BIOGRAPHIES

Josie Ryan, soprano

Josie Ryan

Josie Ryan

After graduating from Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Josie Ryan completed her Masters degree specializing in Early Vocal Music and Historical Performance Practice at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, with the aid of a grant from the Dutch Government. She studied with Rita Dams, Jill Feldman, Barbara Pearson and Diane Forlano, as well as participating in master classes and private lessons with Emma Kirkby, Evelyn Tubb and Barbara Schlick.  During her thirteen years in the Netherlands Josie performed as an ensemble singer with various leading groups across Europe, including The Tallis Scholars, The Amsterdam Baroque Choir and Collegium Vocale Gent. Her operatic roles include Rameau’s Les fetes d’Hebe (Iphise), Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo (Ninfa) and Cavalieri’s Rappresentatione di Anima e di Corpo (Anima beata). Josie is frequently engaged as a soloist with ensembles including the St Mary’s Singers, the Choir of Christ Church St Laurence, Australian Baroque Brass, The Sydneian Bach Choir, Coro Innominata, SUMS, Sydney University Graduate Choir, The Oriana Chorale, Salut! and The Marais Project. She is a regular performer with Pinchgut Opera, The Australian Brandenburg Choir and Cantillation. Josie is a regular guest with the Choir of St James’ King Street and a member of the St Mary’s Cathedral Special Services Choir and Hallelujah Junction. In 2014 Josie particularly enjoyed her participation in the 8-voice performance of Bach’s St John Passion in the Crypt of St Mary’s Cathedral conducted by Thomas Wilson.Josie has recorded numerous CD’s and DVDs including the role of Liebe in Schmelzer’s sepolcro “Stärke der Lieb”, Monteverdi’s 5th and 6th books of Madrigals, and Vivaldi’s Magnificat in duet with Emma Kirkby. She was featured as a soloist on the ABC Classics CD “Mysteries of Gregorian Chant” with The Singers of St. Laurence, which topped the ARIA Classical Charts for several months in 2014.

Brooke Green, director, treble, tenor viol, vielle

Brooke Green

Brooke Green

Brooke Green graduated with a Masters in Early Music Performance from the Early Music Institute, Bloomington, Indiana University, where she studied viol and vielle with Wendy Gillespie. Previously, as a baroque violinist, Brooke spent several years in London, performing with ensembles such as The Hanover Band, The Brandenburg Consort, The London Handel Orchestra, Midsummer Opera and The City of London Chamber Players. In Australia, Brooke has performed as a soloist with The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, led various baroque ensembles and played in others led by Fiona Ziegler. From 1993 as director of Backgammon, Brooke directed many innovative programs of music on period instruments, in London, Sydney, Tasmania and Honolulu. For the Viola da Gamba Society of America, Brooke has given a recital of 17th century music for solo treble viol and directed a program of Australian contemporary music for viol consort. On vielle, Brooke has toured with the US-based Ensemble Lipzodes and directed multi-media, theatrical productions including Machaut’s Le Remede de Fortune, Queer Medieval Tales and O Fortuna for MONA FOMA, 2010. In 2012 Brooke was Musical Director of the Australian Viola da Gamba Society’s Easter Viol School. In 2013 Brooke’s composition “The Shades” for Viol Quartet won the Audience Prize at the Leo M.Traynor Tenth International Competition for New Music for Viols, at the Viola da Gamba Society of America. Her suite for Viol Quartet “Shades of Presence Past” is published by PRB Music

Fiona Ziegler, tenor viol

Fiona Ziegler

Fiona Ziegler

Fiona Ziegler began her violin and piano studies with her mother, violinist, Eva Kelly, later studying violin with Christopher Kimber and Harry Curby, piano with Nancy Salas and cello with Lois Simpson. Fiona, also a prominent baroque violinist, has performed with Ensemble de la the Reine, The Marias Project, The Sydney Consort, Concertato, The Australian Forte Piano, the Renaissance Players and the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra. She has also performed regularly with The Sydney Chamber Choir, Coro Innominata, the Sydney Soloists and has led the Sydney Philharmonia since 1992.As a chamber musician Fiona has performed with the Gagliano String Quartet, the Sydney String Quartet. Trio Pollastri, the Vuillaume Trio, Josie and the Emeralds on Tenor Viol, the Grevillea Ensemble, and Plektra and Completely Plucked on mandolin and mandola.Fiona is an Assistant Concertmaster of the Sydney Symphony. 

Laura Moore, treble, tenor and bass viol

Laura Moore

Laura Moore

In 2010, Laura completed her Bachelor of Music Performance (Cello) at the Victorian College of the Arts under the direction of Josephine Vains. During this time, she also studied Viola da Gamba with Miriam Morris. Laura has participated in master classes with Jordi Savall, Les Voix Humaine and Stanley Richie. She is a regular performer in Melbourne and Sydney with Consort Eclectus and Josie and the Emeralds. She has also made guest appearances with The Australian Chamber Orchestra, Ironwood, Camarata Antica, Sydney Consort and numerous other early music ensembles. Laura was an ABC Rising Star with fellow Viola da Gamba player, Reidun Turner, and has participated in ABC recordings with Consort Eclectus and Josie and the Emeralds. Laura is also a passionate primary school teacher and values the importance of musical education, particularly in rural areas. She works as a choral accompanist and cello tutor for The Arts Unit and also teaches cello and singing for numerous Sydney schools and holiday programs. 

Margo Adelson, bass viol

Margo Adelson

Margo Adelson

Margo is a graduate of Sydney University’s Music Dept (1st class Hons) and tutored and lectured there, as well as at Hong Kong University and the University of East Asia. She worked as a fine music radio producer and concerts organiser while resident in Hong Kong  for 5 years. Margo has had many years of experience as a singer, keyboard player (piano, organ and harpsichord) and viola da gambist. On viol she has performed with Sydney Chamber Orchestra, Sounds Baroque, Early Dance Consort, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Jacaranda Consort, Arafura Ensemble (Darwin) and Fleur de Lys. She currently teaches piano and musicianship at MLC Burwood, as well as at her home studio, and conducts the Glenbrook Community Singers. Margo’s viol technique is a complex amalgam of influences from Professor Donald Peart, Lucy Robinson, Ruth Wilkinson, Sharyn Rubin, Alison Crum and Lawrence Dreyfus!

Catherine   Upex, treble and bass viol

Catherine Upex

Catherine Upex

Catherine Upex studied cello with Dorothy Sumner and Georg Pedersen.  She attended the University of Sydney, graduating with a BMus (Hons) (majoring in Performance) in 1997. In 1994, while studying Baroque performance as part of her degree, Catherine started learning the viola da gamba with Jennifer Eriksson. Since 2000, Catherine has performed regularly with the Marais Project and played on several Marais Project CDs including “Viol Dreaming” (2007), “Love Reconciled” (2009) and “Lady Sings the Viol” (2012). She has also performed on the viola da gamba in masterclasses with Wieland Kuijken, Jaap ter Linden, Susie Napper and Margaret Little and has played with several ensembles including the Renaissance Players, Salut! Baroque, the Sydney Consort, La Folia, Backgammon, Thoroughbass and the Opera Project.  As well as the bass viol Catherine enjoys playing treble viol and has performed on it with the Seaven Teares viol consort since 2010. She has also taught cello at several Sydney schools and currently teaches at the Glenaeon Rudolf Steiner School and Lane Cove Public School.

 

Guest Artists

 

Sarah Mead, lyra viol, viols

MeadS

Sarah Mead first encountered early music in high school, when she danced and sang as Queen Elizabeth in a production led by Ingrid Brainard. After studying music history and choral conducting at Yale, she pursued graduate study in early music at Stanford both as a viol player and a choral conductor. She and her spouse were musicians at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival before moving east in 1979. She began teaching viols at Brandeis University in 1982, and is now Associate Professor of the Practice there, directing the Early Music Ensemble, teaching music history, and serving as a frequent guest choral conductor. In 2007 Early Music America recognized her with the Thomas Binkley Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Collegium Director. Her handbook on 16th-century music theory is a staple in performance practice programs, and she is recognized throughout North America as a clinician in historical performance. She has taught early music ensembles at Tufts & Northeastern Universities in the Boston area, as well as at Trinity College of Music in London, and has taught theory & performance practice in the graduate program in early music at Longy School of Music in Cambridge. She has been a guest International Tutor for workshops in Australia and Great Britain. Formerly Program Director for Early Music Week at Pinewoods, she now directs the annual Conclave of the Viola da Gamba Society of America. She serves on the boards of the VdGSA, Early Music America, and Pinewoods Camp, Inc.

Belinda Montgomery, Soprano

Belinda Montgomery

Belinda MontgomerySoprano

Belinda Montgomery graduated in 1997 from Sydney University with a Bachelor of Music (Honours) in Voice and has since established a freelance career in Sydney, where she is particularly active as an early music specialist. She has appeared regularly with such ensembles as The Marais project, The Sydney Consort and Salut Baroque. Solo engagements have included Bach Cantatas and Vivaldi Gloria (The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra), Handel’s Dixit Dominus (Sydney Philharmonia Motet Choir), Bach’s Mass in B Minor, Handel’s Israel in Egypt, Faure’s Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem and Solemn Vespers (Sydney Chamber Choir) and Steve Reich’s Drumming (Synergy Percussion). In 2003 she gave the world premiere performance of Andrew Ford’s award-winning song cycle, Learning to Howl. As both a soloist and chorus member she has performed and recorded extensively with Cantillation, Australia’s leading professional chorus. Belinda sang the role of Iris in Pinchgut Opera’s inaugural production, Handel’s Semele, in 2002 and has appeared as soloist and chorister in many subsequent productions.

Mary Springfels, viols

Mary Springfels

Mary Springfels

Mary Springfels remembers hearing New York Pro Musica perform early music for the first time when she was 14 years old. She immediately fell in love with it and began learning early music instruments in college. For most of her adult life, Mary Springfels has devoted herself to the performance and teaching of  medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque music. She earned her stripes performing with many influential pioneering ensembles and individuals including the New York Pro Musica, the Elizabethan Enterprise, Concert Royal, the Waverly Consort, Sequentia, the Folger Consort, Marion Verbruggen, and Monica Huggett. For 20 years she directed the innovative Newberry Consort, and can be heard on dozens of recordings. She has taught and performed in summer festivals throughout the US, among them the San FranciscoMadison, and Amherst Early Music Festivals, the Texas Toot, the annual Conclaves of the Viola da Gamba Society of America, and the Pinewoods Early Music Week. In 2007, she was given the Howard Mayer Brown award for an outstanding career by Early Music America. In that year, Mary moved to New Mexico. She performs locally as a guest with the Albuquerque Baroque Players, the Santa Fe Pro Musica, and Serenata.

Elizabeth Rumsey, bass viol

Elizabeth Rumsey

Elizabeth Rumsey

Elizabeth Rumsey began her musical studies at the Sydney Conservatorium, and after a Bachelor degree and Postgraduate Diploma on recorder with Howard Oberg, moved to Europe for further study on recorder and early bowed string instruments. She studied with Randall Cook (Fiddle) and Rebeka Ruso (Viola da gamba) at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, with a focus on Medieval music, and in 2005 graduated with honours in Medieval Fiddle. Her main repertoire is music of the 15th and 16th centuries, with brief forays into the modern world of Telemann trios and Bach Passions. In addition to working with her own viol consort, she plays regularly with small and large ensembles based in and around Switzerland (Chant 1450, Profeti della Quinta, The Earle his Viols, La Morra, Leones, Ensemble Daedalus among others), and has made many CD, television and radio recordings.

Laura Vaughan, treble, tenor, bass viol

Laura Vaughan

Laura Vaughan

Following her return from studies at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague in 2004 with Wieland Kuijken, Anneke Pols and Philippe Pierlot, Laura Vaughan has established an active performing career. She is also one of the few exponents of the rare lirone. Laura records regularly for ABC Classic FM and has collaborated on numerous CD recordings for the ABC Classics label and Vexations.  Appearing regularly with many ensembles around Australia including the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, La Compañia, Pinchgut Opera, Ironwood, Astra, Adelaide Baroque, Song Company, Opera Australia, Laura is also a founding member of the dynamic baroque trio Latitude 37.

Rebecca Humphrey, bass viol

Rebecca Humphrey

Rebecca Humphrey

Rebecca Humphrey has been residing in Melbourne since 2009 where she is a founding member of Pleiades and performs with Consort Eclectus and the Australian Chamber Choir. Previously, in Philadelphia, USA, she was a core member of Tempesta Di Mare, and a founding member of Belladonna Baroque Quartet, Aurelio and The Merion Trio.  She spent much of her time playing in Washington DC with the Washington Bach Consort; in Baltimore with the Handel Singers of Baltimore, and in New York City with Rebel and Quicksilver while touring internationally with Belladonna. For three years she lived in Switzerland, where she was the principal cellist for Kammerensemble Luzerne and in Basel with Capriccio Basel.  Her recordings with Tempesta di Mare on the Chandos Label have received wide acclaim, and the group has toured extensively performing their CD, Handel’s “Flaming Rose”, featuring soprano Julianne Baird.

Anthea Cottee, bass viol

Anthea Cottee

Anthea Cottee

Anthea Cottee is a busy performer on a variety of instruments from modern and baroque cello to viola da gamba, basse de violon and also the 14-stringed lirone. She enjoys the challenges of exploring the different bass instruments and the changes of nuance and colour which they bring to the music. Anthea has appeared as a soloist on both baroque cello and gamba for the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, where she has been a regular member since she returned from her studies in London. She played with Les Talens Lyrique for their 1998 performances in Australia, has played with onstage bands for Opera Australia and in March, 2011 was continuo cellist for Handel’s Partenope. She also plays and records with many groups including Pinchgut Opera, Sydney Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestra of the Antipodes, Salut! Baroque and the Huntington Baroque Ensemble.
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