Concertmaster Carla Moore

Concertmaster of our orchestra, Carla Moore is one of America’s foremost Baroque violinists acclaimed for her stylish and virtuosic playing.  We asked Carla to talk to us about playing the St. Matthew Passion, what it means to her as a vioinist, and what she likes about Bach:

"For me, revisiting the St. Matthew Passion is akin to my visiting a beloved place. I have my favorite spaces, or movements, that I delight in. I hear once again the wonderful timbres created by the woodwinds in their solo arias, or the wash of sound created in the large choruses. Bach played the violin and the viola and that is obvious in his writing. While his music is not always easy to navigate technically, it shows he had a complete understanding of what a violinist is capable of. His music also has such structural integrity that I very much enjoy working on the phrasing of a line.

"Playing any of Bach’s music is a wonderful experience, and having the opportunity to play this powerful masterwork is a supreme pleasure. I look forward to our upcoming rehearsals and performances!"

 Concertmaster Carla Moore.

Concertmaster Carla Moore.

A First Prize winner of the Erwin Bodky Competition for Early Music, Carla is co-concertmaster of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and concertmaster of Portland Baroque Orchestra. Carla is founder and co-director of Archetti Baroque String Ensemble, which recently released its first CD on the Centaur label.

Carla has served as concertmaster and performed as soloist with Pacific MusicWorks, Pacific Baroque Orchestra, Santa Fe Pro Musica, Musica Angelica, Baroque Orchestra of Colorado and American Bach Soloists. As a chamber musician, she has recorded seven critically acclaimed CDs with the ensemble Music’s Re-creation and three with Voices of Music. Her videos with Voices of Music have been viewed by millions worldwide on YouTube.

Residing in Oakland, California, Carla teaches baroque violin at the University of California, Berkeley. Carla received her undergraduate training from the University of Southern California and earned a Master’s of Music with Distinction from Indiana University’s Early Music Institute where she studied with Stanley Ritchie.

Purchase your tickets soon to get discounted advance pricing for our monumental opening concert of this 2016-2017 season.

Stellar soloists for the St. Matthew Passion

As the Passion story unfolds, Bach allows the audience time for reflection.  Sometimes we hear his masterful four-part settings of Lutheran chorale melodies.  He also offers exquisite and meditative arias, often pairing a solo instrument with a solo voice.  Among our favorites are the well-known “Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben” (Out of love my savior is willing to die) for soprano and flutes, “Erbarme dich” (Have Mercy) for alto and solo violin, or “Mache dich, mein Herze rein” (Make thyself clean, my heart) for bass and orchestra.

Read more about our soloists for the Passion.

  Jennifer Paulino, soprano.

Jennifer Paulino, soprano.

Soprano Jennifer Paulino is celebrated for her “graceful yet powerful” and “sensitive and clear” voice (San Francisco Classical Voice).  Specializing in Baroque, chamber, and new music, Ms. Paulino is in demand as an oratorio and concert soloist across the U.S.  She has appeared with Magnificat Baroque Ensemble, Bach Collegium San Diego, San Francisco Choral Society, Seraphic Fire, Southwest Florida Symphony, and the Modesto Symphony.  Her international appearances include a recital at the Organs of Ballarat Festival in Australia with concert organist Pavel Kohout, and performances of David Lang’s Little Match Girl Passion with San Francisco Lyric Opera in Denmark.  In 2015, Ms. Paulino made her debut at the Festival Mozaic in San Luis Obispo, singing Bach’s B Minor Mass under the direction of Scott Yoo. In San Francisco, she performed the world premier of Terra Nostra, an oratorio by composer Stacy Garrop for soloists and chorus, under the direction of Bob Geary. This season, she makes her debut at Stanford University, singing a recital of Haydn’s Arianna a Naxos and songs with fortepianist Elaine Thornburgh. Ms. Paulino is on the faculty at the annual San Diego Summer Choral Festival and maintains an active teaching studio in the East Bay.

  Danielle Sampson, mezzo-soprano.

Danielle Sampson, mezzo-soprano.

Mezzo-soprano Danielle Sampson is an avid performer of Baroque, classical, and contemporary music. Last season’s highlights included a gala performance with Pacific MusicWorks, Praetorius’ Christmas Vespers with Early Music Vancouver, and collaborations with Amaranth String Quartet to perform works for voice and strings. Danielle performed with the Boston Early Music Festival in Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria (Melanto) and L’incoronazione di Poppea (La Virtù, Pallade), and with Early Music Vancouver in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (the Sorceress) and Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater. She performed as Ruggiero in Handel’s Alcina with Black Box Baroque in April, and appeared with Liaison, Nash Baroque Ensemble, and Jarring Sounds for the 2016 Berkeley Early Music Festival. Danielle has sung with the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado, American Bach Soloists, California Bach Society, San Francisco Symphony Chorus, and San Francisco Bach Choir, among others. She is a founding member of the guitar/voice duo Jarring Sounds (with Adam Cockerham), and performs with Cappella SF, the new Bay Area octet Gaude, and Seattle’s Byrd Ensemble. She earned her BM at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music, and her MM at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Danielle currently resides in Seattle.

  Mark Bonney, tenor.

Mark Bonney, tenor.

Mark Bonney has been called “a tenor with a perfect voice for Baroque music ... with silken tone, great clarity of diction, seemingly effortless breath control, plenty of power, and dazzling vocal agility.” Currently based in London, he performs all over Europe and in the United States. In the San Francisco Bay Area, he was a soloist with the American Bach Soloists Academy, California Bach Society (Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610) Chora Nova (Handel’s Acis and Galatea), Marin Baroque, the Albany Consort, and the San Francisco Bach Choir. Mark is currently pursuing a Master’s degree at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where he studies with Gary Coward and has participated in master classes with Elly Ameling, Emma Kirkby, Olaf Bär, Julius Drake, Roger Vignoles, and Richard Egarr, among others. He coaches with Eugene Asti, Max van Egmond, and Nicholas Mulroy. Mark began his musical training as a treble in the Grace Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys. He went on to study voice as well as political science at Stanford University. He was an intern with the California Bach Society during his senior year. He is an alumnus of the American Bach Soloists Academy and the Franz Schubert Institute, a renowned Lieder course in Austria.

  Marc Pantus, bass.

Marc Pantus, bass.

Bass-baritone Marc Pantus is at home in opera as well as oratorio repertoire. Last season he sang Bach’s Magnificat with the renowned ensemble Vox Luminis, Don Profondo in Rossini’s Il Viaggio a Reims with the Dutch National Opera, and a series of Schubert Lieder programs with renowned pianist Rudolf Jansen. Marc regularly sings the bass arias and the role of Christ in both St. John and St. Matthew Passions for sold-out audiences in the Netherlands. Highlights of this current season include Mendelssohn’s Paulus, Handel’s Acis and Galatea, the St. Matthew Passion in the historic Bergkerk in Deventer, and performances with the Dutch National Opera. His solo-CD Harry: Heine in Holland, featuring Lieder written by Dutch composers on German texts by Heinrich Heine, received four stars in the highly regarded Dutch/Belgian CD review magazine Luister and five stars in the national newspaper Trouw. Together with pianist Shuann Chai, Marc will perform the Lieder from his CD at the Noe Valley Ministry in San Francisco on Saturday October 22 at 4 pm, and at the Piano Club in Berkeley on Sunday October 23 at 2:30 pm (click here for more information).  Mr. Pantus studied with Udo Reinemann and Meinard Kraak at the Utrecht Conservatory of Music and the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. At the Steans Institute for Young Artists in Chicago, he studied with Thomas Allen, Christa Ludwig, Barbara Bonney, Elisabeth Söderström, and Roger Vignoles. 

Purchase your tickets soon to get discounted advance pricing for our monumental opening concert of this 2016-2017 season.

Brian Thorsett sings the Evangelist in the St. Matthew Passion

Tenor Brian Thorsett will sing the role of Evangelist in our performances of Bach's St. Matthew Passion on October 7-9.  CBS audiences will remember his portrayal of Acis in Purcell’s Acis and Galatea (October 2010) and his stunning performances of Monteverdi madrigals (March 2010).  We are delighted to welcome him back for Bach’s great masterpiece. Jesus will be sung by baritone Sepp Hammer. Sepp was one of the soloists in our Schütz Symphoniae Sacrae program in April 2013, and in February of this year, he was an impressive God in Carrissimi's Jonas. Read more about these two talented soloists in their biographies.

  Brian Thorsett, tenor (Evangelist).

Brian Thorsett, tenor (Evangelist).

Tenor Brian Thorsett, his voice “clear, ringing, and luminous,” excels in opera, oratorio, and recital across the world and has been seen and heard in over 100 roles. Upcoming opera highlights include the title characters in Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito and in the premiere of Josheff’s The Dream Mechanic. Future concert highlights include Evangelist and soloist in both Bach Passions, Handel’s Messiah and Alexander’s Feast, Pilate in Pärt’s Passio, Britten’s War Requiem, as well as the Requiems of Mozart and Verdi. An avid recitalist, Brian is closely associated with expanding the vocal-chamber genre. Premieres and commissions of over 100 works include those of Ian Venables, David Conte, Shinji Eshima, Scott Gendel, Michael Scherperel, Peter Josheff, Gordon Getty, Michel Bosc, Noah Luna, Brian Holmes, Eric Davis, Robert Conrad, Eric Choate, and Nicholas Carlozzi. Brian has also been heard in recordings, commercials, and movies, and as the voice for SoundIron’s library Voice of Rapture: Tenor. He is a graduate of San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, Glimmerglass Opera’s Young Artists Program, the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme, and Music Academy of the West. Brian is currently Assistant Professor of Voice and Opera at Virginia Tech’s School of Performing Arts. 

  Sepp Hammer, baritone (Jesus).

Sepp Hammer, baritone (Jesus).

Sepp Hammer’s voice has been described as showing “warm baritone gravity” (The Boston Globe). Recently with the California Bach Society, he has appeared as soloist in Charpentier’s Le reniement de Saint Pierre, Zelenka’s Missa Votiva, and Bach’s cantata Aus der Tiefe. Other concert engagements include Rutter’s Mass of the Children with Solano Symphony, Zelenka’s Gloria with Chora Nova, Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs with Contra Costa Chorale, and, with various ensembles, Charpentier Messe des Morts, Schütz Symphoniae Sacrae, Bach Magnificat, Bach B Minor Mass, Haydn Lord Nelson Mass, Schubert Mass in G Major, Brahms Requiem, Fauré Requiem, and Duruflé Requiem. Starting in the 2016-2017 season, Sepp will be joining the Philharmonia Baroque Chorale. In recent seasons on the opera stage, Sepp has appeared as Pistol in Verdi’s Falstaff with Cinnabar Theater, the Speaker in The Magic Flute with Pocket Opera, Malatesta in Donizetti's Don Pasquale with North Bay Opera, and in the role of Wagner in Gounod’s Faust with Opera San Jose. His opera roles also include Escamillo in Carmen, Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas, the title role in Don Giovanni, John Proctor in The Crucible and Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro.

Purchase your tickets soon to get discounted advance pricing for our monumental opening concert of this 2016-2017 season.

Welcome to the new CBS website!

After many years and an aging design, we have migrated our website to a new modernized web platform that will allow us to keep you updated more quickly and elegantly.  It unifies our design across all of our communications, and hopefully should be easier and more pleasant to find information on, especially with this brand new season and our colossal opener, J.S. Bach's St. Matthew Passion!

Notably we have not yet migrated over the old 40th anniversary timeline, with some lovely and endearing stories from past choir members.  Since we're now in our 46th year we'll have to think more about how we can retain some of our great history online.

Please let us know how you like the new site, or how you think it could be improved.  Feel free to comment below or email webmaster@calbach.org with your thoughts.