Biography

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Robert Mealy web© Geoffrey Silver Acis Productions

One of America’s leading baroque violinists, Robert Mealy 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.” He has recorded over 50 CDs of early music on most major labels, ranging from Hildegard of Bingen with Sequentia, to Renaissance consorts with the Boston Camerata, to Rameau operas with Les Arts Florissants. At home in New York, he is a frequent leader and soloist with many ensembles, and serves as concertmaster at Trinity Wall Street in their series of complete Bach cantatas and passions.

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 (from early to late) Sequentia, Ensemble Project Ars Nova, the Newberry Consort, the Folger Consort, Tragicomedia, Les Arts Florissants, La Fontegara (Mexico), the Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal, Seattle Baroque, Boston Baroque, and the Handel and Haydn Society. He has led Baroque ensembles for the Mark Morris Dance Company, including a tour to Moscow, and accompanied Renée Fleming on the David Letterman Show.

Mr. Mealy has been concertmaster of the internationally-acclaimed Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra since 2004, and has led them in performances and Grammy-nominated recordings of Lully’s Thésée and Psyché and Conradi’s Ariadne, as well as productions of Monteverdi’s Poppea and the modern premiere of Mattheson’s Boris Godenouw. The Boston Phoenix remarked of the Boris 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. In 2009, he led the BEMF orchestra in a special festival appearance at Versailles.

He regularly appears at international music festivals from Berkeley to Belgrade, and from Melbourne to Utrecht. 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, and directed the Yale Collegium from 2006-2013. In 2004, he received EMA’s Binkley Award for outstanding teaching and scholarship. He has recorded over eighty CDs on most major labels.

September 2013
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