Hailed as "dazzling" by the Boston Globe, Amy Advocat, clarinetist, is an avid performer of new music having performed with the Firebird Ensemble, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, The New Fromm Players at Tanglewood, Callithumpian Consort, Boston Microtonal Society's NotaRiotous, Juventas, the Second Instrumental Unit, and the Ontario-based TranSpectra. Always looking for the most innovative projects, Ms. Advocat was recently highlighted in the Boston Globe for her work at the Bohlen Pierce Symposium in Boston, during which she premiered six new pieces on the newly invented Bohlen-Pierce clarinet. This instrument plays in a non-octave-repeating tuning system which offers an alternative to our own, and is the basis of Ms. Advocat's studies for her DMA at McGill University in Montréal.
Equally at home with more traditional classical music, Amy Advocat has also performed with the Boston Pops, Opera Boston, Boston Philharmonic and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Advocat was twice a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, and participated at the New York String Orchestra Seminar, Spoleto USA Festival, Virginia Arts Festival, and the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria.
Ms. Advocat was named the first recipient of the Boston Woodwind Society's Harold Wright award and is a Hadar Foundation Scholar. She received her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music Degrees from the New England Conservatory, where she was a recipient of the Tourjée award; a scholarship awarded to one outstanding NEC graduate who returns for a second degree. Her principal teachers include Simon Aldrich, Thomas Martin, David Weber, William Wrzesien and Craig Nordstrom. She has been recorded on Mode, Navona and New World Records.
Acclaimed for his “exemplary diction and rich baritone voice,” Aaron Engebreth maintains an active solo career and has been featured as a soloist in performances from Sapporo Japan's Kitara Hall, to Boston's Symphony Hall, to Le Theatre de la Ville in Paris. He gave his debut at Washington's Kennedy Center in 2008 and has been a guest of the Tanglewood and Ravinia Music Festivals as well as the Portland, San Diego and Charlotte Symphony Orchestras.Mr. Engebreth has received significant recognition for his interpretation of early music and is a frequent soloist with many of the country’s finest early-music organizations including the American Bach Soloists, Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Early Music Festival, Miami Bach Society, Boston Baroque, Boston Camerata and Santa Fe Pro Musica. Mr. Engebreth was a core member of Emmanuel Music from 2002-2008, joining a thirty-five year tradition of weekly performances of Bach’s sacred cantatas under the direction of the late Craig Smith. He considers this experience the highlight of his musical life thus far.
Increasingly sought-after as a recording artist, Mr. Engebreth is featured on two operatic recordings with the Boston Early Music Festival and Radio Bremen, both of which have been nominated for Grammy Awards for Best Operatic Recording: the 2007 release of Lully's Thésée (also nominated for a 2008 Gramophone Award), and the 2008 release of Lully's Psyché. He is featured in recordings of John Deak's The Passion of Scrooge with the Firebird Ensemble, Lukas Foss's oratorio The Prairie with Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) and he created the role of Jack Matthews in the premiere recording of Eric Sawyer's opera Our American Cousin. Mr. Engebreth has also served on the music faculty of the Boston Conservatory and is an artistic director of the Florestan Recital Project. He lives with his wife, Katherine and their two daughters, in Portland, Maine.
Hailed by the major Boston and New York press as “imaginative and eloquent”; praised for his “dazzling dispatch of every bravura challenge” and his “melodic phrasing of melting tenderness,” cellist Rafael Popper-Keizer maintains an active and diverse career as chamber musician, soloist, and orchestral section leader. Mr. Popper-Keizer has appeared nationwide in various capacities, including performances in the Rockport Chamber Music Festival in Massachussetts, John Harbison’s Token Creek Festival in Wisconsin, and the Monadnock Chamber Music Festival in New Hampshire. Locally, Mr. Popper-Keizer has enjoyed guest affiliations with the Fromm Players at Harvard, Winsor Chamber Players, Boston Musica Viva, and the Walden Chamber Players, as well as long-term relationships with Boston's Emmanuel Music and the Chameleon Arts Ensemble. Mr. Popper-Keizer has concertized with many of New England’s most esteemed chamber musicians, including members of the Borromeo and Muir String Quartets, the Museum of Fine Arts Trio, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra; as well as recent appearances with the Boston Trio, violinist Curtis Macomber, and flautist Eugenia Zuckerman. In 1998 and 1999, Mr. Popper-Keizer was invited to the Tanglewood Music Festival, where he acted as Yo-Yo Ma’s understudy for Richard Strauss’ Don Quixote under the direction of Seiji Ozawa. Mr. Popper-Keizer has been featured as a soloist throughout the United States, including recitals in New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall; the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.; and as a guest artist on the faculty concert series at Grinnell College. Labels for which he has recorded include Albany, Arsis, Helicon, Musical Heritage Society, Intrada, and Zimbel. Rafael has performed with Firebird Ensemble since it was founded in 2001.
Flutist Jessi Rosinski performs actively throughout Boston and appears with groups such as Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Boston Microtonal Society, Xanthos Ensemble, Guerilla Opera, Radius Ensemble, Ludovico Ensemble, Collage New Music, Boston Musica Viva, and Harvard Group for New Music. Ms. Rosinski is the flutist of Boston’s Callithumpian Consort, an artist in residence at Harvard, an associate with the Atlantic Symphony, and a regular sub with the United States Coast Guard Band. She has collaborated with the Emerson String Quartet, Hartt Percussion Ensemble, and The BSC electro-acoustic octet and has worked with prominent composers such as Helmut Lachenmann, Jennifer Higdon, and Frederick Rzewski. Ms. Rosinski has won top prizes at several competitions including the Pappoutsakis Memorial Competition, New York Flute Club Young Artist Competition, the National Flute Association Masterclass Competition, and the Albert Cooper International Flute Competition. Jessi is committed to bringing music to new audiences through performance outreach and is an avid teacher, holding positions at University of Massachusetts at Boston, Winchester Community Music School, and Milton Academy. She has earned degrees with honors from the Hartt School as a fellow of the Performance 20/20 Program and New England Conservatory where she was awarded the John Cage Award for Outstanding Contribution to Contemporary Music Performance. A 2007 recipient of the Saint Botolph Club Emerging Artist award, Jessi used her award to commission a piece from composer Paul Elwood. Her recent projects include a solo performance with the Boston Pops and a solo recital and masterclass at the International Festival of Contemporary Arts in Leon, Mexico. Please visit her website for more information: www.jessirosinski.com. Jessi has been a frequent guest with Firebird Ensemble since 2007
Pianist Cory Smythe is a graduate of the music schools at Indiana University and the University of Southern California. He has performed with Firebird Ensemble since 2005 in numerous concert and recording projects. Also a member of ICE, he has contributed to many premieres, worked with composers Philippe Hurel, Magnus Lindberg, and David Lang among others, and performed in many venues across the U.S. and abroad. Cory also contributes frequently to Milwaukee's Present Music, and the New York Miniaturist Ensemble. A frequent collaborator with other artists, Cory recently appeared at chamber music festivals in Bloomington, IN and Salem, NY, at the Ravinia Rising Stars series with violinist Tim Fain, and made his Carnegie Weill Hall debut with violinist Sung-Ju Lee. As an improviser and jazz musician, Cory has performed with the Greg Osby Four, with Pete Robbins Centric, and in drummer/composer Tyshawn Sorey's quartet, whose album "That/Not" (Firehouse 12) was named the 2007 best debut album in the Village Voice jazz critics poll. Cory’s principal teachers have included Luba Edlina-Dubinsky and Stewart Gordon.