Doug Balliett is a composer, instrumentalist and poet based in New York City. The New York Times has described his poetry as “brilliant and witty” (Clytie and the Sun), his bass playing as “elegant” (Shawn Jaeger’s In Old Virginny), and his compositions as “vivid, emotive, with contemporary twists” (Actaeon).
Popular new music blog I Care if You Listen has critiqued Mr. Balliett’s work as “weird in the best possible way” (A Gnostic Passion) and “light-hearted yet dark…it had the audience laughing one minute and in tears the next…” (Pyramus and Thisbe). He is a tireless performer of new music, and is professor of baroque bass and violone at the Juilliard School. With a constant stream of commissions, a weekly show on New York Public Radio, and nearly 200 performances per year, Mr. Balliett has been identified as an emerging voice for his generation.
Elliot Figg is a keyboardist, conductor, and composer from Dallas, Texas. He is a graduate of the Historical Performance Program at The Juilliard School where he studied harpsichord with Kenneth Weiss. He has also studied with Arthur Haas at the Yale School of Music. Elliot is an active member of several New York-based early music and contemporary ensembles, including Ruckus, ACRONYM, New York Baroque Incorporated and New Vintage Baroque. Recent engagements include: Conductor and harpsichordist for L’Amant Anonyme with Little Opera Theatre of New York; assistant conductor and harpsichordist for Vivaldi’s Farnace, and Cavalli’s Veremonda, both with Spoleto Festival USA; and assistant conductor and harpsichordist for Dido and Aeneas with L.A Opera. Elliot received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music composition from the University of North Texas, where he studied with Cindy McTee, Joseph Klein and harpsichord with Leonora McCroskey.
Praised by The Strad as “stylish and accomplished,” internationally respected viola da gamba player and cellist Shirley Hunt embraces an eclectic musical life as a soloist, chamber musician, and continuo player. Ms. Hunt has performed and recorded with the nation’s leading period instrument ensembles including Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, Musica Angelica, Portland Baroque Orchestra, and Bach Collegium San Diego. Ms. Hunt performs regularly at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with the renaissance ensemble Sonnambula, and appears in recital annually at the Museum of Jurassic Technology, where she is an artist in residence. Originally from Portland, Oregon, Ms. Hunt was born into a musical family and is the younger sister of the late mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson.
Paul Holmes Morton is native to Pennsylvania, growing up his first musical veneration was American folk music.
His studies began in earnest under the direction of the Cuban guitar virtuoso Ernesto Tamayo.While studying in conservatory, Paul Holmes was introduced to baroque performance practice and was captivated by the variation in tone and texture of ancient instruments as well as the improvisatory collaboration of the musical process.
With a variety of plucked string instruments in hand, he works to research and refine the musical practice of the past centuries, and strives with equal passion to discover the possibilities of such instruments in today’s musical language and culture. Paul Holmes performs and records with the hope and belief that music, as a temporal form of art, has the ability to lend a moment of articulation and consonance to the present day noise.
Clayton F. Zeller-Townson is a bassoonist, ensemble leader and educator living between New York and Los Angeles.
A performer of early bassoons, he plays with the leading period instrument ensembles in North America including Tafelmusik, The Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists and Musica Angelica. With a deep passion for contemporary music, Clay has produced and premiered many new works for early instruments. From 2011-2016 he taught at The North Carolina Governor’s School as Instrumental Music Faculty where he developed a curriculum for gifted high school students centered around exposure to contemporary music, improvisation exercises, composition projects and listening development. He has given masterclasses at The University of Missouri and The Eastman School of Music.
Clay was born in Nova Scotia, raised in eastern North Carolina, and found his way to the baroque bassoon by way of the tenor saxophone. He holds a Bachelor’s degree and Performer’s Certificate from The Eastman School of Music and a Master’s degree from The Juilliard School.