The Musicians — November 2, 2019


MARGARET DUDLEY, SOPRANO, has established herself as a force to be reckoned with in the national concert arena. Acclaimed for her “sparkling voice” and “full-toned soprano,” she is a core member of Boston’s renowned Lorelei Ensemble, touring the nation and collaborating with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, A Far Cry, and Cantus. Recent engagements include soprano soloist in Haydn’s Missa in temore belli and Vivaldi’s Gloria at Carnegie Hall, Handel’s Messiah at Alice Tully Hall, Poulenc’s Gloria with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Hudson Valley Singers, the premier of Julia Wolfe’s Fire in My Mouth with the New York Philharmonic, and soprano soloist with the Choir of Trinity Wall Street. Additionally, she is in-demand as an ensemble singer, performing with the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, the Crossing, Oregon Bach Festival, New York Virtuoso Singers, and New York Choral Artists. This is her first appearance with The Berkshire Bach Society.

SARAH GRIFFITHS, SOPRANO, has appeared as soloist and chorister with professional ensembles throughout the United States. She has been hailed by the Dallas Morning News for her “glowing tone, effortless facility and vivid expressivity,” . She is a founding member of the baroque chamber ensemble, Armonia Celeste, whose first album was released in 2015 on the Centaur label. She is also featured on a 2017 Gothic recording, singing Alice Parker’s song cycle Dickinson: On Recollecting. She has performed U.S. premieres by Bob Chilcott and Thea Musgrave and world premieres include works by Katherine Hoover, Edward Smaldone, and Martha Sullivan. She holds degrees from the University of North Texas, Westminster Choir College, and Earlham College, and is an adjunct professor at Ramapo College of New Jersey and William Paterson University. This is her second appearance with The Berkshire Bach Society.

HAI-TING CHINN, ALTO, performs in a wide range of styles and venues, from Purcell to Pierrot Lunaire, Cherubino to The King & I, J.S. Bach to P.D.Q. Bach. She has sung with New York City Opera, The Wooster Group, OperaOmnia, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, New York Collegium, and the Waverly Consort; and on the stages of Carnegie Hall, the Edinburgh Festival, Resonant Bodies Festival, and London’s West End. Hai-Ting is also the creator of Science Fair: An Opera With Experiments, a staged show of science set to music. This is her first appearance with The Berkshire Bach Society.

MATTHEW DEMING, COUNTERTENOR, is a versatile performer who has sung both tenor and countertenor roles and appeared with the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras, the American Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic, the Detroit Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, and choral groups including Musica Sacra, New York Virtuoso Singers, the Collegiate Choral, and St. Ignatius. He made his Broadway debut in the musical Chicago and has sung in The Visit, starring Chita Rivera, and has worked with regional theatre companies including the Huntingdon Theater company, The Signature Theater, the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Part, the Ogunquit Playhouse, Allenberry Playhouse, Trinity Repertory, and the Williamstown Theater Festival among others. His operatic credits include the world premiere of Bel Canto at the Lyric Opera in Chicago, Summer Scape at Bard College, Opera Roanoke, and others. He teaches voice privately and at Marymount Manhattan College. This is his first appearance with The Berkshire Bach Society.

SEAN FALLEN, TENOR, is an active opera and oratorio soloist at many venues in New York City, throughout the U.S. and worldwide. Recent operatic roles include Alfredo in La Traviata, Danilo in The Merry Widow, Cassio in Othello, Nemorino in The Elixir of Love, Ariel in the world premiere of The Rape of the Lock, Goatherd in the world premiere of My Undying Love, and Almaviva in The Barber of Seville. He has been the featured tenor soloist numerous times at Carnegie Hall, most recently in Lili Boulanger’s Psalm 130, in the Bach Magnificat, Haydn’s Paukenmesse, Kurt Weill’s The Road to Promise, and Handel’s Messiah, a specialty. He has sung the work from coast to coast, ranging from Carnegie and Avery Fischer Halls in NYC, to the American Bach Soloists in CA. Other opera roles include Ferrando in Cosi Fan Tutte, Ramiro in La Cenerentola, Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Lippo in Street Scene, and Pong in Turandot. This is his first appearance with The Berkshire Bach Society.

CHAD KRANAK, TENOR, has an active operatic career in the U.S. and abroad and has been described as a powerful-voiced tenor with stunning high notes. He has appeared with the St. Petersburg Opera and Long Island Lyric Opera in roles such as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, and Aenaes in the Ars Musica production of Dido and Aeneas. In addition to traditional repertoire he has premiered new works including Alex Weiser’s opera State of the Jews, Felix Jarrar’s The Ulster County Songbook, and Paula Kimper’s Leaves of Grass: Whitman. This season he is appearing in Handel’s Messiah with the Sequoia Symphony, singing the role of Rinuccio in Regina Opera’s production of Gianni Schicchi, and in a recital of music by Paul Bowles at Lincoln Center. This is his first appearance with The Berkshire Bach Society.

ANICET CASTEL, BASS-BARITONE, has performed regularly as a soloist and chorus member in Europe and the U.S. for numerous Baroque ensembles including the Chapelle Royale de Versailles, les Arts Florissants, le Concert d’Astrée, Namur chamber choir, les Cris de Paris, and others. Born in France, he studied at St François de Sales Gien, the Lycée Pothier in Orléans, La Sorbonne in Paris, and the École Nationale de Musique d’Orléans, eventually specializing in Baroque music and taking his diploma in music education. He has appeared in many Baroque roles, such as the Mufti in Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme by Molière and Lully. He recently researched and recreated the gestural codes of Les Plaisirs de Versailles, a divertissement by Marc-Antoine Charpentier that was designed for performance in the private apartments of Louis XIV. In the same spirit he directs the program Les Doux Tourments for the ensemble I Sospiranti. This is his first appearance with The Berkshire Bach Society.

AARON THENO, BASS-BARITONE, is a versatile singer and performer acclaimed for his work in both modern and traditional operatic repertoire. He performed as Le Commissaire in Glimmerglass Opera’s production of Orphée by Philip Glass, and has sung in many productions with Portland Opera, most notably as Masetto in Don Giovanni. He appeared as Mr. Celius in The Center for Contemporary Opera’s production of William Mayer’s A Death in the Family, and as Michaelis in their production of The Secret Agent. An accomplished concert and oratorio singer, he has collaborated with Ricky IanGordon performing selected works by the composer, and recently made his debut in the title role of Elijah in New York. This is his second appearance with The Berkshire Bach Society.

♫ denotes a long-time Berkshire Bach Ensemble member

American cellist Ronald Feldman has achieved critical acclaim both as a conductor and a performer. He is a two-time winner of the American Symphony League’s ASCAP Award and has appeared as a guest conductor with orchestras including the London Symphony, the Saint Louis Symphony, and others. He joined the Boston Symphony at the age of 19, and has appeared as a soloist performing repertoire from Dvorak to Ligeti. Chamber music affiliations have included performances with the Boston Symphony Chamber Players and Collage New Music Ensemble, and his collaborations include pianist Emmanuel Ax, Garrick Ohlsson, Gil Shaham, and Yo Yo Ma. He is currently a member of the Williams Chamber Players and the Berkshire Chamber Players, Artist in Residence and Lecturer in Music at Williams College, and Director of both the Longwood and Berkshire Symphony Orchestras.

Organist Renee Louprette has been hailed by the New York Times as “one of New York’s finest organists.  She has established an international career as organ recitalist, accompanist, conductor, and teacher.  She is University Organist and Organ Area Coordinator at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, and a former member of the organ faculty at the Manhattan School of Music, the hart School, University of Hartford, and Montclair State University.  She recently performed solo recitals at Royal Festival Hall in London and Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and will make her debut at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris in December.  She is completing a Master of Music degree in choral conducting at Bard College where she is a student of James Bagwell.  This is her second appearance with the Berkshire Bach Society.

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

Joel Pitchon is a soloist, concertmaster, chamber music player, and Professor of Music at Smith College in Northampton (MA). A frequent Berkshire Bach performer, he earned degrees from The Juilliard School of Music, where he studied violin with Oscar Shumsky and Joseph Fuchs. He has served as concertmaster for numerous orchestras, including the Orquestra 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 by Clifton J. Noble, Jr. with the composer as pianist, and New England Legacy, works by Quincy Porter, Walter Piston, and Amy Beach with pianist Jonathan Bass. For ARTCD he performed with the Walden Chamber Players on Sun Threads, a premiere recording of the chamber music of Augusta Read Thomas. He is currently co-director of the Sage Chamber Music Society at Smith College and a member of the Elm Chamber Ensemble.

Emily Daggett Smith has been praised for the quality of her playing and has performed across the United States, Europe, South America, and Asia. As an active and passionate chamber musician, she performs regularly at numerous festivals and series around the country, including Mainly Mozart Festival, Ravinia Festival, and the Seattle Chamber Music Society. She has shared the stage with prominent members of the Cleveland, Emerson, and Juilliard String Quartets. In 2005 she made her New York solo debut playing the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Juilliard Orchestra in Alice Tully Hall and has since been a soloist with Iris Orchestra, the Festival Mosaic Orchestra, and the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra. A dedicated music educator, she has taught at The Juilliard School and Stony Brook University and offered masterclasses and educational outreach performances in many different venues. She holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School and is a doctoral candidate at Stony Brook University.

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. He has an extensive discography and is a frequent contributor to NPR’s Performance Today, hosted by Fred Child.