Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, Paul O'Dette & Stephen Stubbs

Biographie Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, Paul O'Dette & Stephen Stubbs

Paul O’Dette
has been described as “the clearest case of genius ever to touch his instrument” (Toronto Globe and Mail). He appears regularly at major festivals throughout the world performing lute recitals and in chamber music programs with leading early music colleagues. Mr. O’Dette has made more than 140 recordings, winning two Grammy Awards and receiving seven Grammy nominations and numerous international record awards. The Complete Lute Music of John Dowland (a 5-CD set for harmonia mundi usa) was awarded the prestigious Diapason d’Or de l’Année, and was named “Best Solo Lute Recording of Dowland” by BBC Radio 3. The Bachelar’s Delight: Lute Music of Daniel Bacheler was nominated for a Grammy as Best Solo Instrumental Recording in 2006.

While best known for his recitals and recordings of virtuoso solo lute music, Paul O’Dette is also active as a conductor of Baroque opera. Together with Stephen Stubbs he won a Grammy as conductor in 2015 for Best Opera Recording, as well as an Echo Klassik Award, for their recording of Charpentier’s La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers with the Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Ensemble. Their CDs of Conradi’s Ariadne, Lully’s Thésée, Lully’s Psyché, with the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra on the CPO label, were nominated for Grammys in 2005, 2007, and 2008; their 2015 BEMF CD of Steffani’s Niobe, Regina di Tebe on the Erato/Warner Classics label was also nominated for a Grammy, and received the coveted Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik. In addition to his activities as a performer, Paul O’Dette is an avid researcher, having worked extensively on the performance of seventeenth-century Italian and English solo song, continuo practices, and lute repertoire. He has published numerous articles on issues of historical performance practice, and co-authored the John Dowland entry in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Paul O’Dette is Professor of Lute and Director of Early Music at the Eastman School of Music and Artistic Co-Director of the Boston Early Music Festival.

Stephen Stubbs
who won the Grammy Award as conductor for Best Opera Recording in 2015, spent a thirty-year career in Europe. He returned to his native Seattle in 2006 as one of the world’s most respected lutenists, conductors, and Baroque opera specialists. In 2007 Stephen established his new production company, Pacific MusicWorks (PMW), based in Seattle, reflecting his lifelong interest in both early music and contemporary performance. The company’s inaugural presentation was a production of South African artist William Kentridge’s acclaimed multimedia staging of Claudio Monteverdi’s opera The Return of Ulysses in a co-production with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. PMW’s performances of the Monteverdi Vespers were described in the press as “utterly thrilling” and “of a quality you are unlikely to encounter anywhere else in the world.”

Stephen Stubbs is also the Boston Early Music Festival’s Artistic Co-Director along with his long-time colleague Paul O’Dette. Stephen and Paul are also the musical directors of all BEMF operas, recordings of which were nominated for five Grammy awards, including one Grammy win in 2015. Also in 2015, BEMF recordings won two Echo Klassik awards and the Diapason d’Or de l’Année. In addition to his ongoing commitments to PMW and BEMF, other recent appearances have included Handel’s Amadigi for Opera UCLA, Mozart’s Magic Flute and Così fan tutte in Hawaii, Handel’s Agrippina and Semele for Opera Omaha, Cavalli’s Calisto and Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie for Juilliard, and Mozart’s Il re pastore for the Merola program in San Francisco. He has conducted Handel’s Messiah with the Seattle, Edmonton, Birmingham, and Houston Symphony orchestras. His extensive discography as conductor and solo lutenist includes well over 100 CDs, many of which have received international acclaim and awards. From 2013 to 2018, Stephen Stubbs held the position of Senior Artist in Residence at the University of Washington School of Music.

Robert Mealy
is one of America’s most prominent Baroque violinists. He is concertmaster and Orchestra Director for the Boston Early Music Festival, where he has led this distinguished ensemble in festival productions, international tours, and recordings of a wide variety of repertoire for over a decade. While still an undergraduate at Harvard College, he was asked to join Tafelmusik. Since then, he has recorded over 80 CDs of early music on most major labels. He has appeared at international festivals from Berkeley to Bergen, and from Melbourne to Moscow. A devoted chamber musician, he co-directs Quicksilver, whose recordings and festival appearances across America have received much critical acclaim. He has led Baroque ensembles for the Mark Morris Dance Company, and accompanied Renée Fleming on the David Letterman Show.

As principal concertmaster for the Grammy-nominated orchestra of Trinity Wall Street, he has performed all of Bach’s sacred works and is now embarked on a similar traversal of Handel’s oratorios. He recently completed a survey of Bach’s sonatas for violin and harpsichord at the Smithsonian, and is recording the entire cycle on the museum’s Stainer violin. In January 2018 he made his Carnegie recital début as a soloist. A keen scholar as well as a performer, Mr. Mealy is Director of the distinguished Historical Performance Program at The Juilliard School. He has led his Juilliard students in frequent performances at Alice Tully Hall as well as on international tours, including performances as conservatory-in-residence at the Utrecht Festival, regular appearances at Les Jardins de William Christie in Thiré, and on an extended tour to India. From 2009 to 2015, he was a professor at Yale, holding a joint appointment at both the graduate School of Music and Yale College. Prior to that, he taught at Harvard for over a decade, where he founded the Harvard Baroque Chamber Orchestra. In 2004, he received Early Music America’s Binkley Award for outstanding teaching and scholarship. He still likes to practice.

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