Guest Artists and Faculty Performers

Mindy Ella Chu

Mindy Ella ChuMezzo-soprano Mindy Ella Chu has been praised for her “expressive vigor,” “liquid ornaments,” and ”heroic performance” (San Francisco Chronicle). She specializes in baroque and contemporary music both as a choral artist and soloist. She has performed in Monteverdi’s "Orfeo" on tour with Apollo’s Fire, André Campra’s "Le Carnaval De Venise" where she understudied Leonoré played by Karina Gauvin, title role in "Dido and Aeneas" with Voices of Music, a new electro-acoustic opera "Ambassador’s Song" by Derrick Skye, and continues to perform and record works with groups such as Bach Collegium San Diego, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Kinnara, and the Grammy Award-winning BEMF Chamber Opera Series in the U.S. and Europe. Chu was in the premiere cast of Du Yun and Raven Chacon’s new opera “Sweetland” with The Industry and will be working closely with acclaimed stage director Peter Sellars in a Los Angeles Master Chorale staged production of Heinrich Schütz’ “Musikalische Exequien” in 2022. She was heard live on BBC Radio 3, WQXR, and KUSC. Her discography can be found on Hyperion Records with Yale Schola Cantorum, Apple Music with Stanford University, and Spotify with The Teshin Company. Her latest album release is the “Nine Bethany Swann Songs, for High Voice and Piano Trio, Op. 18” by Daniel Carr on MSR Classics. Chu is a winner of a 2022 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance in Mahler Symphony No. 8 under the direction of Gustavo Dudamel. Chu holds a Master of Music degree in early music, Chamber Ensemble and Oratorio from Yale University.

Rebecca Myers

Rebecca MyersRebecca Myers, soprano, is a celebrated performing and recording artist who specializes in a comprehensive variety of repertoire including early, contemporary and chamber music. Recent seasons have included solo engagements with Seraphic Fire, Tempesta di Mare, TENET vocal artists, Lyric Fest, Opera Philadelphia, Apollo’s Fire, and Philadelphia’s Bach @ 7 series. A highly sought after recital artist, Myers has been featured in art song recitals with pianists Laura Ward and composer/pianist Benjamin C.S. Boyle. Acclaimed for her work in new music, Myers is a core member of The Crossing, the two time Grammy Award-winning ensemble dedicated entirely to new music. She has premiered works by the top living composers around the world, and she was a soloist on the 2016 Grammy Award-nominated "Bonhoeffer," released by The Crossing. She is also a founding member of the cutting edge vocal sextet Variant 6.

Michael Jones

John BuffettMichael Jones is a Grammy Award-winning international soloist, chamber musician and clinician. Noted as singing “particularly beautifully” by the Chestnut Hill Local (Philadelphia), he has appeared as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Choral Arts Philadelphia, Academy of Sacred Drama, Haverford University Choir and Orchestra, Disney’s All-American College Band and Peoria Area Civic Chorale, among several others. Jones also regularly performs with some of the nation's finest choral ensembles, most notably with the Grammy-award winning groups, The Crossing and Conspirare, as well as Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Seraphic Fire, True Concord Voices and Orchestra, Opera Philadelphia, Apollo's Fire, Variant 6, ekmeles, Les Canards Chantants, Madison Choral Project, Music of the Baroque, William Ferris Chorale, Grant Park Opera Chorus, Constellation Men’s Ensemble, Bridge Ensemble, Vocal Arts Ensemble of Cincinnati, Alium Spiritum and Chorosynthesis. Jones studied at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music for his bachelors in jazz trumpet. While there, he was under the tutelage of David Adams, Kim Pensyl, Dr. Scott Belck, and Rick VanMatre. For his graduate degree, he attended Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music for a masters in jazz trumpet, studying with Victor Goines, Donald Nally, Brad Mason, and Keven Keys.

Ben Kazez

Ben KazezBen Kazez has been praised for his “velvety and full voice” by Barcelona Clássica. He regularly performs as a soloist in Europe and the U.S., and has sung in the Netherlands Bach Society and the Monteverdi Choir under Sir John Eliot Gardiner. Kazez recently performed "Charpentier" under William Christie in Les Arts Florissants masterclasses, Valens in Handel’s "Theodora" under Christian Curnyn and Dame Sarah Connolly, and Handel’s "Hercules" under Václav Luks and Shunske Sato. In the 2021–22 season he sang Pilate and arias in Bach’s "St. John Passion" in Amsterdam, Kuhnau’s "Magnificat" in a Vox Luminis atelier, and "Charpentier Plaisirs de Versailles" with Emmanuel Resche-Caserta. As an ensemble singer Kazez has performed at the Salzburg Festival, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Berlin Philharmonie, Vienna Musikverein, Teatro La Fenice, Westminster Cathedral, Palace of Versailles, and the BBC Proms at Royal Albert Hall. He is passionate about the music of J.S. Bach and has performed the Passions (Christus, Pilatus, and arias), B Minor Mass, and 40 cantatas. During the pandemic shutdown he created a digital resource that Juilliard and other libraries use to help people learn about early vocal music. He is fluent in French and Italian.

Vijay Gupta

Vijay GuptaVijay Gupta, violin, is the founder and artistic director of Street Symphony, a community of musicians creating spaces of connection for people in reentry from homelessness, addiction and incarceration in Los Angeles. He is also a co-founder of the Skid Row Arts Alliance, a consortium dedicated to creating art for - and with - the largest homeless community in America. He was the recipient of a 2018 MacArthur Fellowship for his work “bringing beauty, respite, and purpose to those all too often ignored by society.” Gupta delivered the 33rd annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy for Americans for the Arts and his 2010 TED Talk, “Music is Medicine, Music is Sanity.”

He has performed as an international recitalist, soloist, chamber musician and orchestral musician for more than 20 years, playing his solo debut with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Zubin Mehta. Gupta was a member of the first violin section of the Los Angeles Philharmonic for 12 years, and has collaborated with the Kronos Quartet, the Philharmonia Orchestra of London, Yo-Yo Ma, and appears regularly with the Strings Festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

As a recording artist, he recently released "Breathe," an album of the piano chamber music of Reena Esmail, under his own label, and "When the Violin," a solo violin album featuring the music of Esmail, J.S. Bach, and Esa-Pekka Salonen.

Gupta currently serves as the senior artistic and programs advisor for the Young Musicians Foundation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Marist College, and a master’s degree in music from the Yale School of Music. His principal teachers have included Ani Kavafian and Glenn Dicterow. Gupta plays a 2010 violin made by Los Angeles-based luthier Eric Benning.


Heesun Choi

Leif WoodwardHeesun Choi, violin, earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Seoul National University in Korea. She completed her studies with Diplom from Duesseldorf Robert Schumann Musikhochschule and with Konzert Examen from Essen Folkwang Musikhochschule in Germany. Choi served as a principal violinist at Bucheon Philharmonic Orchestra in Korea where she has done a lot of performing including for the G. Mahler symphony series and A. Bruckner symphony series. Choi is also a co-founder of the Bach Solisten Seoul Baroque Orchestra in Korea where she performed and recorded as a concertmaster. In 2016 she moved to Southern California with her family and continues to play with Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra, directed by Martin Haselboeck.

Leif Thomas Woodward

Leif WoodwardLeif Thomas Woodward, cello, is an alumnus of the USC Thornton School of Music where he was granted the Colburn Foundation Scholarship for studies in Early Music Performance and graduated Pi Kappa Lambda. In addition to holding a doctorate degree from the University of Southern California, he also holds a Master of Music degree and Bachelor of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Woodward works with groups such as Tesserae, Los Angeles Musica Angelica, Los Angeles Master Choral, Pacific Choral, Long Beach Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, Bach Collegium San Diego, and Angeles Consort. He has appeared at the Carmel Bach Festival, San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, Corona Del Mar Baroque Music Festival, and on the chamber music series at the John Paul Getty Museum, Norton Simon Museum, “Sundays Live” at LACMA, Les Salons de Musiques, Redlands Chamber Music Society, Musica Angelica Chamber Music Series, and at Centrum’s Chamber Music Series in Port Townsend, Washington. In addition, he is an active soloist and section player in the Los Angeles studio-recording industry. He has worked on film, television, and video game soundtracks for composers John Williams, James Newton Howard, Bear McCreary, Christian Linke, Sebastien Najand, Alex Temple, Austin Wintory, and Tom Holkenborg. Woodward thoroughly enjoys working with young musicians. He is the instructor of violoncello performance and chamber music at Mount Saint Mary’s University and has been a guest lecturer at the University of Southern California, University of California Riverside, and the Colburn School of Music. He is also on faculty for orchestral and chamber music studies at Orange County School of the Arts and Poly Technic High School in Long Beach. He coaches the All Southern California High School Honor Orchestra, Orange County Youth Symphony, and adjudicates for competitions such as the Los Angeles Spotlight Awards, MTAC State Finals and Regionals, CMEA, and the Long Beach Mozart Festival. Recently, his former private cello student was appointed principal cellist of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra.

Ian Pritchard

Ian PritchardIan Pritchard, harpsichordist, organist, and musicologist, is a specialist in early music and historical keyboard practices. As a continuo player he has performed with the Academy of Ancient Music, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Florilegium, with which he has toured in Europe and in South America. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with Monica Huggett, Elizabeth Blumenstock, Elizabeth Wallfisch and Rachel Podger, and has performed under Christopher Hogwood, Christophe Rousset, Emanuelle Haïm, Nicholas McGeegan, and Laurence Cummings. Pritchard has won prizes in the Broadwood Harpsichord Competition, London (first prize), the P. Bernardi Competition in Bologna, and in the Bruges Competition. Pritchrd began playing the harpsichord at the age of 13, beginning studies in his native Los Angeles with Susanne Shapiro. Earning his Bachelor’s degree in Music from the Oberlin Conservatory, Ohio, in 1999 (where he studied with Lisa Goode Crawford), he moved to Europe in 2000. From 2000-02 he studied at the Royal Academy of Music, London (where he studied with John Toll, Laurence Cummings, and James Johnstone), earning the prestigious DipRam award. In 2003-04 Pritchard was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Italy, where he studied with Liuwe Tamminga and Andrea Marcon, and conducted research on early Italian keyboard music. In 2018, Pritchard earned his Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Southern California. As a musicologist, his interests include keyboard music of the late Renaissance and early Baroque, improvisation, notation, compositional process, and performance practice. He is currently a full-time faculty member at the Colburn School Conservatory of Music, and in 2015 was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.

Alex Opsahl

Alex OpsahlAlex Opsahl studied recorder with Peter Holtslag and Daniel Bruggen at the Royal Academy of Music, and cornetto with Bruce Dickey at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. While still a student, she received first prize in the 2003 Moeck Solo Recorder competition, the 2001 and 2003 RAM Early Music Prize, and the 2003 Hilda Anderson Dean Award.

Opsahl has performed with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra under Ton Koopman, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Emmanuele Haim, Boston Early Music Festival, I Fagiolini, Capella Barocca di Mexico, Carmel Bach Festival, Piffaro, Apollo's Fire, Portland Baroque Orchestra, and the Green Mountain Project. Opsahl performed in Il Ritorno d’Ulisse at the Innsbrucker Festwochen der Altenmusik in 2017, and filmed L’Incoronazione di Poppea with both Oslo Opera and Glyndebourne Opera. She recorded Vivaldi’s Concerto in C Minor, RV 441, with the Norwegian period orchestra Barokkanerne, and recently recorded the JD Berlin cornetto concerto with the Norwegian Baroque Orchestra. She is a founding member of both Tesserae and Dark Horse Consort.

Christopher Matthews

Christopher MatthewsChristopher Matthews, flute, has performed in Asia, Europe, and around the U.S., where his playing has been described as “a kind of aching, textless soliloquy” (New York Times). His widespread musical interests span from early music to electronic music. In large orchestras he has performed under the direction of composers Elliot Carter, John Corigliano, Aaron Kernis, Krzysztof Penderecki, and John Williams; as well as under early music luminaries such as William Christie, Christopher Hogwood, Ton Koopman, Nicholas McGegan, Jordi Savall, Richard Egarr, and Masaaki Suzuki. Matthews began his professional studies at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and holds degrees from Stony Brook University, The Juilliard School, Yale University, and the University of Southern California. 

Paul J. Sherman

Paul WoodringPaul J. Sherman is a conductor, oboist and musicologist. He performs on both modern and baroque period instruments and enjoys a career with many different musical branches including jazz, classical and early music. His doctorate is in oboe performance with minors in conducting, early music and music history, from USC. While there he was honored as the university’s top wind graduate in 2007. He has been on the faculty of USC as instructor of early music and director of the oboe band, at Chapman University as director of the Wind Symphony and coordinator of winds and brass, and at College of the Canyons as director of the Symphony of the Canyons. He is music director of the Santa Clarita Valley Youth Orchestra Foundation. As a performer he has appeared with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, Santa Barbara Opera, Southwest Chamber Music, Santa Fe Pro Musica and Music Angelica among others.

Paul Woodring

Paul WoodringPaul Woodring specialized in organ performance at Cal State Northridge, studying under Sam Swartz and David Britton. He then studied organ and harpsichord in Vienna under Otto Bruckner and Elfriede Stadlmann. As an accompanist, Woodring has worked with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Los Angeles Opera Company among other well-known ensembles. Locally, he has worked with Opera San Luis Obispo, Festival Mozaic, Central Coast Children’s Choir, San Luis Obispo Master Chorale, Tolosa Strings and several musical theater organizations. He is currently staff accompanist, coach and university organist at Cal Poly. He is music director for Mt. Carmel Lutheran Church and San Luis Obispo United Methodist Church.