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UW Chamber Orchestra with Cyndia Sieden, soprano

Friday, February 20, 2015 - 7:30pm
$15 ($10 students and seniors), Notecard
Cyndia Sieden
Cyndia Sieden (Photo courtesy the artist)

Senior Artist in Residence Stephen Stubbs and Director of Orchestral Activities David Alexander Rahbee conduct members of the UW Symphony in a program of works by Mozart and Haydn.  Recently appointed School of Music faculty artist Cyndia Sieden is featured soloist.


Overture from The Magic Flute

Recitativo: Mia speranza adorata! and Aria Ah non sai qual pena sia, K.416

with Cyndia Sieden, soprano

March of the Priests from The Magic Flute

from The Magic Flute: Der Hölle Rache

with Cyndia Sieden, soprano;

Stephen Stubbs, conductor


Haydn: Symphony No. 92 in G Major, “Oxford”

David Alexander Rahbee, conductor



Cyndia Sieden, soprano

American soprano Cyndia Sieden moves easily among the Baroque, classical, romantic and contemporary repertoires to worldwide acclaim. In addition, her performances and recordings of his works affirm her status as one of the sovereign Mozart interpreters of the present day.

Highlights of 2011 included performances in Morton Feldman's monodrama Neither for New York City Opera, Ariadne in Wolfgang Rihm's Dionysos at the Netherlands Opera and Soprano I in Luigi Nono's Prometeo at the Salzburg and Berlin Festivals. In contrast to these knotty modern works, she returned to Blondchen in Mozart's Abduction with Frans Brüggen and the Orchestra of the 18th Century at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and on tour throughout Holland.

Sieden has starred at most of the world's great opera houses, including the Munich Bayerische Staatsoper, the New York Met, Paris's Opéra Bastille, the Wiener Staatsoper, Barcelona's Gran Teatre de Liceu, Brussels's La Monnaie, and London's Covent Garden and English National, as well as in Beijing and Australia. Her highly-praised Metropolitan Opera debut was as Berg's Lulu, and her success quickly led to reengagement in 2008 for Die Zauberflöte's Queen of the Night, one of her signature roles.

She is a brilliantly idiomatic interpreter of the works of Richard Strauss. She frequently performs Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos (Munich, Japan, Vienna), as well as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier (Paris Châtelet) and Aminta in Die schweigsame Frau (Palermo and Munich).

Her performances in the high-flying role of Ariel in the premiere of Thomas Adès's The Tempest at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, ignited rave reviews and an astonished public. She has garnered equal enthusiasm and devotion for her Queen of the Night in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte and Blondchen in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, all over the world. Other specialties are Cunegonde in Leonard Bernstein's Candide, and the operas of Handel.

Sieden is much in demand for Orff's Carmina Burana, the oratorios and masses of Handel, Mozart, and Haydn, and works of Bach, Strauss and Mahler. She has sung with many of the most renowned symphony orchestras in the world, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, and at New York's Mostly Mozart Festival. In addition, her Lieder recitals are always highly-anticipated events.

Cyndia Sieden was born in California, USA, and received her first vocal instruction there. The significant milestone in her studies was work with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf in master classes in Carmel Valley, CA in 1982. Schwarzkopf then invited Sieden to become her private student, and also to work with her in master classes at the 1983 Salzburg Mozarteum. Sieden sang in the culminating concert/competition and won first place, the springboard for her first professional engagements.

In 1984, Cyndia Sieden made her European debut in Il Barbiere at the Bavarian State Opera; her American debut also took place in 1984, in La Fille du Regiment, in Tampa, Florida. 



David Alexander Rahbee

David Alexander Rahbee is currently artist in residence at the University of Washington School of Music in Seattle, where he is conductor of the University Orchestra and teaches conducting. He was a recipient of the American-Austrian Foundation's 2003 Herbert von Karajan Fellowship for Young Conductors, the 2005 International Richard-Wagner-Verband Stipend, and received a fellowship from the Acanthes Centre in Paris in 2007.

Dr. Rahbee has appeared in concert with orchestras such as the RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Kammerphilharmonie Berlin-Brandenburg, Orchestre de la Francophonie (Canada), the Dresden Hochschule orchestra, the Boston New Music Initiative, Orquesta Sinfónica de Loja (Ecuador), Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Savaria Symphony Orchestra (Hungary), Cool Opera of Norway (members of the Stavanger Symphony), Schönbrunner Schloss Orchester (Vienna), the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra, and the Divertimento Ensemble of Milan. He has collaborated with prominent soloists such as Sarah Chang, David Chan, Joseph Lin. He was an assistant at the Vienna State opera (2002-2010), music director and conductor of the Fidelio Chamber Orchestra in Cambridge, Massachusetts (1997-2001). He has been engaged as a guest rehearsal conductor for numerous young orchestras, such as the New England Conservatory Symphony Orchestra, The Symphony Orchestras of the Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music at Chapman University, and the Vienna University of Technology orchestra, and the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras (BYSO). Festivals he has been involved with include the Salzburg Festival, the International Bartók Festival, and the Atlantic Music Festival.

Dr. Rahbee's principal conducting teachers were Charles Bruck and Michael Jinbo at the Pierre Monteux School.  He holds Bachelor of Music degree in violin and composition from Indiana University, a Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory in orchestral conducting, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Montreal in orchestral conducting.  He has also participated in post-graduate conducting classes at the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Vienna. Mr. Rahbee has been selected to active participate in masterclasses by renown conductors such as Kurt Masur, Sir Colin Davis, Jorma Panula, Zden?k Mácal, Peter Eötvös, Zoltán Peskó, and Helmut Rilling, and counts Nikolaus Harnoncourt to be among his most influential mentors.

Stephen Stubbs

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 at the Hochschule für Künste. 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. Together they have led all the BEMF Opera productions and recordings.

In 2007 Stephen established his new production company, Pacific MusicWorks, based in Seattle. Pacific MusicWorks reflects his lifelong interest in both early music and contemporary performance.  PMW’s first production in spring 2009 reflected both interests, presenting Claudio Monteverdi’s 1641 opera The Return of Ulysses in a staging using life-sized puppets designed and brought to life by the Handspring Puppet Companyof South Africa, and projections designed by the world-renowned graphic and performance artist and stage director William Kentridge. This inaugural production was universally lauded by critics and public alike.

Subsequent productions have included a successful collaboration with Seattle Chamber Players/On the Boards, a collaboration with Seattle Dance Project and Anna Mansbridge performing staged 17th Century madrigals for three sopranos and three dancers, as well as performances of the Monteverdi Vespers with Concerto Palatino, described by the Seattle Times as “utterly thrilling” and “of a quality you are unlikely to encounter anywhere else in the world”.

This coming season will bring a special collaboration with the Seattle Symphony in the form of what could be called “the Passions Project” in which the Symphony will present the St. Matthew Passion, and a week later (with the same group of vocal soloists) we will present our first performance of the St. John Passion with our own baroque orchestra.

In addition to his ongoing commitments to Pacific MusicWorks and the Boston Early Music Festival, other engagements have recently taken Stephen to Bilbao’s opera house in Spain to conduct Handels’ Giulio Cesare and Gluck’s Orfeo. He also returned to the Netherlands Opera, Amsterdam, where he directed Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo. 2011 saw his debut conducting the Seattle Symphony Orchestra performing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and he returned in 2012 to conduct Handel’s Messiah. In 2011-2012 he conducted Monteverdi’s Poppea with Opera UCLA as well as Charpentier’s La Descente d’Orphee in Boston with co-director PaulO’Dette for BEMF. Other recent appearances included Handel’s L’Allegro and Mozart’s Magic Flute for the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo for BEMF, Handel’s Il Trionfo del Tempo, and an evening of Bach Cantata’s for Pacific MusicWorks. He made his conducting debut with the Edmonton Symphony performing Handel’s Messiah in 2012, and conducted Bach’s St. Matthew Passion in Denver with the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado.

Stephen has an extensive discography as conductor and as a solo lutenist of well over 100 CDs, many of which have received international acclaim and awards.

In the summer of 2013 he led performances of Handel’s Almira at the Boston Festival, then returned to Hawaii to conduct Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte for the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival. In October he led performances of Lully and Moliere’s Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme at the Cornish Playhouse and in November he will return to Bremen with the BEMF team to record their production of Steffani’s Niobe, featuring star countertenor Philippe Jaroussky.

In 2013, Stephen Stubbs was appointed Senior Artist in Residence and faculty member of the School of Music at the University of Washington. The first collaboration between the University and Pacific MusicWorks will be Handel’s Semele to be performed in May 2014. For that production Stephen will be joined by his colleague, stage director James Darrah, as well as a cast of vocal stars from around the country.