Baritone Andrew D. Whitfield enjoys a vibrant career as a performer, teacher, and stage director. In addition to appearances with Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Southwest, and Pensacola Opera, Andrew was a resident artist with Portland Opera Works and toured with outreach programs for Opera Kansas and Opera Birmingham. Other performance highlights include engagements with the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, and the Peoria Bach Festival. He has been a featured soloist in the Brahms Requiem (Grinnell College) and in Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass (with the Luther College Symphony Orchestra at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, MN.) He performed as the baritone soloist in the world premier of Mohammed Fairouz's Anything Can Happen with the Grinnell College Singers at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago, Illinois. Along with his colleague Jessica Paul, he has presented Schubert's Winterreise numerous times in recital in Iowa, Wisconsin, Colorado, and Texas. Also, his recording of Brooke Joyce’s Three Iowa Ballads, released on the Innova label, has received notable praise. Recent appearances include performances of Handel's Messiah, as well as chamber music recitals at The Baroque Room in St. Paul, MN and as part the Second City Chamber Series in Tacoma, WA.
Originally from Shelbyville, Indiana, Andrew received the Bachelor of Music degree from Butler University, the Master of Music degree from Wichita State University, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Louisiana State University. He currently serves as Associate Professor of Music and Coordinator of Opera at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where he teaches applied voice and opera workshop. He is also a co-founder and co-director of the International Music Festival of the Adriatic, a summer chamber music festival for piano, strings, voice, and composition in Duino, Italy.
To see and hear excerpts of Andrew's performances, or for further information, please visit his website: andrewdwhitfield.com.
Spencer Martin has performed and taught at music festivals throughout the U.S., Canada, Israel, and Europe as both violist and conductor. An active chamber and orchestral musician, he has appeared as guest violist with the Pro Arte String Quartet and the Amelia Piano Trio. His solo performances include Berlioz’s Harold in Italy with the Luther College Symphony Orchestra in venues in Austria, including Vienna’s Konzerthaus. Spencer has served as Principal Violist in the Tuscaloosa Symphony, and also frequently performed in the viola sections of the Minnesota Orchestra, the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. Spencer’s solo, chamber, and orchestral performances have been featured in numerous radio broadcasts including National Public Radio, Canadian Brodcasting Corporation, Minnesota Public Radio, and Kansas Public Radio.
Spencer’s CD, “Gems Rediscovered,” was released to critical praise on the Delos label in 2012 and features lesser-known works for viola and piano by Ernest Walker, Paul Juon, Robert Fuchs, and Benjamin Dale. Spencer can also be heard on the Innova label on the disc “Waves of Stone, Music by Brooke Joyce.” A former member of the music faculty at the University of Alabama, Spencer holds degrees from Butler University, Wichita State University, and the University of Minnesota. His teachers include Korey Konkol, Catherine Consiglio, and Barbara Westphal. Also an avid proponent of Baroque music, Spencer performs frequently on Baroque violin and has studied in Berlin with Baroque violinist Bernhard Forck. To see and hear excerpts of Spencer's performances, or for further information, visit his website.
Stefano Sacher (Trieste, 1962- ) holds a master's degree in Composition from Tomadini Conservatory in Udine, and degrees in Choral Composition and Conducting from Tartini Conservatory in Trieste, and in Orchestral Conducting from Martini Conservatory in Bologna. He also graduated from the College of Literature and Arts at the University of Trieste, with a thesis on Sergej Prokofev’s music in movies.
He furthered his Compositional studies with Antonio Bibalo in Norway and with Hans Werner Henze in Rome.
Stefano Sacher has composed two operas, choral music, chamber music, orchestral music, music for the theater, and songs.
Recent works include Aubade (for mezzosoprano and orchestra), Concertante (for winds, piano and drums), Stabat mater (for soprano, mixed choir and strings), Three elegies (for baritone, viola and piano), and the opera La memoria di Medea, which premiered at IMFA in 2016.
His works are regularly performed and broadcasted in Europe, Canada, the U.S. and have been published by Pizzicato and Nomos Editions.
Maestro Sacher’s conducting career has taken him throughout the world, to countries such as Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Poland, Switzerland, the U.S., Canada, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Finland, Malta, Cuba and Mongolia, where he has conducted symphonic, choral and operatic repertoire.
Sacher has been teaching all music courses at the United World College of the Adriatic since 2001. He was also the IB Music teacher from 2001 to 2011.
He has also published a book of poems, articles and essays on musicology, and was a radio host for the Italian national radio RadioRai music programs.
Since 2009 he has been the artistic director of the Mozart Society Italia, based in Trieste, where he founded a youth orchestra, the Amadeus Adriatic Orchestra, which he conducts.
Sacher is co-director of the International Music Festival of the Adriatic, which is currently in its sixth season.
Jennifer Self brings more than ten years of experience in higher education marketing to IMFA. She previously served as coordinator for music organizations and marketing at Luther College and assistant director for corporate relations at the University of Virginia.
Jennifer holds a bachelor's degree in music and history from the University of Virginia and a Master of Music degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.