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

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.

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)