Handel and Haydn Society Adds Three New Principal Musicians to Orchestra
The Handel and Haydn Society has announced the addition of three new principal musicians to its Orchestra. Emi Ferguson joins the orchestra in the principal flute position, Heather Miller Lardin joins in the principal bass role, and Jonathan Hess joins as the principal timpanist. All three musicians were selected by a committee either by appointment or following a series of auditions with an international field of candidates
"These three new musicians will play a prominent role in defining the H+H sound for years to come," said David Snead, President and CEO of the Handel and Haydn Society. "Each of them brings a new perspective and a wide range of experiences in performing and creating new opportunities. I'm looking forward to working with them."
As a native of Brookline, Massachusetts, Emi Ferguson grew up listening to the Handel and Haydn Society. She stretches the boundaries of the modern-day musician as a flutist, singer, and composer, performing with groups including the American Modern Opera Company, New York New Music Ensemble, the Manhattan Chamber Players, and with period ensembles including Tafelmusik, Les Arts Florissants, the American Classical Orchestra, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, and Juilliard415. She has spoken and performed at several TEDx events and has been featured as an ambassador for classical music on media outlets including The Discovery Channel, Vox's "Netflix: Explained" series, Amazon's "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," and various TouchPress apps. Her debut album, Amour Cruel, described as "baroque pop" by the Washington Post, features Emi as a singer, flutist, composer, and arranger, and spent four weeks on the Classical, Classical Crossover, and World Music Billboard Charts. She is passionate about developing new work, has collaborated with many of today's most exciting composers, and is currently on the faculty of the Juilliard School and the Bach Virtuosi Festival.
Carving a path for other young bass players, Heather Miller Lardin has enjoyed a wide-ranging career both performing and teaching. As director of theTemple University Early Music Ensemble, Heather Miller Lardin leads viol and recorder consorts, voices, lutes, and Baroque ensembles. In Philadelphia, she appears with Tempesta di Mare, the Philadelphia Bach Collegium, and Brandywine Baroque. Other engagements include the Staunton Music Festival, Dark Horse Consort, the Dryden Ensemble, and Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. She brings an entrepreneurial spirit to her work: as the founder and co-director of Night Music, she created a "serenade" chamber ensemble that presents engaging performances of chamber music from the Revolutionary and Romantic eras on instruments of the time. She also directs the annual Amherst Early Music Winter Weekend Workshop and launched an in-school Suzuki double bass program sponsored by Musicopia at Andrew Jackson School in South Philadelphia. She is the editor of the early bass feature "Rumblings" in Bass World, the journal of the International Society of Bassists. She serves on the faculty of the Music School of Delaware's Suzuki Academy, the Curtis Young Artists Summerfest, and on the board of the Greater Philadelphia Suzuki Association.
A specialist in both contemporary and historical percussion, Jonathan Hess will fill the role of principal timpanist, taking the Barbara Lee Chair in memory of John Grimes. As a chamber musician, he is a founding member of the Boston Percussion Group and has performed with Boston Musica Viva, Alea III, Dinosaur Annex, Lorelei Ensemble, A Far Cry and Monadnock Music. He regularly performs and records with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and plays in the pit for Boston's Odyssey Opera. He also freelances with other orchestras throughout New England including the Portland Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Opera Boston, and the Orchestra of Indian Hill. In addition to his work in contemporary music, he is the timpanist for the Marsh Chapel Collegium and Grand Harmonie, an ensemble dedicated to inventive and compelling performances of Classical and Romantic repertoire on historical instruments. In addition to H+H, Hess has performed with Boston Baroque, Portland Bach Experience, Aston Magna, Canto Armonico, and Cambridge Concentus.
H+H is noted for performing Baroque and Classical music on period instruments. In its search for these new principal musicians, H+H sought performers familiar with these instruments and performance practices.
"As I see another generation of musicians coming to the forefront of the Handel and Haydn Society, I remain amazed at the innovation they bring with them," said Harry Christophers, Artistic Director of the Handel and Haydn Society. "They are helping to shape our work, establishing bonds with new audiences and their fellow musicians. We look forward to their passion and seeing them flourish in their roles as part of the leadership of the Orchestra."