Biography

One of the greatest baroque flutists of our time.” (American Record Guide)

Historical Flutes and Scholarship

Mary Oleskiewicz

After winning first prizes in both the National Flute Association’s Baroque Flute Artist and Doctoral Dissertation Competitions, Mary Oleskiewicz quickly established herself as an international performer of historical flutes and the leading expert on the flutist, theorist and composer Johann Joachim Quantz. She is an authority on music at the 18th-century court of the Prussian King Frederick “the Great,” and her highly acclaimed essays, editions and recordings have focused on the music of Quantz, C.P.E. Bach, King Frederick, and the Bach family.

A resident of Boston (USA), (formerly Berlin, Germany), she has performed, lectured, and given masterclasses throughout Europe and North America, and in Japan, Australia and Mexico. She has been a member of Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society Orchestra and has appeared as soloist with numerous period instrument ensembles, among them La Fontegara of Mexico City, Newport Baroque, Arcadia Players, Boston Pro Musica, and Chicago’s Baroque Band. Currently she is principal flute of the Newton Baroque Ensemble. She has released five solo recordings with the Hungaroton Classic and Naxos labels.  A highly acclaimed CD of flute concertos performed with Miklos Spanyi and Concerto Armonico has been recently released (see her discography page).

Mary Oleskiewicz’s recording projects are closely connected to her research and editing work. In 2012 she published the first editions of repertoire from her CD released in 2011: Flute Sonatas by Frederick “the Great” (for Breitkopf & Härtel). As a contributing editor for Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach:  The Collected Works, she published a new critical edition of the sonatas for flute, harp, oboe and viola da gamba, taking into account newly available musical sources. She is regularly featured as a contributor to Flutist Quarterly, and is at work editing a volume of Bach Perspectives, entitled J.S. Bach and His Sons.

Currently she serves as Associate Professor of Music at the University of Massachusetts, where she lectures on European and Latin American music. A fluent German speaker, during 2008-2009 she taught performance practice in the Early Music program at the University of the Arts in Berlin. She has also taught at Queen’s College in NYC, and served as Professor of Flute at the University of South Dakota, and Curator of Musical Instruments at the National Music Museum. She has held several prestigious multi-year fellowships from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Germany) and the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) allowing her to reside in Germany to research, edit and record flute music of the 18th-century.

Among Mary Oleskiewicz’s principal flute teachers were Walter Mayhall (modern flute) and Sandra Miller (baroque flutes). She holds a Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance, and she earned degrees in Performance Practice and musicology at Duke University (Ph.D.) and Case Western Reserve University (M.A.). Her instrumentarium of flutes ranges from the middle ages to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She also plays baroque recorder, Argentine bandoneon, and improvises on Native American flutes.

Argentine Tango

Since 2005 Mary Oleskiewicz has been dancing, teaching, researching and performing Argentine tango, which she has studied privately with renowned masters in Buenos Aires, Berlin, and around the U.S. What started out as a passionate hobby soon lead to a teaching specialty in musicality courses for dancers. During 2014 she is traveling to offer seminars on the music of the virtuoso bandoneon player and orchestra leader Anibal Troilo as part of the centenary celebrations of his birth. She teaches and performs with her partner, Marco Cavallari, as M&M Tango. Mary holds dance classes at Dance Union for the Tango Society of Boston, The New England Tango Academy, and elsewhere as a visiting teacher; she has also taught classes at the Phoenix Studio in Berlin for Brigitta Winkler, with whom she studied for several years. She and Marco most recently lead workshops at the Albuquerque and Boston Tango Festivals. In 2011 she joined the Qtango Orchestra of Albuquerque, NM, performing on flute and bandoneon. Mary is currently collaborating on a large-scale project involving the music of Astor Piazzolla.

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