Internationally respected baroque cellist and violist da gamba Shirley Hunt brings fierce imagination and integrity to the music of the Renaissance, Baroque, and contemporary eras. Praised by The Strad as “stylish and accomplished,” she embraces an eclectic musical life as a multi-instrumental soloist and collaborator.
Ms. Hunt recently released her second solo album, J.S. Bach Suites & Sonatas Vol. 2. The recording is the second installment in an ambitious three-part recording project featuring Bach’s complete cello suites and viola da gamba sonatas. Ms. Hunt's previous recordings have been praised for her “soulful renditions,” “high-wire interpretations,” and “resonant, singing tone that stays in the mind" (Facts & Arts).
In high demand as viola da gamba soloist and continuo cellist for the Passions, Cantatas, and Concertos of J.S. Bach, Ms. Hunt has performed and recorded with the nation's leading period instrument ensembles includingBoston Baroque, Handel and Haydn Society, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Musica Angelica, and Bach Collegium San Diego. In 2011 she toured Europe and South America with John Malkovich and Wiener Akademie, and between 2008 and 2010 performed on the adapted viola and harmonic canon inPARTCH, the Los Angeles Harry Partch band.
Ms. Hunt has performed solo recitals at DePaul University, the Berkeley Early Music Festival, the Boston Public Library, King’s Chapel, the Loring-Greenough House, the Early Music Series at the Bryon Colby Barn, and Gore Place Carriage House Concerts. Since 2011 Ms. Hunt has performed a yearly recital as an artist-in-residence at The Museum of Jurassic Technology in Los Angeles. She has also appeared at the Phillips Collection, The Strathmore Mansion, Caramoor, La Jolla Music Society, National Sawdust, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (where she performed on a viola da gamba from the museum’s collection).
In addition to her concert appearances, Ms. Hunt can be heard on the Parma, NCA, CORO, and Origin Classical labels. She has taught masterclasses at the University of Wisconsin, Adelphi University, and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and has appeared as a guest speaker at Harvard University’s Quincy House and at the BEMF Young Artist Training Program. She has been an artist-in-residence at The Banff Centreand was a recipient of the Voices of Music Young Artist Award.
Ms. Hunt's primary studies were with Hans Jensen at Northwestern University and with Ronald Leonard at the University of Southern California. She also studied viola da gamba with Mary Springfels and baroque cello with Phoebe Carrai.
Originally from Portland, Oregon, Ms. Hunt was born into a musical family and is the younger sister of the late mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. Ms. Hunt divides her time between Boston and New York City. She performs on a 1775 English cello by William Forster Sr. and on a bass viola da gamba by John Pringle.
In her free time, she enjoys volunteering at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.