Borealis—Biography

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The Borealis Wind Quintet, nominated for a 2006 Grammy Award in the Chamber Music Category, is acclaimed as one of America’s preeminent chamber ensembles. The highest musical integrity, irresistible energy and five-fold charisma distinguish Borealis in the chamber music field. Audiences love their exquisite programming that includes the finest of the classics, engaging commissioned works, opera arias and works for piano and winds. The Washington Post praised their “sensitive collaborations that have a sophisticated and cosmopolitan air.” Peter G. Davies of the New York Times described one concert as “a polished, elegantly turned performance…each work received lively, expert and musicianly treatment by this skilled and exceptionally talented chamber group.” Joseph Horowitz, also of the New York Times describes “lively communicative readings…the performance was a scintillating one.” The Philadelphia Inquirer writes that “they demonstrated the sort of rapport that characterizes the very best chamber playing.”

Keith Bonner, flutist, has performed in a wide variety of ensembles, including symphony and opera orchestras, Broadway pits, movies and television. Mr. Bonner is currently principal flute of the Riverside Symphony, and performs the Nielsen Flute Concerto with them in spring of 2016 at Lincoln Center, NYC. He has performed with the Symphony orchestras of New Jersey and Stamford, CT as well as the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, New York City Ballet, American Symphony Orchestra and the New York Symphonic Ensemble. Mr. Bonner can be heard in the orchestra of the 25th anniversary production of Les Miserables now on Broadway. He is on the faculty of Brooklyn College and Special Music School in New York City. He has degrees from the Manhattan School and the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Tamar Beach Wells is a versatile soloist and orchestral musician. She is principal oboe with the Greater Bridgeport Symphony and performs regularly with the Hartford Symphony. She performs with the American Composers Orchestra, the Berkshire Bach Ensemble and the Westchester Symphony. She has toured nationally with Andrea Bocelli and has been a member of the Springfield Symphony and the Goodspeed Opera. In addition to the oboe, she plays the English horn, oboe d’amore and bass oboe and frequently collaborates with vocalists, choruses and other artists in diverse settings ranging from traditional solo performances to recording sessions with pop singers. She holds degrees with highest honors in performance and education from the Hartt School of Music and Performing Arts and a Masters degree from the Juilliard School of Music. Tamar has been on the faculty of the Hartt School and the University of Connecticut and maintains a private studio in her Litchfield County home.

Kathryn Taylor, clarinet, has performed across the US as a chamber and orchestra musician as well as a soloist. A resident of Connecticut, she is principal clarinetist of the Greater Bridgeport Symphony and a member of Connecticut Grand Opera. She performs with the Stamford, New Haven and Hartford Symphonies. Ms. Taylor has performed in several festivals including the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado, the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC, the Windham Festival in New York and the Newport Festival in Rhode Island. She has toured Europe as principal clarinetist with the American Symphonietta and performed in the orchestra of Beauty and the Beast on Broadway. Ms. Taylor attended the Juilliard School where she studied with the legendary Leon Russianoff.

Dan Culpepper is a very active freelance horn player in New York City. He performs with the New York City Ballet, New York Pops, Little Orchestra Society and at Radio City Music Hall. Mr. Culpepper’s career has been both diverse and eclectic. He has performed or recorded with Frank Sinatra, Elton John, James Taylor, Pavarotti, Sting and Yo-Yo Ma among others. His movie credits include Pocohontas and Ransom. Mr. Culpepper has appeared on “David Letterman” and “Good Morning America” and has recorded numerous TV and radio commercials. He is currently principal horn of Phantom of the Opera on Broadway.

Wayne Hileman, bassoon, has performed with many orchestras including the New Haven, Stamford, American and Westchester Symphonies, and appeared as a chamber player, soloist or as continuo at many venues, including the Pro-Arte, Windham, Alliance Artist and New England Bach Festivals. In addition, he is an audio engineer, restoring historic recordings for major labels, producing live concerts for NPR, editing and mastering new releases for many classical artists and is a voting member of the Recording Academy (the Grammys). Mr. Hileman holds degrees from Potsdam College and Yale University.