HUDSON SHAD has a thriving relationship with some of the great conductors and symphony orchestras of the world. The Hudson Shad Quartet frequently performs Kurt Weill's Die Sieben Todsunden. They have appeared with Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic, Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony alongside such distinguished singers as Marianne Faithfull and Julia Migenes in the role of Anna. Hudson Shad's performance of Weill's Mahagonny Songspiel with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra was recorded broadcast on NPR in 1996. The summer of 1998 sees Hudson Shad in the Salzburger Festpiele with Dennis Russell Davies and Peter Zadek in performances of Kurt Weill's opera Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny.
Hudson Shad was formed in 1992 to revive the artistry of the celebrated vocal ensemble "The Comedian Harmonists", who, in the ’20s and ’30s, brought to European audiences the sounds of American a capella singing. When Hudson Shad gave their German debut in the summer of 1995, they were hailed as the first equal heirs to the Comedian Harmonists by national news magazine Der Stern.
The group’s repertoire is by no means limited to the Music of the Comedian Harmonists, however. In their concerts they present American songs of the 20's, including the repertoire of The Revelers, The Mills Brothers, and The Paul Whiteman Orchestra. Furthermore, their diversity includes evergreens from the 60's like “Martha My Dear” and “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” as well as gospel songs and Schubert lieder. In January 1997 they were featured artists in Lincoln Center's bicentennial Schubert celebration with Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic. In 1999, Hudson Shad starred in Band in Berlin at the Helen Hayes Theater on Broadway. This performance marks their Los Angeles Philharmonic debut. See below for individual members' bios.
Peter Becker - Bass/Baritone
Peter Becker's musical training began in Bombay, India at the Kinnara School of Music, where he studied tablas at the feet of Ravi Shankar. He began his professional singing career in Chevy Chase, MD as a paid boy soprano, thereby supplementing the income from his paper route.
Since then he has performed on stages throughout the USA, Europe, Asia, and South America in repertoire ranging from Medieval to Contemporary. Theater credits include performances with the Canadian Opera Company, Glimmerglass Opera, Teatro Opera di Roma, the New York Shakespeare Festival, the 20th Century Consort, the Metropolitan Opera Education Program, the Eugene O'Neill Center, and New York's Lyric Theater. He has been a featured guest artist with Tafelmusik, the Smithsonian Chamber Players, Magnificat, the Newberry Consort, and at a number of festivals including Spoleto, Caramoor, Aldeburgh, Utrecht, Hong Kong, Jerusalem, and Lille. He has recorded for the Decca-London, New Albion, Dorian and Bard labels.
Mark Bleeke - First Tenor
Mark Bleeke comes from a family where music formed a part of everyday life. He sings a diverse repertoire from Early Music to Baroque, Classical, Pop and Contemporary, and enjoys improvising on the piano, composing and arranging.
In opera, Mark Bleeke is especially renowned for his interpretation of Mozart roles such as Tamino in The Magic Flute, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni and Ferrando in Cosi Fan Tutte. In oratorio, he is a sought-after Evangelist in the Bach Passions and sings with many of the great symphony orchestras such as The New York Philharmonic and the Pittsburgh Symphony alongside world renowned conductors including Zubin Mehta, Charles Dutoit, Michel Corboz and Andrew Parrott. In contemporary music he has worked closely with many composers including John Harbison, Gian Carlo Menotti, John Corigliano, Paul Winter and Dave Brubeck. Mark Bleeke is a frequent guest artist in festivals throughout the USA and abroad.
Eric Edlund - Baritone
Eric Edlund is originally from Minnesota and now resides in Houston, Texas. He has appeared in more than sixty Houston Grand Opera productions. He has also appeared with the San Diego Opera, Taipei Opera, Lincoln Center, Edinburgh, and Salzburg Festivals. Mr. Edlund has performed with symphonies across the United States and Europe including four European tours under conductor Robert Shaw.
Timothy Leigh Evans - Second Tenor
A native of Sheffield, England, Timothy Leigh Evans has been singing since the age of five. For eight years he was director of music in an English secondary school as well as being drummer with The Northern Jazz Orchestra.
His career took a different turn when he applied for a job as a singer and was accepted. In London he worked with the London Voices, and The BBC Singers. From 1988 to 1991 Timothy Leigh Evans helped form the Israel Chamber Choir where he served as principal Tenor and assistant conductor. After moving to New York in 1991 he toured the USA, Europe, Australia, and Asia with many ensembles, including The Waverly Consort, The Boston Came-rata and Western Wind. With Joshua Rifkin and The Bach Ensemble he made his Lincoln Center debut singing Bach's B Minor Mass. He has appeared alongside such distinguished soloists as Emma Kirkby, Max van Egmond and Mira Zakai. The scope of his repertoire reaches from Early Music to Baroque and from Judaica to Jazz. He mostly performs in one-person-one-voice ensembles, often a cappella. He has recorded for EMI, Dorian, Erato, Virgin and Archiv.
Wilbur Pauley - Bass
Wilbur Pauley was born a bass, in one of his earliest memories he is marching around the dining table at the age of five, singing the bass part to a Mitch Miller sing-along record. Later, he learned to play the euphonium and tuba, went to college to become a music teacher and ended up singing instead.
The scope of Wilbur Pauley's work reaches from the Classic standard repertoire to Contemporary music and Disney soundtracks. He has sung roles like Sarastro in The Magic Flute, Timur in Turandot and Colline in La Bohème as well as appearing in productions of contemporary music like the world premieres of Corigliano's the Ghosts at Versailles at the Met and of William Bolcom's McTeague. He has performed at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, at Houston Grand opera as well as at the Salzburg Festival. On Broadway he appeared opposite Dustin Hoffman in a production of The Merchant of Venice, and his voice may be heard on most Disney soundtracks since The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Wilbur Pauley is founder, arranger and music director of Hudson Shad.
Robert Wolinsky - Piano
Robert Wolinsky was familiar with the music of the Comedian Harmonists even before ever playing it. He comes from a family that cultivated the European and Jewish song tradition. He is especially fond of Schubert lieder.
Robert Wolinsky is at home on any keyboard from harmonium to synthesizer, but is especially at ease with the harpsichord, his favorite periods being Baroque and early Classical music. He is well established as a chamber music player as well as a soloist and appears with such esteemed ensembles as the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, The St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble and Bargemusic. With Orpheus Chamber Orchestra he has toured North American, Europe and Japan. Hi recordings include Bach Wedding Cantatas and Keyboard Concerti and Handel Concerti Grossi, arias and sinfonias. He regularly performs at Chamber Music festivals including Caramoor and The Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center.