THOMAS BAGWELL, piano
Called by Marilyn Horne "a pioneer for his age," Thomas Bagwell is well known as a pianist in song recital and chamber music. His appearances as a collaborative pianist have taken him to such venues as New York's Carnegie Hall, London's Wigmore Hall, the Musikverein, the Concertgebouw, and numerous halls across the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Japan. Thomas Bagwell's activities as a coach and teacher have led to invitations to give master classes for colleges and apprentice programs in opera companies. He was an assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera for nine seasons, and has served in the same capacity for many seasons at the Washington National Opera, the Santa Fe Opera, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.
Mr. Bagwell has partnered in recital with such singers as Marilyn Horne, Renee Fleming, Susan Graham, Denyce Graves, Frederica von Stade, Andrea Rost, Kristine Jepson, James Morris, Roberta Peters, and Lucine Amara. His recital partnerships with the rising generation of singers include Elaine Alvarez, Eric Cutler, Gregory Turay, Rinat Shaham, Thomas Meglioranza, and Jesse Blumberg. In the field of chamber music, Mr. Bagwell has been a participant at the Marlboro Music Festival and has performed recitals with violinists Midori, Miranda Cuckson, and Scott St. John, with whom he made a critically acclaimed CDof works by Antonin Dvorak, now available on iTunes and on the Marquis Classics label. Miranda Cuckson and Mr. Bagwell performed the ten Beethoven sonatas for violin and piano in a three-part series at the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church in the spring of 2009.
Mr. Bagwell received degrees from the Mannes College of Music and the Manhattan School of Music. He has studied with Warren Jones, Graham Johnson, and Edna Golandsky. After his formal studies, Mr. Bagwell pursued additional training with Elly Ameling and Rudolf Janson at the Academie Villecroze.
Mr. Bagwell organized and performed several concert series in New York at the Austrian Cultural Forum, including the complete songs of Hugo Wolf and Gustav Mahler, and surveys of the songs of Schubert, Schönberg, and Zemlinsky, in addition to many other concerts. He was co-artistic director for an Austrian Lieder festival in Washington, D.C., at the Austrian Embassy, where he has performed many times.
His recent performances have included recitals sponsored by the Lotte Lehmann Foundation, of which he is an advisory board member, featuring young singers handpicked by the foundation for their abilities as recitalists; and a series of performances and recording of a new collection of American art song called Five Borough Songbook, with such composers as Tom Cipullo, Chris Berg, Ricky Ian Gordon, Jorge Martin, and many others. Other recent performances include a concert at the Kennedy Center with soprano Elaine Alvarez, sponsored by the Vocal Arts Society; a recital of songs and piano pieces by Felix Mendelssohn and Fanny Hensel in New York (including two world premieres); and a recital with internationally known soprano Renee Fleming at the State Department in Washington, D.C., for Hillary Clinton. Other collaborations with Renee Fleming have included preparing her for her performance of Messiaen's nine-part song cycle "Poemes pour Mi" with the New York Philharmonic, an event that was broadcast live on television and radio. Mr. Bagwell is currently spearheading the 20th anniversary performance of the AIDS Quilt Songbook on World AIDS Day December 1, 2012.
As a teacher of opera and art song, Thomas Bagwell has been on the faculties of Yale University and the Mannes College of Music, where he currently teaches collaborative piano as well as classes in operatic repertoire for singers. He has taught master classes at the Santa Fe Opera, New Jersey Opera, Simpson College, and Portland State University. He was the keynote teacher at the Oregon chapter of NATS at the Lewis and Clark College in January 2008. He is a regular faculty member of the CoOPERAtive summer opera program in Princeton, New Jersey.
In addition to his music career, Thomas Bagwell is also a Pilates teacher at two Equinox gyms.
CHRISTOPHER DYLAN HERBERT, baritone
American baritone Christopher Dylan Herbert performs concerts and opera throughout the world, most often with his twice GRAMMY®-nominated ensemble, New York Polyphony.
Hailed by Opera News for his “exceptional” singing, Christopher has also received acclaim for his “smooth baritone voice”, his “consistently warm sound” and his “versatile dramatic abilities”. He is a recipient of awards from the Sullivan Foundation and Gérard Souzay Competition and he was a 2014 Naumburg Competition semifinalist. His outdoor Winterize/Winterreise project with Make Music New York is described by The New York Times as "brave and, in all senses, chilling... an elegantly lean performance that would have been impressive in any context but was remarkable under these conditions."
Recent performances in concert and opera include the title role in Handel's Saul for Trinity Wall Street's Twelfth Night Festival, Polyphemus in Acis and Galatea with Musica Angelica, the title role in The War Reporter at The Prototype Festival and Stanford LIVE, Henrik in A Little Night Music at Opera Theatre Saint Louis, Dover Beach at Lake George, Winterreise at the Austrian Cultural Forum of New York and Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, Kindertotenlieder with the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra, and various recitals with pianists Thomas Bagwell and Timothy Long. In previous seasons, Christopher performed Sid in Britten’s Albert Herring with Opera Vivente, Connie in Gordon’s Grapes of Wrath at Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, and Il prigioniero in Il piccolo Marat at Avery Fisher Hall. He has also performed with the Boston Pops and at Tanglewood, Wolf Trap, and Central City Opera.
In addition to his performance career, Christopher has varied experience in foreign policy, public relations, and arts management. He has served in leadership roles for the consulting firm/think tank the Denver Research Group, the Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency's Integrated Crisis Early Warning System project, the public relations firm Brown Lloyd James, and the non-profit Sing for Hope. His social media and marketing work was a prominent part of Sing for Hope's 2010 and 2011 Pop-Up Pianos throughout New York. His writing on Middle East and foreign policy has been published by the Washington Post, Huffington Post, and Foreign Policy Association.
Christopher graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Yale University with a B.A. in Music and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. He also holds an M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University. He is currently a C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellow at The Juilliard School.