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

                

     

                   

Sarah Biber

has played the cello and viola da gamba across the United States, Australia, and China. She studied the cello at Oberlin Conservatory with Peter Rejto, and then at the Sydney Conservatorium with Georg Pederson, where she performed in the Opera House with the Sydney Symphony and as a member of the Sydney Sinfonia, the training orchestra of the Symphony. After returning from Australia, she founded, directed, and taught the string orchestra program at KIPP DC: AIM Academy, a charter school in the Anacostia neighborhood of DC, at the time, grades 5-8. Sarah received her last degree, a Doctorate of Musical Arts in cello performance, at Stony Brook under renowned cellist Colin Carr. From 2010 to 2011, she was an assistant professor of cello performance and pedagogy at Montana State University, teaching music theory and string pedagogy to future music educators, and founded Second Strings, an orchestra based in DC of adult amateur string players, as well as Hill Harmony, an organization providing string classes and instruments to public schools in SE DC. Since 2015 Sarah has lived, performed, and taught in Colorado. She lives in Golden with her partner Keith Bradley, their two daughters, three cats, and a parakeet named birdie.

Updated 2021

                                          

           

Vijay Chalasani

South Asian-American violist, is Assistant Professor of Viola and director of the UNCommon Ensemble at the University of Northern Colorado School of Music. He is a performer, scholar, teaching-artist, and an advocate for diversity and equity, whose work focuses on the performance practice of music of the last five centuries. Equally at home on both modern and historical violas, Chalasani has been featured as a soloist in repertoire ranging from Telemann and Graun to Walton and Feldman. An avid supporter of contemporary music, Chalasani was the soloist in the US premiere of Vinko Globokar’s chamber-theater piece “Blinde Zeit” with members of the Callithumpian Consort, supervised by the composer. He has also performed with violist-composer Garth Knox, pianist-conductor Stephen Drury, and the Inverted Space Ensemble, coached with composers Brian Ferneyhough (on his “Adagissimo” for string quartet) and Nicole Mitchell, and has collaborated with the Guerrilla Composers Guild and others to actively commission new works for the viola. Chalasani is a founding member of the Northern California based baroque chamber orchestra Sinfonia Spirituosa, and performs frequently on period instruments with ensembles such as American Bach Soloists, Boulder Bach Festival, Pacific MusicWorks, Early Music Vancouver, and the Albany Consort, as well as in chamber music performances of works from the classical and romantic eras on historical instruments. His dissertation research on original viola pedagogy and performance practices of the long 19th century has led to performance collaborations and conference presentations at the Universities of Oxford and Huddersfield (UK), as well as a recording of works by Tchaikovsky and Fuchs made by the Accordes! International Chamber Orchestra released in November 2020. Chalasani was appointed a member of Early Music America’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) Task Force in August 2021. A native of Northern California, he has resided in Greeley, CO since 2019 with his wife Ruth Denton.

Updated 2021

 

         

     

Peter Schimpf

is Professor and Chair of the Department of Music at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He teaches courses in music history, world music, music appreciation, and the history of Rock and Roll. He is the founder and director of the MSU Denver Early Music Ensemble. He earned a Ph.D. and MA from Indiana University in musicology, and has a BM in performance from California State University Sacramento where he studied both classical guitar and lute. He currently performs on the lute, theorbo, and Baroque guitar, regularly appearing with the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado and the California-based ensemble Sinfonia Spirituosa. He has also performed on period instruments with the Colorado Music Festival, Seicento Baroque Ensemble, Colorado Chamber Players, and the Denver Early Music Consort. As a musicologist, he has published articles on the music and career of composer Henry Cowell, and he has presented papers on a variety of topics at international, national, and regional conferences of the College Music Society, the Society for American Music, and the American Musicological Society.

Updated 2021