Alex Richardson, Sophie Shao, and Thomas Bagwell



Summer Shore Armas Jårnefelt
The Lark  
Evening Bells, Op. 106 No. 1 Oskar Merikanto
Stormbird, Op. 30 No. 4  
Sonata for Cello and Piano in A minor, Op. 36
  1. Allegro agitato
  2. Andante molto tranquillo
  3. Allegro molto e marcato
New Watercolors, Op. 57
  1. Andantino
  2. Scherzo
Niels Gade
In the Forest Vilhelm Eugen Stenhammar
Rustle of Spring, Op. 32 No. 3 Christian Sinding
Prayer to Night Ture Rangstrøm
In the Month of Tjaitra Sigurd von Koch
Impromptu, Op. 5 No. 5 Sibelius
Visions Carl Leopold Sjøberg
Toward the Sea Nordqvist
Santa Fe Project Magnus Lindberg



American tenor Alex Richardson is increasingly in-demand as a leading tenor in opera companies around the world.

So far in 2015, Mr. Richardson has sung the 2nd Jew in Salome at Opera San Antonio, then was seen as Sam Polk in Susannah with Toledo Opera. He was then featured in Szymanowski's King Roger with Charles Dutoit and the Boston Symphony, and was tenor soloist in the Verdi Requiem at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. He sang various roles in a concert of opera highlights with the Carolina Philharmonic, was the tenor soloist in Stravinsky's Les Noces at the Colorado College Summer Music Festival, and will be joining the roster of singers at The Metropolitan Opera this fall, where he will be covering the role of Alwa in a new production of Alban Berg's Lulu, which will be directed by William Kentridge and conducted by James Levine.

In 2014 Mr. Richardson sang the role of the 2nd Jew in Salome with the Boston Symphony and Andris Nelsons, was then seen as Molqi in John Adams' The Death of Klinghoffer at Long Beach Opera, then as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with Dicapo Opera at The Tilles Center, and then as the tenor soloist in Louis Andriessen's De Materie with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall. He sang the role of Váňa Kudrjáš in Káťa Kabanová at the Spoleto Festival USA, and was then featured as a soloist in the Beethoven Choral Fantasy with Charles Dutoit and the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood.  Mr. Richardson sang the title role in the American premiere of Franco Faccio's Amleto at Opera Southwest and Baltimore Concert Opera, and then sang the role of Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana with the String Orchestra of Brooklyn.

In prior seasons Mr. Richardson has sung Romeo in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette (St. Petersburg Opera), Rodolfo in La Bohème (Opera Western Reserve), The Duke in Rigoletto (Dicapo Opera at the Tilles Center), Cavaradossi in Tosca (Winter Opera Saint Louis), the Steuermann in Wagner's Der fliegende Holländer (Princeton Festival), as Fenton in Otto Nicolai's The Merry Wives of Windsor (Boston Midsummer Opera), and Tom Buchanan in John Harbison's The Great Gatsby (Emmanuel Music and Tanglewood).  Mr. Richardson debuted the role of the Soldier Ruiz Alonzo at Santa Fe Opera in Osvaldo Golijov's opera Ainadamar directed by Peter Sellars and subsequently performed the piece with the Atlanta and Chicago Symphonies. He has also been a featured soloist with the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood numerous times – he performed the role of Vogelgesang in Act III of Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg under the baton of Maestro James Levine, the solos in Stravinsky's Pulcinella with Maestro Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, the role of Fatty the Bookkeeper in Kurt Weill's The Rise and Fall of the City at Mahagonny, and sang the tenor solos in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy on the 75th Anniversary Gala Concert, which was televised on PBS's Great Performances. Mr. Richardson has covered the title role in Werther at Washington National Opera, and the role of André in Rufus Wainwright's Prima Donna at New York City Opera.

Concert repertoire includes solos in the Verdi Requiem, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, Mozart's Requiem and Mass in C Minor, Handel's Messiah, Bach's Mass in B Minor and Evangelist in the St. John Passion, Stravinsky's Les Noces, Puccini's Gloria, Orff's Carmina Burana, Mendelssohn's Elijah, and Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde. Concert venue appearances include Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, the 92nd Street Y, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Trinity Church and the Austrian Cultural Forum.

Originally from Las Cruces, New Mexico, Mr. Richardson holds degrees from the University of Colorado at Boulder and Manhattan School of Music. He participated in young artist programs at Central City Opera, The Santa Fe Opera, the Tanglewood Music Center, and was a roster member of the Marilyn Horne Foundation. Mr. Richardson has been honored by the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, the El Paso Opera  Competition (first place), and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (two-time regional prize winner).


At the age of nineteen, cellist Sophie Shao received the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, and has since performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Winner of top prizes at the Rostropovich and Tchaikovsky Competitions, the New York Times has applauded her "eloquent, powerful" interpretations of repertoire ranging from Bach and Beethoven to Crumb.

Highlights of this season include recitals for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and Middlebury College, a performance of the complete Bach suites at Union College and in New York City, and her popular “Sophie Shao and Friends” tour including performances from Brattleboro, VT to Sedona, AZ. Ms. Shao recently collaborated with film composer Howard Shore resulting in a commission of “Great Gardens” – a concerto being written for her to be premiered with the American Symphony Orchestra in April 2012. In 2012-2013, she will appear as soloist with the BBC Concert Orchestra and Keith Lockhart in performances of the Elgar and Shostakovich concerti on a two-week tour of the west coast.

Recent performances include Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with Hans Graf and the Houston Symphony, Tan Dun’s Ghost Opera with Cho-Liang Lin in Indianapolis, the world-premiere of Richard Wilson’s Concerto for cello and mezzo-soprano with the American Symphony Orchestra, and recital and chamber music appearances at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Chamber Music Northwest, and Music Mountain (with the Shanghai Quartet) among many other presenters across the country. She is a frequent guest at many of the leading chamber music festivals throughout the US including Chamber Music Northwest, Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, Music from Angel Fire, the Bard Festival, and Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.

Ms. Shao can be heard on Bridge Records (for the Marlboro Music Festival’s 50th Anniversary recording), on Albany Records. Her recording releases in 2009 include Richard Wilson’s Brash Attacks on Albany Records and Howard Shore’s original score for the movie The Betrayal on Howe Records. She may also be heard on an upcoming release on Koch Records in the music of George Tsontakis.

A native of Houston, Texas, Ms. Shao began playing the cello at age six, and was a student of Shirley Trepel, former principal cellist of the Houston Symphony. At age thirteen she enrolled at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, studying cello with David Soyer. After graduating from the Curtis Institute, she continued her cello studies with Aldo Parisot at Yale University, receiving a B.A. in Religious Studies from Yale College and an M.M. from the Yale School of Music, where she was enrolled as a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow. She is on the faculty of Vassar College and the Bard Conservatory of Music and plays on a cello made by Honore Derazey from 1860 once owned by Pablo Casals.


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.

“At long last, through the Taubman Approach, I have found the ideal means to near-effortless, directed physical mastery of keyboard technique. Each time that I watch the Taubman Technique videos I discover yet another nuance of this very elegant approach to the correct application of technique to physical and musical performance!”

Stanley G. Rockson, M.D.