Nash Baroque Ensemble draws on a number of talented musicians from both the East and West Coasts, to create the best ensemble for the chosen repertoire. It’s roster is comprised of members who are performers nationally recognized as soloists and chamber musicians, all specialists in the music of the baroque period.
Aficionado of both early music and new music, lute, theorbo, baroque guitar and classical guitarist Adam Cockerham is known for his moving solo performances, his nuanced ensemble work, and sensitive accompaniments. As a finalist in the Carmel Society Instrumental Competition, his performance was regarded as being “beautifully and effortlessly executed” by Peninsula Reviews. Cockerham received his Bachelor of Music Degree and Master of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with a Secondary Emphasis in Historical Plucked Strings and is continuing his studies at the Juilliard School as a member of acclaimed early music group, J415. Partnering with acclaimed mezzo-soprano Danielle Sampson, the two founded Jarring Sounds, a voice and guitar/lute duo in 2011. www.adamcockerham.com
Gretchen Claassen, a versatile chamber musician, often appears as 'cellist, baroque 'cellist and viol player in diverse groups around the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. She has recently performed with American Bach Soloists, Archetti, Wildcat Viols, Karl Cronin and the Americana Orchestra, and is a founding member of the Cello Street Quartet and period ensembles MUSA and the Alchemy Trio. During the 2013-14 season she will be appearing for the first time with Portland Baroque Orchestra, San Francisco Bach Choir, Nash Baroque Ensemble and Musica Pacifica, in addition to embarking on a US State Department-sponsored international tour with the Cello Street Quartet.
Gretchen's love of chamber music began early on with three summers spent at the prestigious Kneisel Hall Chamber Music School and Festival in Maine, and string quartet studies with Joel Smirnoff of the Juilliard String Quartet. As a participant in the San Francisco Conservatory of Music's acclaimed Chamber Music Masters series, Gretchen has collaborated with Menahem Pressler, Robert Mann, Bonnie Hampton, Roberto Diaz, and Joseph Swensen. In May of 2011, she was invited to perform alongside SFCM and Shanghai Conservatory faculty in China, as part of the Shanghai International Chamber Music Festival.
Gretchen was a student of Bonnie Hampton at The Juilliard School, where she received a BM in 'Cello Performance. In 2012, she was awarded an Artist's Certificate in Chamber Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she studied with Jennifer Culp and Elisabeth Reed.
Cellist Hannah Collins, winner of De Link Competition 2010 for contemporary interpretation, is a dynamic performer devoted to diverse forms of musical and multimedia expression. With support from the Presser Foundation, Hannah spent 2009-2011 in France and The Netherlands researching and performing contemporary cello repertoire. Hannah is also an active performer of early music, appearing frequently with the Quodlibet Ensemble, the Sebastian Chamber Players, and New York Baroque Inc. She served as the lead continuo player on the 2009 Naxos recording of the Bach and Mendelssohn Magnificats with Yale Schola Cantorum, conducted by Simon Carrington, and in 2011-2012 she was a visiting fellow at the Yale School of Music, studying 17th and 18th c. chamber music with Baroque violinist Robert Mealy. She has been invited to give solo and chamber music performances at festivals throughout Europe and North America including Orford Centre d'arts (Canada), Kneisel Hall (US), NJO (The Netherlands), Aldeburgh Festival (England), and Musique de Chambre a Giverny (France). Hannah holds degrees in biomedical engineering and music from Yale University as well as a graduate degree from the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. Her teachers have included Stefan Reuss, Ole Akahoshi, Aldo Parisot, and Michel Strauss. She currently performs and teaches in New York City as a member of Ensemble ACJW and a fellow of the Academy, a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the NYC Department of Education.
Praised by Opera News for "the agility with which she negotiated her beautiful upper register [which] was a distinct asset", soprano Sara Duchovnay is quickly making a name for herself as an exciting young performer.
This summer was full of notable role debuts for Ms. Duchovnay. In June 2014, she made her debut as Blonde in Abduction from the Seraglio with Southern Illinois Music Festival where she also covered the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor. In July and August 2014, Sara sang the role of Soprano 1 in West Edge Opera's triumphant production of Philip Glass and Allen Ginsberg's Hydrogen Jukebox, directed by Elkhanah Pulitzer".
In September of 2014 Sara made her Opera San José debut as Nannetta in Falstaff, directed by Jose Maria Condemi.
Sara made her professional operatic debut in the role of Musetta with Hidden Valley Opera in September of 2012, under the baton of Maestro Stewart Robertson and the direction of Robert Darling.
Sara possesses a great passion for the operas of Mozart and Handel, and has embodied many of their most fascinating and delightful characters, including Poppea in Handel’s Agrippina, the title role in Handel’s Alcina, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Madame Goldentrill (aka Madame Herz) in Mozart’s Singspiel Der Schauspieldirektor, and Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro.
A native of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Sara holds a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance from the Hartt School of Music and graduated with departmental honors for outstanding achievement in voice with her Master of Music in vocal performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Sara is a student of mezzo-soprano Catherine Cook.
Susie Fong is active both as a harpsichord soloist and continuo player and has participated in such festivals and workshops as Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, American Bach Soloists Summer Academy, Vancouver Early Music Festival, and SFEMS. She performs regularly as part of Liaison, and has played with such groups as the Vinaccesi Ensemble, the Handel Opera Project, Classical Revolution, the Pacific Chamber Symphony, Bay Area Classical Harmonies, and the San Francisco Bach Choir. Susie has recorded with the Vinaccesi Ensemble and can be heard on their Centaur Records CD, Benedetto Vinaccesi: The Solo Cantatas.
Susie has an M.M. in Harpsichord Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Corey Jamason, and received her B.A. in Music at the University of California at Berkeley, where in addition to playing piano and chamber music, she studied harpsichord with Laurette Goldberg and played in the Collegium Musicum. She is also an accomplished solo and chamber pianist, having studied with Audrey Grigsby in Southern California, and performs regularly as a collaborative pianist in the Bay Area.
Katherine Heater, early keyboards, frequently plays with early music groups such as Magnificat and the Voices of Music. She has performed throughout the United States, including with Catacoustic Consort in Ohio, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in Idaho and at the Berkeley Early Music Festival, the Bloomington Early Music Festival, and the Tropical Baroque Festival of Miami. She received an Arts Bachelor from the University of California, Berkeley in music and a Masters of Music in historical performance from Oberlin Conservatory. At the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam Ms. Heater studied harpsichord with Bob van Asperen and fortepiano with Stanley Hoogland. Also an active teacher, Ms. Heater teaches harpsichord at UC Berkeley and privately.
Douglas Kelley has performed on viola da gamba throughout Europe from Amsterdam to Zagreb, and has made numerous tours in Asia including award-winning performances at the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition (Japan). He has taught at summer courses in Italy and for the German, Austrian and Swiss viola da gamba societies (Viola da gamba-Gesellschaft), and was teaching assistant at the Vienna Musikhochschule. In 2000, he was awarded a career grant by Early Music America. He is a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and returns to his alma mater as a member of the Oberlin Consort of Viols. Since 2009, he has made his home in rural Connecticut, which allows him to be closely involved with projects in both Boston and New York City, as well as further afield.
Period violinist Daniel S. Lee enjoys a varied career as a soloist, chamber musician, concertmaster, and teacher. Praised for his "ravishing vehemence" [New York Times], he has appeared as a soloist and guest concertmaster with the Trinity Baroque Orchestra, American Baroque Orchestra, Baroque Orchestra of Maine, Quodlibet Ensemble, San Francisco Bach Choir, and Yale Collegium Players. He also regularly collaborates with TENET. He recently won the Audience Prize at the 2012 Early Music America Baroque Performance Competition with his ensemble, the Sebastians (www.sebastians.org), whose performance at the finals of the 2011 York Early Music International Competition was praised for its "smooth sophistication" [Yorkshire Post] and "well-thought-out articulation and phrasing" [Early Music Review]. As a violino piccolo specialist, he frequently appears as a soloist in Bach's first Brandenburg Concerto and cantata 140, and has given the modern-day premiere of Johann Pfeiffer's concerto. He is on the violin, viola and chamber music faculty at Connecticut College. More information can be found at www.danielslee.com.
Ruth McKay began studying harpsichord with Naydene Bowder and Robert Greenlee at Bowdoin College. After a five-year apprenticeship with Cambridge (MA) harpsichord builder Eric Herz, Ms. McKay undertook graduate harpsichord studies with Peter Sykes. She earned an MA from the Longy School of Music in 1995. She performs in and around Boston with many early music groups, including EtCetera, Hortulus Chelicus, Splendid Century, Musica Amicorum and Boston Virtuosi. Currently Ms. McKay tunes and regulates harpsichords, teaches and serves on the boards of the Society of Historically Informed Performance and the Cambridge Society for Early Music. She has recorded with La Donna Musicale and toured Europe and South America with the Ensemble.
Vicki Melin Baroque and Renaissance Flutes, has performed in early music groups throughout the U.S. and the Bay area
such as the American Bach Soloists, with the ABS Academy in the San Francisco Bach Festival, Live Oak Baroque Orchestra, California Bach Society, the San Francisco Renaissance Voices, MUSA, and her ensemble, Nash Baroque.
Ms Melin attended Boston University for her Masters of Music, studying with Christopher Krueger
and The Royal Conservatory of Music in Den Hague, The Netherlands, where she received an Advanced Diploma in Performance, studying with Wilbert Hazelzet.
She is the recipient of the Vivian Smith Award from Boston University, Boston University’s Director’s Award and the Netherlands-America Foundation Assistance for Study Abroad.
She has performed with early music orchestras and chamber ensembles in the United States, The Netherlands, Italy, and is frequently a guest soloist with International Organ and Chamber Music Festivals in Poland.
Visit: the youtube video of the ensemble Cantica Sacra for the 2013 International Organ and Chamber Music Festival in Raciborz and Krakow, Poland.
Ms. Melin currently lives in San Francisco, performing, teaching and raising two fabulous daughters.
Irenie Melin-Gompper is a Level VI ballet student at the San Francisco Ballet School and at the Bolshoi Ballet Summer Intensive
Programs in Middlebury, CT. She has studied Historical Dance with Philippa Waite Director of Consort de Dance, Baroque (UK) and Louise Pescetta, (San Francisco). She currently dances with the San Francisco Renaissance Dancers, Jennifer Meller, Director.
Hallie Pridham performs regularly in the bay area, specializing in historical music as a baroque cellist and viola da gambist. She plays frequently with such groups as the American Bach Soloists, San Francisco Bach Choir, and Liaison Ensemble, which she co-founded in 2010.
Hallie received a Bachelor of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and graduated high school from Idyllwild Arts Academy where she was winner of the IAA Concerto Competition. During her time as a student at SFCM, Hallie was the recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award for her continuo playing under the direction of Corey Jamason. She was also chosen to play a broadcasted concert at the John F. Kennedy Center as part of the Conservatory Concert Series and in 2010 Hallie won the SFCM Baroque Ensemble Concerto Competition.
Originally from Reno,Nevada, Hallie has played with the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra, the Reno Pops Orchestra, and given many solo recitals in her home town. Hallie has played the viola da gamba solos in productions of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion as well as Bach’s St. John Passion. San Francisco Classical Voice described her playing a having a ”…warm and reedy sound” in a review of the west coast premier of Philip Hersant’s setting of Psalm 130, directed by Ragnar Bohlin.
Sarah Comfort Reed, soprano, holds a Masters of Music in Vocal Performance from the Hartt School of Music, and has studied with Joanna Levy and Judith Malafronte. She is active in choral singing in New Haven, as a soloist and member of Yale Camerata and Pro Musica, as well as the choir of Church of the Redeemer. This past season she performed with the Christ Church Choir in a performance of Handel's Messiah with the New Haven Symphony under the direction of William Boughton. Sarah is on the music faculty of Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts where she teaches music theory and vocal technique. She lives in West Haven and is the mother of two amazing kids, Emma and Henry.
Danielle Sampson is an avid performer of baroque, classical, and contemporary music. Highlights of this season have included a gala performance with Pacific MusicWorks, Praetorius’ Christmas Vespers with Early Music Vancouver, and collaborations with Amaranth String Quartet to perform new and existing works for voice and strings. Over the summer Danielle performed with the Boston Early Music Festival in Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria (Melanto) and L’incoronazione di Poppea (La Virtù, Pallade), and with Early Music Vancouver in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (the Sorceress) and Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater. Danielle has appeared with the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado, American Bach Soloists, California Bach Society, San Francisco Symphony Chorus, and San Francisco Bach Choir, among others. She is a founding member of the guitar/voice duo Jarring Sounds, and the baroque chamber ensemble Liaison. She earned her BM at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music, and her MM at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Danielle currently resides in San Francisco.
Janet See, is one of today’s outstanding performers on baroque and classical flute. For over 30 years she has performed as a soloist, in chamber music, and in orchestras throughout North America and Europe.
In London, where Janet lived for 12 years, she played principal flute for Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s two orchestras, and with those groups recorded the complete Mozart Operas and Beethoven Symphonies as well as numerous other discs. While in London she also played principal flute for 'The Taverner Players', conducted by Andrew Parrott. In North America Janet plays principal flute with Philharmonia Baroque under Nicholas McGegan and has recorded Vivaldi and Mozart Concertos with that orchestra. She also performs frequently with the Portland Baroque Orchestra and as guest soloist with chamber music ensembles throughout the US and Canada.
Among her highly acclaimed recordings are the Vivaldi Concertos and the complete Bach Flute Sonatas, both recorded on the Harmonia Mundi label. Other labels she has recorded on include DG Archive, EMI, Erato, Hyperion and Phantom Partner.
Janet is on the Early Music Faculty at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle and is an active and enthusiastic teacher of early flutes and also of interpreting the nuance and language of baroque and classical music on modern flute. She received her degree on the modern flute at Oberlin Conservatory, training with Robert Willoughby. Her post-graduate training was with Frans Vester in The Hague. Janet is a qualified teacher of the F.M. Alexander Technique, having trained in London with Walter Carrington. She currently lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington with her husband and son.
Sarah Yanovitch, is currently a student at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, studying with tenor James
Taylor. She has sung the roles of Yum-Yum in The Mikado, Adele in Die Fledermaus, Belinda in Dido and Aeneas, and scenes as
Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier, Marzelline in Fidelio, and Despina in Così Fan Tutte. As a concert soloist Sarah has appeared in
such works as the Fauré Requiem, Vaughan Williams’ Dona nobis pacem, Handel’s Messiah, Bach cantatas, In allen meinen
Taten and Nun kommt der Heiden Heiland, Der Tod Jesu by Heinrich Graun, and Haydn’s Harmoniemesse with the Yale Schola
Cantorum. Sarah earned her Bachelor of Music from the New England Conservatory and is originally from Griswold, CT.