Berkshire Bach Ensemble Members 2018-2019

Musicians | “Bach at New Year’s” | 2018-2019        

 

Eugene Drucker | violin   

Violinist Eugene Drucker, a founding member of the Emerson String Quartet in 1976, is also an active soloist. He has appeared with the orchestras of Montreal, Brussels, Antwerp, Liege, Hartford, Richmond, Omaha, Louisville, Jerusalem, and the Rhineland-Palatinate, as well as the American Symphony Orchestra and Aspen Chamber Symphony. A graduate of Columbia University and the Juilliard School, where he studied with Oscar Shumsky, he was concertmaster of the Juilliard Orchestra, with which he appeared as soloist several times. He made his New York debut as a Concert Artists Guild winner in the fall of 1976, having won prizes at the Montreal Competition and the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels. A longtime participant in the Berkshire Bach Society New Year’s concerts, Mr. Drucker was recently appointed to succeed Kenneth Cooper as Music Director of that prestigious series. He has recorded the complete unaccompanied works of Bach for Parnassus Records, and the complete sonatas and duos of Bartók for Biddulph Recordings. With the Emerson Quartet, Eugene Drucker plays about 80 concerts a year in North America, Europe and Asia. The quartet’s recorded repertoire ranges from Bach and Haydn to contemporary works, and has been rewarded over the years with 9 Grammys and 3 Gramophone Magazine Awards. In 2016, Deutsche Grammophon released a 52-CD box set, containing the Emerson Quartet’s complete discography with that company. His novel, The Savior, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2007 and appeared in a German translation called Wintersonate, published in 2010 by Osburg Verlag in Berlin.

Mr. Drucker is a visiting professor of chamber music at Stony Brook University. His compositional debut, a setting of four sonnets by Shakespeare, was premiered by baritone Andrew Nolen and the Escher String Quartet at Stony Brook in 2008; the songs have appeared as part of a 2-CD release called “Stony Brook Soundings”, issued by Bridge Recordings in the spring of 2010. Subsequent compositions include Madness and the Death of Ophelia, for female speaker/singer and string quartet, based on four scenes from Hamlet; a setting of five poems by Denise Levertov for the same combination; and Series of Twelve, a string quartet commissioned by the New Music for Strings Festival, premiered in August 2018 in Copenhagen and Reykjavik.

Mr. Drucker’s violins include: Antonius Stradivarius (Cremona, 1686), Samuel Zygmuntowicz (NY, NY, 2002), and Ryan Soltis (Moyie Springs, Idaho, 2015).

Laura Lutzke | violin   Born and raised in New York, violinist Laura Lutzke enjoys a musically versatile career, with a passion for solo playing and chamber music. She earned her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School as student of Lewis Kaplan, after which she moved to London and completed a second Master of Music in Violin Performance with Distinction with David Takeno at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. As an avid chamber musician, she is regularly invited to perform at festivals in the UK, Europe, Asia, and the USA. In New York City, she enjoys a wide variety of genres of music and performs with groups such as The Knights, Alarm Will Sound, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, among others. She is currently a member of the critically-acclaimed American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) and she also acts as Co-Leader of Le Cercle de L’Harmonie classical orchestra in France.

Michael Roth | violin   Violinist Michael Roth is a native of Scarsdale, NY and received his early musical training with Frances Magnes. He is a graduate of both Oberlin College and Conservatory and the University of Massachusetts where he was the recipient of the Julian Olevsky Award. He is currently associate concertmaster of the New York City Ballet Orchestra. In addition he is a member of the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Principal 2nd violin of the Westchester Philharmonic, the American Composers Orchestra and the New York Pops. He has served as concertmaster of the Princeton Symphony, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and was concertmaster of the Vermont Mozart Festival Orchestra for many years. He regularly participates in the Central Vermont Chamber Music Festival, the Windham Chamber Music Festival, and plays frequently with the Sherman Chamber Ensemble, the Cape May Music Festival, the Saratoga Chamber Players, and the Berkshire Bach Society.

Emily Smith | violin   Praised as playing “gorgeously” and with “gracefulness and easy rapport” (The Boston Globe), violinist Emily Daggett Smith has performed across the United States, Europe, South America and Asia. She made her New York concerto debut playing the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Juilliard Orchestra in Alice Tully Hall, and has since performed with many orchestras including Iris Orchestra, the Festival Mozaic Orchestra and the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra. She has given solo recitals across the country at venues including the Kennedy Center and Music in the Loft in Chicago. As an active chamber musician she has collaborated with many renowned musicians at festivals including the Seattle Chamber Music Society and Berkshire Bach Society. Despite her busy performance schedule, she is dedicated to education and serves on faculty at the Bard College Conservatory Pre-College, as well as the Juilliard School, where she is assistant for Laurie Smukler. She holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Stony Brook University. Her teachers have included Soovin Kim, Philip Setzer, Joel Smirnoff, Laurie Smukler and Donald Weilerstein.  She plays on a Johannes Cuypers violin, generously donated by Dr. Marylou Witz.

Joel Pitchon | violin   Frequent Berkshire Bach performer Joel Pitchon is a soloist, concertmaster, chamber music player, and Professor of Music at Smith College in Northampton (MA). He earned degrees from The Julliard School of Music, where he studied the violin with Oscar Shumsky and Joseph Fuchs. He has served as concertmaster for numerous orchestras, including the Orquesta Ciutat de Barcelona (Spain), the New York Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, and the EOS Chamber Orchestra. The New York Times noted his playing in the EOS production of Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat as “superb.” For Gasparo Records he recorded a CD of four Sonatas for violin and piano, with the composer Clifton J. Noble, Jr. as well as New England Legacy, works by Quincy Porter, Walter Piston, and Amy Beach with pianist Jonathan Bass. For ARTCD he performed on Sun Threads, chamber music of Augusta Read Thomas, made with the Walden Chamber Players. He is currently co-director of the Sage Chamber Music Society at Smith College and a member of the Elm Chamber Ensemble.

Ron Gorevic | violin and viola   Ronald Gorevic was born in London and has had an active career performing on both the violin and the viola. As a member of the Rowe, Chester, and Laurentian string quartets, he has toured extensively in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia. His recitals and quartet performances have been broadcast live on National Public Radio and he has recorded for the Centaur and Koch International Classics labels. A founder of the Prometheus piano quartet, he is currently principal viola in the Springfield Symphony, and has performed at Lincoln Center on the Great Performers Series and as the featured soloist with both the Springfield and Greenwich Symphonies. He has recorded the complete Schumann violin sonatas and Brahms’ own arrangements of the clarinet trio and clarinet quintet with viola replacing the clarinet. He is on the faculty of Smith College, the Greenwood Chamber Music Camp, Bard College at Simons Rock, and the New England Conservatory of Music Preparatory School.

Irena McGuffee | viola    New York-based Bulgarian violist Irena McGuffee has received numerous awards and distinctions throughout her career, including the MTNA chamber music award for the state of Florida and the Boca Pops Scholarship Competition. She has performed under many renowned conductors, including Leonard Slatkin, Pierre Boulez, Gunther Schuller, Charles Dutoit, and Kurt Masur, among others. She received her undergraduate degree summa cum laude from the Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, FL, and her graduate degree from the Manhattan School of Music. She is the principal violist of the New England Symphonic Ensemble, a member of Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, and Symphony in C. She regularly performs with the Mark Morris Dance Group, and in chamber music settings in New York City.

Liuh-Wen Ting | viola    Violist Liuh Wen Ting is an active performer of diverse muscal genres. Recipient of the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society award and a member of the Meridian String Quartet, her collaborations include the Manhattan String Quartet, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Cassatt String Quartet, Ensemble l’art pour l’art, singer/song writer Fredo Viola, and most recently the renowned Persian vocalist Shahram Nazeri. She has performed to sold-out audiences in major concert halls throughout North America, and has regularly recorded solo and chamber works for Capstone, Albany, Pogus, Tsadik and Mode records. She has been featured internationally at the music festivals Ostrava New Music Days, Etnafest, Prague Spring, Warsaw Autumn, and Primavera en la Habana. She is on the staff of the Composers Conference at Wellesley College in Wellesley, MA.

Alistair MacRae | cello    Alistair MacRae has appeared as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral principal throughout North America and in Europe, Asia, South America, and the Middle East. His playing has been praised for its “rich sound and lyrical phrasing” (Palm Beach Daily News) and his performances have been featured in radio broadcasts across the United States on WQXR, WWFM, WDAV, WCQS, KING FM, and Vermont Public Radio.  He is the Cordelia Wikarski-Miedel Artist in Residence at the University of Puget Sound and the cellist of the Puget Sound Piano Trio. He is Principal Cello of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra and also performs with his wife, soprano Allison Pohl, in the voice and cello duo Soprello. In addition, he is a member of the Artist Faculty at the Brevard Music Center. As a chamber musician and recitalist, he has performed in Carnegie Hall’s Zankel and Weill Halls; at Palm Beach’s Kravis Center for the Performing Arts; at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall; in New York City chamber music venues such as BargeMusic, Merkin Hall, the 92nd St Y, and Miller Theatre at Columbia University; at numerous colleges and universities; and on concert series throughout the United States. He has appeared on several series presented by Carnegie Hall; as a member of groups such as the Richardson Chamber Players, Berkshire Bach Ensemble, and Fountain Ensemble; and at festivals such as the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival, Central Vermont Chamber Music Festival, Monadnock Music, and Music Festival of the Hamptons.

Roberta Cooper | cello    Roberta Cooper is the assistant principal cellist of the American Symphony Orchestra and a member of both the American Composers Orchestra and the Westchester Philharmonic. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Juilliard School, where she won the William Henderson Prize for outstanding achievement. Her Carnegie Hall debut was sponsored by the Artists International Competition, which she also won. She has performed with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the New York City Opera, as well as the orchestras of the New York City Ballet, the American Ballet Theatre, and the Metropolitan Opera. A long-time member of the Berkshire Bach Ensemble, she has appeared with the Emerson String Quartet in concerts in the United States and Europe, at the chamber music series at MATA, and with many chamber music festivals. She is a member of the Walsh-Drucker-Cooper Trio, performing extensively in Washington, D.C., New Orleans, New York City, and Europe. A versatile musician, she was the featured soloist with pop singer Linda Ronstadt and her recording of jazz standards, titled “Hummin’ to Myself”. The group, filled with jazz legends, performed for an A&E TV special and at Jazz@ Lincoln Center.

Peter Weitzner | double bass   Peter Weitzner is a graduate of The Juilliard School and has appeared frequently as a soloist and ensemble player with numerous musical groups in the United States and abroad. As a soloist with the Baltimore Symphony, he performed the New York premiere of Sheila Silver’s Chant for Bass and Piano, and has participated frequently at international music festivals. An avid chamber musician, he is currently the curator and host of the BPL Chamber Players in residence at the Brooklyn Public Library, and has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Orion, the Enso and Daedalus Quartets, Trio Solisti, New York Chamber Ensemble, Yale at Norfolk, and many others. For ten years he toured internationally with the Giora Feidman Trio, and in 2009 was invited to become a member of the Quincy Jones Musiq Consortium, an arts education advocacy group comprised of arts-related non- profits, musicians and educators. His has an extensive discography, and is a frequent contributor to NPR’s Performance Today, hosted by Fred Child.

Judith Mendenhall | Flute   Judith Mendenhall is the principal flutist of the American Ballet Theatre Orchestra, a member of the Berkshire Bach Ensemble, has appeared in thirteen nationwide “Musicians From Marlboro” tours, and was a founding member of the Naumburg Award-winning Aulos Wind Quintet and the Music Today Ensemble. Her career as soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, and teacher have brought her across the US and to Asia, Europe, and South Africa. Principal flute positions include the New York Chamber Symphony, the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, the Grand Teton Festival Orchestra, and the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra. She is a recipient of the 2016 Distinguished Teaching Award from The New School University/Mannes School of Music where she is wind department chair and faculty, and is flute professor at Queens College. Current summer festivals include the Interlochen Flute Institute, the Aria International Summer Academy, and bi-annual master class and recital tours in Taiwan. She has recorded for Columbia Records, Delos, Koch, VOX, CRI, Bridge, and the Marlboro Recording Society.

Alison Hale | flute    Since making her NYC debut at Carnegie Recital Hall in 1982 as winner of the Artists International competition, Alison Hale has performed in Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, CAMI Hall, and many of the major churches in New York City. Recent solo performances include appearances with Berkshire Bach Ensemble, New England Piano Quintet, Portland String Quartet, Portland Symphony Orchestra, and at the National Flute Association convention. Awards include the CD Jackson Master award (Tanglewood Fellow), Mary Lyon award (Mt. Holyoke College for outstanding alumna), lifetime achievement award Who’s Who in America.  She is currently on the faculties of Amherst, Mt. Holyoke, and Bennington Colleges and is a member of the Portland, ME, Symphony Orchestra, Opera Maine, and Berkshire Bach Ensemble. 

Gerry Reuter | oboe   Gerard Reuter is a dedicated chamber musician and a past recipient of the prestigious Pro Musicis International Award. He studied oboe at the Juilliard School from the age of nine, and later attended the Royal College of Music in London. He has appeared as a soloist with Jupiter Symphony, Philharmonia Virtuosi, Riverside Symphony and Orchestra of the Bronx, the National Chamber Orchestra, the Soviet Emigré Orchestra, and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and others. A founding member of both the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and An die Musik, he is a long-time member of the Dorian Wind Quintet and has performed with many ensembles in the United States and abroad, occasionally as a guest conductor. He has recorded for Sony, New World, Telarc, Columbia, BMG-Catalyst, Dorian, Summit, and Musical Heritage Society.

Melanie Feld | oboe   Since 1980 Melanie Feld has been principal oboist of the Stamford Symphony Orchestra. She is a member of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and American Composers Orchestra, and is principal oboist of the Westchester Philharmonic.  She is the English Hornist of the American Symphony Orchestra, and has performed with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Since 1992, she has been a member of the orchestra with the Broadway production of Phantom of the Opera. For a number of years she was a member of the New York Pickup Ensemble, playing the annual Carnegie Hall P.D.Q. Bach programs. Her recording credits include albums on the Music Masters, CBS, Telarc, Harmonia Mundi, Decca, EMI, Nonesuch and New World Records. A native of the San Francisco Bay area, she moved to New York City to attend the Mannes College of Music, and completed her graduate studies at the Juilliard School of Music. Her teachers have included Leland Lincoln, Marc Lifschey, Stephen Adelstein and Ronald Roseman. She resides in Leonia, New Jersey, with her music librarian husband David Carp. Former members of the Carp household are son Joshua (father of Elliott Jordan Carp) and daughter Elizabeth; current inhabitants are cats Navy and Choco.

Stephen Walt | bassoon   Stephen Walt is principal bassoonist with the Albany Symphony Orchestra and the Berkshire Bach Ensemble. He has been a member of the Berkshire Bach ensemble since 1994. In 2017 he retired from his position as Senior Lecturer at the University of Massachusetts, where he had taught since 1999. He is currently Artist-Associate in Bassoon and Director of Woodwind Chamber Music at Williams College. Mr. Walt has performed with orchestras, opera companies and chamber ensembles throughout the United States, including performances with the Borromeo, Lark, Muir, Amernet, and Shanghai String Quartets. His primary teachers were Sherman Walt and Arthur Weisberg. He has recorded for Naxos, CRI, Decca, Koch International, Gasparo, Nonesuch and Albany Records. He plays on a Heckel bassoon made in 1958 for his father, Sherman Walt, the eminent former principal bassoonist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The instrument is nicknamed “The Brussels” as it was exhibited at the 1958 World’s Fair in that city as an example of German artisanship.

Allan Dean | trumpet    Allan Dean is Adjunct Professor of Trumpet at the Yale School of Music and a member of St. Louis Brass and the Yale Brass Trio. He is an instructor in the Community Music Program at Simon’s Rock, and has been a member of the Berkshire Bach Society Ensemble since the early 1990’s. He performed with the New York Brass Quintet for eighteen years and the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble for ten years while active on the New York concert scene and in recordings. In 1982 he joined the faculty at Indiana University, and later joined the faculty at the Yale School of Music. As a founding member of Calliope: A Renaissance Band and the New York Cornet and Sacbut Ensemble, he is dedicated to performing Baroque and Renaissance music on original instruments. He performs and teaches each summer at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival in Norfolk, CT, and can be heard playing both modern trumpet and early brass on over eighty recordings for major labels including RCA, Columbia, Nonesuch, and Summit.

Sycil Mathai | trumpet   Sycil Mathai, trumpeter, enjoys a global musical career that encompasses all genres. The New York Times called him a “terrific trumpeter”. From classical to experimental genres, his work spans ensembles like The Knights Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Argento New Music, Dave Sanford’s big band Pittsburgh Collective, American Composers Orchestra, artists Carter Burwell, and the dance companies of Merce Cunningham, Mark Morris Dance Group, and movie directors Andy Kaufman, and The Coen Brothers. He has recorded for RCA, PBS, CBS, EA Sports, Warner Classics, and Sirius Satellite Radio. He has shared the stage with artists ranging from Yo-Yo Ma to Stevie Wonder. He is a graduate of Juilliard as a student of Mark Gould, and Texas Christian University as a student of Steve Weger. Recently, he served as guest Principal Trumpet for the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, served as Co-Principal Trumpet of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, and saw the release of a recording he made with The Knights orchestra featuring Yo-Yo Ma. He is on currently on faculty at the State University of New York at Fredonia.

Arthur Haas | harpsichord   Arthur Haas is one of the most sought-after performers and teachers of Baroque music in the United States today. He received the top prize in the Paris International Harpsichord Competition in 1975 and then stayed in France for a number of years as an active member of the growing European early music scene. While in Paris, he joined the Five Centuries Ensemble, a group acclaimed for its performances and recordings of Baroque and contemporary music. He is a member of the Aulos Ensemble, one of America’s premier period instrument ensembles, whose recordings of Bach, Vivaldi, Telemann, and Rameau have won critical acclaim in the press, as well as Empire Viols, and the exciting new group, Gold and Glitter. He has recorded harpsichord music of Jean-Henry D’Anglebert, Forqueray, Purcell and his contemporaries, Elisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre, François Couperin, and the complete harpsichord works of Rameau. Annual summer workshop and festival appearances include the International Baroque Institute at Longy, Portland (ME) Bach Festival, and the Amherst Early Music Festival, where he served as artistic director of the Baroque Academy from 2002 to 2011. He is professor of harpsichord and early music at Stony Brook University and is a founding faculty member of Juilliard’s historical performance program. In fall 2012, he joined the distinguished faculty of the Yale School of Music.