After a successful thirty-year career in Europe, Stephen Stubbs returned to his native Seattle in 2006 as one of the world’s most respected lutenists, conductors, and baroque opera specialists. Before his return, he was based in Bremen, Germany, where he was Professor of Lute and Performance Practices at the Hochschule für Künste. Stephen also spent a lot of time on the road as a guest conductor and performer. Together with Erin Headley he started the ensemble Tragicomedia in 1987, which toured throughout Europe, Japan and the US, as well as recording numerous CD’s for various recording companies. Tragicomedia has also been the continuo team for the Boston Early Music Festival since 1997. Stephen is the Festival’s permanent artistic co-director along with his long time colleague Paul O’Dette. Stephen and Paul are also the musical directors of all BEMF operas under the brilliant leadership of BEMF’s stage director in residence Gilbert Blin. BEMF’s recordings of Conradi’s Ariadne, Lully’s Thesee, and Psyché were nominated for Grammy awards in 2005, 2007, and 2009 respectively.
Tekla Cunningham, baroque violin, viola and viola d’amore, leads an active and varied musical life. At home in Seattle, she is Orchestra Director and concertmaster of Pacific MusicWorks, and plays regularly as concertmaster and principal player with the American Bach Soloists in California. She directs the Whidbey Island Music Festival, a summer concert series now in its ninth season, producing and presenting vibrant period-instrument performances of repertoire ranging from Monteverdi to Beethoven. Her concert performances have earned glowing praise from reviewers and have been described as “ravishingly beautiful” and “stellar”.
Seattle based harpist Maxine Eilander plays on a range of specialized early harps: the Italian triple strung harp, the Spanish cross-strung harp, the German ‘Davidsharfe’, the Welsh triple harp for which Handel wrote his harp concerto, and the classical single action pedal harp.
Maxine was born in The Netherlands and grew up in South Africa, where she earned her Bachelor of Music on the classical harp. Her special interest in early music led her to further study at the Hochschule für Kunste in Bremen, Germany, where she completed her post-graduate diploma in early harps and continuo practice.