About

SIREN Baroque is New York City’s only all-female early music ensemble, dedicated to luring audiences to the irresistible music of the Baroque. Critics laud SIREN Baroque’s “unusual freshness” (Seen and Heard International) and “secure and stylish” playing (The New York Times). Out IN Jersey hails the "effervescent and committed ensemble" and praises their "rapt attention to detail...never stinting on drama or virtuosity.”

The passionate musicians of SIREN are especially committed to shedding light on rarely heard music by women composers, celebrating and perpetuating their art through distinctive performances that compel and delight. SIREN concerts pack a powerful punch, enthralling audiences in the States and abroad with a unique blend of historically informed music-making and lively narrative histories of the composers who inspire it.

SIREN Baroque aims to support the voices of women artists, past and present, collaborating with leading artists and historical musicologists to bring little-known gems, sometimes all the way from a dusty archive to a glittering concert hall, to the public. As Gotham Early Music Scene writes, “Like Odysseus, you should lash yourself to the mast before listening to...SIREN Baroque; it is irresistible.”

 

Artists:

Sopranos: Brittany Palmer, Brett Umlauf

Baroque violins: Liv Heym, Antonia Nelson, Marina Fragoulis, Claire Smith

Baroque viola: Kristina Giles

Baroque cello: Anneke Schaul-Yoder

Harpsichord: Kelly Savage 

Discography:

  • SIREN Songs II, coming 2017
  • SIREN Songs, 2014

 

Articles:

 

  • Summer, 2016. Early Music America, SIREN was heavily quoted and interviewed regarding attending the Avaloch Farm Music Institute
  • October, 2015. "Early Music Sisterhood," a full page feature with an interview with SIREN founder Antonia Nelson in Chamber Music America, p. 34 (http://www.chamber-music.org/mag/2015/fall/index.html)

 

Awards:

  • April 21, 2015. The Open Meadows Foundation grant in support of Donna in Esilio (Woman in Exile), a concert telling the story of Antonia Bembo, a lesser-known woman composer of the Baroque, through the performance of her music and introductory narrative explaining the significance of each piece

 

Season 2016-17:

  • February, 3-21, 2017. La Serenissima: Music and Arts from The Venetian Republic with Company XIV, Carnegie Hall, NYC

 

Season 2015-16:

  • March 26, 2016. Playful Mysteries: Vivacious Instrumental Music of the High Baroque concert at Olive Free Library, West Shokan, NY
  • January 16, 2016. The Life of Antonia Padoani Bembo: Woman in Exile concert workshop with guest artist Daniel Swenberg (theorbo, baroque guitar), at St. Peter's Church, NYC
  • August 9-16, 2015. Avaloch Farm Music Institute artist residency, Boscawen, NH

 

Season 2014-15:

 

  • April 16, 2015. Siren Songs: Women of the Baroque concert and lecture at the Paul Robeson Campus Center, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ
  • March 15, 2015. Siren Songs: Women of the Baroque concert at Bartow Pell Mansion Museum, Bronx, NY
  • February 19, 2015. Vivaldi’s Fire, concert on Gotham Early Music Scene's (GEMS') Midtown Series at The Chapel at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church, NYC
  • January 16/17, 2015. Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater and La Serva Padrona staged opera with Morningside Opera at Alchemical Theater Laboratory, NYC
  • December 20, 2014. Here We Come A-Wassailing: Advent cantatas and trio sonatas concert at Old Ascension Convent, NYC
  • October 28, 2014. Courts to Convents: Women of the Baroque, concert and lecture at St. John’s University, Queens, NY
  • October 25, 2014. SIREN’s Captive Series: Fantasticus! concert on Washington Heights Musical Society Series featuring violist Christof Huebner and gambists Doug Balliet and Arnie Tanimoto in Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 6, at Holyrood Episcopal Church, NYC                                                                                                                                                              

 

Season 2013-14:

 

  • June 13, 2014. Eternal Summer: sonnets and sonatas with new music by Larry Lockwood at 2nd Presbyterian Church, NYC
  • June 8, 2014. Syzygy Presents the Knells and SIREN Baroque concert with the post rock band the Knells & singer-songwriter Danielle Eva Schwob, Le Poisson Rouge, NYC
  • April 26, 2014. Premiere of PANGRAM, new commission from composer Jordan McLean at The Gershwin Hotel, NYC
  • April 5, 2014. Siren Songs: Women of the Baroque debut album release concert on Drew Camerata Music Series at Drew University, Madison, NJ
  • February 21, 2014. Siren Songs: Women of the Baroque concert at Olive Free Library, West Shokan, NY
  • February 20, 2014. Courts to Convents: Women All-stars of the Baroque II concert on GEMS' Midtown Concert Series at The Episcopal Church, NYC
  • December 20, 2013. Winter Songs: Music of the Season concert at Church of the Epiphany, NYC
  • December 19, 2013. Winter Songs: Music of the Season concert at The University Club, NYC
  • October 7, 2013. Fyer, Fyer! Celebrating the Element Fire in Song and Dance concert with guest dancers Marisol Cabrera and Laura Careless at The Gershwin Hotel, NYC

 

Season 2012-13:

 

  • July 13, 2013. Summer Songs: Sprightly Chamber Music concert at Olive Free Library, West Shokan, NY
  • June 14, 2013. Women All-Stars of the Baroque Era concert on Boston Early Music Festival’s Fringe Series at Church of the Covenant Boston, MA
  • May 4, 2013. SIREN's Captives Series: In His Court: Music from the Time of the Sun King featuring violinist Marc Destrubé in an all-French program at The DiMenna Center, NYC
  • April 18-20, 2013. Siren Songs: Women All-Stars of the Baroque Era debut CD recording sessions at Drew University, Madison, NJ
  • March 25/26, 2013. Dido & Aeneas opera by Henry Purcell with Morningside Opera, Dixon Place Theater, NYC
  • February 14, 2013. Women All-Stars of the Baroque concert on GEMS' Midtown Series at St. Peter's Church, NYC
  • November 28/December 2, 2012. Venice Connection: concerti grossi and cantatas of Bach and Vivaldi concert at 2nd Presbyterian Church, NYC

 

2011-2012:

 

  • August 3, 2012. Twilight in Arcadia concert and dance presentation on the Art After 5 Series with Company XIV at The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
  • May 17-27, 2012. Judge ME Paris burlesque baroque opera with Company XIV and Morningside Opera, Bond Street Theater, NYC
  • April 27, 2012. Counter Culture: Exploring the Musical Exchange between Venice and Spain in the High Baroque a concert with guest cellist Katie Rietman, at Tenth Church of Christ, Scientist, NYC
  • March 8-11, 2012. Elisabeth at the Court of the Sun King: a Baroque Workshop for Young Musicians a concert and masterclass workshop at Penn State School of Music, University Park, PA
  • March 22, 2012. Women All-Stars of the Baroque Era concert on the Festival de Musica Barocca, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
  • February 24, 2012. The Course of Love: A Pastiche of English Love Songs with guest lutenist Christopher Morongiello at Tenri Cultural Institute, NYC
  • November 3/4, 2011. Surround Sound concert highlighting early Italian antiphony using choir lofts and an 11-piece ensemble at 1st Presbyterian Church, Brooklyn Heights, NYC

March 22, 2011. Inagural Concert at Caffe Vivaldi, NYC


Individual Bios:

 

Violinist Antonia Light Nelson is the founder and Artistic Director of SIREN Baroque.  Antonia performs regularly with The Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, North Carolina Baroque Orchestra, Musica Sequenza, DiCapo Opera, Norwalk Symphony Orchestra, World Civic Orchestra (concertmaster) Morningside Opera, the New England Symphonic Ensemble to name a few. She honed her early music practice and obsession at Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute, Vancouver Early Music Festival and Amherst Early Music Festival under the tuleadge of teachers Marc Destrubé and Julie Andrijeski. In 2005 Antonia founded Anthology Strings, a string quartet specializing in commercial work.  It was awarded 2011 Best of New York.  Antonia believes in supporting women in the arts and created both SIREN and Anthology with the intention to highlight and support talented and creative women.  She received her undergraduate degree from The University of Georgia and Masters from New York University.

 


 

Anneke Schaul-Yoder is SIREN’s cellist General Manager. She studied at Yale University, the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music, and the Mannes College of Music with Marcy Rosen and Julia Lichten. As a chamber musician and principal cellist with Pocket Opera of New York, Morningside Opera Company, the Mimesis Ensemble, Dorian Baroque, and other freelance ensembles, Anneke performs regularly at New York’s foremost venues in both modern and period styles. She is also a member of the Piano Music & Song Trio, a trumpet/cello/piano trio that performs art songs from all eras and genres at such venues as the Rockwood Music Hall, John Zorn’s Stone, the Cornelia Street Café, and the Nicholas Roerich Museum. She participated in the American Bach Soloists Festival during the summer of 2011, and in 2009 she completed a four-month Creative Residency at the Banff Centre. Anneke also records and collaborates with members of Arcade Fire, TV on the Radio, Antibalas, and the Sway Machinery. To stay in touch with her literary side, she does freelance editing work for Carnegie Hall and the Oxford University Press

 


 

Harpsichordist Kelly Savage is Music Director of SIREN Baroque, performs frequently as a soloist, continuo player and chamber musician, recently working with Vertical Player Repertory, Ensemble 212, Foundling, Big Apple Baroque, and Ensemble ACJW at Carnegie Hall. She also plays regularly with her own chamber group, Biber Baroque, and is co-founder and music director of the newly formed orchestra Vilas Baroque. The New York Times praised Ms. Savage's “deft accompaniment” in the pasticcio opera Amore & Psyche. She holds a doctorate from Stony Brook University, where she studied with Arthur Haas, and also holds graduate degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the organist and choir director at St. Stephen and St. Martin's church in Brooklyn, New York. 

 


Violinist Marina Fragoulis performs with Westchester Chamber Symphony, St. Cecilia’s Orchestra and New England Symphonic Ensemble, has served as concertmaster of Project Opera Manhattan, Amherst Festival Orchestra and Pocket Opera of NY and is principal of the Astoria Symphony, the Martina Arroyo Foundation, Sinfonia Celeste, and the Monmouth Civic Chorus. Festivals include the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute, Amherst Early Music Festival and Harmonia Mundi Festival in Italy. She is the founder and director of Dorian Baroque, a conductor-less chamber orchestra that performs on period instruments.  Marina studied with David Nadien, Cynthia Roberts and Marc Déstrube and is a graduate of the Mannes College of Music.

 


 

Violinist Liv Heym, whose playing has been described as “elegant and sensual, stylishly wild” by the New Yorker (April 2010), performs on both modern and baroque violin. She is member of the European Union Baroque Orchestra during it's season 2011-12. Since January she joined the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment Apprenticeship Scheme and will work under Simon Rattle, Laurence Cummings and Roger Norrington. In NYC she plays and records with Trinity Baroque Orchestra and performs at the ARTEK Midtown Concert series and at WMP Concert Hall. A native of Berlin, Germany, Ms. Heym studied Violin and Chamber Music with Heinz Dinter, Ulrike-Anima Mathé, Eberhard Feltz and Daniel Phillips. Masterclasses with András Schiff were an important artistic influence. As part of the Historical Performance program at Juilliard Ms. Heym studied baroque violin under Monica Huggett and Cynthia Roberts. She is founding member of Waits Trio, a young baroque chamber group dedicated to historically informed performance practice. She also performs regularly with the New York based baroque collective UNCOMMON TEMPERAMENT and has performed with contemporary music ensemble "Lunatics at Large".

 


Violinist Claire Smith received her Masters of Music in violin performance in Boston studying under David Kim and she currently studies baroque violin with Judson Griffin.  Early music performances include Siren Baroque, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, Biber Baroque, Dorian Baroque, Big Apple Baroque and Vox Ama Deus.  Modern work includes Astoria Symphony, Sinfonia Celestis (both as Concertmaster), Greenwich Symphony, Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, Di Capo Opera, Bronx Opera, Staten Island Philharmonic and Connecticut Grand Opera and on Broadway. Performances with Sean “Puffy” Combs on “Saturday Night Live,” “David Letterman” and “The View” and with “Mana” in New York concerts.  Recordings on Shakira’s album, “She Wolf”.  She is also the violinist for Ritchie Blackmore’s band, “Blackmore’s Night.”

 


 

Soprano, Brittany Palmer is Coordinator of SIREN Baroque. She received degrees from Florida State University and the Eastman School of Music. She is also currently pursuing a second Masters degree in Speech Pathology.  Her performing career has included performances/roles with Opera North, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Western New York Chamber Orchestra, Gotham Chamber Opera, Tallahassee Symphony, Morningside Opera, University of North Florida, Dance Company XIV, the Mark Morris Dance Group, Trinity Wall Street Choir, and Encompass New Opera Theatre among many others.  Ms. Palmer was praised in the New York Times as “a solicitous vixen as Venus” in Judgment of Paris, a burlesque Baroque pastiche with Morningside Opera, of which she is the Director of Operations. She is also a member of the all-female, internationally acclaimed Baroque ensemble, SIREN Baroque.  Recently, Ms. Palmer was seen in the New York City production of the Filipino national opera, Noli Me Tangere, performing the role of Sinang.  For more information, please visit www.BrittanyLeighPalmer.com.


 

Soprano Brett Umlauf has been praised by the New York Times for her "pealing, focused sound" and "luminous yet earthy" performances. In addition to being an original member of SIREN Baroque, she is also a founding and/or core member of Company XIV, Morningside Opera and Skid Rococo. Brett frequently collaborates with new music composers such as Larry Lockwood and Kate Soper and has held the position of soloist at Tenth Church of Christ, Scientist since 2004.

 


 

Violist Kristina Giles (neé Hendricks) enjoys a creative and varied performing career.  Trained as a classical violist with degrees from Oberlin Conservatory (B.M.), Rice University (M.M.), and SUNY Stony Brook (D.M.A.) , she has become known for her artistry on the baroque violin, modern violin and baroque viola, in addition to the modern viola.  Kristina has recorded under the Albany Record label, and as a soloist on indie-folk and country albums.  She is the creator ofThe Sequenza Show, a series of performances featuring all of Luciano Berio's Sequenzas, and the founder of THE COLONIALS, a mixed-period ensemble.  Kristina is a member of SIREN Baroque and the Arcos Chamber Orchestra, and also performs with REBEL and members of the International Contemporary Ensemble.  Highlights for the 2013-14 season include a tour of Germany and Switzerland with Arcos Orchestra and an alumna recital at Oberlin Conservatory in collaboration with Webb Wiggins and David Breitman.

PHOTO BY ADRIAN BUCKMASTER