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Acclaimed in the press for his “great virtuosity” and “vocal radiance," Canadian countertenor Michael Taylor began singing as a treble at St. Michael’s Choir School in Toronto. After graduating from McGill University, he took up studies in opera performance in Germany. Michael has sung leading roles in operas across Europe and is highly sought-after in concert and oratorio; he recently sang his Lincoln Center debut in Handel’s “Messiah” with the Grammy-nominated Trinity Choir and performed Bach’s St. Matthew Passion at the Berliner Philharmonie. Current highlights include Handel’s “Rinaldo” at the State Theatre Mainz, Cesti’s “Orontea” at the Hamburg State Opera and Henze’s “Phaedra” at the Opera Halle. This summer Michael is touring with “Les Voix Humaines" in Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver. His debut solo album To Die, To Sleep featuring opera arias by Handel, Vivaldi and Graun.
Fascinated with the cello’s origins and the creative process of new music, Elinor Frey plays both period and modern instruments. Frey’s honors include a US-Italy Fulbright Fellowship where she studied baroque cello with Paolo Beschi, the SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship, and American Musicological Society and Canada Council for the Arts grants facilitating her work on Italian cello music. In recent seasons she has performed with Ensemble Caprice, Tafelmusik, Les Idées hereuses, and Bradamante, as well as with her quartet, Pallade Musica, grand prize winners of the 2012 Early Music America Baroque Performance Competition and second prize winners in the 2014 International Van Wassenear Competition in Utrecht. Frey’s debut album, Dialoghi, is titled for the solo piece written for her by Steven Stucky. Her two releases on the Belgian label Passacaille include the 2015 release Berlin Sonatas with Lorenzo Ghielmi on fortepiano and the recent release, La voce del violoncello. Her performance of this program was the winner of the public prize at the 2013 Utrecht Early Music Festival Fringe.
Borys Medicky is a solo harpsichordist and continuo player, and is an active freelance performer in the United States, Canada and Europe. Together with lutenist Lucas Harris, he founded and co-directs the Toronto Continuo Collective, an all-continuo ensemble dedicated to fostering an increased interest in the stylish basso continuo accompaniment of 17th-century vocal and instrumental music. From 2006-2014 he was the artistic director of the Kitchener-based Nota Bene Baroque Players. He serves as organist of the Fifth Church of Christ, Scientist in Toronto. Borys studied harpsichord with Michael Jarvis in Canada and with Arthur Haas at the Eastman School of Music and the State University of New York at Stony Brook, as well as Baroque performance practice with lutenist Paul O’Dette.
July 16, 2015Music
Toronto-born, rising star countertenor Michael Taylor presents a programme of sublime, virtuosic music by Handel and his rivals, originally heard some 300 years ago at London’s Covent Garden Opera House. With Elinor Frey (baroque cello) and Borys Medicky (harpsichord).
Thanks to Judy and Wilmot Matthews