Seattle Baroque Orchestra is a pocket orchestra comprised of leading-edge artists; that breathe new life into early music through innovative performances and uncommon collaborations. With varied musical programs, SBO engages audiences through world-class productions in a variety of local venues. Our one-of-a-kind concert experiences will turn everything you thought you knew about early music on its head, as we take you on musical journeys that explore new repertoire, challenge the limits of what you thought was possible, and find exciting ways to reimagine the classics.
Seattle, WA ‑ Early Music Seattle is pleased to launch, a fresh and exciting reimagined Seattle Baroque Orchestra with newly appointed concertmaster Rachell Ellen Wong.
Reimagined during the pandemic, Seattle Baroque Orchestra returns to the stage under the direction of Alexander Weimann in January 2022 with a new vision and a firm commitment to serve Pacific Northwest audiences with great music! A tidal wave of artistic energy flows from the ensemble’s newly appointed Concertmaster, Rachell Ellen Wong. A recent graduate of the Historical Performance Department at the Julliard School and hailing from Lynnwood, WA, Ms. Wong makes this region her home and is excited about her new position with Seattle Baroque Orchestra.
“When you first start learning about the Baroque language, one of the first things youhear are the many “affects” or emotions of the music. Getting to express theseemotions on stage, you really feel like a storyteller.”
– Rachell Ellen Wong
With offerings ranging from smaller intimate pieces to larger scale orchestral works, Weimann, Wong, and Seattle Baroque Orchestra tackle everything from music of the 17th century convent and cloister to the Six Brandenburg Concertos with a full complement of winds and brass. New guest artists such as countertenor Reginald Mobley combine with the mostly Seattle-based baroque performers that audiences have grown to love.
American violinist Rachell Ellen Wong has added another role to her growing career: Concertmaster of the one of the most vibrant American early music ensembles, Seattle Baroque Orchestra. Announced by Alexander Weimann, Seattle Baroque Orchestra’s Music Director, the post is a natural addition to her work in the early music arena.
A rising star on both the historical performance and modern violin stages, and a sought-after collaborator, Rachell Ellen Wong has a growing reputation as one of the top historical performers of her generation.
Alexander Weimann, in announcing the news in Early Music Seattle’s newsletter, wrote, “This past year has been a period of re-inventing the Seattle Baroque Orchestra: While the pandemic forced us to cease our usual activities, we still made good use of the time by re-grouping our personnel, re-thinking our repertoire and mandate…. At the same time, the retirement of our beloved concertmaster Linda Melsted prompted us to look for a new leading artist to start with into the post-pandemic era.
“…she combines everything we were looking for in Linda’s successor: the highest artistic integrity and true musicianship, the authority that comes with being an outstanding virtuoso and the warm collegial spirit needed in our world.”
“In short, I could not have dreamed of such a beautiful choice for the position of concertmaster to the Seattle Baroque Orchestra, and I am simply overjoyed that Rachell has accepted our invitation.” – Alexander Weimann
Recipient of a prestigious 2020 Avery Fisher Career Grant (the first baroque recipient in the respected program’s history) and Grand Prize winner of the inaugural Lillian and Maurice Barbash J.S. Bach Competition, Ms. Wong has performed throughout the United States and Canada, as well as in the United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, Costa Rica, Panama, China, and New Zealand. She has performed with such respected ensembles as the American Bach Soloists, The Academy of Ancient Music, Bach Collegium Japan, and Les Arts Florissants, among others. Equally accomplished on the modern violin, Ms. Wong made her first public appearance with the Philharmonia Northwest at age 11 and has since performed as a soloist with such orchestras as Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional de Panama and Seattle Symphony.
Along with her new responsibilities with Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Rachell Ellen Wong’s continues her career as a soloist.
Ms. Wong served as a 2019-2020 Mercury Chamber Orchestra Juilliard Fellow, and as an 2019-2020 American Fellow of The English Concert, and as Artist-in-Residence with the Heifetz International Music Institute in Staunton, Virginia from 2017-2019.
A native of Seattle, Washington, and a recent graduate, Ms. Wong holds a Masters in Music in Historical Performance from The Juilliard School in New York City, where she moved after receiving her Masters in Music from Indiana University and a Bachelors of Music from The University of Texas at Austin. She performs on a baroque violin from the school of Joachim Tielke and a violin made by Carlo de March.
“Wong possesses the most incredibly inquisitive mind concerning sound…”
– Cal Performances – University of California, Berkeley
View Rachell Ellen Wong in Concert:
Works by Tartini and Biber
Beethoven’s Sonata no. 9 (Kreutzer/Bridgetower) for violin and piano
Alexander Weimann has been Music Director of Seattle Baroque Orchestra since 2015 and is one of the most sought-after ensemble directors, soloists, and chamber music partners of his generation. After traveling the world with ensembles like Tragicomedia, Cantus Cölln, the Freiburger Barockorchester, the Gesualdo Consort and Tafelmusik, he now focuses on his activities as Artistic Director of the Pacific Baroque Orchestra in Vancouver, as frequent guest conductor with Victoria Symphony, Symphony Nova Scotia, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Les Violons du Roi etc., and as teacher at the University of British Columbia, for harpsichord, accompaniment, and performance practice.
Weimann can be heard on some 100 CDs. He made his North American recording debut with the ensemble Tragicomedia on the CD Capritio (Harmonia Mundi USA), and won worldwide acclaim from both the public and critics for his 2005 release of Volume 1 of his recordings of the complete keyboard works by Alessandro Scarlatti, nominated for an Opus Prize as the best Canadian early music recording. He has also released an Opus Award-winning CD of Handel oratorio arias with superstar soprano Karina Gauvin and his new Montreal-based ensemble Tempo Rubato. He received several Juno nominations and one Juno award for his album with Arion baroque Orchestra and Karina Gauvin.
Weimann was born in 1965 in Munich, where he studied the organ, church music, musicology (with a summa cum laude thesis on Bach’s secco recitatives), theatre, medieval Latin, and jazz piano, supported by a variety of federal scholarships for the highly talented. To ground himself further in the roots of western music, he became intensely involved over the course of several years with Gregorian chant. He was teaching music theory and improvisation at the Munich Hochschule für Musik from 1990-95, has given countless masterclasses around the globe, and also taught harpsichord at the McGill University, and worked as a vocal coach at the Université de Montréal.
Upcoming Performances: Seattle Baroque Orchestra
Music of the Ages concert series focuses on early music that is rooted primarily in Europe; while Global Connections series will continue our explorations of early music of the East and Middle East, Africa, and Latin America
Music of the Ages
Reginald Mobley, Countertenor and Seattle Baroque Orchestra
Saturday January 22 & 23, 2022
Music of the Ages
Convent and Cloister: Hidden Genius
Seattle Baroque Orchestra and Byrd Ensemble
Saturday, February 19 & 20, 2022
Music of the Ages
The Six Brandenburg Concerti
Seattle Baroque Orchestra
May 21 & 22, 2022
For All Our Sisters
Seattle Baroque Orchestra and Aaron Grad
June 11 & 12, 2022
- Seattle Baroque Orchestra link
- Alexander Weimann website
- Rachell Ellen Wong website
- Early Music Seattle website