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.

ARYSSA LEIGH BURRS

Vocalist Aryssa Leigh Burrs is hailed for her “rich sound and thoughtful musical ideas” while “transcending vocal styles and genres with flexibility and ease.” Ms. Burrs spent the Summer ’21 season as an Apprentice Artist with Central City Opera. While with CCO, she performed a solo Al Fresco Concert, covered the role of Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas, and was a feature ensemble member in a paired down production of Carousel. Aryssa will return as a Resident Artist with Opera Columbus-Capital University, where she was be seen singing the role of Zerlina in their spring 2021 production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Other recent engagements include Elvis Costello’s The Juliet Letters with UrbanArias and Mame Dennis in Mame at The Seagle Festival. Ms. Burrs is a recent graduate of Northwestern University, where she obtained a Masters of Music in Voice and Opera Performance. At Northwestern, she performed in numerous opera productions (Orlofsky, Die Fledermaus; Captain, Dog Days; Baba the Turk, The Rake’s Progress), while also appearing as soloist with various choral and orchestral ensembles (Am I born, David T. Little; Terra Nostra, Stacy Garrop; The Branch Will Not Break, Christopher Cerrone). As she is committed to using music for cultural and social justice causes, one of Ms. Burrs’ most cherished performances include her orchestral debut with the Charlotte Symphony as a featured soloist with the acclaimed drag queen production of Thorgy and the Thorchestra. Ms. Burrs also had the honor to perform a set of musical theater and operatic hits for the incomparable Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at a “thank you” dinner.

During the pandemic, Aryssa Leigh got to continue to hone her passion for progressive concert work and a lifelong interest in exploring musical styles through story and song. In January ’21, Aryssa created, produced, and performed in the virtual debut performance of her concert entitled Identify, which raised funds for the non-profit organization “Phenomenal Womxn” to launch their summer camp to teach empowerment through the arts to young girls. This concert looks at Aryssa’s personal pillars of identity and the music and visual arts that help her to feel challenged, curious, and ultimately empowered in those bits of herself; all with the intent, of inviting audience and collaborators alike to join her in the use of art in their own explorations. Identify, to be performed again for many seasons to come, encompasses styles ranging from english baroque, french mélodie, german romanic opera, to contemporary feminist pop.

Ms. Burrs holds both a Bachelor of Music Degree in Voice Performance and a Bachelor of Music Education Degree in Choral/General Music from the University of Maryland in College Park. Ms. Burrs has taught K-12 General and Choral Music in Montgomery County, MD, Public Schools, while maintaining a private voice and piano studio. Continuing to use her commitment and passion for educational programming, Ms. Burrs is currently teaching music and music theatre courses, leading dramatic coachings, and teaching solo voice at Capital University in the virtual format. DC Metro Theater Arts states, “From the moment she burst onstage, Aryssa [Leigh] Burrs charmed and dazzled the audience with her rich, full voice…she has the knack for singing pop and jazz music exceptionally well without compromising her vocal technique.”

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ALAN CHOO

Violinist Alan Choo, whose performances have been described by The Straits Times Singapore as “an intoxicating brew of poetry and dare-devilry,” appears 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 FVG Orchestra (Italy), 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. His solo debut album with Apollo’s Fire, the complete Mystery Sonatas of Heinrich Biber, was released on AVIE Records in 2024 and debuted at #2 on the Billboard Classical chart.

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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.

ELORA KARES

Elora Kares, (b. 2005) is a multi-faceted musician known especially for her cello and soprano voice. With a unique gift of over 8 types of synesthesia, she perceives music in vibrant colors. She showcased her synesthetically enhanced cello interpretation on NPR’s national young artist showcase, From the Top. Recognized as an Apollo’s Fire Young Artist Apprentice Soprano, beginning with them soloing in their Lift Ev’ry Voice programs, she has participated in Apollo’s Fire programs broadcasted on Medici.tv, and most recently toured with them to concert venues in Chicago, Detroit, and across Cleveland.

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SAM KREIDENWEIS

Baritone SAM KREIDENWEIS enjoys a diverse career as a soloist and ensemble musician across America and abroad. He regularly sings and records with Skylark Vocal Ensemble, True Concord Voices and Orchestra, Inversion Ensemble, and the Irish groups Anúna and M’ANAM. He is a founding member of The Leonids, a nine-part low-voice ensemble in Vancouver, BC, focusing on high-level chamber performance and development of students and aspiring singers. Sam has also performed with Conspirare, Cantus Vocal Ensemble, Kinnara Ensemble, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, and can be heard on the GRAMMY© Award-winning recording of Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil with the Phoenix Chorale and Kansas City Chorale.

Career highlights have included performing with Anuna at the Last Night of the BBC Proms, performing for the Japanese Royal Family in a revolutionary musical adaptation of the traditional Noh play, At the Hawk’s Well, and being part of the original cast and recording of Considering Matthew Shephard by Craig Hella Johnson with Austin-based Conspirare.

When not performing, Sam is a diversity, equity, and inclusion practitioner, using his love of mentoring and education to develop equitable and inclusive systems for corporations and nonprofits. A fierce advocate of the arts, Sam has previously served on the Board of Directors for Source Song Festival and the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus. He holds degrees in voice and opera theatre performance from the University of Dayton and Arizona State University.

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.

KATHIE STEWART

Hailed as a virtuoso by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Kathie Stewart is a founding member and principal flute of Apollo’s Fire: The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra. An advocate of the baroque flute as a mainstream instrument, Stewart serves as Teacher of Baroque Flute at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Kulas Visiting Artist at Case Western Reserve University, and is Assistant Director for the Seattle Baroque Flute Workshop. Stewart has performed as soloist with The Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland Opera, Oberlin Baroque Ensemble, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Washington Bach Sinfonia, ARTEK, and Turn the Corner Irish Band. Stewart has performed at the BBC Proms, Snape Proms, Tanglewood Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Ojai Music Festival, Boston Early Music Festival, New World Symphony’s Baroque Festival, Oberlin College Artist Series, National Academy of Sciences, Library of Congress, and Dumbarton Oaks Series. Stewart is a faculty member of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music where she serves as Curator of Harpsichords in the Historical Performance Department and additionally taught baroque flute for nearly twenty years. A proponent of historical temperaments, she tunes and maintains the Conservatory’s world-class collection of historical harpsichord reproductions.

Stewart appears on fourteen recordings with Apollo’s Fire including solo performances in Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. IV (AVIE) and Telemann’s Concerto in E Minor for Flute and Recorder (AVIE). An accomplished Irish flute player, she can be heard on Scarborough Fayre: Traditional Tunes from the British Isles and the New World, Come To The River: an Early American Gathering, and Sugarloaf Mountain: an Appalachian Gathering. Radio appearances include holiday specials on National Public Radio, NPR’s World of Opera, SymphonyCast, and Performance Today. Her concerts have been broadcasted on Britain’s BBC Radio, Canada’s CBC, European Community Radio, and on WCLV’s “Seaway” syndication network carried by member stations of the European Broadcasting Union.

Stewart holds a Bachelor of Music degree from West Virginia University as a student of Joyce Catalfano and a Master of Music degree from Manhattan School of Music as a student of Thomas Nyfenger. She completed doctoral coursework at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music as a student of George Hambrecht and participated in Eiji Hashimoto’s Baroque Ensemble. Fascination with the traverso led her to the Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin Conservatory where she studied baroque flute and recorder with Christopher Krueger.

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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)