Our Artists ~ Nos Artistes
Ian Pomerantz, Co-Artistic Director and Bass-Baritone
Paris-based American music director and Bass-Baritone Ian Pomerantz, whose "rich bass-baritone voice" is "capable of broad proclamations while still maintaining lyrical qualities in nuanced passages," is equally comfortable performing on the operatic stage, in recitals, and in oratorio. He is known for his interpretation of Schubert and German Lieder, and is internationally recognized for his expertise in Sephardic music. Ian recently presented a solo recital of Schubert and Reichhardt accompanied by an 1828 Trondlein piano at the globally acclaimed Frederick Historical Keyboard Collection. His latest season included the role of Nilakantha in Lakme at Lowell House Opera, Azarias in Britten’s A Burning Fiery Furnace with Opera Brittenica, Pooh-Bah in Opera Providence’s The Mikado, and the Marquis in their production of La Traviata. Ian joined the Boston Lyric Opera in their performances of La Traviata, Katya Kabanova, and Don Giovanni. A devoted scholar of the baroque, Ian made a "unusually handsome" Polyphemus in Harvard Early Music Society's Acis and Galatea. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Westminster Choir College and a Masters of Music in Voice from Longy School of Music of Bard College.
Natasha Roule, Co-Artistic Director and Gambist
Viola da gamba player Natasha Roule is finishing her PhD in historical musicology, where she is writing her dissertation, “Reviving Lully: Opera and the Negotiation of Absolutism in the French Provinces, 1685-1750.” She is the recipient of numerous academic awards, including the Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship, the Irene Alm Memorial Prize, the American Graduate Fellowship from the Council of Independent Colleges, the Anne Louise Barrett Fellowship from Wellesley College, and a Pforzheimer Fellowship at Harvard University’s Houghton Library, for which she contributed extensively to the music database RISM (Répertoire International des Sources Musicales).
Emily Thorner, Soprano
Soprano Emily Thorner, praised for her "lovely" tone and "excellent" diction, is a new and exciting addition to the Boston music scene. As a soloist in early baroque repertoire, she can be heard as a soloist this season in the Monteverdi Vespers of 1610 with Sounds of Stow and Alexander’s Feast with Harvard Early Music Society. She currently holds the post of Soprano Soloist at Second Church of Newton, and was the resident soloist at Hancock Church in Lexington last season. Since moving to Boston in 2014, she has performed with Marsh Chapel, Tremont Temple, Composer’s Choir, MetroWest Choral Artists, Opera on Tap, Opera Brittenica, Lowell Opera House, MIT G & S Players, and Commonwealth Lyric Theater. Recently, she had the privilege of coaching under one of the world's most renowned early music specialists, Dame Emma Kirkby. A graduate of Florida State University, Ms. Thorner will be performing a three-part recital series in the Spring of 2016, including a premiere composed specifically for her by Marnen Laibow-Koser.
Nathaniel Cox, Theorbist and Cornettist
Cornettist and lutenist Nathaniel Cox began his music career as a trumpet player, earning Bachelor degrees in trumpet performance and Russian literature from Oberlin College and Conservatory in 2008. After a brief period of baroque trumpet playing (winning the historical category at the National Trumpet Competition in 2007), Nathaniel was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study cornetto with Bruce Dickey at the Schola Cantorum in Basel, Switzerland, earning a Masters Degree in 2014. He started playing theorbo in 2011, and after six month had his first performance playing Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea with the Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg. Since moving back to the United States in 2014 he has performed with some of North America’s leading early music ensembles, including Apollo’s Fire, The Toronto Consort, Ensemble Caprice, and the Dark Horse Consort. Now based in Boston, he is a regular member of several groups, and is an active teacher both privately and at the Amherst Early Music Festival. When he isn’t performing, Nathaniel spends his time building lutes in the workshop of his father, Douglas Cox, a professional violin maker in Brattleboro, Vermont.
Na'ama Lion, Baroque Flutist
Na’ama Lion is well known in the Boston area as a versatile performer on early flutes. She has explored medieval music, playing with “Sequentia”; Renaissance music with the Renaissance flute quartet “Travesada”; Baroque, Classical and Romantic music with numerous groups, including La Donna Musicale, Boston
Baroque, Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Cecilia, Arcadia Players, Grand Harmonie, and overseas with Academia Daniel and Barrocade orchestra. She is also a committed performer of new music, and has had new pieces written for her and her various ensembles by composers John McDonald, Jorge Ibanez, Atsushi Yoshinaka, Paul Brust, Murray Barsky, Marti Epstein, Robert Carl, and pre-eminent Israeli composer Leon Schidlowsky. Recently she has collaborated with the crossover ensemble “Rumbarroco” playing Latin American music. Na’ama holds a Doctoral degree from Boston University, a Soloist Diploma from the
Arnhem Conservatory in the Netherlands, and a BMus. degree in modern flute performance from the Tel Aviv University. She teaches at the Longy School of Music and directs a chamber music program at Harvard College. She is a sought-after teacher at summer workshops, including Amherst Early Music and the International Baroque Institute at Longy. Na’ama has recorded for Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Telarc and private labels.
Emily Dahl Irons, Baroque Violin
Violinist Emily Dahl Irons is an active performer known for her inventive and intuitive style. She enjoys a diverse career ranging from broadway musicals to baroque opera. Emily’s concentration in historical performance has led to her playing internationally under luminaries within the early music field including Rachel Podger, Maasaki Suzuki, and John Eliot Gardiner. Performing works from the most intimate to the most grand, career highlights include a Beethoven-themed salon concert using an 1807 Broadwood piano identical to the composer’s own, and the St Matthew Passion at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
Recognized throughout Boston for her poised and gracious sound, Emily can be heard with the Handel and Haydn Society, Les Bostonades, and Grand Harmonie. An eager proponent of explorative ventures, she is a core member of Emergence Quartet and Antico/Moderno. Venturing further afield, she appears regularly with the American Baroque Orchestra (New Haven) and Baroque Band (Chicago).
Ben Swartz, Gambist and Cellist
Cellist and gambist Ben Swartz has concertized extensively in the U.S. and Europe with a particular emphasis on both historically-informed performance and contemporary art music. A skilled continuo and solo player, Ben is equally at home on modern cello, Baroque cello, and viola da gamba. His most formative historical performance training was the study of J.S. Bach’s Cello Suites with Anner Bylsma and Pieter Wispelwey in Amsterdam, Holland, supported by a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. Ben is an honors graduate of the Royal Academy of Music (where he was a winner of the Early Music Prize), Peabody Conservatory, Johns Hopkins University (BA/MA, History), and was awarded a DAAD Grant to Germany (2013-14). His festival credits include Aspen, Tanglewood, Manchester, Kneisel Hall, and he has performed with the Boston Microtonal Society, Baltimore Baroque Band, and Royal Academy Viol Consort. In Boston, he is on faculty at Community Music Center of Boston and performs regularly with Sound Energy, BMOP, and orchestras throughout New England.
Emily Hale, Violinist
Emily Hale has performed in the US and Europe, on BBC4, with the Early Opera Company, Jeune Orchestre Atlantique, Aulos Ensemble and Trinity Wall Street Baroque Orchestra. She was a founding member of Consort 21, commissioning new works for period instruments, and has performed at the Valetta International Baroque Festival, London Handel Festival, St. John’s Smith Square and the National Gallery. Ms. Hale was viola d’amore soloist with the Royal College of Music Baroque Orchestra in the Brandenburg Choral Festival. She is curator and director of Vanitas: Catch It While You Can, a concert experience exploring the differences between live and recorded performance through art and music of the Baroque era and today, which premiered in the RCM’s Great Exhibitionists series. Ms. Hale completed an MPerf in Historical Performance with Distinction at the Royal College of Music in London, winning the McKenna Prize for Baroque Music, and also holds degrees in Violin Performance from Houghton College (BMus) and Penn State University (MMus).
Jessica Petrus, Soprano
With her “brilliant, agile soprano”(San Diego Story) and a quest for diverse vocal expression, Jessica Petrus regularly performs early and new chamber music. Jessica most recently performed Unsuk Chin's whimsical “Akrostischon-Wortspiel” with Kettle Corn New Music and Cantata Profana in NYC, where she “sang beautifully, with strict control and expressive musicality, telling each phantom story with charming resolve” (I Care If You Listen). In 2015, she made her Spoleto USA solo début with Bach's St. Matthew Passion, as a “crystal clear soprano” (Post And Courier). Other 2105-16 season highlights included solo appearances with Three Notch'd Road, Scrag Mountain Music, True Concord, Cantata Profana, Staunton Music Festival, Skylark, and Princeton University Glee Club. Jessica's music interests extend beyond classical--she can be heard on Mexican rock band, Maná's, latest album, “Cama Incendiada,” which received a 2015 Latin Grammy for “Best Pop/Rock Album.”