ALAN CHOO

Alan Choo, violin, “was a dynamo, delivering lines with panache. He exemplified virtuosity” (Cleveland Plain Dealer). A leading soloist, chamber musician and historical specialist, Alan made his solo debut with Apollo’s Fire at the Tanglewood and Ravinia Music Festivals in 2017. He currently serves as Artistic Leadership Fellow for AF, where he takes on the roles of soloist, concertmaster, and guest director. He is also Founder/Artistic Director of Red Dot Baroque, Singapore’s first professional period ensemble and Ensemble-in-Residence at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory. In May 2019 he was invited as guest concertmaster and soloist with the Shanghai-based baroque ensemble, Shanghai Camerata.
 
As a modern violinist, Alan has appeared as a soloist with the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Chinese Orchestra, Orchestra of the Music Makers, and more. A proponent of contemporary music, Alan is co-founder of SG Inspirations, a project dedicated to performing works by Singaporean composers. In 2015, he recorded the SG Inspirations commemorative CD album with pianist Lin Hengyue as a gift to their nation on Singapore’s 50th anniversary. His piano trio Trio Phoenix combines both worlds of early and contemporary music by performing works by living composers and exploring the wealth of baroque repertoire performed with stylistic awareness on modern instruments. The trio completed their Asia Summer Tour in 2015 to critical acclaim, with repertoire ranging from Jean-Philippe Rameau to Alfred Schnittke, and were guest artists at the Lexington Bach Festival 2017.
 
Alan’s achievements in all areas of performance have earned him awards such as the Early Music Award 2016 from Peabody Conservatory, the Paul Abisheganaden Grant for Artistic Excellence 2015, the Goh Soon Tioe Centenary Award 2014, the Grace Clagett Ranney Prize in Chamber Music 2014 and 1st prize in the National Piano and Violin Competition 2011, Artist Category. He has also given masterclasses and lectures in violin performance, performance practice and stage presence to college students at Cleveland Institute of Music, Baldwin-Wallace College, Bowling Green State University, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.
 
Alan holds a Doctorate in Historical Performance Practice from Case Western Reserve University, where he studied with Julie Andrijeski. His previous teachers include Risa Browder, Victor Danchenko and Alexander Souptel.

 
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ASHLEE FOREMAN

Ashlee Foreman, soprano and AF’s MOSAIC Artist Fellow, has been hailed as “a real discovery… an important new singer. Her voice has a tremendous range and is deployed with theatrical assurance” (Seen & Heard International, UK). Her solo debut performance with Apollo’s Fire in 2020 was called “a tour-de-force” by ClevelandClassical.com. She is a Master’s candidate in vocal performance at the University of Akron, where she recently sang the lead in Menotti’s opera The Telephone. She received her Bachelor’s in music from Cleveland State University, where she studied voice with Amanda Powell.

While an undergrad, Ashlee served as AF’s first Artistic Outreach Intern, singing the role of Princess Pamina in AF’s in-school workshops and performances. She has performed with the Akron Symphony Orchestra and Cleveland Opera. In 2020 she joined AF’s professional chorus, Apollo’s Singers, with whom she has performed in Cleveland and New York City.

BRIAN KAY

Brian Kay, vocals & plucked instruments, is a modern-day troubadour. He is the first Artistic Leadership Fellow of Apollo’s Fire and in 2019, won a Grammy® Award for his work on the CD Songs of Orpheus. He has performed throughout the world at venues such as the National Concert Hall of Dublin, Belfast Castle (Ireland), Carnegie Hall, and the Kennedy Center. His live radio appearances include NPR, WYPR and 98ROCK (Baltimore), WGBH (Boston), and WCLV (Cleveland). He has recorded for AVIE and Sono Luminus labels, and has been heard on more than ten album releases. He is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, arranger, traditional and historical music specialist, poet, and painter.

REGGIE MOBLEY

Reggie Mobley, countertenor and AF’s Visiting Artist for Outreach, is in demand as a soloist on both sides of the Atlantic. His European engagements include the Academy of Ancient Music, the English Baroque Soloists & Monteverdi Choir (John Elliot Gardiner), the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, BachAkademie Stuttgart, and Bachfest Leipzig. In North America, he has performed with the Seattle Symphony, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque, the Handel & Haydn Society (Boston), Calgary Philharmonic, and the Boston Early Music Festival, among others.

With roots in the Deep South and the struggles of the black community, Reggie is dedicated to helping the classical music industry overcome its inequality issues regarding race, gender, and sexuality. A strong devotion to social and political activism is part of Reggie’s everyday life, adding to his strength in reaching diverse communities. His outreach experience includes designing programs of music by 18th-century African composers who worked in Europe. A versatile artist, Reggie worked for two years as a singer/actor for Tokyo Disney in Japan. He has performed cabaret shows of gospel, jazz, and torch songs in jazz clubs. He serves as a programming consultant for the Handel & Haydn Society, where he directs the “Every Voice” program.

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RENÉ SCHIFFER

Cellist René Schiffer is praised for his “interpretive imagination and patrician command of the cello” (The Cleveland Plain Dealer). He is a native of Holland where he was a protégé of Anner Bijlsma. He later studied baroque cello with Jaap ter Linden and viola da gamba with Catharina Meints. As a member of Sigiswald Kuijken’s La Petite Bande for sixteen years, he toured four continents and appeared many times on European television. He has also performed with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Les Musiciens du Louvre, and in over forty projects with Tafelmusik of Toronto. As a concerto soloist, he has appeared throughout North America and Europe, including such venues as the Royal Theatre of Madrid, and can be heard on acclaimed CD recordings of the Vivaldi Concerto for Two Cellos and the Tango Concerto for Two Gambas (his own composition) on British label AVIE. As a chamber musician, he has performed at the renowned baroque festivals of Utrecht and Bruges, as well as the Flanders Festival and Versailles. He can be heard on more than forty CD recordings, on the Harmonia Mundi, Philips, Virgin Classics, Erato, Sony, and AVIE labels. He serves on the faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music as Teacher of Baroque Cello, and has given masterclasses and coachings for the New World Symphony (Miami), the University of Michigan, Oberlin Conservatory, and Cincinnati College-Conservatory.

“The U.S.A.’s hottest baroque band.” –CLASSICAL MUSIC MAGAZINE (UK)