James Richman is Artistic Director/Conductor of Concert Royal and the Dallas Bach Society. He is a prominent harpsichordist and fortepianist, as well as one of today’s leading conductors of Baroque music and opera. The first musician since Leonard Bernstein to graduate Harvard, Juilliard, and the Curtis Institute of Music, James Richman studied conducting with Max Rudolf and Herbert Blomstedt, piano with Mieczyslaw Horszowski, Rosina Lhevinne and Rudolf Serkin, and harpsichord with Albert Fuller and Kenneth Gilbert. He holds a degree in the History of Science magna cum laude from Harvard College. A recipient of the prestigious United States-France Exchange Fellowship from the NEA, he was knighted by the French government in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1995 in recognition of his contributions to the field of music. Richman has been a prizewinner in four international competitions for early keyboard instruments, including first prize in the Bodky Competition of the Cambridge Society of Early Music, laureate of the Bruges Harpsichord Competition and bronze medal in the Paris Harpsichord Competition of the Festival Estival and in the First International Fortepiano Competition (Paris). In appearances at the Mostly Mozart Festival, the Spoleto Festival USA, the E. Nakamichi Baroque Festival, the Boston Early Music Festival, as well as in regular series in New York, he has organized revivals of such important works as Gluck’s Orfeo, Handel’s Ariodante, Alessandro, Acis and Galatea, Il Pastor Fido and Terpsicore, Purcell’s King Arthur, Monteverdi’s Incoronazione di Poppea, J.C. Bach’s Amadis des Gaules, Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Le Devin du Village, and seven operas of Jean-Philippe Rameau including Hippolyte et Aricie, Pygmalion, and Les Indes Galantes.
Recent recordings by Concert Royal on Centaur Records include Handel’s Terpsichore; Rameau’s Pygmalion & L’Impatience, and Rameau’s Zephyre & Clerambault’s Triomphe de la Paix.
A frequent collaborator with The NYBDC, Concert Royal was founded in 1974 by Artistic Director James Richman, a recognized leader in the early music field. Performing the music of the 17th and 18th centuries exclusively on original instruments, Concert Royal presents a multifaceted approach to the period by programming all genres of music from orchestral, vocal and chamber music to opera and opera-ballet. The ensemble has been at the forefront of the Baroque and Classical revival in the United States, with innovative performances of the major repertoire of the period featuring the foremost performer/scholars in the field. This work has included the only ongoing program of Baroque opera on original instruments with period costumes and staging, as well as premieres from the chamber music and chamber orchestra repertoire.
The ensemble has appeared at the Boston Early Music Festival, the Mostly Mozart Festival, the E. Nakamichi Baroque Festival, and Spoleto Festival USA, Bermuda Festival, and the Tage Alter Musik Regensburg, among others, and tours regularly with the New York Baroque Dance Company. Together they have appeared across the United States and at major cities around the world. Concert Royal has presented regular orchestral seasons since 1989 in New York City at Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall, and at the Alliance Française, with its unique Soirées Baroque series of French Baroque music. The ensemble is in residence at St. Thomas Church in New York City, performing Messiah and the works of Bach, Purcell and others annually with the Choir of Men and Boys of St. Thomas.
Judson Griffin has appeared in New York as concertmaster of Concert Royal, Amor Artis, and the American Classical Orchestra, among others. He has been guest soloist and concertmaster with the Dallas Bach Society and New Trinity Baroque in Atlanta. He is now in his fourth year as music director of the Connnecticut Early Music Festival. He previously served as concertmaster for the Maryland Handel Festival and as music director of the Clarion Music Society in New York. Mr. Griffin has also performed or recorded, among others, Helicon, the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, the Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra, Apollo’s Fire of Cleveland, the Philadelphia Classical Orchestra, the Akademie der alten Musik, the Complesso Barocco, the Philharmonia Baroque, Tafelmusik, the Smithson String Quartet, the Schubert Octet, and the Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Griffin is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and earned a doctorate at The Juilliard School. He plays a baroque violin by Gio. Paolo Maggini, Brescia, ca. 1610 – 20.
Cellist Christine Gummere, born in Barrytown, N.Y. and educated in Manhattan, has been performing in NYC since1977. Her versatility as a musician has led her to explore a wide variety of musical styles, such as French, German, Italian Baroque and Classical on period cello; 20th century chamber and orchestra music; and American swing. Groups she has enjoyed performing with include Concert Royal, Early Music New York, the American Classical Orchestra, the New York Collegium (all early music); Concordia, a chamber symphony, and the Riverside Symphony, where she was principal cello for 19 years; and the swing music of String Fever (all 20th century music). She has also performed Off Broadway as solo on-stage cello, in productions for the New York Shakespeare Festival, the Classic Stage Company, the Music Theater Group and for the performance artist John Kelly. Ms. Gummere is the founder of Music at Brooklyn Friends.
Cynthia Roberts, is one of America’s leading baroque violinists. She has served as concertmaster of Concert Royal and the Dallas Bach Society, and performs regularly with Tafelmusik, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, New York Collegium and Handel & Haydn Society. She has performed with London Classical Players and the Taverner Players, and is a principal player at the Carmel Bach Festival. Recent performance highlights include Bach violin sonatas at the Mostly Mozart Festival, chamber music at the Prague Festival, solo performances at the Boston Early Music Festival, and a taped performance of The Four Seasons used for a premiere work by the New York Baroque Dance Company. Ms. Roberts is a member of the faculties of the University of North Texas and the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute, coaches baroque chamber music, and is a Kulas Visiting Artist at CWRU. Her extensive recording and broadcast credits include Sony Classical, BMG/Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, NPR, CBC and WDR.
Concert Royal’s Music in 18th Century France may be ordered from Amazon.com