Leah Gale Nelson violin/baroque violin


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VIDEO promo for Biber: The Sacred Mysteries

the complete Rosary Sonatas of H.I.F. Biber (1644-1704), 2CD set

video directed & produced by Rachel Exe

Isabel Gotzkowsky & Friends: Bound

the dance performance with Leah's LIVE performance of

Biber's Passacaglia

VIDEO excerpt from Fandango Fantasie w/BALAM Dance Theater

Carlos Fittante, dancer & choreographer

Boccherini's "Fandango" from Quintet for guitar and strings

arr. for solo violin by Leah Gale Nelson

VIDEO Fleur-de-lis live w/Dušan Týnek Dance Theatre

Music of H.I.F. Biber, from the sonatas of 1681 and the Passacaglia.

Leah is LIVE from minute marker 18:10 -- the rest is Manze/Egar from a previous dance performance using their recording.

As a violinist, chamber musician, soloist, leader, producer, and pedagogue, Leah Gale Nelson specializes in the historical performance practices of the 17th, 18th, and early-19th-centuries. Based in New York City, she has performed throughout North America and in Europe, and is known for her refined and artistic interpretations of baroque and classical music.  She has led performances of landmark literature for some of the finest choirs in New York, has served as concertmaster for the Aspen Festival Opera Theater, Gotham Chamber Opera (NYC), and Chicago Opera Theater, as guest director for Lyra Baroque Orchestra in Minneapolis, and has been concertmaster and guest soloist for the Church of St. Luke in the Fields, New York City, since 1999, where she is Artist in Residence.  She plays for Musica Sacra, Trinity (Wall Street) Baroque Orchestra, and Masterwork Chorus, and other NYC based baroque bands.

In 2007, Ms. Nelson began a traversal of Biber's “Rosary Sonatas” with concerts in New York and in Minneapolis, a journey that inspired her recording for the Lyrichord label, Biber: The Sacred Mysteries, released to critical acclaim in 2011, with the Oxford University Press, Early Music, hailing it “an elegant and beautiful recording.”.  She has collaborated with fellow instrumentalists, vocalists, dancers, stage and choral directors, joining early music and historical practice with modern performance, including a chamber music series, Baroque in the Fields, and her recent venture, Jefferson Carriage.  With BALAM Dance Theater she created Fandango Fantasie, performing her own solo violin arrangement of Boccherini's “Fandango” Quintet, and her rendition of Biber's Passacaglia is in the repertoire of the dance company Isabel Gotzkowsky and Friends.  She spent her early days in early music performing orchestral and chamber music throughout the country, especially along the Northeast Corridor, from Boston to Washington DC, with Concert Royal, Clarion Music Society, the American Classical Orchestra, Boston Camerata, NYSBaroque, The Publick Musick, the Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra, and Washington Bach Consort, among others, and also with Musica Angelica (L.A.), Dallas Bach Society, The Schubert Club (St. Paul, MN), and Dublin's Opera Theatre Company (at the Brooklyn Academy of Music). She has worked with leading early music directors including and especially Jane Glover, Paul Goodwin, Drew Minter, Anthony Newman, Andrew Parrot, Fredrick Renz, James Richman, Catherine Turocy, Newell Jenkins, and Paul Echols.

An avid pedagogue, Leah is a Visiting Scholar at Rutgers University, coaches for the New York Continuo Collective and the Illinois Bach Academy.  She has coached the Collegium Musicum and Baroque Opera Project at Yale University, and has taught at the Aspen Music Festival, with students from private studio going on to graduate studies at Basel's Schola Cantorum, Case Western Reserve University, and the Juilliard School.

Born in Texas and raised in Minnesota, Leah holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Chicago Musical College, where she studied orchestral repertoire and performance through the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, where she remained for too many years most notably with, and because of, conductor Michael Morgan, along with others, Daniel Barneboim, John Corigliano, Leonard Slatkin, Christopher Hogwood, and Sir Georg Solti.  Finally, she acquired a Master of Music degree from Mannes College of Music in New York, where she studied violin with the incomparable David Nadien, and historical performance through their once vibrant Historical Performance Program with violinist Nancy Wilson, harpsichordist Arthur Haas, and stage director Paul Echols; additional studies with baroque violinist Michael Sand