Staff & Board
Monica Huggett, Artistic Director
Jessica Crawford, Orchestra Librarian
Robin Greenwood, Stage Manager
Desera Frentress, Assistant Stage Manager
Ruth Fredine and Scott Stephens, Volunteer Usher Coordinators
Susan Matlack Jones and Associates, Bookkeepers
Board of Directors
William Willingham, Chairman
Laura Cunningham, Secretary
Susan Bach, Treasurer
Nate Helgeson, orchestra representative
Portland Baroque Orchestra
1020 SW Taylor St., Suite 200
Portland OR 97205
Box Office hours are Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
Carla Moore, concertmaster
Rob Diggins, principal 2nd violin
Joliane von Einem
Christine Wilkinson Beckman
Victoria Gunn Pich, principal
Kim Mai Nguyen
Joanna Blendulf, co-principal
Tanya Tomkins, co-principal
Viola da gamba:
Joanna Blendulf, principal
Contrabass and Violone:
Curtis Daily, principal
Harpsichord and Organ:
Susan Jensen, principal
Guitar, Theorbo and Lute:
Janet See, principal
Gonzalo X. Ruiz, principal
Nate Helgeson, principal
Andrew Clark, principal
Kris Kwapis, principal
Timpani & Percussion:
Mark Goodenberger, principal
Mission & history
The mission of Portland Baroque Orchestra is to produce intimate and historically-informed interpretations of music composed before 1840 for a wide audience, and to provide broad access and educate the community about the composers and historic context of this music through world-class professional performances, outreach, and dialogue.
Period instruments in the hands of our players make the music come alive. Built at the time Bach and Handel were composing, or built today by contemporary craftsmen to historical designs, baroque period instruments include 17th-century versions of modern orchestral equivalents (violins, cellos, oboes) as well as lutes, viols, harpsichords, sackbuts, and other instruments you won’t hear at the symphony. The music of the era sparkles on these instruments. This fresh and lively historic soundscape makes the PBO experience unlike any other.
Emerging in the early 1980s as a grassroots cooperative of musicians, the Portland Baroque Orchestra has matured into a polished, professional organization within the ranks of the best period orchestras in North America and Europe. Succeeding PBO’s regular guest director and artistic advisor Ton Koopman, Monica Huggett has been the group’s artistic director for twenty years. She is considered one of the premier baroque violinists, and was appointed the inaugural artistic director of the Juilliard School’s Institute for Historical Performance in 2008.
The core of PBO’s main-stage performances is a Portland subscription series of five productions (with the largest subscription audience for period instrument performances in the Pacific Northwest) plus the region’s only annual performances of Handel’s Messiah on period instruments. In addition, PBO collaborates with local and regional peers for touring and contracted performances that, in some years, account for 25% of its performing activity. PBO has served as period ensemble-in-residence of the Oregon Bach Festival, traveling statewide on behalf of the Festival. PBO has also collaborated with Portland Opera for staged productions of Cavalli’s La Calisto in 2009 and Handel’s Rinaldo in 2013. PBO is part of the Northwest Baroque Masterworks Project, working with Early Music Vancouver (British Columbia) and Pacific MusicWorks (Seattle) to produce and present productions of each organization throughout the greater region.
Dedicated to equitable access to the arts, PBO produces Young People’s Concerts for families and youth groups and regularly brings outreach performances to high-needs schools. PBO was one of the founding organizers of Portland’s innovative Arts for All ticketing program to provide $5 tickets for low income individuals, and is a regular partner with BRAVO Youth Orchestras, the first El Sistema affiliated program in Oregon.
In 2013-14, PBO produced a studio recording of ten concertos by J.S. Bach for violin and oboe, featuring oboist Gonzalo X. Ruiz. The first of two discs was released in November, 2014 on the AVIE label, and the second in summer of 2015. In 2011, PBO collaborated with Montreal’s Les Voix Baroques and Portland’s Cappella Romana to produce and record Bach’s St. John Passion. The studio recording of that production, made after critically acclaimed performances in Portland, Eugene, Seattle, and Vancouver (British Columbia), was released by AVIE in 2012.
Monica Huggett, Artistic Director
Monica Huggett was born in London in 1953, the fifth of seven children. She took up the violin at age six and at age sixteen entered the Royal Academy of Music as a student of Manoug Parikian.
From age seventeen, beginning as a freelance violinist in London, Monica has earned her living solely as a violinist and artistic director and, in 2008, was appointed inaugural artistic director of The Juilliard School’s Historical Performance Program, where she is now artistic advisor and artist-in-residence. In the intervening four decades, she co-founded, with Ton Koopman, the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra; founded her own London-based ensemble, Sonnerie; worked with Christopher Hogwood at the Academy of Ancient Music and Trevor Pinnock with the English Concert; toured the United States in concert with James Galway; and co-founded, in 2004, the Montana Baroque Festival. In addition to her position as artistic director of Portland Baroque Orchestra, she is also the artistic director of the Irish Baroque Orchestra.
She is a frequent guest director and soloist around the world, including engagements with Arion Baroque Orchestra (Montréal), Tafelmusik (Toronto), Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque (San Francisco), Columbus Symphony, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Seville Baroque Orchestra, Concerto Copenhagen, and the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong. She regularly directs performances in New York of Juilliard415, the student baroque orchestra of the Historical Performance Program, as well as playing with Juilliard Baroque, the faculty ensemble of the program. Monica’s expertise in the musical and social history of the Baroque Era is unparalleled among performing musicians. This huge body of knowledge and understanding, coupled with her unforced and expressive musicality, has made her an invaluable resource to students of baroque violin and period performance practice through the 19th century.
Monica’s recordings have won numerous prizes. Her CD “Flights of Fantasy” with Irish Baroque Orchestra was named by Alex Ross in the New Yorker as Classical Recording of the Year for 2010. Her recording of J.S. Bach’s “Orchestra Suites for a Young Prince” with Gonzalo X. Ruiz (PBO principal oboist) and Ensemble Sonnerie was nominated for a Grammy™ Award and won the Diapason d’or in 2009.
Recordings with PBO include a 2011 recording of Bach’s St. John Passion (Avie). This was followed by a 2014 release of “J.S. Bach Concertos for Oboe and Oboe d’amore” (Avie) featuring Gonzalo X. Ruiz, and a 2015 release of “J.S. Bach Concertos for One, Two and Three Violins.” In 2015, Juilliard Baroque, led by Monica, released its inaugural recording, “Couperin, Les Nations: Sonades, et Suites de Simphonies en Trio.”
Monica lives in Portland, where she enjoys spending time in her garden and plans to buy a motorcycle.