TINA BERGMANN

Tina Bergmann, hammered dulcimer, was hailed by Pete Seeger as “the best hammered dulcimer player I’ve heard in my life.” A fourth-generation musician, Ms. Bergmann began playing music at age eight, learning the mountain dulcimer from her mother in the aural tradition and learning the hammered dulcimer at the knee of West Virginia-native builder and performer Loy Swiger. Demonstrating gifts for both performance and teaching, she has been a featured performer across the United States, performing solo; as a duo with her husband, bassist Bryan Thomas; with her stringband Hu$hmoney; and as a featured soloist with Apollo’s Fire and Canadian early music group, La Nef.

ALAN CHOO

Violinist Alan Choo, whose performances have been described by The Straits Times Singapore as “an intoxicating brew of poetry and dare-devilry,” performs on the global stage as a leading soloist, chamber musician and historical specialist. He made his solo debut with Apollo’s Fire at the Tanglewood and Ravinia Music Festivals in 2017, and currently serves as Concertmaster and Assistant Artistic Director for the ensemble. He is also Founder and Artistic Director of Red Dot Baroque, Singapore’s first professional period ensemble and Ensemble-in-Residence at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music. In May 2019, he was invited as guest concertmaster and soloist with the Shanghai-based baroque ensemble, Shanghai Camerata. He has also appeared as a soloist with the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Chinese Orchestra, Orchestra of the Music Makers and more.
 
Alan is the recipient of 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 the Cleveland Institute of Music, Michigan State University, Baldwin-Wallace College, Bowling Green State University, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.
 
Alan holds a Doctorate in Historical Performance from Case Western Reserve University, as well as degrees from the Peabody Conservatory and the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory. His teachers include Julie Andrijeski, Risa Browder, Victor Danchenko and Alexander Souptel. He is currently recording an album of the complete Rosary Sonatas by Heinrich Biber with Apollo’s Fire.

 
WEBSITE

IAN CRANE

Ian Crane, bass and bagpipes, teaches music at Cuyahoga Falls High School. He spent five years on faculty at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, as instructor of bagpipes. He has performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and has sung with Contrapunctus, Quire Cleveland, and Bobby McFerrin. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in music education from Cleveland State University and a Master’s in conducting from Kent State University.
 
WEBSITE

FIONA GILLESPIE

Fiona Gillespie is a folk and classically-trained singer, songwriter, composer, and music educator. Raised in a family of traditional Celtic musicians Fiona grew up step dancing, singing ballads, and playing the Irish whistle, on which she competed nationally and internationally until 2006. She holds degrees in voice performance from Westminster Choir College (BM) and the University of North Texas (MM).

Fiona’s debut, full-length compositional recording with collaborator Elliot Cole released with a premier performance in New York City on October 31, 2021. The half-hour folk-rock cantata, scored for voices and 12-piece band of historical, modern, and electronic instruments, recreates the ancient Scottish ballad of Tam Lin. Her album of Scottish folk songs arranged by composers of the Viennese School, “Wisps in the Dell” released in 2019, and a “prequel” disc, “The Gallant David Rizzio” releases in 2022, all three of which are with the ensemble Makaris. As a featured performer Fiona’s recent and upcoming engagements include The Baroque Orchestra of Colorado, Musica Sierra, Carmel Bach Festival, Five Boroughs Music Festival, Labyrinth Baroque Ensemble, The Washington National Cathedral, Mountainside Baroque, The Academy of Sacred Drama, The Bach Choir of Bethlehem, Fire and Grace, and ALKEMIE. She sings regularly as a professional chorister with Skylark Ensemble, Apollo’s Fire, Kinnara Ensemble, Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity, and St. Tikhon’s Choir, and with churches in both New York City and Philadelphia.

Fiona is a co-founder and manager of the band The Chivalrous Crickets, the Baroque-Folk crossover duo, Disordering the Attic. She teaches voice at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA, where she has led opera workshop and music directed main stage productions (recent: Gilbert & Sullivan’s Trial by Jury, 2019). Fiona taught voice at Lycoming College from 2013-2017, as well as directed opera (stage & music: Humperdinck’s Hansel und Gretel), co-taught courses on Baroque music and art that traveled to Italy, Germany, and Austria, and helped coordinate and lead choir tours to Washington DC, Florida, and China. She has led folksong arranging and group singing workshops at the Big Sur Fiddle Camp, and for Bethlehem PA’s Celtic Cultural Alliance.

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.

BRADLEY KING

Bradley King, tenor, guitar, and bouzouki, is quickly establishing himself as one of the most versatile young singers on the East coast. As an early-music tenor, he has performed with the Boston Early Music Festival, the Rose Ensemble, the renowned renaissance vocal ensemble Pomerium, and the period ensemble Mountainside Baroque (Maryland), among others. He joined the Apollo’s Fire chorus in 2021 for Messiah performances in collaboration with the New York Philharmonic. On the opera and musical theatre stage, he has performed diverse roles ranging from Colin in the 18th-century opera Le Devin du Village by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, to Anthony in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. Bradley holds degrees in vocal performance and choral conducting from DePauw University and the University of North Texas.

ANNA O’CONNELL

Anna O’Connell is a soprano and harpist who works to recreate the lost traditions of the harpist troubadours. Her love of Celtic music was cemented by a visit to Ireland at a young age, where the fascinating mix of concerts (in a castle and in the streets of Dublin), monuments, and museums led her lifelong fascination with harps. She has researched the history of self-accompaniment with harps ranging from medieval to modern folk instruments. Her self-accompanied repertoire includes medieval, renaissance, and early baroque songs from Italy, Germany, and the British Isles. She is currently completing doctoral studies in Historical Performance Practice at Case Western Reserve University.

Anna has sung as soloist with the Hong Kong Early Music Society and the Maui Chamber Orchestra. In Cleveland, she sings with the Trinity Cathedral Chamber Singers and the Cleveland Chamber Choir. She holds degrees from the University of Southern California and Providence College. She studies voice with Ellen Hargis and Dina Kuznetsova, and historical harps with Maxine Eilander. Her Ithaca-based duo, Gothic Fire, specializes in Medieval and Renaissance music performed on rebec and harp.

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.

JEANNETTE SORRELL

“A resplendent performance… breathtaking. The production belonged entirely to Ms. Sorrell.”
­–THE NEW YORK TIMES

GRAMMY®-winning conductor Jeannette Sorrell is recognized internationally as one of today’s most compelling interpreters of Baroque and Classical repertoire,
and a leading creative voice in the exploration of historical folk music traditions. She is the subject of the 2019 documentary by Academy award-winning director
Allan Miller, titled PLAYING WITH FIRE. She studied conducting at the Aspen and the Tanglewood music festivals under Leonard Bernstein and Roger
Norrington and harpsichord with Gustav Leonhardt in Amsterdam. She won First Prize in the Spivey International Harpsichord Competition, competing against over 70 harpsichordists from 4 continents.

She is the founder of APOLLO’S FIRE and has led the renowned ensemble as conductor and harpsichord soloist at London’s BBC Proms, Carnegie Hall, Madrid’s Royal Theatre, London’s Wigmore Hall, and the Tanglewood and Boston Early Music festivals, among others. Sorrell and Apollo’s Fire have released 29 commercial CDs, including 11 bestsellers on the Billboard classical chart and a 2019 GRAMMY® winner.

In demand as a guest conductor with symphony orchestras and period ensembles alike, Sorrell has led the New York Philharmonic (Handel’s Messiah), Royal Liverpool Philharmonic (Bach’s St. John Passion), the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center, and has repeatedly conducted the Pittsburgh Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Utah Symphony, and New World Symphony. She has also led the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Opera St Louis with the St Louis Symphony, and Philharmonia Baroque (San Francisco), among others.

Hailed as “a masterful musical storyteller” (SEEN & HEARD INTERNATIONAL), Sorrell has attracted national attention and awards for creative programming, particularly exploring the crossroads of early music and folk traditions. With Apollo’s Fire, she is a two-time recipient of the prestigious “American Masterpieces” grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for the research and production of early American music. Her awards include an honorary doctorate from Case Western Reserve University and the Noah Greenberg Award from the American Musicological Society, given for her work in reconstructing early American repertoire. As a teenager, she lived in the rural Shenandoah Valley, where she grew to love Appalachian music and Southern harmony. In her programs exploring folk traditions, she tries to help American listeners reconnect with the beauty of our shared roots as immigrants.

EMI TANABE

Violinist Emi Tanabe enjoys a multi-faceted career as a baroque violinist and a solo crossover artist. In addition to being a core member of Apollo’s Fire, she performs with the Haymarket Opera Company and Third Coast Baroque in Chicago. With Apollo’s Fire she has performed on tour across the U.S. and Europe. Her facility with world music styles and improvisation has led to many solo violin performances with Tango, Flamenco, Celtic, and Jazz ensembles across the country. She has appeared with such groups as the renowned Surabhi Ensemble, the GRAMMY®-nominated children’s music band Wendy&DB, and the theater/dinner production “Teatro ZinZanni.” Emi is a native of Japan, and holds degrees in violin performance from the University of North Texas and Roosevelt University.

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