quintet in G Major. In the summer of 2010, Ms. Phelps attended the Lucerne Festival Academy in Switzerland where she worked with members of Ensemble Intercontemperain and the late Pierre Boulez.

Following her fellowship with New World, Ms. Phelps spent four years as Principal Second Violin of the North Carolina Symphony in Raleigh. She soloed frequently with the orchestra (including, notably, a performance of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 she performed on a piccolo violino) and performed numerous recitals and chamber music throughout the state. In the summer of 2014, she joined the faculty of the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, NC where she loves to teach, coach chamber music, and play in the first violin section of the faculty orchestra. Other highlights from her time in North Carolina include performing with composer and singer-songwriter Gabriel Kahane at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, collaborating with dancers from Black Irish for a performance of Caroline Shaw’s quartet “Entr’acte” at Kings Barcade in Raleigh, as well as both recording and performing with Kaira Ba, a North Carolina based band featuring renowned kora player Diali Cissokho.

Baroque music was always such a keen interest for Elizabeth that she decided to immerse herself in historical performance, attending workshops held by the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra in Toronto, the American Bach Soloists in San Francisco, and the San Francisco Early Music Festival. Most recently, she attended Enrico Onofri’s annual masterclass at the San Leo Festival in Italy. In August of 2017, she joined harpsichordist Jeannette Sorrell for a recital at the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and now regularly performs with Apollo’s Fire in Cleveland, the Seattle Baroque Orchestra, and Pacific Musicworks in Seattle.

Ms. Phelps received her bachelor and master degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music. While there, she was actively involved with the school’s New Music Ensemble, working closely with the composition students. In 2008 at the end of her studies, she joined forces with those composers along with other like-minded musicians to form the FiveOne Experimental Orchestra, a collective dedicated to performing works that connect contemporary chamber music with popular culture. They performed in a new, unique space for each performance, which inspired Elizabeth to seek out more accessible venues for performance when she moved to Miami Beach. With her colleagues in the New World Symphony, she started “Impromptu:”, a free, monthly chamber series at Art Center South Florida on the Lincoln Road pedestrian mall in Miami Beach.

From 2005-2010, Elizabeth played in the Canton Symphony, serving as Acting Principal Second Violin for the last season. Other ensembles she has played with include the Seattle Symphony, Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra, Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, Verbier Festival Orchestra, Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestra, and the Artosphere Festival Orchestra.

Elizabeth is fortunate to have studied with Professor Paul Kantor, Stephen Rose of the Cleveland Orchestra, Amy Goodman, and Wendy Sharp. She is also grateful to Elizabeth Blumenstock, Elizabeth Field, Jeannette Sorrell, Julia Wedman, and David Wilson for aiding and abetting her baroque journey. Her modern violin is an Italian instrument by Pietro Gallinotti finished in 1949 and her baroque violin is by Seattle-based violin maker David van Zandt from 1991.

Ms. Phelps resides in Seattle with her partner, Matthew Decker, percussionist and timpanist with the Seattle Symphony. In addition to her historical and musical interests, she loves to learn about educational philosophy and brain development. She also enjoys cartoons, eating new food, and tending to her houseplants.

Elizabeth Phelps website

violon
Courtney Kuroda

Courtney Kuroda received a B.M. degree in violin performance from the University of California, Irvine where she studied with Haroutune Bedelian.

Ms. Kuroda continued her violin studies at Indiana University, Bloomington and received her Master’s degree in performance from the university’s prestigious Early Music Institute where she studied with Stanley Ritchie.

Courtney has performed with a variety of chamber ensembles and orchestras throughout the U.S., including LA Baroque, Ars Antigua in Chicago, Opera Lafayette in Washington D.C and the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra.

Ms. Kuroda recently performed at the Boston Early Music Festival with Les Brunettes and is currently active in the Seattle area performing with Baroque Northwest, Seattle Pro Musica and the Seattle Baroque Orchestra.

Courtney recently recorded Antonio Sacchini’s Oedipe à Colone with Opera Lafayette under the Naxos label.

theorbo
John Lenti

John Lenti specializes in music of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and has made basso continuo improvisation on theorbo the cornerstone of a career that encompasses work with baroque and modern orchestras, chamber music, recitals, and opera. The 2019-2020 season included performances with Acronym, Quicksilver, the Metropolitan Opera, Helicon Foundation, ARTEK, the Yale Collegium, and the Diderot String Quartet, among others, and that was all before the end of February. He has played at early and modern music festivals in Boston, Berkeley, Indianapolis, Bloomington, Vancouver, Carmel, the Proms, Aldeburgh, Valletta (Malta), and the San Juan Islands, and with baroque and modern orchestras on both coasts. His recent interests include the lute music of Alfonso Ferrabosco the Elder and the metaphysics of historically informed performance. His commitment to the music of our own time is negligible and might be considered more of an aversion, honestly. John went to North Carolina School of the Arts and Indiana University and studied lute with Nigel North, Jacob Heringman, and Elizabeth Kenny. He lives in Seattle.

contrabass
Todd Larsen

Todd Larsen is a long time member of the NW music scene.  Performing with numerous ensembles including Portland Baroque Orchestra, Seattle Baroque, Pacific Baroque Orchestra, Oregon Bach Festival, Pacific Baroque Festival, NW Bach Festival and Whidbey Island Music Festival, Mr. Larsen is also the principal bass of the Pacific NW Ballet and NW Sinfonietta and has a lengthy history with modern groups throughout the region, such as Seattle Symphony, Spokane Symphony, Portland Opera, and many others.

 

SBO’s Discography

Handel’s Harp

Seattle Baroque Orchestra

Ingrid Matthews, Music Director; Maxine Eilander, Harpist; Stephen Stubbs, Conductor

Label: ATMA Classique

Recorded: October 2008

The Pachelbel Canon and other Baroque favorites

Seattle Baroque

Ingrid Matthews, Music Director; Byron Schenkman, Artistic Director

Label: Loft Recordings

Recorded: January 2003

Agar et Ismaele Esiliati (The Exile of Hagar and Ishmael)

Seattle Baroque

Ingrid Matthews, Music Director; Byron Schenkman, Artistic Director with Karina Gauvin, Nathaniel Watson, Melissa Fogarty, Jennifer Lane

Label: CENTAUR

Recorded: November 2001

Heinrich Biber: Sonatas for Strings

Seattle Baroque

Ingrid Matthews, Music Director; Byron Schenkman, Artistic Director

Ingrid Matthews, violin

David Greenberg, violin

Label: CENTAUR

Recorded: March 2001

Vivaldi: Bassoon Concertos

Seattle Baroque

Ingrid Matthews, Music Director; Byron Schenkman, Artistic Director

Michael McCraw, bassoon

Label: CENTAUR

Recorded: May 1999

J.S. Bach: Concertos for Harpsichord

Seattle Baroque

Ingrid Matthews, Music Director; Byron Schenkman, Artistic Director

Byron Schenkman, harpsichord

Label: CENTAUR

Recorded: March 1998

Handel: Tra Le Fiamme

Seattle Baroque [Ingrid Matthews, Music Director, Byron Schenkman, Artistic Director]

Ellen Hargis, soprano

Label: WILDBOAR

Recorded: May 1996