David Alexander Rahbee and Stephen Stubbs share conducting duties in this program of works by Gluck and Haydn, presented on the mainstage of Benaroya Hall, home of Seattle Symphony.
UW Chamber Orchestra
Stephen Stubbs, conductor
Gluck: Overture and choral excerpts from Orphée et Eurydice
Soloists: Katie Kelley, soprano; Emerald Lessley, soprano; Carolina Botero, soprano
UW Symphony Orchestra
David Alexander Rahbee, conductor
Haydn: Mass in Time of War
Soloists: Cyndia Sieden, soprano; Sarah Mattox, mezzo-soprano; Ross Hauck, tenor; Clayton Brainerd, bass
After a thirty year career in Europe, musical director and lutenist Stephen Stubbs returned to his native Seattle in 2006. Since then he has established his new production company, Pacific Musicworks, and developed a busy calendar as a guest conductor specializing in baroque opera and oratorio.
With his direction of Stefano Landi’s La Morte d’Orfeo at the 1987 Bruges festival, he began his career as opera director and founded the ensemble Tragicomedia. Since 1997 Stephen has co-directed the bi-annual Boston Early Music Festival opera and is the permanent artistic co-director. BEMF’s recordings of Conradi’s Ariadne,Lully’s Thesee, and Psyché were nominated for Grammy awards in 2005, 2007, and 2009.
Stephen was born in Seattle, Washington, where he studied composition, piano and harpsichord at the University of Washington. In 1974 he moved to England to study lute with Robert Spencer and then to Amsterdam for further study with Toyohiko Satoh and soon became a mainstay of the burgeoning early-music movement there, working with Alan Curtis on Italian opera in Italy, William Christie on French opera in France and various ensembles in England and Germany particularly the Hilliard Ensemble.
With his return to Seattle in 2006 he formed the long-term goal of establishing a company devoted to the study and production of Baroque opera. His first venture in this direction was the creation of the Accademia de’Amore, an annual summer institute for the training of pre-professional singers and musicians in baroque style and stagecraft, now housed at the Cornish College of the Arts.
In 2008 he established Pacific MusicWorks. The company’s inaugural presentation was a revival of South African artist William Kentridge’s acclaimed multimedia marionette staging of Claudio Monteverdi’s penultimate opera The Return of Ulysses in a co-production with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. After a warmly received 2010 presentation of Monteverdi’s monumental Vespers of 1610 at Seattle’s St. James Cathedral, PMW presented a full subscription season, opening with a program based on the Song of Songs and ending with two triumphantly successful performances of Handel’s early masterpiece, The Triumph of Time(1707).
As a guest conductor Stubbs has led performances of Gluck’s Orfeo and Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto in Bilbao, Spain, and Monteverdi’s Orfeo at Amsterdam’s Netherlands Opera. Following his successful debut conducting the Seattle Symphony Orchestra in 2011, he was invited back in 2012 to conduct the Symphony’s performances of Messiah. He will also debut with the Edmonton Symphony in Messiah this season.
Stephen Stubbs is Senior Artist in Residence and member of the faculty of the School of Music at the University of Washington.
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.