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Biography

Formedin 1973 by five Juilliard graduates, THE AULOS ENSEMBLE was atthe forefront of a movement that was to capture the imagination of the Americanlistening public. In 1978 with the release of their recording, "Masterpieces of the High Baroque", AULOS' reputation for exhilarating performances informed withscholarly insight was firmly established. In those groundbreaking years, thegroup's innovative programming featured a blend of flute, oboe, violin, cello,and harpsichord, later adding a viola da gamba.  With its conservatory based training, Aulosbrought an uncompromising standard of excellence in performance that resultedin invitations from virtually all of this country's major chamber musicpresenters. This exposure helped create a new audience awareness for the richrewards of this repertoire performed on "period instruments" andcomments such as "scintillating", "virtuosic", and"authentic baroque performance at its best" from America's mostrespected music critics.

In the 1980's, AULOS began two projects that brought the joy of itsmusic-making to an ever- widening public and for the first time attractedinternational critical attention. The group's first recording for the MusicalHeritage Society, "OriginalTelemann" was released in 1981 inconnection with the composer's tercentenary, and was universally hailed as oneof the most accomplished and significant observances of the Telemann year,receiving the "Critic's Choice" award of High Fidelity/MusicalAmerica Magazine. Since then, the Ensemble has released over a dozen CDs on thesame label, including 2- CD sets of Bach, Handel, and Vivaldi, as well as thecomplete "Essercizii Musici" of Telemann on 5 CDs. This discography is unique amongAmerican "period-instrument" chamber groups.

AULOS' other projectin the '80s was the establishment of its own concert series at home in New York City. This seriesfeatured collaborations with guest artists from Europe and America who had made majorreputations in this field. These collaborative concerts, exploring a highlyunusual repertoire that was impossible to perform in other contexts, providedits New Yorkaudiences with cutting edge performances as well as giving the Ensemble membersvital artistic stimulation. Among the stars of the "original instrument"movement that appeared with the Ensemble in those years were harpsichordistsTrevor Pinnock and Albert Fuller, violinists Jaap Schroeder and StanleyRitchie, cellist Anner Bylsma, oboist Michel Piguet, and vocalists Jan deGaetani, Bethany Beardslee, Charles Bressler, and Julianne Baird.

The1980's also saw the beginnings of what has become a wonderful tradition for New Yorkconcertgoers--the AULOS "Christmas Concerts" in front of the NeapolitanChristmas Tree at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. These concerts, described bythe New York Times as "one of the most charming musical celebrations ofthe season" have been given annually in the magical setting of the Medieval Sculpture Courtand have featured a variety of guest artists. A recording of one such program,entitled "A BaroqueChristmas" and featuring thesoprano, Julianne Baird, was recorded for MHS/ Musicmasters and is available tomillions of people throughout the world through the Metropolitan MuseumCatalogue. The popularity of these concerts and the recording encouraged AULOS to begin tooffer them on tour, bringing the special affinity of this repertoire and theseasonal festivities to audiences throughout the country.  Over the past seasons the eminent American vocalistsDawn Upshaw, Sanford Sylvan, and Derek Lee Ragin are some of the artists whohave appeared with AULOS in these presentations.

In the 1990's AULOS began expanding its repertoire to include "one on apart" performances of some of the best known and favorite baroque Suitesand Concerti, including the Bach 5thBrandenburg Concerto and the Concerto for Oboe and Violin as well as Vivaldi's concertiThe Four Seasons.These programs, referred to as "TheBaroque Big Band", are performedwith from 8 to 10 artists. An all-Bach CD, part of the continuing discographyon MHS, features the Ensemble in this configuration. Additionally, AULOS began givingnumerous master classes and lecture-demonstrations in 17th and 18th-centuryperformance practice at colleges and universities throughout the country. Withits members serving on faculties of various schools of music and institutesspecializing in historically informed performance, the Ensemble is responsiblefor training a new generation of American early music performers. AULOS concerts arefrequently broadcast by National Public Radio from venues such as The FrickCollection in New York, Live at WolfTrap, andthe Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.  Most recently, its instrumental Christmasprogram, "Joyeux Noel" was heard throughout the country repeatedly on NPR's"Performance Today".

Now, in its 4th decade, AULOS continues to explore new projects and develop outlets for itsmusic-making.  The 2006-7 season saw itsfirst presentation of Handel's masque Acis and Galatea, done in a versionapproximating the size of the composer's vision for the piece—5 singers and 8instrumentalists without a conductor—and it was a huge hit with presenters, audiencesand critics.  The New York Times wrote "In all, it was an utter delight".  The Ensemble has developed a true chamberorchestra program as well, featuring Handel's complete Water Music in aperformance with between 17 and 23 players. Where appropriate, AULOS has created residencies in which thegroup and its guests teach and coach young professionals and then join them inthese performances.  And 15 years afterthe release of their Christmas CD from the Metropolitan Museum,the Ensemble and Julianne Baird collaborated on In Dulci Jubilo, a recordingfeaturing much of  the new materialuncovered in those many years of Christmas concerts.  This CD was released in the fall of 2006 tocritical acclaim, and is the beginning in a new series of recordings in anaffiliation with Centaur Records.  Nextis AULOS' unique version of two of Rameau'swonderful opera suites, Les Indes Galantes and LesFêtes d'hébé, based on suggestions of the composer in 'short-score'manuscripts which will be the first recording ever done in this chamberensemble setting.  It is scheduled forrelease in the fall of 2008.

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