Ms. Blumenthal has appeared as soloist with many ensembles including the Chicago and Houston Symphony Orchestras. She has received high acclaim for her numerous chamber music performances with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and duo recitals with her late husband Philadelphia Orchestra cellist, Bert Phillips, and other internationally renown artists. A native of Chicago, she is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Music, and the University of Houston (graduate studies); post graduate studies with Leonard Shure at the University of Texas, and Rudolph Serkin at Marboro Chamber Music Institute in Vermont. Ms. Blumenthal is a Steinway Artist.
Ms. Blumenthal is currently director of the CHAMPS (chamber music public schools) for Salon Concerts, Austin, Texas. and Artistic Director and Pianist for Classic Chamber Concerts in Georgetown and Round Rock. She has participated in the Georgetown Festival of the Arts for the past five seasons. Toby and her late husband, Bert Phillips founded the Luzerne Music Center and the Luzerne Chamber Music Festival in Lake Luzerne, NY in 1980 where they shared executive and artistic directorships, and Toby developed the Piano Studies Program where she shared her talents each summer with many aspiring young musicians. She was also Founder and Co- Artistic Director of Classic Chamber Concerts in Naples, Florida where she performed with the Luzerne Trio (Raymond Gniewek-violin, Bert Phillips-cello), and the Philadelphia Piano Quartet (Norman Carol-violin, Lamar Alsop-viola, Bert Phillips-cello) from 1995 to 2009.
Flutist MATHEW KREJCI, born in Cleveland to a family of musicians, is Principal Flute of the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra and teaches flute at the University of the Pacific. For thirty seven years, Mr. Krejci has been Principal Flute of the Bear Valley Music Festival. He has appeared there as soloist on the Bach, Suite in b minor, the Concerto for Flute and Harp by Mozart, the Ibert, Concerto for Flute, and the Honegger, Concerto da Camera. He was invited to join the Wild Basin Woodwind Quintet based in Austin, Texas in 2002. He was invited to perform a recital at the 2004 convention of the Czech-Slovak Society of Arts and Sciences in Olomouc, Czech Republic. He has recorded CDs for the V’TAE, Albion, and Klavier labels which features the jazz suites of Claude Bolling. In the last few years , he has performed in Beijing, Shanghai, Prague, Bratislava, Panama Venice, Abruzzo, Siena and Viterbo, Italy and at the Madrid Conservatory of Music. Mr. Krejci was an invited soloist with the National Orchestra of Ecuador at the Center of the World Flute Festival in June, 2012 playing the Mercadante, Concerto in e minor. In November 2014, Mr. Krejci performed the CPE Bach, Concerto in d minor for Flute with the Orqestra Tocando e Vida in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.
Caleb is a a tenured member of the Austin Symphony Orchestra's violin section and the newest member of the Artisan Quartet. He earned two degrees from the Butler School of Music at UT Austin, most recently including a Master's in Music in 2012. He has performed in festivals around the country and has had solo engagements with orchestras in Iowa and Texas. Caleb is also a composer, and has had pieces for solo violin and chamber ensembles played on stages in Central Texas, Iowa, Minnesota, and also online. He continues to actively compose while maintaining a busy schedule with the Austin Symphony, Opera, Ballet, and with other ensembles, classical and otherwise.
Patrice Calixte, violin
Caleb Hans Polashek, violin
Bruce Williams, viola
Douglas Harvey, cello
Katherine Altobello O'Brien
Ann Elizabeth Wade
Patrice Calixte -
Helen Cooper -
principal 2nd violin
Bruce Williams -
Tim O'Brien has sung with Austin Opera, the Minnesota Opera, the Dale Warland Singers, the National Lutheran Choir, and the Rose Ensemble. Recently he performed Bach's B Minor Mass with Portland Oregon's The Ensemble, where his "vibrant and subtle" singing was praised by Oregon Artswatch.
Dr. O'Brien's performances can be heard on eleven commercial recordings, including the Grammy-nominated Walden Pond. Tim is an alumnus of Gustavus Adolphus College, where he taught and conducted before relocating to Austin. He currently on the faculty at St. Edward's University, is director of music at St. Martin's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Austin and is artistic director of Living Paper Song Project.
Hailed for her versatility and “true rich tone,” this musician enjoys singing all styles of music even dabbling in folk genres. Her respect and love for all music runs deep. She is a sought after soloist for retreat centers and churches, performing solo and chamber recitals, and singing opera within the United States, Europe, Central America and South America. Keely performs as a soloist and collaborative artist with such noted ensembles as: Apollo Master Chorale, Blacksburg Master Chorale, Conspirare –a company of Voices, Kinnara Ensemble, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Texas Choral Symposium, True Concord Voices and Orchestra, Virginia Oratorio Society, Vox Humana, and the Washington Bach Consort.
In academia, Dr. Rhodes has served as an assistant professor of music in vocal studies, assistant professor of music in vocal studies and director of choirs. She has had the honors of working with the renowned Sra. Mirella Freni while serving as a Fulbright Scholar to Italy, winning the Austin Critic’s Table Award for Best Classical Singer (Female), and receiving a Grammy® Award with Conspirare.
Keely has recorded with ensembles on Harmonia Mundi, Clarion, Naxos, MPR, Longhorn Music, Reference Recordings, Conspirare. Having performed on multiple Grammy®-nominated albums (with Conspirare and True Concord) an Edison Award-winning album and a recent Grammy®-Award winning album, she is currently completing of her first professional solo recording. Keely is a member of the Cherokee Tribe with a Bachelor’s of Music from Oberlin Conservatory and Master’s and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Texas in Austin.
The Artisan Quartet is comprised of mostly Austin Symphony principal players and has been referred to as "Austin's hometown string quartet". Hometown yes, but not local. The Artisan Quartet took its music out of state in 2012, traveling to the crucible of classical music when the quartet made its New York debut performing on the Carnegie Hall Weil Recital Hall Chamber Music Series. The concert in New York was made possible with very generous gifts from the Classical Artist Development Foundation and the Amatius Foundation, and was commemorated by the Texas House of Representatives on March 13, 2013 with H.R. 703 read into the Texas Congressional Record with the Artisans present. It was also around that time that the Artisan's completed their three season long "Genius at Play" Series, featuring the complete string quartets of Beethoven and started their own "Artisan Quartet Series" in Austin originally presented by the Austin Symphony. They performed several seasons at the Victoria Bach Festival, and are presently the Quartet in Residence for the Mozart Festival Texas in San Antonio, the Mason County Chamber Music Festival, and the Texas Bach Festival.
Oboist Ian Davidson has appeared as soloist and chamber musician in thirty-one countries on six continents. Dr. Davidson holds degrees from DePauw University and the University of Texas at Austin and teaches at Texas State University, where he holds the dual ranks Regents’ Professor and University Distinguished Professor. He is Solo English Horn of the Austin Symphony Orchestra and Principal Oboe of the Austin Opera Orchestra. International recitals and residencies include the Moscow Conservatory of Music, Hong Kong Baptist University, the University of Silesia, Trinity College of Music in London, the Institute of Culture in St. Petersburg, the University of Piui in Brazil, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in South Africa, and the State Conservatory of Music in Bratislava. In 2013 and 2014 Dr. Davidson served as a United States State Department Fulbright Senior Specialist in Tanzania where he performed solo concerts, taught music composition and advised university faculty and administrators in the areas of faculty advancement, curricular development, academic assessment, and learning outcomes. His recording credits include the films “SpyKids2,” “To The Wonder,” “Knight of Cups,” and “The Vessel,” television performances for PBS with Willie Nelson and acclaimed choral group Conspirare in addition to symphonic recordings with the Austin Symphony Orchestra and the Spoleto Festival Orchestra and chamber music and solo recordings with the Wild Basin Winds and Chamber Soloists of Austin. A Grammy Nominee, Dr. Davidson is a voting member of the Academy of Recording Artists and each year participates in the selection of nominees and recipients of the prestigious award.
Italian tenor Angelo Ferrari has been performing professionally for over 30 years, delighting audiences throughout the world. Trained in the Italian art of bel canto by his father and acclaimed tenor Lazzaro Ferrari, Mr. Ferrari has specialized, to critical acclaim, in the dramatically and vocally challenging roles written by composers such as Bellini, Donizetti, and Puccini, that few tenors have undertaken successfully. Mr. Ferrari's talent inspired Maestro Kurt Herman Wilhelm to write "Angelo will be one of the important tenors of the 21st century."
Winner of the first prize in the 2007 Mario Del Monaco Foundation competition, he has performed the leading tenor role in La Boheme, La fille du Reginment, Rigoletto, Don Pasquale, La Sonnambula, La Favorita, Il Trovatore, I Puritani, I Pescatori di Perle, La Traviata and many more in major theaters in Italy, Austria, Germany, Switzerland and many other countries. He is also in great demand as a soloist for oratorios, both from the early music period as well as modern pieces such as the Missa Basniensi world premiere.
Mr. Ferrari's 2013 album Pasion Latina is a collection of famous romantic melodies and showcases his versatility. 2014 and 2015 included several concerts in Europe, most notably Verdi's masterpiece Messa da Requiem in Vienna. In 2016, Mr. Ferrari's talent and contributions to the Houston arts scene were recognized when the City of Houston proclaimed April 24, 2016 as "Angelo Ferrari Day". He continues to perform and is a firm believer in opportunities for young artists and exposing new audiences to the wonders of music.
Jeffrey Jones-Ragona, tenor, is an active performer and has singing with Texas Bach Festival since it's founding in 2017 as a chorister and featured soloist. He is also a regular performer with several other are ensembles, including Texas Early Music Project (TEMP), La Follia Austin Baroque, the Austin Baroque Orchestra, and Austin Chamber Ensemble. He is also a regular performer with Local Opera Local Artist Company, and Austin Opera. Jeffrey also serves as Musical Director and Principal Conductor for Gilbert and Sullivan Austin, where his work was recognized with the B Iden Payne Award for Outstanding Musical Direction, and is Director of Music for the Cathedral of Saint Mary. In 2005, Jeffrey along with TEMP Director Danny Johnson, was recognized by the Austin Critics' Table for Outstanding Classical concert for their joint production of the Austin permiere of the complete Vespers of 1610 by Monteverdi. Jeffrey received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Texas in 2006.
Douglas Harvey -
Beginning the violin at the age of eight, Canadian violinist Patrice Calixte was later admitted into a highly competitive high school music program in Montréal, Québec, where he studied with Francine Pépin He then went on to study with Claude Richard, at Université de Montréal where he obtained his Undergraduate and Master's degree in music performance. A very experienced orchestra musician, Patrice has worked with may orchestras in Québec and Ontario, including the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Orchestre Symphonique de Québec and the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra. He was then hired in the first violin section of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra where he stayed for two years. Leaving Calgary in search of more personal development, Patrice is now finishing his Artist Diploma at the University of Texas in Austin where he studied with Daniel Ching. He has also had the occasion to perform as soloist with various orchestras in Montreal and surroundings. In August 2018, Patrice was hired as an associate concertmaster of the Austin Symphony Orchestra.