Meet the musicians who make the music that makes our wonderful concerts!

                                                   

Amanda Balestrieri

took her rigorous instrumental training in orchestral and chamber music and her love of language and the stage, and crafted an unusually versatile soprano voice in the classical music community, making her truly a musician’s singer. Born in England, she won two scholarships to Oxford University where she received her BA/MA in German and French, and studied voice in London and Milan. She sang with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields under Sir Neville Marriner for the soundtrack of the movie Amadeus and was a regular soloist in contemporary music with James Wood’s New London Chamber Choir. 

After moving to the United States, Balestrieri made several notable appearances with the National Symphony under Leonard Slatkin and Christopher Hogwood, and with the Smithsonian Chamber Players under Kenneth Slowik. Renowned for her “radiant intelligence” and her “unusually versatile” voice with its “luminous warmth” (Washington Post, Santa Fe New Mexican), she is in high demand for her musicianship and skills in baroque repertoire. She has appeared with the major period instrument ensembles throughout the U.S., including New York Collegium, Concert Royal and New York Baroque Dance Company, Opera Lafayette, Washington Bach Consort, and American Bach Soloists.

Balestrieri moved to Denver in 2009 and has been a guest soloist with area symphony orchestras and ensembles, including the Colorado Symphony and the Colorado Chamber Players, and with period instrument ensembles including Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado, Boulder Bach Festival, and Parish House Baroque. Formerly on the Voice Faculty at the University of Virginia, she currently teaches Voice Performance at Regis University in Denver. Balestrieri was appointed Artistic Director and Conductor of the Seicento Baroque Ensemble in 2018, and she has recorded with the Dorian, Koch, and Virginia Arts labels.

Updated 2020

                                                   

Sarah Biber

has played viola da gamba and cello across the United States, Australia, and China. In recent collaborations with dance, she has been featured with the Paul Taylor Dance Company performing solo Bach for the company’s first performance with period instruments. Ms. Biber earned her doctorate from Stony Brook University after double-degree studies at Oberlin Conservatory and College and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. She recently relocated to Golden, Colorado where she teaches and plays with groups like the Baroque Orchestra of Colorado and Byrd on a Wire, her viol consort. Sarah plays an 1815 Lockey Hill cello and and 2015 gamba by François Danger.enjoys playing both Baroque and Modern Violin. A Colorado native, she has been delighted to be a part of the growth of Early Music in this beautiful state. 

Updated 2020

                                                   

Stacey Brady

enjoys playing both Baroque and Modern Violin. A Colorado native, she has been delighted to
be a part of the growth of Early Music in this beautiful state. Stacey is a dedicated teacher and enjoys her full studio of students ranging from age 3 to 18. A founding member of the highly acclaimed Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado, Stacey also performs with local ensembles such as Siecento and Sphere Ensemble. She is excited to be a part of this great Happy Hour Series in Denver!

Updated 2018

                                                   

Barbara Hamilton

is the Artistic Director and Violist with the Colorado Chamber Players, now entering its 26th season. For the past five years, Barbara has embarked on a study of baroque instruments, including the viola d’amore. She recently acquired a 2018 Olivia Pelling viola d’amore, and a 2013 Martin Biller viola d’amore. Barbara was honored to perform at the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institutes in 2017, 2018 and 2019, studying viola d’amore with Thomas Georgi. As well, she performed at several Oberlin summer baroque institutes, and performed with the Baroque Chamber Orchestra’s complete Brandenberg concerti in 2018. Previous orchestra positions include Principal Viola and Soloist with the Orquesta de Barcelona, Eastern Music Festival, and Colorado Symphony, and Assistant Principal Viola with Buffalo Philharmonic. She held a one year tutti viola position with New York Philharmonic. Barbara has played as Principal Viola with Pro Musica Colorado for 13 years. She served as the Chamber Music coordinator at Denver School of the Arts from 2013-2018. Barbara has performed chamber music with Lynn Harrell, David Krakauer, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Julia Fischer, Roger Tapping, Jesse Levine, and Sharon Isbin. Barbara received the DMA from Yale School of Music in 1993, and holds advanced degrees from SUNY Stony Brook and Indiana University.  You can learn more at www.coloradochamberplayers.org.

Updated 2019

                                                   

Wesley Leffingwell

is a pianist and harpsichordist from Littleton, Colorado. Performances from the past season include the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra, the Playground New Music Ensemble, the Breckenridge Music Festival, the Ainomae Ensemble, and as a soloist with the Aurora Symphony Orchestra. He works as a staff accompanist for the University of Denver Chorale, and an organist at St. Aidan’s Church in Boulder. Jazz and improvised music were an important part of his musical upbringing. Awarded by Downbeat Magazine, he has made appearances at Dazzle Denver, Porgy and Bess Vienna, as well as Sacramento, Evergreen, and Summit Jazz Festivals. He has taught both as a guest lecturer at the University of Colorado Boulder and privately. Wesley is a 2019-2020 Fellowship Artist with Boulder Bach Festival, studying and performing as basso continuo keyboardist.

Updated 2020

                                                   

Ann Marie Morgan

is praised by the Baltimore Sun for her “beguiling musicality.” She is a frequent guest artist on viola da gamba with such major ensembles as the Cleveland, Philadelphia, Minnesota and Colorado Symphony Orchestras; at numerous Bach Festivals including Oregon, Bethlehem, and Boulder; and internationally in the Czech Republic, Turkey, Germany and Canada. Often a collaborator with tenor Nicholas Phan she is the violist da gamba on his album “A Painted Tale”, performing in Carnegie Hall and Istanbul; with members of Apollo’s Fire: The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra; and at the Chautauqua Institute (NY). She is featured baroque cellist on Grammy nominated flutist Joshua Smith’s highly acclaimed recording of the Bach continuo sonatas and chamber sonata from the Musical Offering. H&B Recordings Direct notes that her sound is “straight from heaven.” The Colorado Chamber Players and Colorado Bach ensembles invite her to perform regularly cello, cello piccolo and viol. Active as a choral singer locally, she serves as Alto Section Leader for Ars Nova Singers and at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Littleton. This season she will appear as a cameo artist with St. Martins Chamber Choir and perform concerts with duo partner William Simms (theorbo and baroque guitar). Please see her website for more information at stringperformer.com.

Updated 2019

                                                   

Scott Saari

earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in guitar performance from University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and Arizona State University, respectively. He has been a regular member or guest lutenist and viola da gambist with many Early Music ensembles in the Southwest, such as Musica Dolce, Helios, and Musica Sonora, as well as a soloist on guitar and lute. After moving to Denver from Phoenix in 2016, Scott formed the Chimera Consort, currently concentrating on lute duet and lute/viol repertoire, with Denver lutenist Diana Linger. Scott is enjoying studying viola da gamba privately with Ann Marie Morgan. Sharing the subtle beauty of Early Music with new audiences and aficionados is his driving passion.

Updated 2019

                                                   

Peter Schimpf

is an associate professor and Chair of the Department of Music at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He has taught courses in music history, world music, music appreciation, and the history of Rock and Roll, and he is the founder and director of the MSU Denver Early Music Ensemble. He earned a Ph.D. from Indiana University in musicology, and has a BM in performance from California State University Sacramento where he studied guitar and lute with Dr. Richard Savino. As a performer on period instruments, he has performed with the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado, Colorado Music Festival, Seicento Baroque Ensemble, and the Denver Early Music Consort.

Updated 2018

William Simms

is an active performer of early music. Equally adept on lute, theorbo and baroque guitar, he regularly performs with Apollo’s Fire, The Washington Bach Consort, Tempesta di Mare, Modern Musick, Ensemble Vermillian, Heartland Baroque and Three Notch’d Road. He has performed numerous operas, cantatas and oratorios with such ensembles as The Washington National Opera, The Cleveland Opera, Opera Lafayette, Opera Philadelphia and American Opera Theater. Venues include The National Cathedral, The Kennedy Center, The KImmel Center for the performing arts and The Barns at Wolftrap. Summer festival performances include Tanglewood, Caramoor and Ravinia. He has toured and recorded with The Baltimore Consort and Apollo’s Fire. His recording with Ronn Mcfarlane, Two Lutes, was CD pick of the week on WETA in 2012. He has recorded for the Centaur, Sono Luminus and Eclectra labels. Mr. Simms received his Bachelor of Music from the College of Wooster in Ohio and his Master of Music from Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. He is Instructor of Guitar at Mt. St. Mary’s University and Hood College, where he is founder and Director of the Hood College Early Music Ensemble.

Updated 2019

                                                         

(Photo: Ablaze Studios)

Solis

has continued to challenge and delight audiences since its inception in 2016, weaving together unexpected styles to present engaging concert programs. Though Renaissance and contemporary classical music are the heart and soul of what they do, the group approaches all styles with equal vigor and commitment to musical excellence. This quintet brings together decades of combined experience from diverse musical backgrounds spanning everything from french horn to organ, guitar, piano, composition, and of course a common love for vocal music. The result? An expressive and versatile group whose prowess in performance is surpassed only by their infectious joy. For upcoming events and more information about the singers, you can visit their website at solissingers.com.

   Mo Bailey, soprano
   John Boggs, alto
   Daniel Parks, tenor
   Brian du Fresne, baritone
   Maxwell J McKee, bass

Updated 2019

                                                         

Daniel Urbanowicz

holds a master’s degree from the New England Conservatory of Music and a bachelor’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music. Mr. Urbanowicz is the former Principal Viola of the Augusta Symphony and performs regularly with the Miami Ballet, Jacksonville Symphony, Southwest Florida Symphony, and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. Dan has played with the New World Symphony at Carnegie Hall, the Sarasota Orchestra, the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, the Atlantic Symphony, Gulfshore Opera, the Canton Symphony Orchestra, the Firelands Orchestra, and the Plymouth Philharmonic. He has served as Principal Violist of Charlottesville Opera, Gulfshore Opera, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in Germany, the Pacific Music Festival in Japan, and the Chautauqua Music School Festival Orchestra. Apart from playing the viola, Dan also enjoys playing the viola d’amore. As a viola d’amore player Dan has been featured at the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, College of Charleston’s Second Monday Series, and Augusta University as a guest lecturer and recitalist. His principal teachers include Martha Katz, Jeffrey Irvine, Lynne Ramsey, and Marylene Gingras-Roy on viola; and Thomas Georgi on Viola d’Amore. Mr Urbanowicz plays on a 2017 Robert Clemens Viola. Urbanowicz’s viola d’amore is from the 19th century and is of unknown origin.

Updated 2019