Boston-based soprano duo Les Sirènes takes audiences on an exploration of the soprano voice and the Baroque repertory, offering appealing programs that engage our listeners with both fiery virtuosity and anguishing beauty.
Les Sirènes were one of 6 finalist groups in Early Music America's 2012 Baroque Performance
Competition. Formed in 2009, the ensemble is composed of acclaimed sopranos Kathryn Mueller
and Kristen Watson. As soloists, they have performed with such groups as the American Bach Soloists, Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Mark Morris Dance Group, Washington Bach Consort, Bach Collegium San Diego, and the Carmel Bach Festival. As Les Sirènes, they bring a collective experience to interpreting this rare and remarkable repertoire, charming audiences with diverse programming and inspired performances.
Ms. Mueller and Ms. Watson are joined by continuo players Michael Sponseller on harpsichord and Cora Swenson on baroque cello, and have also collaborated with emerging baroque violinists Beth Wenstrom and Adriane Post as well as chamber groups such as Cambridge-based Sarasa. Praised for their “exquisitely matched style and phrasing” (The Boston Musical Intelligencer), recent performances include concerts in Tucson, AZ, Brattleboro, VT, Cambridge and Concord, MA, and Trinity Wall Street in New York City. Upcoming engagements include the San Francisco Early Music Society, Arizona Early Music Society, Syracuse University, and Museum Concerts in Providence, RI.
Praised for her “soaring soprano” and “flights of stratospheric brilliance,”, soprano Kathryn Mueller has appeared as a soloist with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Washington Bach Consort, Santa Fe Pro Musica, New Mexico Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony, and New Trinity Baroque, and in operatic roles with Arizona Opera and Bach Collegium San Diego. Last summer she was one of four Fellows in the Carmel Bach Festival’s prestigious Adams Vocal Master Class. An accomplished ensemble singer as well, Kathryn has sung with Seraphic Fire, the Handel and Haydn Society, the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus, and the Santa Fe Desert Chorale. She has made two Grammy-nominated albums with Seraphic Fire and is also featured as a soloist on recordings with New Trinity Baroque, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, and Tucson Chamber Artists. Kathryn holds degrees in music from Brown University and The University of Arizona. Visit her website, www.kathrynmueller.com.
Soprano Kristen Watson, hailed by critics for her “blithe and silvery” tone and “winning stage presence”, has made solo debuts with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Mark Morris Dance Group, Boston Baroque, Handel & Haydn Society, and Emmanuel Music at such venues as the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and Boston’s Symphony Hall. Opera audiences have heard Kristen in productions with Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Boston, the Boston University Opera Institute, Opera Providence, Intermezzo Opera, and the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh in such roles as Tytania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress. A versatile crossover artist, she has also made several appearances as a soprano soloist with the Boston Pops under Keith Lockhart. Other solo performances include the Boston Early Music Festival, Carmel Bach Festival, Topeka Symphony, Gulf Coast Symphony, and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Learn more about Kristen on her website, www.kristenwatsonsoprano.com.
Harpsichordist Michael Sponseller has appeared
throughout Europe and North America with critical acclaim as a
and chamber musician. Winner of the American Bach Soloists
Competition (1998) and the Jurow International Harpsichord
he holds the distinction of being a two-time prizewinner at
the Festival of Flanders International Harpsichord Competition
as taking prizes in Montréal and Kalamazoo. In addition to
holding degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the Royal
Conservatory of Music in The Hague, Michael was a teacher of harpsichord
at the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music. Mr. Sponseller can
also be heard on several recordings from Electra, Vanguard Classics,
Naxos, Delos and Centaur. In 2006, Michael was named Lorraine Hunt
Lieberson Fellow by Boston’s Emmanuel Music, in recognition
of his achievements as emerging young artist. The following year,
he founded Ensemble Florilege, (www.ensembleflorilege.org) a chamber
ensemble dedicated to the performance of lesser-performed repertory
of the 17th & 18th centuries.
Beginning her studies at age 3 1/2, cellist Cora Swenson has studied with many teachers, including Alan Harris, Richard Hirschl, and Marc Johnson. She has a Bachelors Degree in Cello Performance from the Eastman School of Music and a Masters Degree in Cello Performance at the Boston University College of Fine Arts. Cora is a member of Boston Baroque and the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra, as well as a substitute cellist with the Handel and Haydn Society and the New World Symphony. She has attended music festivals such as the Aspen Music Festival and the Pacific Music Festival. She has participated in masterclasses by prominent musicians such as Steven Isserlis, Paul Katz, Phoebe Carrai, Malcolm Bilson, Scott St. John, and Pamela Frank, and has performed under the baton of esteemed conductors including David Zinman, Fabio Luisi, Leonard Slatkin, David Robertson, George Manahan and Nicholas McGegan. She has also worked with distinguished musicians such as James Dunham and Rachel Barton Pine. Cora's primary teachers have been Alan Harris and Marc Johnson.