“Without music life would be a mistake.”

~Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche





Guest Artists 2015-16

Elinor Frey, Piccolo Cello
October 17, 2015

Fascinated with the cello’s origins and the creative process of new music, Elinor Frey plays both period and modern instruments. Frey’s honors include a US-Italy Fulbright Fellowship where she studied baroque cello with Paolo Beschi, the SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship, and American Musicological Society and Canada Council for the Arts grants facilitating her work on Italian cello music. In recent seasons she has performed with Les Idées hereuses, Tafelmusik, Ensemble Caprice, Studio de musique ancienne, Theatre of Early Music, Les Violon du Roy, Arion, and Bradamante, as well as with her quartet, Pallade Musica, grand prize winners of the 2012 Early Music America Baroque Performance Competition and second prize winners in the 2014 International Van Wassenaer Competition in Utrecht.

Frey’s debut album, Dialoghi, is titled for the solo piece written for her by Steven Stucky. Her two releases on the Belgian label Passacaille includeBerlin Sonatas (2015) with Lorenzo Ghielmi on fortepiano and La voce del violoncello (2013), praised for its “careful scholarship and brilliant layering of moods and tempos” (Toronto Star) and for the “honest, reflective beauty of her music making” (Strings). Her performance of this program was the winner of the public prize at the 2013 Utrecht Early Music Festival Fringe. Frey holds degrees from McGill, Mannes, and Juilliard. www.elinorfrey.com

Silas Nathaniel Huff, Conductor
December 19, 2015

Silas Nathaniel Huff is a conductor, composer, and U.S. Army Music Officer. Maestro Huff has conducted outstanding orchestral, band, choral, opera, ballet, and new music performances for 15 years across the United States and Europe. He has conducted youth, university, and professional ensembles in California, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, Massachussetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia; abroad, he has conducted the L’Orchestre de L’Institut Musical de Provence-Aubagne (Aix-en-Provence, France), the Republic of Adegya National Philharmonic Orchestra (Maikop, Russia), the New Symphony Orchestra (Sofia, Bulgaria), and the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra (Zlin, Czech Republic). Maestro First Lieutenant Huff is currently Director of the The U.S. Army Orchestra (an element of the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own”) and Co-Director of the International Conducting Institute, an organization dedicated to training the world’s next generation of conductors.

A native Texan, Maestro Huff studied classical guitar at Texas State University before moving to Los Angeles where he earned a Master of Music degree in music theory and composition from UCLA. While there, he studied conducting with Maestro Donald Neuen, and upon graduation became a full-time student of orchestral conducting under Dr. Richard Rintoul at California State University in Long Beach. Maestro Huff also spent one year in residence at the Trossingen Hochschule für Musik (Germany), six months studying privately in Berlin, and two summers at L’Institut Musical Provence-Aubagne (France). He has attended dozens of workshops led by the world’s finest maestros, including Maestros Kirk Trevor, Donald Schleicher, Gustav Meier, Michael Tilson Thomas, Carl St. Clair, Harold Farberman, and others.

In 2001, Maestro Huff was named Conductor of the Year by the California State University system, and he was a semi-finalist in the 2004 Maikop International Conducting Competition (Russia). Maestro Huff’s past positions include Music Director of the Astoria Symphony Orchestra (NYC), Music Director of Round Rock Symphony Orchestra (TX), Conductor of Moscow Ballet’s USA east coast tours, Associate Producer of Opera at the Manhattan School of Music, and Assistant Conductor of the California State University Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Palisades Symphony (CA), and Greenwich Village Orchestra (NY). An avid dance conductor, Maestro Huff has conducted performance with the Fullerton College Ballet Theater (CA), Long Island City Ballet (NYC), Octavia Cup Dance Theatre (NYC), Moscow Ballet, and the Martha Graham Ensemble, with which he conducted Aaron Copland’s complete Appalachian Spring with the original choreography, costumes, and set.

As a composer and advocate of new music, Maestro Huff has also organized and presented concerts of contemporary music in California, Texas, New York, Spain, France, Germany, and Italy, and continues to compose and conduct new music. He has conducted dozens of world premieres, including his own. In 2007, he conducted the premiere of his Five Episodes for Cello and Orchestra, and 2009 saw the premiere of his first ballet, Chun Zhi Ge (“Spring Song Festival”), which was performed again in November 2011 in China before a live audience of 50,000 and a television audience of 100 million. In the fall of 2010, Maestro Huff conducted the orchestral premiere of his Four Cowboy Songs, and 2014 he directed the premiere of his Texas Ranger Fantasy for euphonium and symphonic band.

In 2011, Maestro Huff won a coveted conducting job with the U.S. Army Music Program. He enlistend in the U.S. Army, attended Basic Combat Training, Officer Candidate School, and the Basic Officer Leadership Course. Since then, his military appointments have included Executive Officer/Associate Conductor of the U.S. Army TRADOC Band in Newport News, VA, Associate Bandmaster/Officer-in-Charge of the U.S. Army Concert Band “Pershing’s Own,” and Officer-In-Charge of Strings/Director of the U.S. Army Orchestra (Washington, D.C.).

Maestro/First Lieutenant Huff loves espresso, bicycling, and his novelist wife Taylor Morris. They live across the Potomac River from the U.S. Capital, in Alexandria, Virginia, with their cat Blackie. www.silashuff.com

Gabriel Shuford, Harpsichord
January 15, 2016

Harpsichordist Gabriel Shuford performs throughout North America and abroad, and is the recipient of several awards, including the 2011 Baron Prize from Stony Brook University and the top-prize at the 2007 Mae and Irving Jurow International Harpsichord Competition. He is a member of Repast Baroque Ensemble and has been a frequent guest of others, including A Far Cry and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. The New York Times called his performance with Speculum Musicae of Elliott Carter’s Sonata “assured, polished and beautifully nuanced.” Gabriel earned a doctorate from Stony Brook University, where he studied with harpsichordist Arthur Haas. He has served on the faculties of Luther College and Sarah Lawrence College. www.gabrielshuford.com

Marc Destrubé, Violinist
April 23, 2016

Canadian violinist Marc Destrubé is equally at home as a soloist, chamber musician, concertmaster or director/conductor of orchestras and divides his time between performances of the standard repertoire on modern instruments, and performing baroque and classical music on period instruments. His exceptional versatility stems from a wish to reflect the composers’ intentions as genuinely as possible and his view of the violin as a tool of expression, whatever the musical form at hand.

His teachers include Harry Cawood, David Zafer and Steven Staryk, the great Hungarian pedagogue and quartet leader Sandor Végh, and Norbert Brainin of the Amadeus Quartet.

He is first violinist with the Axelrod String Quartet, quartet-in-residence at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., where the quartet plays on the museum’s exceptional collection of Stradivari and Amati instruments. He has also performed and recorded with L’Archibudelli (Vera Beths, Jurgen Küssmaul, Anner Bijlsma) and is a member of the Turning Point Ensemble in Vancouver, specializing in 20th century music and new music. He appears regularly in chamber music performances on the Early Music Vancouver series and summer festival as well as at MusicFest Vancouver. He is also first violinist with the recently-formed string quartet Microcosmos in Vancouver.

He has appeared as soloist and guest director with symphony orchestras in Victoria, Windsor, Edmonton and Halifax as well as with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Portland Baroque Orchestra and Lyra Baroque Orchestra. He led the Belgian ensemble Anima Eterna in acclaimed recordings of the complete Mozart Piano Concertos with Jos van Immerseel. A founding member of the Tafelmusik Orchestra, he has appeared with many of the leading period-instrument orchestras in North America and Europe including as guest concertmaster of the Academy of Ancient Music and of the Hanover Band.

As a concertmaster he has played under Sir Simon Rattle, Kent Nagano, Helmuth Rilling, Christopher Hogwood, Philippe Herreweghe, Gustav Leonhardt and Frans Brüggen. He is co-concertmaster of Brüggen’s Orchestra of the 18th Century with whom he has toured the major concert halls and festivals of Europe, North America, Asia and Australia, including directing the orchestra in performances at Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts and appearing as soloist in Haydn’sSinfonia Concertante in concerts in Holland, Austria and Belgium for the Haydn-year. He was concertmaster of the CBC Radio Orchestra from 1996 to 2002, and concertmaster of the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra.

From the concertmaster’s chair he has directed orchestras in much of the standard baroque and early classical repertoire as well as in performances of larger scale works such as Beethoven’s First Symphony, Mozart’s G Minor Symphony K.440 and the Tchaikovsky Serenade.

As founding director of the Pacific Baroque Orchestra he was responsible for commissioning works for the orchestra from a number of Vancouver-based composers, as well as instigating other innovative projects such as a program of French baroque and Aboriginal dance and music. He has also directed several Modern Baroque Opera productions, including the premiere of Peter Hannan’s 120 Songs for the Marquis de Sade. Other innovative projects include a performance for Vancouver New Music in 2008 combining a Beethoven string quartet, 5 songs performed by Pissed Off Wild, a post-punk hip-hop band, and a new work by Peter Hannan for amplified violin, percussion and live electronics.

A highly respected teacher, he has been a visiting artist/faculty at the Paris, Moscow and Utrecht Conservatoires, Indiana University, Case Western University, Australian National University, Sydney Conservatorium, the MacPhail School, the Banff Centre and the University of Victoria, and has presented children’s concerts at the Cité de la Musique (Paris). He was co-director of the Early Music Vancouver Baroque Instrumental Program and on the faculty of the Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin College, and has recently been named to the faculty of the Berwick Academy at the Oregon Bach Festival.
His recording of Haydn Violin Concertos on the ATMA label has been praised by the Strad Magazine (London) for the “stylish solo playing…, individual yet unselfconscious” and by Whole Note Magazine (Toronto) for its “bold and daring solo playing”. He has also recorded for Sony, EMI, Teldec, Channel Classics, Hänssler, Globe and CBC Records as well as being broadcast regularly on the CBC.

He is artistic director of the Pacific Baroque Festival (Victoria, Canada), and Artistic Advisor to the New York City ensemble Dorian Baroque. www.marcdestrube.com

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