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Our Story

Since 1969, the internationally acclaimed vocal sextet The Western Wind has devoted itself to the special beauty and variety of a cappella music. The Ensemble’s repertoire reveals its diverse background – from Renaissance motets to Fifties rock ’n’ roll, from medieval carols to Duke Ellington, from complex works by avant-garde composers to the simplest folk melodies.

In addition to maintaining a demanding performance schedule, which has included such venues as Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, ArtPark, The Ordway Theater, The Metropolitan Museum, The Frick Museum, The Jewish Museum, Folger Shakespeare Library, Library of Congress, and the Cleveland Museum of Art, The Western Wind regularly conducts Workshops in Ensemble Singing. The workshops, attended by vocalists ranging from novice to professional, address the particular challenges of singing in small, largely un-conducted ensembles.

As part of its non-profit mission to spread the joy of music to people of all ages, The Western Wind coordinates a highly-acclaimed arts-in-education program in the New York City public school system called The Western Wind Goes To School for children ages 8–18. The curriculum ranges from the fundamentals of music notation and rhythm to highly refined interpretation of challenging vocal repertoire.

Since 1989, The Western Wind has produced a series of radio programs distributed throughout the United States by National Public Radio and Public Radio International. The programs address topics ranging from settings of love songs throughout the centuries to a musical narrative of the Jewish High Holy Days.

The Western Wind has also produced twenty recordings, twelve of which have been released on Western Wind Records, the group’s own record label, available on this site and distributed worldwide by Naxos.

Meet The Singers

Eric S. Brenner

Countertenor

Eric S. Brenner

Eric has been hailed for his “penetrating eloquence,” and “astonishing solo singing,” (NY Times), and “auto-tuned Mr. Roboto majesty” (Stage Mage). Eric is countertenor soloist in recent performances and recording of Han Lash’s Requiem (Naxos), as well as Du Yun’s Pulitzer Prize winning Angel’s Bone (VIA Records). Other engagements include: alto soloist in Vivaldi’s Introduction and Gloria at St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue; soprano and alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah at Avery Fisher (Geffen) and Alice Tully Hall; Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms” at Carnegie Hall, St. Thomas Church, St. John the Divine and St. Ignatius Loyola; frequent performances with Artek, Big Apple Baroque, & Les Canards Chantants. Eric premiered the roles of Doodle in Stefan Weisman’s & David Cote’s Scarlet Ibis, Beast in Han Lash’s Blood Rose, and Poet in Virko Baley’s Holodomor in Ukraine. Eric has also premiered works by Jessica Meyer, Doug Balliet, Kamala Sankaram, and Toby Twining. Eric is a proud dog-dad, a new homeowner, writes fiction, is co-composer with Matt Shloss of music for Rob Reese’s Yahweh’s Follies, and persists in being an incorrigible Mets fan. Very importantly, Eric is also the Western Wind's Managing Director.   ericsbrenner.com

Linda Lee Jones

Soprano

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Linda Lee Jones, a New Orleans native, is active as a soprano, teacher and massage therapist in New York City and Central New Jersey. Her work as an ensemble singer has afforded her the opportunity to perform with the area’s most prominent choral groups, including the choirs of Trinity Wall Street Church, Musica Sacra, the New York Choral Artists, St. Ignatius Loyola Church and the Mostly Mozart Festival, along with some of the world’s finest orchestras and conductors. Ms. Jones is a member of the professional Chorale of the Carmel Bach Festival in Carmel, CA and sings regularly with the choir of St. Mary the Virgin in New York. As a soloist she has appeared with the Symphony Chorus of New Orleans, the Louisiana Vocal Arts Chorale, the Masterwork Chorus of NJ and the Argento Chamber Ensemble in New York. Before relocating to New Jersey she served as Director of Music for Munholland United Methodist Church in New Orleans, where she worked with choristers of all ages. Ms. Jones hold a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance from Loyola University and a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting and Voice from Westminster Choir College of Rider University.

Bradley King

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Tenor

Praised by reviewers and audiences for his “profound” and “engaging” style, Bradley performs regularly in a broad range of programs from contemporary to ancient. Bradley performs with many of the premiere ensembles in the country, such as Boston Early Music Festival, the Rose Ensemble, Les Canards Chantants, and Apollo’s Fire. On stage he has performed such diverse roles as Anthony from Sweeney Todd, and Colin from Le Devin du Village, and also frequently collaborates with composers such as Doug Balliet, Fiona Gillespie and Andrew Lovett on new works. Bradley’s unique blend of power and sweetness has earned him accolades all over the world, notably as first prize winner of the James Toland Vocal Arts Competition, Semi-finalist in the New York Oratorio Society Competition, and performances at the Mozarteum Academy in Salzburg. Hailing from Media, Pennsylvania, Mr. King holds degrees in voice and conducting from DePauw University and the University of North Texas.

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Christina Kay 

Soprano

Soprano Christina Kay enjoys a multi-faceted career as a soloist and ensemble singer, performing repertoire that spans many styles and eras. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2019 as soprano soloist in Handel's Messiah with MasterWork Chorus and Orchestra, and regularly appears with ARTEK Early Music and her own ensemble, Filigree, co-founded in 2022 with mezzo-soprano Kim Leeds. In the world of new music, she has premiered opera roles by Timothy Lee Miller and David Chesky; recorded a romantic album of folk-influenced music with the eclectic Home Port Vocal Trio; and, most memorably, got locked in a closet during a performance of Julius Eastman's Macle staged in a coal mine in the Czech Republic. When she’s not performing, Christina enjoys her part-time position as Music Associate for Advancement at St. Ignatius Loyola, and can be found at home baking and cooking while watching Great British Baking Show. www.christinakaysoprano.com

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David Vanderwal

Tenor

David is a native of Portland, Oregon. He has performed as a soloist with The American Bach Soloists, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra, Austin Symphony Orchestra, Oregon Symphony, New York Collegium and Tafelmusik. Recently Mr. Vanderwal performed Handel’s Messiah with the St. Paul’s Cathedral Choirs of Buffalo, NY, Pax Christi of Toronto, ON, Danbury (CT) Symphony Orchestra, the Mendelssohn Choir (CT), and First Congregational Church of Greenwich, CT. He performed Bach’s Easter Oratorio, and a new concert Mass of John Tavener with the Choir of St. Thomas Church, in New York. Mr. Vanderwal appeared at the Carmel Bach Festival in California, and taught at the International Bachakademie’s Stuttgart Festival in Überlingen, Germany. He also presents a set of song recitals throughout the year.

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Paul Greene-Dennis

Bass

Paul hails from Brentwood, NY. He is a versatile musician, mainly an opera singer, who also lends his bass to other styles and genres of music, including jazz. He has performed opera and oratorio with various organizations in the New York area including the Oratorio Society of New York, the Long Island Choral Society and the Queens College Opera Studio. Paul also does voice-over for various projects to which he has lent his voice and artistry.

Meet The Producer

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William Zukof

Executive Producer

William Zukof is a founding member and executive producer of The Western Wind. He sang countertenor with the ensemble from 1969 to 2019. A New York City native, he was born in Manhattan and received his BA degree from The City University of New York. In his early twenties, he became a student of the noted American countertenor Russell Oberlin. He has appeared as a soloist with the St. Thomas Choir of Men and Boys, the Roger Wagner Chorale, the Gregg Smith Singers, the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston, Musica Sacra of New York, and the Zamir Chorale. Mr. Zukof performed the Bach Magnificat under the direction of Leonard Bernstein at the Vatican in Rome. His operatic appearances include roles with the Washington Opera, the Center for Contemporary Opera, the Eastman School, and the University of California at Berkeley. He is the executive producer for Western Wind’s recordings, including the latest release, We Are Still Here – The Holocaust Through Music & Memory, the ninth in a series of Judaica recordings. A version of this program narrated by Danny Burstein and Jessica Hecht is being distributed nationwide by Public Radio International.

Board of Directors

Joan O. Epstein

     President

Ruth Ball

Secretary

Russell Braun

Treasurer

Christina Frei

Chair for Communications 

Siddartha Rao

Chair for

Development

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