A Gem of a Season concert
Four outstanding members of the Madison Bach Musicians will give a virtuosic and intriguing program that explores and compares the magnificent music of Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frederick Handel―both born less than a month apart, only eighty miles apart, and in 1685!! MBM director Trevor Stephenson will also talk about the selections and about the remarkable baroque instruments the musicians will bring: harpsichord, baroque violin, baroque cello. Soprano soloist Chelsea Sheppard will talk a bit about the art of singing the music of these two baroque masters.
Trevor Stephenson–harpsichordist, fortepianist, and pianist–is the artistic director and founder of the Madison Bach Musicians. He received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Historical Performance of 18th-Century Music from Cornell University, where he studied fortepiano with Malcolm Bilson. With his colleague, Norman Sheppard, he has made and refurbished a series of historical keyboard instruments ranging from Italian Renaissance harpsichords to Victorian pianos. He has released sixteen recordings on the Light & Shadow label and tours throughout the United States as performer and lecturer. Information and tour schedule at trevorstephenson.com.
Kangwon Lee Kim, Madison Bach Musicians concertmaster and assistant director, is a versatile violinist with repertoire ranging from baroque to 21st-century using both baroque and modern violins. She has performed internationally giving solo and chamber recitals in Korea, Canada, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, Norway, and Czech Republic. As a baroque violinist, Ms. Kim has performed with the Smithsonian Chamber Players, the Wisconsin Baroque Ensemble, Brandywine Baroque, the Classical Symphony, Calisto in San Francisco, and the Baroque Band in Chicago. Ms. Kim was assistant professor in violin and chamber music at Biola University in CA and has also taught at Ripon College, the University of Pennsylvania, and Lawrence University Conservatory.
Cellist Steuart Pincombe can be heard in famous concert venues across Europe and quite possibly around the corner in your local brewery or cafe. Sometimes he can be heard on your radio or smart phone too. Wherever he performs Steuart aims to engage with his audience through creative presentations of the classical music repertoire. The Philadelphia Inquirer called him “a gorgeous player with perfect intonation, imaginative phrasing.” In addition to his numerous solo engagements for the year, he’s fortunate to play with several European ensembles including the Van Swieten Society, Asko|Schönberg, Project B.O.X., and Oerknal! (a new music collective which he co-founded). Steuart loves teaching and is on the cello and chamber music faculty of Credo Music in Ohio and co leads the Baroque Program at the Crescendo Summer Institute which takes place in the beautiful rolling vinyards of Tokaj, Hungary. He also leads masterclasses and gives talks at various universities and conservatories throughout the year. With the aim of equipping other leading artists to engage with new audiences Steuart and his wife Michelle started the Music in Familiar Spaces Artist Collective: musicinfamiliarspaces.com
Chelsea Shephard, soprano, has garnered praise for her “beautiful, lyric instrument” and “flawless legato” (Opera News) and her “luscious” voice (John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune). Ms. Shephard began the 2017/18 season with a celebration of Leonard Bernstein's 100th Anniversary in his genre-bending work Songfest presented by the New York Festival of Song. The versatile soprano also headlined a workshop presentation at the Metropolitan Opera of Matthew Aucoin’s newest opera based on the Sarah Ruhl play, Eurydice. She will return this season to Carnegie Hall for Dame Ethel Smyth’s The Prison and to the Caramoor Center for Music and Arts for a solo Mother’s Day recital. Operatic roles include Beth/Little Women, Calisto/La Calisto, Pamina/Die Zauberflöte, Susanna/Le nozze di Figaro, and Lauretta/Gianni Schicchi, with companies such as Madison Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, Haymarket Opera Company, and Caramoor International Music Festival. The Michigan native holds degrees from DePaul University and Rice University, and she currently studies with Susan Charles and resides in New York City. Further details always available at chelseashephardsoprano.com
Madison Bach Musicians was formed in 2004 to foster a love of music and to provide education about great music.. MBM is dedicated to presenting the music of Johann Sebastian Bach—as well as works by other great composers of the Baroque, Renaissance, and Classical periods—to both the general public and to educational institutions through performances, lectures, and workshops. Bach’s music was chosen as a focal point because of its outstanding beauty, variety, and profundity and because it speaks with urgency to modern audiences; it is the high water mark of musical expression and craft in western culture. In pursuit of the greatest clarity of musical texture, the organization will perform primarily on period instruments, and ensemble sizes will be typical of those used by Bach himself. MBM provides a unique forum for experienced professional and exceptionally talented young professional musicians to work together in an exciting and engaging period performance style.