Robert Mealy is one of America’s leading historical string players. He has been praised for his “imagination, taste, subtlety, and daring” by the Boston Globe; the New Yorker called him “New York’s world-class early music violinist.” Mr. Mealy began exploring early music in high school, first with the collegium of UC Berkeley and then at the Royal College of Music in London, where he studied harpsichord and baroque violin. While still an undergraduate at Harvard College, he was asked to join the distinguished Canadian baroque orchestra Tafelmusik. Since then, he has recorded and toured with many early music ensembles both here and in Europe, including Les Arts Florissants, the American Bach Soloists, Tragicomedia, Sequentia, the Newberry Consort, the Folger Consort, Seattle Baroque, Boston Baroque, and the Handel and Haydn Society. He has led the Mark Morris Dance Company at festivals in New York, Moscow, and New Haven, and accompanied Renée Fleming on the David Letterman Show.
A frequent leader and soloist here in New York, Mr. Mealy is concertmaster at Trinity Wall Street, as they embark on a complete series of Bach cantata performances. Mr. Mealy has been concertmaster of the internationally-acclaimed Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra since 2004, and has led them in many festival performances, including a special performance at Versailles in 2009. Three of his recordings with BEMF have received Grammy nominations. The Boston Phoenix remarked of one BEMF production that “the most exceptional music came from the pit. Concertmaster Robert Mealy played more music than anyone onstage or off, every measure of it with erudition and compelling energy.” With the smaller BEMF Chamber Ensemble, he has led many productions of chamber operas, and made critically-acclaimed recordings of Charpentier’s Actéon and Blow’s Venus and Adonis. He regularly appears at international music festivals from Berkeley to Belgrade, and from Melbourne to Edinburgh. A devoted chamber musician, he directs the seventeenth-century ensemble Quicksilver, whose debut recording, Stile Moderno, was hailed as “breakthrough recording of the year” by the Huffington Post.
He is also a member of the Renaissance violin band The King’s Noyse, which has made eleven recordings for harmonia mundi usa. He served for over a decade as an instrumental soloist and leader with the Boston Camerata, recording a wide range of repertoire, from the Medieval Carmina Burana to Jean Gilles’ Requiem and American shape-note music, and even the rarely-heard Kurt Weill musical Johnny Johnson. Through his interest in earlier repertories, he co-founded the medieval ensemble Fortune’s Wheel, which has appeared at early music festivals throughout the Americas, and at the Cloisters and the Frick Museum here in New York.
A keen scholar as well as a performer, Mr. Mealy has been on the faculty of the distinguished Historical Performance graduate program at The Juilliard School since its inception, and became Director of the program in July 2012. In 2009 he was appointed Professor (Adjunct) at Yale University, where he directs the postgraduate Yale Baroque Ensemble. In 2004, he received EMA’s Binkley Award for outstanding teaching and scholarship. He has recorded over eighty CDs on most major labels.
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