Conductors

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Tom Axworthy

Mr. Axworthy currently teaches the Collegium Musicum and Recorder Workshop for Rio Hondo College and has directed the Collegium for the Claremont Graduate School. He teaches regularly for the early music workshops presented by the San Diego Early Music Society, the Southern California Recorder Society, the San Francisco Early Music Society and the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts (ISOMATA), directs his own annual SCEMC Workshop in Renaissance Reed Instruments, and is co-director for the Canto Antiguo Workshop in Early Music and Dance.

He is the founder-director of the Southern California Early Music Consort and a member of the Renaissance Players, Harmonia Baroque and is a co-founder of Canto Antiguo. He also directs several other chamber ensembles in a wide range of musical styles. Mr. Axworthy has appeared as a recorder/shawm soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as well as an oboe soloist with many local orchestras. He records for the Musical Heritage Society, Nonesuch, Dargason and Word Records. His early instruments and the SCEMC have been heard in numerous film and TV soundtracks.

Mr. Axworthy is the co-founder (with Lia Levin) and musical director of the Los Angeles Recorder Orchestra. He also prepares many of the editions of renaissance, baroque, classical, romantic and modern music for LARO.

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Malachai Bandy

A native of Los Angeles, Malachai Komanoff Bandy has amassed a professional performance record on some twenty instruments spanning over 800 years of music history. He graduated cum laude with Distinction in Research and Creative Work from Rice University's Shepherd School of Music with double bass and music history degrees. Over the past few years, Malachai has performed as a violist da gamba and violonist with The Orpheon Consort (Vienna), Ars Lyrica Houston, and as a viol, shawm, and hurdy-gurdy player with Ciaramella: Ensemble for the Fifteenth Century (Los Angeles). He is also a featured soloist in Bear McCreary’s score to the film 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) and Emmy-winning title theme for the STARZ television series DaVinci's Demons. After completing a Wagoner Fellowship-funded individual course of viola da gamba and organological study with master pedagogue José Vázquez in Austria, Spain, and Switzerland, Malachai began graduate studies in Historical Musicology as a Provost Fellow at the USC Thornton School of Music in 2015. He is currently in the final stages of creating the first comprehensive aural catalog of the Orpheon Foundation’s fifty historical violas da gamba (Duino, Italy) with the support of a Presser Graduate Award (2016). His present scholarly interests include topics pertaining to viola da gamba technique, repertoire, instrument design, and iconography.

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Brenda Bittner

Brenda Bittner has been an early music performer, conductor, and teacher in the South Bay since 1977. She has taught recorder and conducted numerous groups, including groups at Rio Hondo college, Renaissance Pleasure Faire, the Long Beach Renaissance Festival,  SCRS and OCRS. She plays numerous early music instruments in addition to recorder. She was also director of Bankside Players, an amateur performing group in the South Bay.


Brenda is currently teaching the “Recorders Plus Workshop” at Manhattan Beach Parks and Recreation, and conducts the concerts given by members of the class as La Mer Consort.  She plays with and is on the Board of the Los Angeles Recorder Orchestra and is a member of the American Recorder Society, and the Southern California Recorder Society.

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Vicki Boeckman

Vicki Boeckman has been performing and teaching since the 1980s. She was an internationally acclaimed performing and recording artist who traveled all over the US and to many other countries to perform and teach. Vicki resided in Denmark from 1981-2004 and had the opportunity to collaborate with some of the finest musicians of the day including Jaap ter Linden, John Holloway, René Jacobs, Lars Ulrik Mortensen, Pedro Memelsdorf and Markus Zahnhausen. Her Danish recorder trio Wood'N'Flutes had a fantastic 15-year run performing all over Europe and working with contemporary composers in addition to doing children's theater. She was an adjunct professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen for 12 years and taught at the Ishøj Municipal School of Music for 23 years.


Locally Vicki has been a featured soloist with the Seattle Symphony, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Portland Baroque Orchestra, The Oregon Symphony, Portland Opera, Medieval Women's Choir, Gallery Concerts, Philharmonia Northwest Orchestra, and the Skagit Symphony. She is currently music director for the Seattle Recorder Society, co-director for the Recorder Orchestra of Puget Sound (ROPS), and Artistic Director for the Port Townsend Early Music Workshop.

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Adam Bregman

Adam Bregman (sackbut) received a Bachelor’s degree in Music Performance from the University of Indiana in Bloomington, where he was under the tutelage of M. Dee Stewart. Upon beginning his studies at the university on modern trombone, he quickly took an interest in early music. He took lessons on tenor and bass sackbuts with Wendy Gillespie (viola da gamba) and Gregory Ingles. Adam earned his Master’s degree in early music performance at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne (Germany) with Wim Becu.

He is a member of the early brass ensemble Oltremontano (Belgium). He performs regularly in Europe and the United States with ensembles including Piffaro, the Renaissance Band (USA), the Huelgas Ensemble (Belgium), His Majesty’s Sagbutts and Cornetts (England), B’Rock Baroque Orchestra (Belgium) and Capella Cracoviensis (Poland).

In August 2016, Adam began a PhD in musicology at the University of Southern California (Los Angeles).

Sarah Cantor

Sarah Cantor

Sarah Cantor is a recorder virtuoso specializing in the interpretation of contemporary and early music. She holds degrees in early music and Spanish from The Indiana University Early Music Institute and the Royal Conservatory in Holland, where she studied with Marion Verbruggen.  Her many appearances as recorder soloist include concerto concerts and recordings for The Berkshire Bach Society; with violinists Eugeine Drucker and Ani Kavafian; Boston Cecilia with soprano Lisa Saffer; The Gloria Dei Contores choir; and Sarasa with violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock, and Soprano Emily van Evera. She has played under the direction of Ton Koopman, Stanley Ritchie, and Kenneth Cooper.

She has given solo recitals for The Boston Early Music Festival, The Boston Recorder Society, The Massachusetts Council of the Arts, The King’s Chapel Recital Series, Marlboro college, Sing-Sing prison, The Almity School in Arrezo, Italy, and The National Theater of Limon, Costa Rica. She is also an active chamber musician and is a founding member of the following ensembles that frequently perform live on New England public radio stations: The Hague Baroque Ensemble, The Artemis Trio, The Brookline Early Music Ensemble, Saltarello, Sarasa, Newton Baroque and La Sylva. Sarah also performs with La Donna Musicale and Eudaimonia.

In addition to her performing career, she is an active teacher and dancer. Ms. Cantor has worked as a dancer and musician for the Utah Shakespearean Festival and in numerous Christmas Revels productions.

She has given early music workshops for the New England Conservatory baroque orchestra, Ars Longa ensemble in Cuba, Amherst Early Music, Pinewoods, and various chapters of The American Recorder Society. Ms. Cantor taught dance and served as head of the early music programs at the Brookline Music School and the Putney Summer Arts program. She was a finalist in the 2007 Early Music America Medieval Renaissance competition.

At the beginning of the pandemic, Sarah gathered and directed 120 recorder players of various levels and ages from 27 countries to came together and play in the Global Recorder Orchestra video.

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Inga Funck

Born in Hamburg, Germany, Inga Funck grew up in a musical family and played recorder from early childhood. She studied historical recorders and flutes with Peter Holtslag at the Hochschule fur Musik und Theater, Hamburg, and participated in many workshops throughout Europe. Inga has been featured in solo performances and period instrument ensemble in Germany, Austria, Hungary, Denmark, and the Netherlands. Aspiring to find a balance of appreciating the past while engaging the present, she sets high standards in the authenticity of her early music performances and at the same time is expanding the musical dimension of the recorder into modern days. Performances with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the Walt Disney Concert Hall have included the contemporary piece by Byorgy Kurtag, Quasi una fanasia, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen and Bach's Brandenburg Concertos conducted by Giovanni Antonini. She has performed as a member of the Los Angeles Opera, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Les Folies (a recorder ensemble, playing at the Microfest at REDCAT), as well as Musica Angelica. She regularly conducts the monthly meetings of the Southern California Recorder Society, the Orange County Recorder Society, the San Diego Recorder Society, and teaches workshops such as the SFEMS recorder workshop in Oakland, and has an active studio of private students.

Ms. Funck is one of the founding members of Les Surprises Baroques, a Baroque Ensemble founded in 2011 and functions as its Executive Director.

- from http://recorderplayerswest.org/director/

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Adam Gilbert

Adam Knight Gilbert, Professor and Director of USC’s Thornton School of Music Early Music Program, has performed on recorder, shawm, bagpipes, and dulcian with numerous ensembles since he began his professional career in 1981. He performed as a member of New York’s Ensemble for Early Music (1981–85), and as a member of the Waverly Consort (1985–90). He performed as a member of Piffaro, the Renaissance Band (1989–2004). His arrangements and compositions can be heard on the Deutsche Grammaphon Archiv label and on the Dorian label. As director of the ensemble Ciaramella since 2003, his compositions and arrangements are recorded on the Naxos and Yarlung labels. Gilbert studied philosophy at the University of South Carolina, and in 1984 graduated from the Mannes College of Music with a degree in Early Music Performance on recorder, and studied recorder at Rotterdams Conservatorium (1990–91). He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in 2003 in performance practice at Case Western Reserve University. As a recipient of the Fulbright and Belgian American Education Foundation grants, he spent two years as a visiting scholar at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. In 2008, he received the American Musicological Society’s prestigious Noah Greenberg Award. Gilbert served for two years as acting assistant professor of musicology at Stanford University (2003–05). He is currently Associate Professor and Director of Early Music at USC’s Thornton School, where he has taught since 2005. Early Music America recently named Adam and Rotem Gilbert joint recipients of the 2014 Thomas Binkley "for outstanding achievement in performance and scholarship by the director of a university or college early music ensemble."

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Rotem Gilbert

Rotem Gilbert is a native of Haifa, Israel and a founding member of Ciaramella, an ensemble specializing in music of the 15th and 16th centuries. Ciaramella has performed throughout the United States, in Belgium, Germany, and Israel, and released a CD on the Naxos Label, and two recordings with Yarlung Records. Their recent CD Dances on Movable Ground has earned 5 stars by the British magazine Early Music Today and was picked the Editor's Choice, lauded for its "expressive fluidity and rhythmic vitality". She was a member of Piffaro (1996-2007), and has appeared with many early music ensembles in the United States and in Europe. Rotem has been featured as a soloist for the Pittsburgh Opera, the LA Opera, Musica Angelica and the LA Phil. After studies on recorder at Mannes College of Music in New York with Nina Stern, she earned her solo diploma from the Scuola Civica di Musica of Milan where she studied with Pedro Memelsdorff. She earned her doctorate in Early Music performance practice at Case Western Reserve University. She has recently been promoted to associate professor at the USC Thornton School of Music where she teaches Baroque and Renaissance performance practice courses and is an instructor of early music winds. Rotem received the 2012 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching at USC and is the joint recipient of Early Music America’s 2014 Thomas Binkley Award for “outstanding achievement in performance and scholarship by the director of a university or college early music ensemble.” She has been a regular faculty member of early music workshops and is the co-director of SFEMS Recorder Workshop. Rotem can be heard on the Deutsche Grammophon's Archiv, Passacaille, Musica Americana, Dorian, Naxos and Yarlung labels.

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Stephan Haas

Stephan Haas is a recorder player located in Los Angeles. In 1987, he was awarded the first prize in the All Japan Competition, and has been teaching and performing internationally throughout Europe, Japan and the United States. His musical interests span from early Italian composers to modern writers for the instrument. He teaches in the Physics & Astronomy Department at the University of Southern California.

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Shira Kammen

Multi-instrumentalist Shira Kammen has spent much of her life exploring the worlds of early and traditional music of all kinds. A member for many years of the early music Ensembles Alcatraz and Project Ars Nova, she has also worked with Sequentia, Hesperion XX, the Boston Camerata, storyteller/harpist Patrick Ball, singers Azam Ali and Joanna Newsom, the Balkan group Kitka, Anonymous IV, the King’s Noyse, the Newberry and Folger Consorts, The Compass of the Rose, Vajra Voices, Calextone, the Oregon, California and San Francisco Shakespeare Festivals, and is the founder of Class V Music, an ensemble dedicated to providing music on river rafting trips. She has worked with students in many different settings, among them teaching summer music workshops in the woods, coaching students of early music in such schools as Yale University, Case Western, the University of Oregon at Eugene, and working at specialized seminars at the Fondazione Cini in Venice, Italy and the Scuola Cantorum Basiliensis in Switzerland. Shira conducts a chamber chorus called Gallimaufry, and co-directs a women’s vocal ensemble, WAVE, and currently is music director for the California Revels. She has played on a number of movie and television soundtracks, when weird medieval instruments are needed.

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Phil Neuman

Phil Neuman, a performer on recorder, sackbutt, and various other wind and stringed instruments, co-founded and co-directs the Oregon Renaissance Band which has performed for the Regensburg Early Music Festival and recorded the CDs "Carnevale" and "Now make we joye." He appears in the movie “Buddymoon,” and on the original soundtrack of the recent remake of Ben-Hur playing ancient Greek instruments. He has played for audiences on three continents, including performances at ancient theater sites in Greece. He teaches regularly at several early music workshops, and conducts Advanced Recorder, Renaissance Winds, and Loud Band classes at the Community Music Center in Portland. He also teaches the online Zoom Consort Class with Gayle Neuman and Laura Kuhlman. Phil has performed with the American Bach Soloists, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, the Mercury Baroque Orchestra, and the Handel & Haydn Society Orchestra. He wrote "Fantasia on Faithless Nancy Dawson" for the Play-the-Recorder Month 2019 featured selection of the American Recorder Society. With his wife Gayle, he has built over 450 early wind and stringed instruments including krummhorns, cornamusen, douçaines, and racketts.

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Alex Opsahl

Alex Opsahl studied recorder with Peter Holtslag and Daniel Bruggen at the Royal Academy of Music, graduating in 2004 with First Class Honors. She went on to study cornetto privately in Italy with Bruce Dickey, continuing these studies at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. She was the winner of the 2003 Moeck Solo Recorder competition, the 2001 and 2003 RAM Early Music Prize and 2003 Hilda Anderson Dean Award. She works now both as a cornettist and recorder player across Europe and North America.

 

Alex has performed with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra under Ton Koopman, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Boston Early Music Festival, Apollo’s Fire, the Green Mountain Project, Le Studio Musique Anciennes de Montréal, Cappella Artemisia, Musica Angelica, The Whole Noyse and American Bach Soloists. She has performed at the Berlin Philharmonie, Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room and the Royal Albert Hall, and played in filmed productions ofL’Incoronazione di Poppea with both Oslo Opera and Glyndebourne Opera. She recorded Vivaldi’s Concerto in C Minor, RV 441, with the Norwegian period orchestra Barokkanerne, and recently recorded the JD Berlin cornetto concerto  with the Norwegian Baroque Orchestra. Alex is a member of the Dark Horse Consort, and is the Music Director of LA-based ensemble Tesserae.

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Alexa Pilon

Recently described by Early Music America as “a special artist with a brilliant future,” Alexa Haynes-Pilon has quickly established herself in the California early music scene performing on baroque cello, viola da gamba, baroque bassoon and dulcian. She has performed with the Los Angeles Chamber Choir, Ergo Musica, the American Ballet Company, the Los Angeles Baroque Players, Con Gioia, and has performed as principal cello with Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra. She has also co-founded two Los Angeles based early music chamber groups, Concitato 415 and Ensemble Bizarria. In Toronto, she performed with Tafelmusik and Accenti Vocali, and was a founding member of the early music ensemble, Rezonance. She has appeared in most of the major Early Music festivals in North America including the Tafelmusik Winter and Summer Institutes, the American Bach Soloists Academy in San Francisco, Vancouver Early Music Festival, and the Boston and Berkeley Early Music Festivals.

 

After completing her BM and MM in cello performance at Brandon University, Alexa Haynes-Pilon earned a performance certificate from the University of Toronto in connection with the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, studying cello with Christina Mahler and viola da gamba with Jöelle Morton. Alexa recently finished her doctoral studies at the University of Southern California, where she studied baroque cello and viola da gamba with William Skeen, and baroque bassoon and dulcian with Charlie Koster.

 

Alexa’s passion is to create music and connect with members of the community, and because of this, she co-founded and is the Artistic Director of Los Angeles Baroque (LAB), a community baroque orchestra based in South Pasadena, CA. In addition, for the past four years she has exposed thousands of elementary and secondary school students to Renaissance and baroque winds and viols through her work with the Crumhorn Collective, in collaboration with Ars Lyrica Houston’s outreach program in Houston, TX.

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Gwyn Roberts

Gwyn Roberts is one of America’s foremost performers on recorder and baroque flute, praised by Gramophone for her “sparkling technique, compelling musicianship, and all-around excellence.”  She is also co-founder and -director of Philadelphia Baroque Orchestra Tempesta di Mare, hailed by the Miami Herald as “the model of a top-notch period orchestra.”  Now in the 17th season of its Philadelphia Concert Series, Tempesta di Mare tours from Oregon to Prague, recently released its 12th CD on the British label Chandos, and reaches audiences in 56 countries around the world with broadcasts of live performances. 

 

Roberts’ soloist engagements include Portland Baroque Orchestra, Recitar Cantando of Tokyo, Washington Bach Consort and the Kennedy Center. In addition to Chandos, she has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, Dorian, Sony Classics, Vox, PolyGram, PGM, and Radio France. Her latest solo recordings include the Fasch Recorder Concerto in F, Bach’s Concerto in G after BWV 530, and Sonatas by Francesco Mancini.  She enjoys collaborating with living composers, recently recording James Primosch’s Sacred Songs and Meditations with the 21st Century Consort for Albany Records.

 

Roberts studied recorder and baroque flute at Utrecht Conservatory in the Netherlands with Marion Verbruggen, Leo Meilink and Marten Root. She loves teaching, with recent masterclasses at the Curtis Institute of Music, Hartt School of Music, and Oregon Bach Festival.  She is Professor of Recorder and Baroque Flute at the Peabody Conservatory, Director of Early Music Ensembles at the University of Pennsylvania, and directs the Virtuoso Recorder Program at the Amherst Early Music Festival. 

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David Schnell

David Schnell holds degrees in Vocal Performance-Opera, Conducting, and Musicology. Currently, he consults in the opera world and is the principal contributor to the reference book on opera repertoire used by professional opera companies worldwide.

 

He was an organist-choirmaster for the Los Angeles Diocese of the Episcopal Church for over 25 years. As a conductor, he has conducted choirs and regional orchestras through-out North America.

 

Before recently retiring as a singer, he sang in over 100 different operas as a member of the LA Opera Chorus, and was also heard in solo roles in Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Peter Grimes, Billy Budd and Der Rosenkavalier with the company.

He also sang with Arizona Opera, Santa Fe Opera, New York City Opera, and San Diego Opera. He performed with the LA Master Chorale, Roger Wagner Chorale, and appeared as a soloist at the Ojai Festival and with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. His voice is heard on over 150 film soundtracks.

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Ted Stern

Dr. Ted Stern is a retired professor of music from Glendale Community College. He was department chair for eight years, and was founder and conductor of the Glendale College Community Orchestra from 1981 until May of 2008. He retired from full-time teaching in 2012, but continues to teach music appreciation classes in the community.


Ted received his PhD in Musicology from UCLA, and wrote his dissertation on the comparative analysis of specific museum wind instruments and their modern reproductions. He has made extensive measurements of museum instruments in Berlin, Prague, Leipzig and Oxford, and his blueprints provide important data for instrument makers wishing to build historical replicas.

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Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson served as Professor of Music at Utah State University for 28 years, and retired to Huntington Beach. While at the college he conducted both the orchestra and the choirs. He also taught Music 1010, one of the most highly sought classes on campus, in which he introduced some 1500 college students to playing recorder. He was also director of the Castle Recorder Consort and is a former member of Musica Reservata with Leslie Timmons.

He founded the Cache Children’s Choir 27 years ago, which is still operating today with four choirs and some 300 young singers. He has conducted instrumental and choral ensembles across the country, including invitations to conduct his major work for orchestras and choirs, entitled “Prelude To Glory,” which was premiered by the National Symphony in Washington D.C. He and his wife, Cathy, are members of the OCRS. He currently serves as Director of Music for Fullerton First United Methodist Church.

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Marylin Winkle

A performer, teacher, and advocate for the arts, Marylin serves as Artistic Director of L.A. Camerata, a performing arts initiative devoted to works for and by women and “others” who have been underrepresented throughout history. In addition to ongoing L.A. Camerata events, Marylin has performed historical works with the Desert Baroque Festival, Boston Camerata, and Musica Angelica. She holds a DMA in Early Music from USC Thornton School of Music, where she studied baroque cello and viola da gamba with Bill Skeen. Marylin believes fiercely in the power of the arts to affect lives and create change. She has over a decade of teaching experiences with students of all ages and disciplines. At the collegiate level, Dr. Winkle currently serves on the faculty at UCLA’s Herb Albert School of Music where she directs the Early Music Ensemble.