“One of the greatest baroque flutists of our time.” (American Record Guide)
Historical Flutes and Scholarship
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. Her most recent tour has taken her to China, where she teamed up with leading pianist and harpsichordist Yuan Sheng, performing two programs: Bach’s flute sonatas and modern favorites, including Franck, Poulenc, Debussy and Piazzolla.
A resident of Boston (USA), (formerly Berlin, Germany), she has performed, lectured, and given masterclasses throughout Europe and North America, and in China, 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 world premiere CD of flute concertos performed with Miklos Spanyi and Concerto Armonico containing lost 18th-century works she discovered has been released by Naxos (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 (Packard Humanities Institute, 2008), 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 her book, Bach Perspectives 11: J.S. Bach and His Sons, will be published in 2017.
Currently she serves as Associate Professor of Music at the University of Massachusetts, where she teaches flute and lectures on Performance Practice and European and Latin American music and dance. 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, served as Professor of Flute at the University of South Dakota, and served as Curator of Musical Instruments at the National Music Museum. A frequent guest lecturer, she has presented talks and masterclasses at the Library of Congress, the National Academy of Sciences, on Lincoln Center’s Great Peformers Series, the Julliard School of Music, and elsewhere around the world. 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. She is a member of the Alumni Council of the Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
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 and Andean flutes.
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 and movement quality courses for dancers. During 2014 she traveled internationally 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 under the guise of M&M Tango (Musicality & Movement). Venues have included Harvard, Tufts, The New England Tango Academy, The Boston Tango Festival, Dance Union, Cape Cod Tango, Providence Tango, Hartford Tango, The Albuquerque Tango Festival, Montango (Montreal), Phynix Studio (Berlin, Germany), and elsewhere around the U.S. She also performs tango music on flute and bandoneon. She is a former member of Qtango Orchestra and occasionally DJs milongas.