SIREN Baroque is an all-female baroque ensemble from New York City. Presenting passionate and historically informed performances throughout the States and overseas, the women of SIREN are committed to infusing spirited historical accuracy with a tinge of modern dynamism. Critics praise SIREN Baroque’s “unusual freshness” (Seen and Heard International) and “secure and stylish” playing (New York Times).
2011-2012, SIREN's inaugural season, garnered enthusiastic reviews and an invitation to perform at the Festival de Musica Barroca in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Programs highlighted early Italian antiphony (“Surround Sound”); English love songs and music (“The Course of Love”); women composers from convents and courts (“Women All-Stars of the Baroque Era”); and the musical exchange between Venice and Spain in the High Baroque (“Counter Culture,” featuring cellist Katie Rietman). In May, SIREN collaborated with Company XIV on Judge Me Paris, a burlesque/baroque adaptation of The Judgment of Paris, and in August SIREN performed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art's "Art After 5" series.
The 2012-13 season included a program of cantatas and concertos by Bach and Vivaldi (“Venice Connection”); a selection of vocal music by women composers on Gotham Early Music Scene’s popular Midtown Concert Series; and a concert of French music featuring renowned violinist Marc Destrubé (“In His Court”). In March, SIREN collaborated with Morningside Opera to present Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. In April, SIREN recorded its debut album, “Women All-Stars of the Baroque Era,” presenting rarely-heard masterpieces by women composers, a program that SIREN will perform at the Boston Early Music Festival in June. July will bring a tour of upstate New York, with performances in Saratoga and Ulster Counties.
What the Critics are Saying:
"Good energy, technique, stage presence and a passion for the music... is able it all to the audience" - Rodrigo Antonio Treviño Lozano, Director of The Baroque Music Festival of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Violinist Antonia Nelson is the founder of SIREN baroque. Antonia performs regularly with both early and modern music ensembles including The Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, Musica Sequenza and Morningside Opera. She has recorded for Broadway composers and she can be heard in TV ads as well as film. She has participated in the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute, Vancouver Early Music Festival and Amherst Early Music Festival and has worked with teachers Marc Destrubé, Julie Andrijeski, and Cynthia Roberts. In addition to SIREN and as a promoter of women in the arts, Antonia founded the Anthology Strings, an all-female string quartet specializing in commercial work. Antonia received her undergraduate degree from The University of Georgia and Masters from New York University.
Anneke Schaul-Yoder is SIREN’s cellist and Artistic and 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
Kelly Savage (Harpsichord) 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.
Marina Fragoulis, violin, is a member of the Westchester Chamber Symphony, St. Cecilia’s Chorus & Orchestra and the New England Symphonic Ensemble. She has served as concertmaster of Project Opera Manhattan, Amherst Festival Orchestra and Pocket Opera of NY and is principal violinist of the Astoria Symphony, the Martina Arroyo Foundation, Sinfonia Celeste, and the Monmouth Civic Chorus. Marina has given recitals at Gracie Mansion and the Greek Orthodox Archdioceses, and has been featured on Cosmos FM Radio in NY. Festivals include the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute, the Amherst Early Music Festival and the Harmonia Mundi Festival in Italy. She is the founder and director of Dorian Baroque, a new chamber orchestra dedicated to revitalizing historical performance. Marina is a senior Teaching Artist for Midori & Friends and graduated from the Mannes College of Music. She studied modern violin with David Nadien and baroque violin with Cynthia Roberts and Marc Déstrube.
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".
Claire Smith (violin) received her MM in violin performance at The Boston Conservatory. Her teachers have included David Kim, Lynn Chang, Roy Lewis, Anna J. Choi, Magdalena Richter and Ronan Lefkowitz. Currently she studies with Judson Griffin and Joey Corpus. Recent master classes include Julie Andrijeski, Cynthia Roberts, Marc Destrube, and Marilyn MacDonald at Amherst Early Music Festival and Oberlin’s Baroque Performance Institute. She has performed with the Trinity Baroque Orchestra and Choir, Biber Baroque, Vilas Baroque Ensemble, Big Apple Baroque and the Vox Ama Deus ensemble in Philadelphia. Claire is Concertmaster of the Astoria Symphony and Sinfonia Celestis, and plays with Greenwich Symphony, Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, Di Capo Opera Company, Bronx Opera Company and the Orchestra of the Bronx and on a Broadway show. Performances at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Radio City Music Hall, and at the Apollo Theater. Recent performances with Sean “Puffy” Combs on “Saturday Night Live,” “David Letterman” and “The View”
Soprano, Brittany Palmer, was trained at Florida State University and the Eastman School of Music. Her performing career has included solo performances/roles with Opera North, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Western New York Chamber Orchestra, Osh Opera, Opera Gaya, Morningside Opera, University of North Florida, New York Sinfonia, and Encompass New Opera Theatre among others. Some of her favorite performances include Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Adina (L’Elisir d’Amore), La Comtesse Adèle (Le Comte Ory), Lucy Lockit (The Beggar’s Opera), Ariane (Ariane – MartinÅ¯), Drusilla (L’Incoronazione di Poppea), Blondie (The Abduction of Figaro), as well as the soprano solos for Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Carmina Burana, Fauré Requiem, and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass. Brittany most recently was seen as Amelia in Handel’s Atra, ossia l’amore ricordato with Morningside Opera.
Soprano Brett Umlauf sings with Morningside Opera, SIREN Baroque and as an independent artist with troupes such as Company XIV, Dances of Vice and her own Swedish rococo program of CM Bellman's music with lutenist Daniel Swenberg. She has held the position of soloist at Tenth Church of Christ, Scientist since 2004. She trained at Mannes College of Music and has a degree in Classics from Dartmouth College.
Kristina Giles (neé Hendricks) enjoys the role of a musical chameleon within the diverse artistic landscape of New York City. 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. She is a member of SIREN Baroque and Arcos Chamber orchestra, and has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and China. Kristina’s interest in new music has led her to work with composers such as Mason Bates, Gunther Schuller, Joan Tower, Harrison Birtwistle and Oliver Knussen on their chamber and solo works. As a period Baroque musician, and she has collaborated and studied with Manfredo Kraemer, Arthur Haas, Jeanette Sorrell, Robert Mealy and Jörg-Michael Schwarz, on Baroque violin and viola. Before moving to New York City, she performed with the Dallas Opera, Kansas City Symphony, and Huntsville Symphony.Website: www.kristinagiles.com
PHOTO BY ADRIAN BUCKMASTER