Artists

DEXTER KENNEDY — ORGANDexter Kennedy

As the winner of the Grand Prix d’Interprétation at the 24th Concours International d’Orgue de Chartres, Dexter Kennedy has established himself internationally as “one of the greatest organists of our times” (Iceland Monitor). Praised for his “prodigious technique and grand style musicality” in The American Organist, Dexter Kennedy currently serves on the music faculty of the College of Wooster (Ohio) as Instructor of Organ and Harpsichord. During the Fall 2017 semester, Kennedy is Guest Organ Teacher in Residence at Oberlin College and Conservatory.

Kennedy is an active recitalist throughout both North America and Europe, having performed in great cathedrals, churches, and concert halls including: Berliner Dom; St. Bavokerk, Haarlem; Slovak Philharmonic Hall, Bratislava; Chartres Cathedral; Grossmünster, Zürich; Chichester Cathedral; Hallgrimskirkja, Reykjavik; Basilica of St. Nazaire, Carcassone; Narbonne Cathedral; Auditorio Manuel de Falla, Granada; San Luigi Dei Francesi, Rome; St. Willibrordus Basilika, Echternach, Luxembourg; and Bergen Cathedral. His performances have been heard at the St. Albans International Organ Festival, the 51st Bratislava Music Festival, the Bergen International Organ Festival, the Conference of Roman Catholic Cathedral Musicians, the Bach en Bogotá Festival, and two regional conventions of the American Guild of Organists. Kennedy’s 2017-2018 season will see him perform at Notre-Dame de Paris, the Eccles Organ Festival (Salt Lake City), the Arizona Bach Festival, and recitals for the Atlanta, Southern Nevada, and Houston Chapters of the American Guild of Organists.

Dexter Kennedy holds the Artist Diploma from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he was a pupil of James David Christie, and a Master of Music Degree from the Yale School of Music and Institute of Sacred Music. Other teachers include Martin Jean, Olivier Latry, and Jeffrey Brillhart (improvisation). He is currently Assistant Organist at Christ Church Grosse Pointe (MI). In his spare time, he enjoys golfing and vigorously rooting for the professional sports teams in his native Detroit. More information about Kennedy and his schedule can be found at his website, www.dexterkennedy.com

JOESFIEN STOPPELENBURG — SOPRANOJosefien Stoppelenburg

Josefien Stoppelenburg graduated from the Amsterdam Conservatory of Music in 2005. She is regularly invited as a soloist for oratorio performances in the Netherlands and Germany and at international choral events. From 2005 until 2007 she was part of the Young Opera Ensemble of Cologne (Junge Kammeroper Köln - Germany). With her sister Charlotte she forms the duo Unique Harmony of Two Voices. In 1997, the sisters were the first to win the Princess Christina Competition for vocalists after which they built up national and international reputations. They are regularly seen and heard on Dutch national television and radio. Concert tours have taken them to the United States, Venezuela, the United Arab Emirates and South Africa. Their concert for the Dutch Royal Family was broadcasted life on Dutch national television. Josefien's solo engagements for the 2011-2012 season included Handel oratorios with Baroque Band, the Apollo Chorus of Chicago and the Handel Week Festival and singing the role of Aci in Handel’s Aci, Galatea e Polifemo for the Haymarket Opera Company of Chicago. She recently sang the world premiere of The News by Jacob ter Veldhuis with Fulcrum Point in Pittsburgh and Chicago. The past season included appearances across The Netherlands, Germany and Italy. Painting is Josefien's second love. She has had several exhibitions in the Netherlands and the United States.

KAREN KNUDSEN STANLEY — MEZZO-SOPRANOKaren Knudsen Stanley

Karen grew up in a large musical family and started performing at age two, began playing piano at age five and cello at age 10. Her solo singing career was born at age 14 when she emerged from the orchestra pit to sing the alto solos in Handel’s Messiah. After studying vocal performance at Brigham Young University, where she toured with the BYU Singers, she moved to Phoenix in 1997 and began singing with The Phoenix Chorale (then The Phoenix Bach Choir) and the Arizona Opera Chorus. She has performed as the alto soloist in Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with both the Phoenix Symphony and the Arizona Bach Festival. She was the featured alto soloist in the Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with The Phoenix Boys Choir, performed the title role in Vivaldi’s Juditha Triumphans with the Vivaldi Festival, and has performed Bach’s St. Matthew and St. John Passions.

In addition to performing with Scott Youngs at Arizona Bach Festivals, Karen has been blessed to collaborate with incredible conductors and organizations around the country, including the Phoenix Chorale, True Concord Voices & Orchestra, Kansas City Chorale, Phoenix Symphony, Tucson Masterworks Chorale, Tucson Chamber Artists, St. Cecilia Music Series, Apollo Master Chorale, and Tucson Symphony. Karen lives in Gilbert, Arizona with her husband, two children, and two puppies.

MARTIN SCHURING — OBOEMartin Schuring

Martin Schuring held orchestral positions with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, The Florida Orchestra and the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra prior to joining the ASU faculty in 1992. Since 1980, Schuring has been a regular participant at the Grand Teton Music Festival, playing English horn and oboe in the Festival Orchestra as well as making frequent appearances on the Festival's chamber music series.

In other summer activities, he has participated in the Bach Aria Festival, served as professor of oboe at the Londrina Music Festival in Brazil, and performed as principal oboe of the Orchestre Philharmonique Rhodanien and professor of oboe at the Academie Europeénne de Musique in Tournon-sur-Rhône, France. Both as soloist and as a member of the reed trio, Ocotillo Winds, Martin Schuring performs at universities and concert venues throughout the United States and abroad. Schuring has recorded for Philips, Koch International, and Summit Records, both as soloist and as an orchestral player. Recently, he recorded the world premiere of Oboe Concerto, Op. 57 by Eric Funk with the Prague Radio Symphony on the MMC label. A CD of reed trio music recorded by the Ocotillo Winds, Rustiques, is available from Summit Records

Martin Schuring has published articles in several journals, including The Double Reed, and Flute Talk. His new edition of the Barret Oboe Method was first published by Kalmus in 2001 with a significantly revised and expanded edition available since 2010. Martin has written the first comprehensive book on oboe playing published in many years, Oboe Art and Method, published by Oxford University Press in 2009. He has performed at every Conference of the International Double Reed Society since 1997, including featured concerto performances at the 2000 conference in Buenos Aires, and the 2001 conference in Morgantown, WV. He holds the office of President of the International Double Reed Society. Together with bassoon colleague Jeffrey Lyman, Martin Schuring hosted the 1998 Conference of the International Double Reed Society at Arizona State University where he is Professor of Oboe. He again co-hosted the 2011 IDRS conference with Albie Micklich. Martin Schuring studied at the Curtis Institute of Music with John de Lancie. He performs on Howarth XL instruments exclusively.

STEPHANIE HO & SAAR AHUVIA — PIANODUO Stephanie and Saar

Pianists Stephanie Ho and Saar Ahuvia collaborate as DUO Stephanie and Saar in performances noted for their artistic versatility, elegance and intellectual curiosity.

They appear with the Arizona Bach Festival performing Bach’s “Art of the Fugue” for piano four hands, their newly released CD.

As probing recording artists, the duo explores repertoire with concomitant classical and contemporary sensibilities. Beethoven Dialogues, their 2014 album featuring Beethoven Quartets Op. 18 Nos. 1, 4 and 6 in rarely heard four hand arrangements, was performed in its entirety at New York City’s (le) poisson rouge and chosen as Album of the Week on WQXR. Bach Crossings, the duo’s 2012 album featuring György Kurtág’s illuminating transcriptions of Bach, continues to receive acclaim. International Piano Magazine states, “It is clear from the precision and elegant phrasing on this disc that this is a tight partnership between pianists who have developed an implicit understanding of each other’s musicality.” The New York Times praised their “beautifully understated performances” of selections from the disc.

Highlights from their eclectic programming include a jazz-inspired concert at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center featuring the world premiere of Fantasia de Très Mundos by Cuban-American jazz pianist Martin Bejerano. In celebrating the 100th anniversary of Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, DUO Stephanie and Saar toured Rite in four-hand, two-piano and mixed ensemble arrangements. Multiple collaborations with Michael Linville and the New World Symphony Percussion Consort featured Linville’s own arrangement of Igor Stravinsky’s Petrouchka and André Boucourechliev’s aleatoric fantasy piece Archipel I. The duo takes special pride in a performance at the residence of the United States Ambassador in Berlin, Germany, featuring works by Henry Martin (US), Avner Dorman (Israel) and Felix Mendelssohn.

DUO Stephanie and Saar are the artistic directors of Makrokosmos Project, a new music festival in Portland, Oregon dedicated to American music and performances by Oregon-based performers and composers. The 2015 inaugural festival featured standing-room performances of George Crumb’s Makrokosmos I & II and music by Kenji Bunch and David Crumb. Oregon Arts Watch frankly states “It was one of 2015’s peak Oregon musical moments.”

While pursuing graduate studies at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, Stephanie and Saar were inspired by Leon Fleisher to explore the Beethoven string quartets in a duo piano setting. Saar Ahuvia, a native of Israel, studied at Israel’s Tel Aviv Academy and Switzerland’s Schaufhausen Conservatory before coming to the United States to pursue a Graduate Performance Diploma with Leon Fleisher at Peabody Institute. Stephanie Ho, of Taiwanese descent, grew up in Portland, Oregon before obtaining degrees from Oberlin College and Northwestern University. She received a Graduate Performance Diploma from Peabody Institute, under the direction of Julian Martin. Stephanie and Saar, who are married to each other, reside in New York City.