“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 China, Europe, Mexico, and North America. Sample venues have included the Library of Congress, the National Academy of Sciences, Lincoln Center’s Great Peformers Series, the Julliard School of Music, Symphony Hall (Boston), Beijing’s Forbidden City, and Wuhan’s Qintai Grand Theatre. She is principal flutist of Newton Baroque Ensemble, and recently joined the period instrument orchestra Perihipsous (Rochester, NY). Mary has performed with numerous period instrument ensembles, such as Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society Orchestra, La Fontegara of Mexico City, Newport Baroque, Arcadia Players, Boston Pro Musica, Boston, Cecelia, and Chicago’s Baroque Band. She has released five solo recordings with the Hungaroton Classic and Naxos labels. These include 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). Her two-volume recording of Bach’s complete flute music with harpsichordist Pieter Dirksen will be released on the Etcetera label.
Mary’s recording projects are closely connected to her research and editing work. Her book, Bach Perspectives 11: J.S. Bach and His Sons, commissioned by the American Bach Society, examines, among other things, music rooms and keyboard instruments at the court of Frederick ‘the Great’. Breitkopf & Härtel has published her first editions of repertoire from her CD Flute Sonatas by Frederick “the Great”. As a contributing editor for Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: The Collected Works she has published a new critical edition of the solo flute sonata and the sonatas with harpsichord for flute, harp, oboe and viola da gamba, taking into account newly available musical sources. She has been featured as a contributor to Flutist Quarterly and the Dutch Flute journal Fluit.
Currently she serves as Professor of Music at the University of Massachusetts, where she teaches flute, Performance Practice, European and Latin American music, and serves as a member of the Honors College core faculty. A fluent German speaker, she has taught performance practice at the University of the Arts in Berlin, Queen’s College in NYC, served as Professor of Flute at the University of South Dakota, and Curator of Woodwind 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. She also serves on the Alumni Council of the Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
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. She has taught and performed tango at Harvard University, Tufts University, The University of Massachusetts, The New England Tango Academy, The Boston Tango Festival, the Albuquerque Tango Festival, Montango (Montreal), Phynix Studio (Berlin, Germany), and elsewhere.