Wildcat Viols was formed in 2003, bringing together three of the San Francisco
Bay Area's favorite early string specialists, Joanna Blendulf, Julie Jeffrey and
Praised for their musical rapport and the shared enjoyment that
radiates from their performances, they have been hailed as "refreshing",
"sensuous", "gutsy", "incredible artists" and a "breathtaking ensemble." Early Music
America magazine called their debut concert at the 2004 Berkeley Early Music
Festival a "wonderful offering... beautifully played."
In 2010 Wildcat Viols, at the invitation of Artistic Director George Benjamin,
performed the complete 3- and 4-part Fantazias of Henry Purcell at the Ojai
Music Festival, receiving lavish audience and critical praise:
"Articulated fluently... with impeccable intonation"
(The Classical Review);
"The expert period instrument group produces a focused ensemble sound...and delivered the music in
all its intricately designed, soothing glory"
(Santa Barbara News Press); and
(WQXR, the Classical Music Station of NYC).
In 2010 Wildcat Viols released their first recording, "Fairest Isle", of
music by Purcell, Locke and Hingeston.
Joanna Blendulf, Treble Viol
Joanna Blendulf has performed as soloist and continuo player in leading
period-instrument ensembles throughout the United States. Ms. Blendulf holds
performance degrees with honors from the Cleveland Institute of Music and
Indiana University, where she was awarded the Performer's Certificate for her
accomplishments in historical performance. Joanna is currently performing with
the Portland Baroque Orchestra and Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra and is also
an active chamber musician, touring and recording with American Baroque, the
Catacoustic Consort, Ensemble Mirable, the Streicher Trio and Wildcat Viols.
Ms. Blendulf teaches viola da gamba and baroque cello privately and in workshops
and master classes across the country and has directed the Collegium Musicum as
an adjunct professor at the University of Oregon. Her summer engagements have
included solo and chamber performances at the Bloomington, Boston and Berkeley
Early Music Festivals, the Aspen and Ojai Music Festivals and the Carmel and
Oregon Bach Festivals.
Julie Jeffrey, Tenor Viol
Julie Jeffrey began her career in early music performance while pursuing
graduate studies in Musicology at the University of Chicago. Now based in the
San Francisco Bay Area, she freelances locally and abroad, appearing with such
ensembles as Magnificat Baroque and American Bach Soloists, the Newberry
Consort, the Catacoustic Consort, Scaramella, the Terra Nova Consort.
She has performed at the Carmel Bach Festival, the California Shakespeare
Festival, the San Francisco Early Music Festival, the Ojai Music Festival, the
Regensburg Tage Alter Musik, the Melbourne Autumn Music Festival, and the
Festival Internacional Cervantino in Guanajuato, Mexico. Ms. Jeffrey is a member
of Sex Chordae Consort of Viols, is the founder and creative mastermind of the
acclaimed trio Wildcat Viols, is half of the viol duo Hallifax and Jeffrey, and co-director of Barefoot
Devoted to promoting all aspects of interest in her instrument, Ms. Jeffrey is a
frequent instructor at early music workshops across the country, is a co-founder
and active member of the Viola da Gamba Society, Pacifica Chapter, and currently
serves on the board of directors of the Viola da Gamba Society of America.
Elisabeth Reed, Bass Viol
Elisabeth Reed was born and raised in Chapel Hill, NC and now lives in Oakland,
CA. She teaches viola da gamba, baroque cello, and ensembles at the San
Francisco Conservatory of Music and the University of California at Berkeley.
She performs with many local and national early music ensembles including the
Seattle Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, the Novello String Quartet,
Wildcat Viols, and the improvisational group, MOTOR.
A graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts, the Oberlin Conservatory,
the Eastman School of Music, and Indiana University's Early Music Institute, Ms.
Reed can be heard on the Virgin Classics and Focus recording labels. She is a
Guild certified practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method of Awareness Through
Movement and Functional Integration with a particular interest in the issues
facing musicians and performers.
Performing with them on "Fairest Isle" is:
Catherine Webster, Soprano
Catherine Webster is engaged regularly with many leading early music and chamber
ensembles in North America. She has appeared as a soloist with Tafelmusik,
Tragicomedia, Theatre of Voices, Netherlands Bach Society, Apollo's Fire,
American Baroque Orchestra, Magnificat, Musica Angelica, El Mundo, Four Nations
Ensemble, Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montreal, Ensemble Masques, Les Voix
Baroques, Early Music Vancouver, and in the Berkeley, Montreal and Boston Early
Active also in contemporary music, Webster has appeared with The Kronos Quartet
in Terry Riley's Sun Rings and with Theatre of Voices and the Los Angeles
Philharmonic in John Adam's Grand Pianola Music. Webster is a frequent
collaborator with baroque opera directors Stephen Stubbs and Paul O'Dette,
appearing under their direction in Festival Vancouver's production of
Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea and the premiere of Mattheson's Boris
Goudenov for the Boston Early Music Festival.
She has recorded for Harmonia
Mundi, Naxos, Musica Omnia, Analekta and Atma. Catherine holds a Master's in
Music from the Early Music Institute at Indiana University and has been a guest
faculty member and artist for The San Francisco Early Music Society's summer
workshops and the Madison Early Music Festival. She now resides in Montreal.