Sherezade Panthaki, soprano
Soprano Sherezade Panthaki has been praised by critics as “luminous” and “exquisitely supple” (The New York Times), "a radiant voiced stand-out" (The Washington Post), "full of light" (The Goldberg International Magazine, UK), and is in constant demand as an opera and oratorio soloist. In 2011 she graduated with an Artist Diploma from the Yale School of Music and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, where she was soloist under the direction of internationally renown conductor Masaaki Suzuki. An acclaimed specialist in early music and particularly in the works of J.S. Bach, Ms. Panthaki's recent engagements as soprano soloist include Bach's St. Matthew Passion and Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610 with Masaaki Suzuki (Rome, Florence, Milan, New York city), Bach's Mass in B minor with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Nicholas McGegan (San Francisco), Handel's Solomon with the Radio Kamer Filharmonie (Holland), Bach's St. John Passion with the Choir of St. Thomas Fifth Avenue and director John Scott (New York city), Bach's St. Matthew Passion at the Baldwin-Wallace Bach Festival as well as wit the Bach Society of St. Louis, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and solo cantatas with Mary Greer and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Handel and Vivaldi with the Yale Choral Artists under guest conductors William Christie and Mark Morris, Orff's Carmina Burana with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, Handel's Messiah with Phiharmonia Baroque (California) and the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, as well as a US concert tour of Bach, Handel, and Vivaldi with the Rebel Baroque Orchestra. She makes her New York Philharmonic debut at Lincoln Center in March 2013. In New York city she is a frequent soloist with the most accomplished early music ensembles, including the Orchestra of St. Luke's, the choir and orchestra of Trinity Church Wall Street, and the Clarion Music Ensemble. In previous seasons, Ms. Panthaki has performed with the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Carmel Bach Festival (California), Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, Bach Society of Saint Louis, Catacoustic Consort (Cincinnati), Apollo Chorus of Chicago, the Tafelmusik Baroque Institute (Toronto), and La Donna Musicale (Boston). Ms. Panthaki is the winner of several distinguished awards from the Yale School of Music, and serves as vocal coach for the Yale Baroque Opera Project.
Jay Carter, counter-tenor
American countertenor Jay Carter is quickly gaining recognition as one of the nation's finest, lauded for his "luminous tone" and "stylish interpretations," especially in the music of Handel, Bach, and Purcell. As a tenor he originally trained with Arnold Epley at William Jewell College and in recent seasons has championed the countertenor repertoire. Carter became the first of his voice type to appear with the Independence Messiah Choir in its distinguished four generation history under the baton of conductor Simon Carrington, and again that role under the baton of Sir Philip Ledger. Equally at home in the modern recital and concert repertoire, he has gained acclaim and recognition for his recitals of modern classics typically outside the standard countertenor repertory by composers such as Brahms, Britten, and Hahn. Recent appearances include Staged Madrigals from Monteverdi's Book's VII and VIII, Handel's Messiah and Saul, Buxtehude's Membra Jesu Nostri, numerous Bach Cantatas, Bernstein's Missa Brevis and Chichester Psalms, music celebrating the Tercentenary of Marc-Antoine Charpentier at Yale University, and frequent appearances in recital and lecture. Upcoming appearances include Handel's Messiah with Helmuth Rilling; Bach's Weinachts Oratorium (Louisville Bach Society); and in the title role of Handel's Solomon (Baroque Artists Champaign Urbana); and Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610 (Yale Schola Cantorum). In recent seasons Carter has appeared with with noted conductors Helmuth Rilling, Simon Carrington, Sir Philip Ledger, Arnold Epley, Chester Alwes, and Owen Burdick and with numerous other ensemble throughout New England and the Midwest. In addition to concert performances and recitals Carter is also increasingly in demand as a guest lecturer on countertenor technique and repertory, frequently giving interactive lecture recitals and masterclasses for schools, universities and fine arts organizations. Selected as the Louise E. McClain Scholar for the 2007-2008 academic year at Yale University's Institute of Sacred Music he studies voice with James Taylor and Ted Taylor.
Daniel Carberg, tenor
Daniel Carberg, tenor, has recently performed with Sting, Piffaro, The Catacoustic Consort, Baroque Artists of Champaign (BACH), and has been featured on National Public Radio's Performance Today. Dan is also a founding and current member of the internationally acclaimed Concord Ensemble. Other credits include performances with Theatre of Voices, The Pro Arte Singers, and at The Madison Early Music Festival, The Bloomington Early Music Festival, The San Francisco Early Music Festival, Songfest, The Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Disney Hall, Weil Recital Hall, and recording credits include such labels as Dorian Records, Gothic Records, Harmonia Mundi, and First Step Records. At Millikin University Dan teaches applied voice, vocal pedagogy, vocal performance seminar, and Medieval/Renaissance music history. Dan directs a prestigious small vocal ensemble, Tudor Voices (who frequently collaborate with Gravitacion), and is also a music director, conductor, and continuo player for the Millikin Opera Theatre. Past and current projects include Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, Mozart's Bastien and Bastienne, Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea, and Blow's Venus and Adonis. Dan also served as voice faculty at Bella Musica, Millikin's summer immersion program in Urbania, Italy for two years and most recently has launched the New Brunswick Early Music Festival in St. Andrews, NB, Canada, serving as Co-Artistic Director. Dan holds a doctorate in music from Indiana University, Bloomington.
Matthew Leese, baritone
Baritone Matthew Leese is known as a versatile performer, voice teacher conductor and director. He has founded three critically acclaimed ensembles, the ‘Otago Camerata’, ‘The Bath Street Studio’ and co-founded 'Gravitación'. Extensive performing experience includes lead roles in 'Dido and Aeneas', 'l'Euridice', 'Venus and Adonis', 'Cephale et Procris', ‘The Tide’ and ‘The Telephone’. In New Zealand Matthew has premiered the contemporary roles of Frank in 'Outrageous Fortune' by Gillian Whitehead and Man in 'The Trapeze Artists' by Anthony Ritchie and has recorded Ritchie's songs for Ode Records Ritchie's with sister Anna Leese. Other experience includes tours with LIBER, the Tower New Zealand Youth Choir, Pro Arte Singers, appearances with Baroque Artists of Champaign-Urbana, the Catacoustic Consort, Ensemble Lipzodes and Fenix de los Ingenios. Matthew is Co-Artistic director of NEWBEMF, the New Brunswick Early Music Festival, held annually in Saint Andrews, NB. Matthew holds the DMA in Choral Conducting from the University of Illinois, the MMus in Early Music from Indiana University, a GPDip In Historical Performance from the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA and a MusBHons from the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. Matthew is Adjunct Professor of Voice, Choirs and Opera at Millikin University.
Michel Angers, theorbo
Pablo Cora, tenor and haute-contre
Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Mr. Corá has sung both as a soloist and chamber musician in a wide variety of repertory ranging from early music and oratorio to twentieth-century opera, and specializing particularly on haute-contre roles of the French baroque. In 1996 Mr. Corá formed The Concord Ensemble, which went on to receive numerous awards and accolades for their work in early and contemporary music. He has performed at the Argentine Colón Theatre, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Lincoln Center, Weill Recital Hall, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Disney Concert Hall, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He sings regularly with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Los Angeles Chamber Singers and Cappella, Aguavá New Music and Musica Angelica, He has collaborated often with “period” ensembles such as the Folger Consort, Piffaro, Camerata Pacifica Baroque and the Catacoustic Ensemble in works ranging from Renaissance Florentine and English music, to operas by Marc-Antoine Charpentier. His recording credits include works for the label Harmonia Mundi with Paul Hillier’s Theater of Voices and The Pro Arte Singers, Dorian Recordings with The Concord Ensemble and Piffaro, Rubis Canis Mundi (RCM) and Nonesuch with the L.A. Master Chorale, Gothic Records, and several independent labels.
Claire Fedoruk, soprano
Claire Fedoruk, soprano, is delighted to be making her debut with Gravitación in this concert series! A recent doctoral recipient, she completed her Doctorate in Early Music Performance, graduating from the University of Southern California. Ms. Fedoruk received her BM from Pacific Lutheran University and her MM from the Eastman School of Music. She has collaborated with Nicholas McGegan (Messiah), Robert Shaw (Missa Solemnis), Helmuth Rilling (B Minor Mass), as well as early music specialists Paul O’Dette, Stephen Stubbs, James Tyler, Ray Nurse and Suzie LeBlanc. Summer music festivals have included Oberlin in Italy (Urbania, Italy), Pacific Music Festival (Japan), the Vancouver Early Music Programme (Canada) and Festival Ensemble Stuttgart (Germany). Ms. Fedoruk can be heard on the newly released You Are Variations of Steve Reich and Reich’s Daniel Variation (both available on Nonesuch), LA Chamber Singers Capella’s Padilla: Sun of Justice & JAC Redford’s Evening Wind, (RCA Records) as well as Leanne Rimes’ Christmas Album (2001). Film and studio credits include Slackers (2000), Lady in the Water (2006), License to Wed(2006), and the newly released Horton Hears a Who!(2008)
Along with her performance career, Ms. Fedoruk is Assistant Professor of Music History at Azusa Pacific University, where she specializes in teaching modern and early music.
Youngmi Kim, soprano
Michael Leopold, theorbo
Michael Leopold was born in 1971 near San Francisco, California. While studying under the guidance of Craig Russell at Cal Poly University, he was awarded the ‘Ron Radcliff Outstanding Music Student’ in 1995. While pursuing a Masters of Music Degree in historical plucked instruments, Michael studied under Richard Savino at Sacramento State University. Following graduation in 1998 he moved to Milan, Italy to study lute and theorbo at L’Istituto di Musica Antica of the Accademia Internazionale della Musica (formerly the Civica Scuola di Musica) with Paul Beier. During his studies he participated in courses and master classes with Hopkinson Smith, Paul O’Dette and Jacob Lindberg. He also studied with Mara Galassi, Lorenzo Ghielmi and Eguardo Egüez prior to the completion of his degree in 2004.
Michael has performed both as a soloist and as an accompanist in Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Norway, Japan and the United States. He has worked with various groups including Concerto Italiano (Rome), La Pietà de’ Turchini (Naples), La Risonanza (Milan), Madrigalisti Ambrosiani (Milan), La Galeazescha (Milan), Galatea (Milan), and Anima Mundi (Tokyo). He has also collaborated with several orchestras and opera companies including Orchestra Verdi di Milano, Houston Grand Opera (USA), Glimmerglass Opera (USA), LA Baroque Orchestra (USA), and Santa Rosa Symphony (USA).
Recording projects include Mottets by Alessandro Melani with Concerto Italiano of (Rome), ‘Historia di Jephte’ by Carissimi with Centro Italiano di Musica Antica (Rome), the 2003 Early Music America’s Naxos competition Grand Prize Winner recording session with Catacoustic (USA), and a recording of the music of Buonamente with Monica Hugget and Bruce Dickey.
Molly Pufall, mezzo-soprano
Molly is thrilled to be making her professional Early Music
debut with Gravitación. Pufall
comes from a family comprised of professional musicians and educators, all
encultured in a rich choral tradition.
She is currently Assistant Professor of Music at Alverno College in
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she directs the Alverno Chorus and Pop/Vocal Jazz
Ensemble, teaches Voice, Vocal Techniques, Vocal Lab, Music Appreciation, and
Early Music History. Pufall was most
recently the recipient of a DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) Research
Scholarship and a finalist for a Research Fulbright to study the status of
small ensemble singing in Köln, Germany and its surrounding areas. Besides directing ensembles and
researching a wide array of music – from Medieval to contemporary gospel –
Pufall maintains a performance calendar, primarily in the fields of Early Music
and jazz. She earned her
undergraduate degree at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois and her graduate
degree from Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, Illinois with emphasis in
Early Music, Ethnomusicology, and Jazz Studies. Besides teaching and performing, Pufall plays ultimate
Frisbee, and loves biking, Pilates, kayaking, camping, swimming and baking.
Adam Wead, lute and theorbo
Adam Wead studied lute in Florence, Italy, and holds degrees from Peabody Conservatory and Indiana University. His teachers include Gian Luca Lastrioli, Mark Cudek and Nigel North. His solo appearances include the National Shrine to Music Museum in Vermilion, South Dakota, as well as the Bloomington and Boston Early Music Festivals. He has performed and lectured at the University of Edmonton, and with the CapRock Early Music Association in Lubbock, Texas. His performances have been broadcast nationally on NPR's syndicated show Harmonia and he has recorded for the Koch record label. Since 1999, he has performed for thousands of elementary and high school students throughout Kentucky under the sponsorship of New Performing Arts, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing arts education to rural counties in Kentucky. He appears regularly with the ensemble Ostraka, in Atlanta, Georgia.
Jay White, counter-tenor
After completing his Masters of Music at Indiana University, countertenor Jay White sang eight seasons with Chanticleer, with whom he produced 14 recordings including two Grammy® Award-winning albums. With Chanticleer he traveled to over 40 states and 15 foreign countries, appeared in many of the world’s prestigious concert halls, performed at national and international music festivals and collaborated with Frederica von Stade, Dawn Upshaw, Jake Heggie, Chen Yi and August Read Thomas among others. As a soloist, Dr. White has performed with members of America’s finest Early Music ensembles including the Smithsonian Players, Tafelmusik and the Seattle and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestras and graced some of the world’s most prestigious stages including New York’s Weill Hall and London’s Globe Theatre. No stranger to the airwaves, Dr. White has been seen on PBS and CBS and heard on NPR as well as television and radio programs worldwide. After receiving his DMA in 2005 from the University of Maryland, Dr. White has taught at his alma mater, Columbia Union College (MD) and the University of Delaware and is currently Assistant Professor of Voice at DePauw University (IN).
Call (217) 390-4480
509 West William Street
Champaign, Illinois 61820