Mission

Bach Aria Soloists is the adventurous chamber music ensemble dedicated to presenting the genius and relevance of Johann Sebastian Bach, his contemporaries and those composers he inspired to today–through acclaimed performances, multi-genre collaborations and BachReach education.

Bach Aria Soloists

Founder, Artistic Director, Violin

Elizabeth Suh Lane has been acclaimed, “…among the finest chamber musicians  in America today” by renowned music director Michael Tilson Thomas, and “a phenomenal violinist” by the late violin pedagogue Max Rostal. She has performed across the globe as a chamber and orchestral musician in the finest concert halls – Carnegie, Suntory, Salzburg Festspiele, Berlin’s Philharmonie, Helzberg, Theatre des Champs Elysee, the Barbican, to name a few. Elizabeth concertized throughout the world as a first violinist with the London Symphony Orchestra under directors  Sir Colin Davis, Michael Tilson Thomas, André Previn, Mstislav Rostropovich, Pierre Boulez, and many others; she toured with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe under Claudio Abbado, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Gidon Kremer; and with the Academy of St. Martin-in the-Fields under Sir Neville Marriner. She has been invited to perform in numerous international festivals: Tanglewood, Britten-Pears, Schleswig–Holstein, Pacific Music, the Carmel Bach Festival. Elizabeth has performed as a substitute with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and served on the faculties of the Snowpond Chamber Music Seminar in Maine and the Brian Lewis Young Artists‘ Program instructing advanced students. She was Artistic Director of the Kansas City String Quartet Program for twelve years leading the faculty and students to excellence through string quartet preparation, rehearsal, coaching, communication, public speaking and performance.

Elizabeth is founder-Executive-Artistic Director and violinist of the Bach Aria Soloists. Her leadership has brought world-class collaborations to Kansas City to partner with BAS, incl: the world’s preeminent scholar of Bach Dr. Christoph Wolff; She commissioned Narong Prangcharoen to compose DIALOGUE for BAS’ 15th Anniversary and Susan Kander to compose Partite Americaine in 2004. Elizabeth invited friend/world-class trumpeter Rodney Marsalis in the current season to join BAS for their headlining Evening with Rodney Marsalis; and radio personality-composer Bill McGlaughlin to present BAS’ live radio show – Inspired by Bach – broadcast on Kansas Public Radio. McGlaughlin remarked, “Elizabeth is a real virtuoso musician, and what the Bach Aria Soloists are doing is of the highest quality in the most artful manner, the way it should be done.

Elizabeth has vast experience with chamber music performance and coaching throughout her career on two continents. She was featured on International Television Service and KCPT’s Women and Girls Lead film series as an artist/educator/mother. In addition to Bach Aria Soloists, she was invited to perform with the Satterlee Piano Trio in a series of concerts and master classes in Ann Arbor and Bowling Green; and with the Maia Quartet for their final concerts.

Elizabeth fulfills her love of teaching by mentoring a studio of young violinists who have won scholarships to Harvard, Juilliard, Eastman School of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, UCLA, Michigan State, Washington University, Wheaton, Case Western, among others. She has instructed thousands of students as Artistic Director of the Kansas City String Quartet Program, and coaches Orchestral Clinics for students throughout the metropolitan region via Bach Aria Soloists’ BachReach offering FREE innovative, interactive education to schools and seniors, thanks to our generous funders. She was also a member of the LSO Education team training teachers and students in schools across Great Britain.The Asian American Chamber of Commerce honored Elizabeth with the 2010 Professional Leader of the Year Award for her success and significant contribution to music and education in the community.

Elizabeth was a Phi Kappa Phi Graduate Fellow and Broadus Erle Memorial Scholar – awarded to the most outstanding string player at Yale University where she studied with Syoko Aki and served as Assistant to Baroque violin specialist Jaap Schröder.

Soprano

Sarah Tannehill Anderson is an extremely versatile musician who excels at opera, oratorio, choral music, contemporary works, and art song. In addition to being soprano of Bach Aria Soloists, she has performed with the Opera Company of Philadelphia, Boston Lyric, Opera Omaha, Fort Worth Opera, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

In Kansas City, Sarah is a member of the Lyric Arts Trio and former soprano of the Kansas City Chorale with whom she recorded five albums.

Sarah has won two Grammy Awards for her work with the Kansas City Chorale. She is a featured soloist on the Chorale’s recording, Life & Breath – Choral Works By René Clausen, which won the Grammy Award in 2013 for Best Choral Performance. In 2016, Rachmaninoff: All-Night Vigil won the Grammy for Best Choral Performance. Sarah has performed with many other regional ensembles including the Kansas City Symphony, the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, the New Ear Ensemble, the Kansas City Ballet and the Heartland Men’s Chorus.

Sarah is the founder of Raise Your Voice a digital hub for vocal training, and resides in the Union Hill neighborhood with her husband, baritone and music educator Sam Anderson.

Harpsichord, Organ, Piano

Dr. Elisa Williams Bickers, FAGO, is the harpsichordist, organist, and pianist for the Bach Aria Soloists. She is the associate director of music and principal organist at Village Presbyterian Church in Prairie Village, Kansas. She performs regularly in recital as a solo organist, harpsichordist, and accompanist, including with the Kansas City Symphony, Te Deum Chamber Choir and the Grammy-winning Kansas City Chorale. She has served on the faculties of the UMKC Conservatory and Washburn University as instructor of organ and harpsichord.

A native of Clinton, Maryland, Dr. Bickers began her organ studies with the Potomac Organ Institute. She has degrees in church music and organ performance from Texas Christian University and the University of Kansas. Her teachers have included Dale Krider, Joseph Butler and Michael Bauer. She was awarded the 2009 Carlin Award for excellence in teaching, the highest honor possible for graduate students at KU. She has competed and won prizes in the William Hall Competition, NYACOP and the International Buxtehude Competition. Most recently, she was awarded the Fellow certificate of the American Guild of Organists, the Guild’s most prestigious certification.

Most recently, Dr. Bickers guided the installation of Richards, Fowkes & Co. (Opus 22) pipe organ at Village, which is a landmark instrument in this city. She is also the chair for New Music for the 2018 American Guild of Organists National Convention.

Cellist

Cellist Hannah Collins, winner of De Linkprijs for contemporary interpretation, is a dynamic performer who takes an active role in expanding the repertoire for cello. She has commissioned solo works by composers such as Caroline Shaw and Timo Andres, and studied European solo cello works in France and The Netherlands with support from the Presser Foundation. Hannah continues to catalyze and champion the works of compelling young composers with New Morse Code, her duo with percussionist Michael Compitello. New Morse Code’s 2017 debut album Simplicity Itself on New Focus Recordings was described by icareifyoulisten.com as “an ebullient passage through pieces that each showcase the duo’s clarity of artistic vision and their near-perfect synchronicity.”

Hannah has given solo and chamber music performances at festivals such as Orford Centre d’arts, Kneisel Hall, the Aldeburgh Festival, and Musique de Chambre à Giverny.  She is a member of the Chanterelle Trio and Cantata Profana, and has recently performed with Quodlibet Ensemble, A Far Cry, Talea Ensemble, and The Knights. Praised for her “incisive, vibrant continuo” playing (S. Miami Classical Review), Hannah also appears regularly as a Baroque cellist with the Sebastians, New York Baroque Incorporated, and the Trinity Baroque Orchestra.

Hannah earned a B.S. in biomedical engineering from Yale and holds graduate degrees in cello performance from the Yale School of Music and the Royal Conservatory of The Hague.  She is an alumna of Ensemble Connect, a fellowship focused on performance, teaching artistry, and arts advocacy run by Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and Weill Music Institute.  Her principal mentors have included Stefan Reuss, Ole Akahoshi, Aldo Parisot, Michel Strauss, Robert Mealy, and Marcy Rosen. Hannah is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Cello at the University of Kansas School of Music and Assistant Director of the Avaloch Farm Music Institute.

Bach Aria Soloists offers adventurous, multi-genre collaborations in our critically acclaimed Community Concert series. Our innovative concert programs introduce our audiences to the brilliance of Bach and contemporary composers he inspired with fresh, exciting and original arts productions combining genres, infusing new life to ancient music. The performances occur at venues throughout the city such as the Central Library’s magnificent Kirk Hall, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, The 1900 Building, JCCC Polsky Theater, Village Presbyterian Church, the Folly Theater and many others.

Hauskonzert” is BAS’ celebrated house-concert series founded in the year 2000. Each concert is sponsored by a benefactor in their residence, creating the original concept for chamber music as Bach offered in his own home. Through the Hauskonzert series, Bach Aria Soloists delivers the most magnificent music by the finest artists in splendid residences in the city. There is no barrier between the musicians and the audience and we share in a convivial, all-sensory experience with delicious food and drink.

Education is integral to our activities. Through BachReach, we offer unique, interactive, dynamic education for schools and members of the community. The exposure to BAS’ BachReach is an experience that unleashes the imagination of students with live, quality chamber music partnered with other genres – theater, dance, art and diverse styles of music – and engaging dialogue, inspiring their own interest in creative arts. We offer exciting thematic BachReach programs ranging from Baroque to jazz to Shakespeare.

Through our BachReach education, we provide:

  • An introduction to the genius of Bach and many other composers around the world
  • An interactive presentation of a multitude of musical themes in collaboration with actors, dancers, storytellers, other musicians.
  • An introduction to exciting, live chamber music that they have never before heard.
  • Orchestral and Chamber Music Clinics with professional coaching of select high school orchestras by Elizabeth Suh Lane, Director/violinist/Founder of BAS.
  • Vocal Clinics for high school choral programs by soprano Sarah Tannehill Anderson.
  • Question & Answer sessions at  every BachReach

2000 Bach Aria Soloists launched the first Hauskonzert of its series. Each Hauskonzert in a benefactor’s residence recreates the concept for chamber music that Bach originally offered in his own home and in his Kaffee series. Through Hauskonzerts, we offer the most magnificent music to intimate audiences in exquisite settings complete with delectable food, drink and camaraderie.

2000 Bach Aria Soloists’ Concert series began with a Hauskonzert at the home of Leslie Bowles Lerner, founding board member.

2002 Bach Aria Soloists had the honor of performing as part of the Lloyd B. Thomas Lecture and Performance Series at the University of Missouri-Columbia. We conducted masterclasses to the top college students from the Fine Arts department in piano, voice, and strings, as well as a free public concert. BAS performed a free concert in Bales Recital Hall at the University of Kansas, and a Ruel-Joyce Series recital at Johnson County Community College.

2003 Bach Aria Soloists commissioned New York-based composer Susan Kander to write her six-movement, neo-Baroque suite which showcases each soloist with texts derived from famous African-American spirituals. The world premiere of Partite Américaine took place in the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in 2004.

2005 Bach Aria Soloists was invited to perform on the Nantucket Arts Council Series in a capacity concert at the Coffin School in Nantucket, MA. The Kauffman Foundation invited the Bach Aria Soloists to present professional development classes entitled Bach to the Future to their employees who had the unique opportunity of attending a vibrant Open Rehearsal by BAS artists, asking questions throughout.

2006 Bach Aria Soloists commissioned Elizabeth Koeppen, Associate-Artistic Director of Parsons Dance, to choreograph and perform our world premiere, Accompagnata… a ViolinDance, combining iconic Bach solo violin masterpieces performed by Elizabeth Suh Lane with modern dance. Our first dance collaboration!

2007 Dr. Christoph Wolff, pre-eminent Bach scholar, made his Kansas City debut with Bach Aria Soloists’ Bach Unlocked performance for a record-breaking crowd at the Kansas City Public Library. The Adams University Professor of Music at Harvard University, founding Director of the Bach Archiv in Leipzig. Dr. Christoph Wolff appeared with BAS on April 28.

2009 BAS and the contemporary dance ensemble Owen-Cox Dance Group partnered for Baroque in Motion with the mesmerizing chamber music of Ravel, Bach and Purcell to a capacity crowd in UMKC’s White Recital Hall.

2010 Our 10th anniversary headliner brought composer-conductor Bill McGlaughlin to Kansas City to commentate Bach Aria Soloists’ concert Inspired by Bach. With his signature style of humor and intellect, Bill introduced the stories behind the music of Bach and Bartok for broadcast on Kansas Public Radio in a live Hauskonzert at the Lerner home.

2011 Our premiere event Night of Tango featured Tango legends Héctor Del Curto, bandonéon and Gustavo Casenave, piano; Jeff Harshbarger, guest bassist, performing classic Piazzolla with BAS for a standing room only event. Bach & Jazz Inventions with KC’s favorite jazzmaster Bobby Watson was another hugely successful, innovative partnership inspired by Bach.

2012 Bach Aria Soloists was invited to perform for more than 2500 listeners at the new Kauffman Center for Performing Arts on opening weekend. Our Ferdinand the Bull and Musical Tales held a capacity crowd at Central Library, and our finale of the season was the visual and aural Extravaganza! featuring the Bach Aria Soloists and Wylliams Henry Contemporary Dance Company.

2013 Avery Fisher Career prize cellist Matt Haimovitz headlined a sold-out opening concert with Bach Aria Soloists and a pop-up concert at The Ship. Night of Tango at the Kauffman Center was a “concert for the ages” for an overwhelmingly enthusiastic audience of 1100.

2014 Pre-eminent Bach scholar Dr. Christoph Wolff returned to Kansas City to join BAS in Bach Enlightened for a capacity crowd at the Kansas City Central Library.

2015 Contemporary dance ensemble Owen/Cox Dance partnered with BAS, again, for their dynamic Sonata Project at the Folly Theater. Premiere partnership with NewEar Contemporary Ensemble with Stravinsky’s brilliant Histoire du Soldat.

2016 The sold-out premiere of BAS’ Adventures of Don Quixote, inspired by Cervantes’ novel, with veteran actor Mark Robbins as the Knight errant, Rob Bickers as his Squire, with evocative Spanish music of the period, and Telemann’s rollicking Suite from Don Quixote.

2021-22 Guest Artists

The sound of Rodney’s trumpet has reverberated throughout the world. Whether playing baroque piccolo trumpet or interpreting works commissioned especially for him, his artistry has been enthusiastically enjoyed inside of the United States and in such countries as Austria, Italy, France, Spain, Brazil, Germany, England, Greece, Rumania, Japan, Taiwan, and Korea. Music critics have praised him from Fanfare Magazine, American Record Guide, Records International Catalog, and other international publications for his evocative interpretation, impeccable virtuosity, and beauty of sound.

A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, Rodney Marsalis has worked as soloist or Principal Trumpet under the guidance of world-renowned conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, John Williams, Michael Tilson Thomas, Gerard Schwarz, James DePreist, Jesus Lopez- Cobos and Christopher Hogwood. He was awarded a fellowship at the Tanglewood Music Center where he was invited to return for a second summer during which he was awarded the Seiji Ozawa Award for Outstanding Musicianship.

Mr. Marsalis was born in New Orleans, Louisiana where he began his musical studies at the age of six. When he was eleven years of age, he began taking classical trumpet lessons with his cousin, Wynton Marsalis. Referred to as a “trumpet prodigy” his solo debut was at the age of fifteen with the New Orleans Symphony. After having won various solo competitions, he received national attention at the age of nineteen performing as a soloist with the Boston Pops Orchestra. He has also appeared as soloist with the San Diego Symphony, the Tenerife Symphony, the Orquestra Sinfonica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Arpeggione Chamber Orchestra, and many other orchestras throughout the United States and Europe.

Mr. Marsalis has made several world premiere recordings including “Sonata for Trumpet and Piano” (Albany Records) by Adolphus Hailstork and “In Our Own House”(Albany Records) by composer Alvin Singleton with saxophonist Branford Marsalis.

In 1998 Rodney Marsalis made the premiere and critically acclaimed recording of Franz Waxman’s “Carmen Fantasy for Trumpet and Orchestra” with conductor Lawrence Foster on the Koch International record label.

Rodney’s debut solo trumpet CD “Spirit of the Trumpeter” (Albany Records) was dubbed as a “best seller.” It is a compilation of some of the most popular recital works for trumpet and piano. Regarding “Spirit of the Trumpeter,” former cornet virtuoso and renown conductor Gerard Schwarz says, “Rodney is a superb trumpet player and musician. I do not doubt that this CD will make an important addition to the catalog of sublime trumpet performances.”

In the course of his more than twenty years as an orchestral musician, Mr. Marsalis was the winner of several national and international competitions for Principal Trumpet and titled orchestra chairs including positions with The New Orleans Symphony, The Colorado Symphony Orchestra, The San Diego Symphony Orchestra, The Orquestra Sinfonica de Tenerife, The Barcelona Symphony, and The Richmond Symphony. After completing a one year trial period, he was awarded the Principal Trumpet position with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. During his tenure as Principal Trumpet with the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra Mr. Marsalis was appointed the head of the trumpet department at the Escuela Superior de Musica de Catalunya (ESMUC) Spain’s leading music conservatory. He has recently been invited to give master classes at the Julliard School, The North Carolina School for the Arts, the National Trumpet Competition and the International Trumpet Guild Conference. He has also been invited to teach at the Eastern Music Festival, the Interlochen Music Academy, and the prestigious Boston University Tanglewood Institute.

Rodney can be heard as Soloist and Principal Trumpet on more than thirty different recordings with labels such as Decca, Naxos, Koch International Classics, and Albany Records. His year is split between touring with The Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass and various masterclass and solo engagements in the United States and abroad.

Gabriel Lewis-O’Connor balances a busy schedule as professional soloist and choral performer, daily meditator, conductor, avid amateur woodworker, father and husband.  Striving to bring humor, authenticity and emotion to all these passions is a lifelong pursuit.  Prior to his masters and doctoral studies in conducting at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Gabe sang for four years with the professional vocal ensemble Chanticleer, which crystalized his belief that relationships are the core of powerful music making.  Gabe received a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin and hails from Lawrence, Kansas, where he now lives with his wife Lauren, their feisty son Eamon and fiery daughter Celia. Gabe is the incoming artistic director for the Lawrence Children’s Choir, the choir that sparked his passion for choral music over 25 years ago.

Past Guest Artists

Renowned as a musical pioneer, cellist Matt Haimovitz has inspired classical music lovers and countless new listeners by bringing his artistry to concert halls and clubs, outdoor festivals and intimate coffee houses, any place where passionate music can be heard.

He brings a fresh ear to familiar repertoire, champions new music and initiates groundbreaking collaborations as well as creating innovative recording projects for Oxingale Records. He has a tireless touring schedule as well all while mentoring an award-winning studio of young cellists at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music in Montreal. Through his visionary approach, Haimovitz is redefining what it means to be an artist for the 21st century.

Dr. Michael Marissen is the Daniel Underhill Professor Emeritus of Music at Swarthmore College where he taught from 1989-2014.  Dr. Marissen has also been a visiting professor on the graduate faculties at Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania. His many publications include The Social and Religious Designs of J. S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos (Princeton, 1995), Lutheranism, anti-Judaism, and Bach’s St. John Passion (Oxford, 1998), Bach’s Oratorios (Oxford, 2008), Tainted Glory in Handel’s Messiah (Yale, 2014), Bach & God (Oxford, 2016), and essays in Harvard Theological Review, Lutheran Quarterly, The Huffington Post, and The New York Times.  This is Dr. Marissen’s debut with the Bach Aria Soloists as commentator of our Bach Extravaganza concert.

Thai Composer Narong Prangcharoen’s success as a composer was recently confirmed by his receiving the prestigious 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship and the Barlow Prize. Other awards include the Music Alive, the 20th Annual American Composers Orchestra Underwood New Music Commission, the American Composers Orchestra Audience Choice Award, the Toru Takemitsu Composition Award, the Alexander Zemlinsky International Composition Competition Prize, the 18th ACL Yoshiro IRINO Memorial Composition Award, the Pacific Symphony’s American Composers Competition Prize, and the Annapolis Charter 300 International Composers Competition Prize. In his native country, Mr. Prangcharoen was recipient of the Silapathorn Award, naming him a “Thailand Contemporary National Artist”.

Mr. Prangcharoen has, thus, established an international reputation and is recognized as one of Asia’s leading composers. He has received encouragement and praise from a number of important contemporary composers, such as Paul Chihara, Zhou Long, Augusta Read Thomas, and Yehudi Wyner. John Corigliano has called Prangcharoen’s music “contemporary and accessible,” and Chen Yi has written that it is “colorful and powerful.”

The press has also recognized Mr. Prangcharoen’s uniqueness as a composer. The Chicago Sun Times called his music “absolutely captivating”, and, of the October 2012 Carnegie Hall debut by the American Composers Orchestra of “Migrations of Lost Souls”, New York Times critic, Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim wrote, it is “an atmospheric work that weaves some of the spiritual and vernacular sounds of Mr. Prangcharoen’s native Thailand into a skillfully orchestrated tapestry [with] moments of ethereal beauty.”

Mr. Prangcharoen’s music has been performed in Asia, America, Australia, and Europe by many renowned ensembles such as the American Composers Orchestra, the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic, the China Philharmonic Orchestra, the China NCPA Orchestra, the German National Theater Orchestra, the Grant Park Orchestra, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, the Oregon Symphony Orchestra, the Pacific Symphony, the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, under many well-known conductors, such Carl St. Clair, Steven D. Davis, Carlos Kalmer, Jose-Luis Novo, Mikhail Pletnev, and Osmo Vänskä. His music has also been presented at many important music festivals and venues, such as the Grant Park Music Festival, the Asia: the 21st Century Orchestra Project, the MoMA Music Festival, the Maverick Concerts: “Music in the Wood”, the Beijing Modern Music Festival, the Lincoln Center, the Library of Congress, the Le Poisson Rouge, and the Carnegie Hall by distinguished performers such as, among others, the New York New Music Ensemble, the Imani Winds, saxophonist John Sampen, and pianist Bennett Lerner

Mr. Prangcharoen received his DMA from University of Missouri-Kansas City, where his primary teacher was Chen Yi. In addition to working as a freelance composer, he is currently teaching at the Community Music and Dance Academy of the Conservatory of Music, University of Missouri in Kansas City. He is the founder of the Thailand International Composition Festival, now entering its tenth year. Prangcharoen is now a composer in residence for the Pacific Symphony in Orange County, California for the next three seasons. His works are published exclusively by Theodore Presser Company.

Bobby Watson, saxophonist, composer, producer and educator, Bobby Watson grew up in Kansas City, KS. He trained at the University of Miami. After graduating, he proceeded to earn his doctorate on the bandstand — as musical director of Art Blakeys Jazz Messengers. After completing his tenure as a Jazz Messenger Watson became a much-sought after musician, working along the way with notable musicians, peers, elder statesmen and colleagues including, but not limited to: drummers Max Roach and Louis Hayes, fellow saxophonists George Coleman and Branford Marsalis, celebrated multi-instrumentalist Sam Rivers and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis who joined the Jazz Messengers at least in part at the suggestion of Watson.

In association with bassist Curtis Lundy and drummer Victor Lewis, Watson launched the first edition of Horizon, an acoustic quintet modeled in many ways after the Jazz Messengers but one with its own distinct slightly more modern twist. Watson also led a group known as the High court of Swing (a tribute to the music of Johnny Hodges), The Grammy nominated Tailor-Made Big Band (16 pieces in all) and is a founding member of the highly acclaimed 29th Street Saxophone Quartet, an all-horn, four-piece group. Watson also wrote original music for the soundtrack of Robert DeNiro’s directorial debut A Bronx Tale. All told, Bobby Watson, the immensely talented and now seasoned veteran has some 26 recordings as a leader. He appears on close to 100 other recordings as either co-leader or in a supporting role for other like-minded musicians.

Watson has recorded more than 100 original compositions In 2000, he was approached to return to his native midwestern surroundings on the Kansas-Missouri border. Watson accepted the challenge and subsequently that same year he was selected as the first William D. and Mary Grant/Missouri, Distinguished Professorship in Jazz Studies. The past six years he has served as the director of jazz studies at the University of Missouri/Kansas City, Conservatory of Music although he still manages to balance live engagements throughout the world with his teaching responsibilities.

Christoph Wolff is the Adams University Research Professor at Harvard University and is Visiting Professor on the Graduate Faculty of the Juilliard School. He taught the history of music at Erlangen, Toronto, Columbia, and Princeton Universities before joining the Harvard faculty in 1976.

There he served as Chair of the Music Department (1980-88, 90-91), Acting Director of the University Library (1991-92), and Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (1992-2000). An elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the Sächsische Akademie der Wissenschaften, he served as President and Director of the Bach-Archiv in Leipzig (2001-13) and President of the Répertoire International des Sources Musicales (2004-2013). He has published widely on the history of music from the 15th to the 20th centuries, notably Bach and Mozart.

Dr. Wolff is the guest speaker for BAS’ Bach Extravaganza Concert on February 22, 2020.

A remarkably fluid player who is equally comfortable in Tango, jazz and chamber settings, Héctor Del Curto won the 2018 Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Album with the Pablo Ziegler Trio, for the album Jazz Tango.

Héctor’s artistic lineage can be traced to Tango master Astor Piazzolla and the Tango legend Osvaldo Pugliese. Born into a family of bandoneón players, Héctor was introduced to Tango and the bandoneón by his grandfather, Héctor Cristobal. By the age of 17, he had won the title “Best Bandoneón Player Under 25” in Argentina, and was invited to join the orchestra of the legendary Osvaldo Pugliese, the “Last Giant of Tango.”

In 1999, Héctor received the Golden Note Award from the Italian-American Network in recognition of his artistic achievements. He was the music director of Forever Tango on Broadway and founded the Eternal Tango Orchestra, a 10-piece ensemble. Since its Lincoln Center début in 2003, the Eternal Tango Orchestra (now the Héctor Del Curto Tango Orchestra) returned to Lincoln Center for three more engagements and performed at other various venues, including the Skirball Center for Performing Arts.

His celebrated quintet has appeared in venues and festivals such as Lincoln Center, Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, Eastman School of Music, Bay Chambers Concerts, National Folk Festival, Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts, Fiesta Iberoamericano de las Artes in Puerto Rico, Festival Internacional da Safona and Copa Fest in Brazil, among many others.

Piano
Gustavo Casenave is a pianist, composer, producer, educator and four-time Latin Grammy nominee. He is an active performer in the jazz and contemporary classical worlds, is active in the Tango world as a composer, pianist and educator, and has toured throughout Europe, Asia, South America, Central America and United States.

A native of Montevideo, Uruguay, he received the prestigious Organization of American States scholarship to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston. While at Berklee, he received the Professional Music Achievement award. In 1996, his composition Fragiltimer for the Past Future was named one of Berklee’s 10 best original compositions in last 30 years.

Gustavo was Bette Midler’s musical director for two years, as well as her accompanist and private teacher. He has performed and collaborated with such diverse artists as Yo-Yo Ma, Robert Duvall, Mark Egan, Jane Ira Bloom, Neil Sedaka, Manolo Badrena, John Benitez, Federico Britos, Miguel Zenon, Avishai Cohen, Charlie Persip, Pedro Giraudo, Nestor Torres, Ray Vega and Héctor del Curto.

As an educator, Gustavo is a former director of the Jazz Department at the Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts in New York City. He also lectures and leads master classes at the Juilliard School and is a faculty member at the Stowe Tango Music Festival in Vermont. He also taught at New York University, Yale, the University of Florida, University of Uruguay, Waldorf Schule (Austria) and Klagenfurt Music Conservatory (Austria).

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