Baroque & Beyond

Donna Conaty, oboe
Ellen Connors, bassoon
Victoria Moreira, violin
John Pellegrino, bass
Aya Hamada, harpsichord


Donna Conaty
The Lee Shackelford Chair

Donna Conaty has performed as principal oboe of ProMusica Chamber Orchestra since 1991. Other performance credits include the San Diego Symphony, seven seasons in the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music Orchestra, conducted by Marin Alsop; principal oboe of the Lancaster Festival Orchestra; Artist Fellow in the Bach Aria Festival, NY, NY; Spoleto Festival Orchestra; principal oboe of the Evansville Philharmonic; and principal oboe of the Breckenridge Music Institute Orchestra (now known as Breckenridge Music Festival), Breckenridge, CO. A versatile performer, her background ranges from orchestral and chamber ensemble to solo and recital appearances presented throughout the United States and abroad. Her artistic interests are particularly geared toward new works and chamber music.

Donna has performed or presented master classes for numerous professional music conferences, international double reed conferences, university audiences, and at the Interlochen Arts Academy. Many of her oboe students are active as leading performers, university faculty, teachers, and arts professionals throughout the U.S. and abroad. She is Associate Dean of the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts at San Diego State University. Prior to this role, she served for six years as Director of the School of Music and Dance at SDSU. Before joining the San Diego State faculty in 2007, she was Associate Dean for graduate studies, research, and curriculum in the College of Fine Arts at Ohio University where she had also achieved the faculty rank of professor of oboe after joining the music faculty in 1989.

Conaty holds performance degrees from Yale University (M.M.) and the University of Northern Colorado (summa cum laude). Other faculty affiliations have included the State University of New York at Purchase and University of Evansville. She is an active arts advocate and is an ongoing panelist with the Ohio Arts Council reviewing organizations with budgets over $2M.

Victoria Moreira
The Dyann & E. Joel Wesp Chair

Violinist Victoria Moreira, founding member of the Kaia String Quartet (WFMT 2017 Ensemble-in-Residence) has performed extensively throughout the USA, Canada, Mexico, Asia and South America. First Prizewinner of Viva El Tango Agustin Carlevaro Competition and Music Director of the American Tango Institute, Moreira’s diverse musical background keeps her involved internationally in the Tango scene.

Her latest recording projects include Quartango, an album of tango for string quartet; Latinoamerica, a CD of all Latin-American works and a co-production with Mark Sonksen Vicisitudes with Tangata Ensemble. Previous projects include Sonksen’s Postales del Sur and Argentina Tango on Stage, with Carlos Marzan and his ensemble in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Moreira has been involved as a solo, chamber and orchestral musician in Chicago as concertmistress of Oistrakh Symphony Orchestra and Assistant Concertmaster of Northbrook Symphony. She has also performed in the Chicago Latino Music Festival since 2007 and at the Chicago Tango Festival since 2006. She performs as a soloist with West Suburban Symphony in Illinois yearly.

In addition to her membership with the Kaia String Quartet, she has also collaborated with Rush Hour Concerts, Ondas Ensemble, Intersection from Nashville, the MAVerik Ensemble and the national Chamber Ensemble of Uruguay. She was also winner of the 2010 DePaul Concerto Competition.

Moreira is a faculty member at DePaul University Community Music Division and has a private studio in the Chicago area. She is a passionate Suzuki teacher and devoted educator through her string quartet, including KAIA KIDS, an initiative through WFMT and PBS Kids. Other projects include Tango workshops for violinists at Old Town School of Folk Music, outreach concerts through Ravinia, Evanston in School Music Association, and Promotora de las Bellas Artes in Mexico.

Moreira studied at Escuela Universitaria de Musica, Montevideo Uruguay under Jorge Risi, received her Bachelor of Music at Roosevelt University under Vadim Gluzman and her Master of Music and Artist Certificate at DePaul University under Ilya Kaler. She also did a residency at Northern Illinois University with the KAIA String Quartet under the tutelage of the Avalon String Quartet.

 Ellen Connors
The Loann W. Crane Chair

Ellen Connors has played principal bassoon with the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra since 2011. Previously, she served as principal bassoon of the Knoxville Symphony, and spent one year playing 2nd bassoon with the Baltimore Symphony. In 2018, she will play her first season as principal bassoon of the Sarasota Opera Orchestra. Connors has appeared with both ProMusica and the Knoxville Symphony as soloist, performing Vivaldi, Mozart and Schickele. She has been a member of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony since 2011, and is former principal bassoon of the Artosphere Festival Orchestra in Fayetteville, Arkansas. A lover of new music, Connors has spent several summers performing 20thand 21st century works at the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland. She has toured with the Saint Louis Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, and most recently with the Cincinnati Symphony as guest associate principal on their 2017 Asia tour.

Connors completed her undergraduate studies at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, studying with Benjamin Kamins. While at Rice, she won a prestigious Watson Fellowship and spent the following year studying folk music in China, Mongolia, Laos, Bulgaria and Norway. Connors received her Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music where she was a student of Frank Morelli. A Michigan native, Connors resides in Saint Louis.

 Aya Hamada

Praised for her “graceful” (The New York Times) performance, Japanese-American harpsichordist Aya Hamada is an active recitalist, concerto soloist and continuo player. Currently she plays principal harpsichord for ProMusica Chamber Orchestra of Columbus and serves as organist at the L’Église Française du Saint Esprit.

Aya has given numerous recitals in major venues throughout Japan as well as the US, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Belgium, England, France, Spain and Italy, including a recital at the Peñíscola International Festival of Medieval and Baroque Music, and at the International Conference of the Historical Keyboard Society of North America (Montreal). She has made over three dozen appearances as concerto soloist on four continents. She has performed with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, Berkshire Opera Company, Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra (Japan), Sinfonietta Cracovia (Poland), Juilliard415, Juilliard Symphony, appearing under conductors such as Jordi Savall, Nicolas McGegan, Harry Bicket and Masaaki Suzuki. The New York Times proclaimed, “Ms. Hamada gave a deft account of Handel’s Concerto” about her performance with conductor William Christie in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. She “defined the torrent of notes beautifully for the ear, while never sacrificing virtuosity; her illuminating playing drew well-deserved cheers” (The Columbus Dispatch). Others have praised her “flawless technique” (The Boston Globe), and “superb command of the harpsichord” (The Springfield Republican). She premiered “Virginal” by Harold Meltzer with the New Juilliard Ensemble in 2010.

Her debut album “Jacques Duphly: Pièces de clavecin” was chosen as “Recording of the Month” in the Music Web International (July 2015) and the Record Geijutsu Magazine (June 2015), and received highly favorable reviews in The Early Music America Magazine (Fall 2015) and The Fanfare Magazine (Nov/Dec 2015).

Aya won first prize in the London Music Festival Competition and second prize in the Josef Hofmann Piano Competition, and earned her master of music degree in the inaugural class of Historical Performance from the Juilliard School. She studied under Kenneth Weiss in New York and Skip Sempé in Paris, and has received additional coaching from Pierre Hantaï and Christophe Rousset. She resides in New York City.

 John Pellegrino
The Stephenson Family Chair 

John Pellegrino is Artistic Director of Music on the Hill, Principal Bass of the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra and the Peninsula Music Festival, Assistant Principal of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra as well as a member of the Grand Teton Music Festival. As a chamber musician John has collaborated with such artists as Joseph Kalichstein, William Preucil, Ronald Leonard and James Dunham as well as the Miami String Quartet and the Apple Hill String Quartet. Other chamber music performances have included concerts at the Roycroft, Sarasota, Aspen, Waterloo, Grand Teton festivals as well as OSU’s Contemporary Music Festival, the Sunday at Central recital series in Columbus, OH and at the OWU•//•NOW contemporary music festival in Delaware, OH. In 2007 John was named Artistic Director of Music on the Hill, a chamber music festival located in the Ocean State. Before moving to Ohio in 1989, John was a section member of the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra. Prior to joining the NOSO John earned degrees from the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School. Mr. Pellegrino has served on the faculties of Ohio Wesleyan University, the Eastern Music Festival (NC), the Warwick Music Festival (RI), Kinhaven Music Camp (VT) and the Chamber Music Connection in Worthington, Ohio. In 2008, John was the recipient of the Ohio Private/Studio Teacher of the Year award given by the Ohio String Teacher’s Association. His students have won competitions held by the International Society of Bassists, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival, Ohio String Teachers Association, Interlochen Arts Camp and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

John was born and raised in Warwick, RI and owes much to his family of music educators/performers, private teachers, the public-school music program in Warwick and to the Rhode Island Philharmonic Youth Orchestra program under the direction of Nedo Pandolfi.