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Ellen Hargis

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Biography

A musician whose repertoire encompasses the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque eras, soprano Ellen Hargis is regarded as one the world's leading performers of early music. Critics have variously praised the "cool, shining purity of her voice" and "a certain sensuousness" of her sound. In addition, reviewers have commented on her superlative phrasing and extraordinary grasp of style. Hargis is a member of several performing ensembles, including the King's Noyse and the Cambridge Bach Ensemble, as well as Theatre of Voices, a group specializing in early and recent music. She has also appeared as a guest artist with the Kronos Quartet, the Harp Consort, Fretwork, Vox Feminae, the Portland Baroque Orchestra, the Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Concerto Palatino, and the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra. Hargis frequently appears in music festivals worldwide, including the Resonanzen Festival of Vienna, the Boston Early Music Festival, the Utrecht Festival, and the New Music America Festival. While participating in festivals in Austria and Spain, she formed a partnership with the noted lutenist Paul O'Dette. Hargis and O'Dette are particularly known for their performance of Renaissance compositions for voice and lute or chitarrone. Gramophone magazine compared their renditions of Renaissance songs to "civilized conversation." Hargis has recorded for Harmonia Mundi USA, BMG Classics, Auvidis/Astrée, Berlin Classics, Virgin Classics, Erato, and Dorian Records. Her discs include the first recording of Bonporti's motets for soprano, Handel's solo cantatas, and a selection of medieval songs about the story of Tristan and Yseult. Hargis teaches at the New England Conservatory of Music Extension Division and several summer courses in early music, including the Vancouver Early Music Programme.

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