Musicivic Baroque: Our Artists for Jan 24-26

Natalie Rose Kress, Baroque Violin

Praised by the New York Times for her “splendid playing”, Natalie Kress enjoys a varied career as both a modern and baroque violinist; highlights of which include performing at the Kennedy Center Honors with Yo Yo Ma in 2015; winning the 2012 Jules C. Reiner Violin Prize from the Tanglewood Music Center; as well as performances at Carnegie Hall in 2010 and 2016. Natalie received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Music and Psychology and Master’s in Music from Stony Brook University (where she studied with Soovin Kim) and is founder of the Three Village Chamber Players which performs free chamber music and outreach concerts throughout Long Island and New York State (3vcp.org). Natalie is a co-founder and an Executive Advisor of Musicivic Inc. (musicivic.net), which is a national non-profit arts incubator, accelerator, and managed services network supporting local professional chamber music organizations in towns and communities everywhere. As a baroque violinist Natalie is the Director of Musicivic Baroque and has performed with Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society, Grand Harmonie, Stony Brook Baroque, Shanghai Camerata, and La Grande Bande. She currently studies at The Juilliard School specializing in Historical Performance.


Elena Smith, viola da gamba and baroque cello

Cellist Elena Smith maintains an active career as a performing and teaching artist. A Philadelphia native, she is the cellist and manager of Blue Line String Quartet, and she performs frequently with Fairmount String Quartet, Elysium String Quartet, and many other local chamber ensembles. She is principal cellist of the Wayne Oratorio Society, and she has appeared with the Reading Symphony, West Jersey Chamber Orchestra, and other orchestras.

In addition to her career as a modern cellist, Elena has a passion for historical string instruments, and she performs regularly on baroque cello and viola da gamba. She has appeared on tour with Venice Baroque Orchestra, and she was the viola da gamba soloist in New York City Opera’s production of Los Elementos by Antonio Literes. Elena is a founding member of Muse Camerata, an all-female ensemble that specializes in performing music from the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries. She was featured on the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society’s 2018-2019 season in a performance with Gamut Bach Ensemble, and she has appeared as a guest with Bach Collegium Philadelphia, Crescendo Period Instrument Orchestra, Ex Umbris, Elm City Consort, and The Musick Art. In 2018, she made her Canada debut performing with l’Extase d’Ornace in Montréal. She has participated in the American Bach Soloists Academy in San Francisco, the International Masterclasses Festival in Gaming, Austria, and Juilliard at Piccola Accademia in Montisi, Italy. She has studied with Sarah Cunningham, Phoebe Carrai, and she has performed in masterclass for Thomas Fritzsch and Paolo Pandolfo.

A dedicated educator, Elena maintains a private studio and she is a teaching artist at The Common Place Orchestra, an arts education program that provides musical instruction to children in underserved communities in Southwest Philadelphia.

Elena is a graduate of Temple University, where she was a student of Jeffrey Solow.


Robert Warner

A native of Pennsylvania, Robert  Warner began his musical studies at an early age in piano and violin with faculty of Bucknell University.  He holds bachelors degrees in both math and music from the University of Rochester, and became interested in the world of early music while exploring the harpsichord and baroque violin at the Eastman School of Music.  As a graduate student at Stony Brook University, Robert studied harpsichord extensively with Arthur Haas while earning master’s degrees in both music history and performance, followed by a DMA in harpsichord performance also at Stony Brook.  During this time he gave frequent recitals, acted as assistant director of Stony Brook’s Baroque ensemble, and collaborated often with other musicians as a harpsichordist and baroque violinist in chamber music, opera and orchestral performances.

Upon graduating from Stony Brook, Robert was accepted into the Juilliard School’s Historical Performance program, continuing his harpsichord studies with Peter Sykes.  During this time he participated in projects led by William Christie, Jordi Savall, and other leading figures in the field of early music with frequent performances in New York City’s Alice Tully Hall and international tours to the Netherlands and New Zealand.

Robert has participated in most of the country’s top early music summer festivals, including the American Bach Soloists Academy in San Francisco and the Oregon Bach Festival’s Berwick Academy.  Robert now resides in New York City where he continues to be an active performer.  He is currently the artistic director and harpsichordist of the New Amsterdam Consort, the harpsichordist for Voyage Sonique, and a founding member and harpsichordist of Musicivic Baroque.


Paul Holmes Morton, theorbo

Paul Holmes Morton is native to the state of Pennsylvania, where he had his first music lessons on his father’s banjo and later the cello. After a youthful education of folk music, he went on to study classical guitar under the instruction of Ernesto Tamayo, Marc Teicholz, and Sergio Assad. While attending the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, he studied lute with Richard Savino and continuo with Corey Jamason. Perpetually inspired by music as a vehicle to transport oneself across time and culture, Paul Holmes can be found in a variety of venues from cathedrals and concert halls to smoky bars and country barns, anywhere that allows performance to lend harmony to the present noise. As a lutenist Morton performs across the North America in the practice of a baroque continuo player, regularly performing with Ruckus, New Vintage Baroque, and the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado. An active recording artist, his musicianship can be found on Oracle Hysterical’s “Passionate Pilgrim”, Emi Ferguson’s “Amour Cruel”, and “Arcangelo’s Circle”, by the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado. Paul Holmes recently completed his studies in historical performance at The Juilliard School instructed by Daniel Swenberg and Charles Weaver. Based in New York City, he performs regularly throughout North America.