Season 5 Artists
The Madison area is home to many musicians with a deep love, extensive training, and wide experience in performing the music of J.S. Bach. Just Bach is delighted to feature them on our concert series, giving them an opportunity to share their talents, and Bach’s music, with the community.
Micah Behr received his Doctorate in Viola Performance at UW Madison where he studied viola with Sally Chisholm and collaborative piano with Martha Fischer. His original compositions and transcriptions have been premiered by the Madison Bach Musicians and the Stoughton Chamber Music Players. He also composes music for Geneva Campus Church where he serves as Worship Director and Artist-in-Residence.
Versatile mezzo-soprano Britt Brown is a sought-after interpreter of a wide variety of repertoire throughout New England and the Midwest. Recent seasons have seen her premiering the role of Lavinia in Opera America’s Discovery Grant-winning Dark Exhalation by composer Amber Vistein, alto soloist in the Liszt transcription of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, MA, and alto soloist in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with UW La Crosse. Her performances of new works include the world premiere of Vores’s Chrononhotonthologos, the Boston premieres of Jonathan Bailey Holland’s Naomi in the Living Room, Stefan Weisman’s The Scarlet Ibis, and the NYC premiere of Epstein’s Rumpelstiltskin, now on Parma Recordings. Britt is also an accomplished orchestral soloist, performing works including Berio’s Folk Songs, Lieberson’s Neruda Songs, Bernstein’s Jeremiah Symphony¸ Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer and his Symphony No. 3, Hendrick’s Cain (premiere), and a recent evening of arias with Symphony by the Sea. Britt received her Bachelor of Music from Stetson University and holds a Master of Music in Voice Performance from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee College of Music. She is based in Madison with her husband Ryne and their small zoo of rescue animals.
Baritone Ryne Cherry’s past season highlights include performances of Purcell’s The Fairy-Queen with Portland Bach Experience, a national tour of Wayne Shorter and Esperanza Spaulding’s jazz-opera Iphigenia, regular appearances with Handel and Haydn Society including Bach’s Magnificat with Raphael Pichon and Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion with Bernard Labadie and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Carnegie Hall, and his debut with Miami-based Seraphic Fire in concert of music for men’s voices. He spent this past summer as a Virginia Best Adams Fellow at Carmel Bach Festival in California. Notable recent engagements include Dandini in Rossini’s Cenerentola (Boston Midsummer Opera), Matt of the Mint in The Beggar’s Opera (Emmanuel Music), Filch/Ed/Beggar/Police Chief Smith in The Threepenny Opera (Boston Lyric Opera), Altair in Strauss’s Die Ägyptische (Odyssey Opera), and Sam in A Quiet Place (BSO at Tanglewood Music Center). Solo oratorio appearances include Fauré’s Requiem (Nashoba Valley Chorale), Beethoven’s Mass in C and Mendelssohn’s Die erste Walpurgisnacht (Back Bay Chorale), Dvořák’s Te Deum and Orff’s Carmina Burana (Symphony Pro Musica), plus premieres of several new works by living composers. Ryne is the current Vocal Co-Director of Just Bach. http://www.rynecherry.com
Violinist Nathan Giglierano has performed across Europe, Central and North America. Nathan graduated with his Bachelor’s in Music from Oberlin Conservatory, where he studied with Marilyn McDonald, and earned his Master’s degree from UW-Madison under the tutelage of David Perry. Nathan is very active in the Madison baroque music scene and is a member of the Madison Bach Musicians and Wisconsin Baroque Ensemble. When not playing concerts or teaching, Nathan enjoys photography, woodworking, and hiking with his wife.
Violinist Leanne Kelso is associate concertmaster of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and assistant concertmaster of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. Her performances include chamber music and orchestral performances in Italy, Austria, Amsterdam, Costa Rica, and Slovenia, and cities throughout North America. From 1996-1999, she was a fellow at the New World Symphony in Miami, Florida where she performed as concertmaster and principal second violin. She earned her M.M. in performance from UW-Madison, studying with Vartan Manoogian and holding an assistantship at UW as a violinist in the Strelow String Quartet. Her undergraduate studies were completed at The Florida State University and Eastman School of Music. On the Baroque violin, Leanne has studied with Karen Clarke and has performed with Nicholas McGegan, Max von Egmont, the Tallahassee Bach Parley, the Wisconsin Baroque Ensemble, the Madison Bach Musicians, and Sonata à Quattro.
Linda Pereksta has played historical flutes and recorders with numerous ensembles, including Spire Baroque Orchestra, Washington Bach Consort, Sonata à Quattro, Madison Bach Musicians, Ensemble Musical Offering, Tallahassee Bach Parley, and Baroque Southeast. She is Professor of Flute at The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, has served on the Editorial Advisory Board for The Flutist Quarterly, and was Chair of the National Flute Association’s Historical Flutes Committee. A two-time prizewinner in the NFA’s Baroque Flute Artist Competition, her doctoral treatise, “20th-Century Compositions for the Baroque Flute,” was a winner of its Graduate Research Competition. An equally accomplished performer on modern flutes, Linda holds the position of Piccolo in the Madison Symphony Orchestra, and was previously a member of the Louisiana Philharmonic in New Orleans.
An oboist from Amarillo, Texas, Keslie Pharis currently holds a Paul J. Collins Distinguished Graduate Fellowship at UW-Madison, where she performs with the UW Symphony Orchestra, UW Wind Ensemble, Driftless Reed Quintet, and other local ensembles. She has also recently performed with the Miami Music Festival Opera and Conductor’s Orchestra, New Voices Opera, and the IU New Music Ensemble. Her playing is strongly influenced by her extensive background with ballet, and she enjoys teaching in her private oboe studio and through local high school programs. Keslie holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University, and her principal teachers are Lindsay Flowers, Linda Strommen, Margaret Owens, Roger Roe, and Robert Krause.
Charlie Rasmussen is a cello faculty member and string department co-chair at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in Milwaukee. He performs historical cello and viola da gamba with the Wisconsin Baroque Ensemble, New Milwaukee Consort, and Sonata à Quattro. He is the Instrumental Co-Director at Just Bach. Mr. Rasmussen has recorded Tommaso Giordani’s Cello Duos (Centaur Records, 2020) and 11 Capricci by Joseph Dall’Abaco (Centaur Records, 2018). As an early music teacher, he has served on faculty at the Madison Early Music Festival and currently teaches viol at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Soprano Julia Rottmayer is active in the stage, concert, and teaching arenas. Along with her interpretation of standard repertoire, Dr. Rottmayer is an avid performer and champion of both early and contemporary music. Recent performances include soprano soloist in Brahms’ Requiem, Mozart’s Grand Mass in C, Tippett’s A Child of Our Time, Haydn’s Creation, Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Mass in B Minor, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and as Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Blanche in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmelites, Beth in Adamo’s Little Women, Mabel in Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance, Adele in Die Fledermaus, and Rose Maurrant in Weill’s Street Scene. In addition to her numerous concert and operatic credits, Dr. Rottmayer has toured nationally, singing art song recitals with repertoire ranging from Bach to Berg, Clérambault to Fauré, Lauridsen to Mussorgsky, and much more. She has premiered works for such art song composers as Scott Gendel and Daniel Crozier, and was honored to sing for former President of the Czech Republic, Václav Havel. In addition to performing, Dr. Rottmayer is a dedicated voice teacher. She maintains a private voice studio and is a member of the voice faculty at the University of Wisconsin – Madison
Mark Brampton Smith holds degrees in Organ Performance from the Eastman School of Music and the University of Michigan. Currently the organist at Grace Episcopal Church, on Capitol Square in Madison, Mark has served on the music staff of churches in seven states. A prize winner in several national organ competitions, he has given solo concerts in numerous churches and auditoriums, including Overture Hall. As a collaborative pianist, Mark has worked with singers, instrumentalists, and choral ensembles, including the University of Michigan choirs, Ann Arbor Cantata Singers, Colgate University Chorus, and, since 2012, the Wisconsin Chamber Choir.
T. Jared Stellmacher is Director of Worship and Music at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Madison/Verona, WI, where he oversees the large and diverse music program across two campuses. Jared is also organist with the Chicago Gargoyle Brass and Organ Ensemble. Previous positions include Director of Music at Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Watertown, WI; Director of Music at Redeemer Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Hinsdale, IL; Interim Director of Music at First Church Congregational in Fairfield, CT; Accompanist for the critically acclaimed 100+ voice Fairfield County Chorale; Assistant Organist at the historic Riverside Church in New York City; Associate Organist at the First Presbyterian Church in New Canaan, CT; and Assistant Choral/Vocal Administrator at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. Jared has received many awards for his performance excellence, most notably first place in the American Guild of Organists Region VI Competition for Young Organists held at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs; he then performed as a “Rising Star” at the National AGO Convention in Chicago. Jared received his MM from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and Yale School of Music and BMus from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music.
Trevor Stephenson–harpsichordist, fortepianist, and pianist–is the artistic director and founder of the Madison Bach Musicians. He received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Historical Performance of 18th-Century Music from Cornell University, where he studied fortepiano with Malcolm Bilson. With his colleague, Norman Sheppard, he has made and refurbished a series of historical keyboard instruments ranging from Italian Renaissance harpsichords to Victorian pianos. He has released sixteen recordings on the Light & Shadow label and tours throughout the United States as performer and lecturer. Information and tour schedule at trevorstephenson.com.
Featured Image (Kangwon Kim and John Chappell Stowe) photo credit: Dave Parminter
Giglierano photo credit: Jillian Giglierano
League photo credit: Barry Lewis
Stephenson photo credit: Mary Gordon
Smith photo credit: Tom Stone