Internationally respected baroque cellist and violist da gamba Shirley Hunt brings fierce imagination and integrity to the music of the Renaissance, Baroque, and Contemporary eras. Praised by The Strad as “stylish and accomplished,” she embraces an eclectic musical life as a multi-instrumental soloist and collaborator.
Ms. Hunt recently released her third CD, J.S. Bach Suites & Sonatas Vol. 3. This recording is the third installment in an ambitious three-part recording project featuring Bach’s complete Cello Suites and Sonatas for Viola da gamba and harpsichord performed on an array of period instruments, including a rare five-string cello from 1720 housed at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and a William Forster II cello from c. 1760 that was played by its former owner in studio sessions with the Beatles. Ms. Hunt's previous recordings have been praised for “soulful renditions,” “high-wire interpretations,” and “a resonant, singing tone that stays in the mind" (Facts & Arts).
In high demand as viola da gamba soloist and continuo cellist for the Passions, Cantatas, and Concertos of J.S. Bach, Ms. Hunt performs and records extensively with the nation's leading period instrument ensembles including Boston Baroque, Handel and Haydn Society, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, The Sebastians, TENET, Les Bostonades, Sonnambula, and RUCKUS. She is a founding member of the Cramer Quartet, a period instrument string quartet performing classical and early romantic repertoire.
Ms. Hunt’s performance of the Bach Cello Suites was recently featured on The Pindrop Sessions, a concert series at the Aeronaut Brewery co-sponsored by WGBH. She has also performed solo recitals at DePaul University, the Boston Public Library, Gore Place Carriage House Concerts, and Ashmont Hill Chamber Music in Dorchester. As a chamber musician, she has performed at the Morgan Library & Museum, the Library of Congress, the Phillips Collection, the Strathmore Mansion, Caramoor, La Jolla Music Society SummerFest, Rockport Music, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In addition to her concert appearances, Ms. Hunt can be heard on the Parma, Centaur, NCA, CORO, and Origin Classical labels. She has served on the faculty of the California Institute of the Arts and the San Francisco Renaissance and Baroque Workshop, and has appeared as an invited guest at MIT, Harvard, and Princeton. She has taught masterclasses at University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin, Adelphi University, Cornish College of the Arts, and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. In 2018, Ms. Hunt’s recording of the viol music of C.F. Abel was featured in a multimedia installation by the Mexican visual artist Mauricio Cervantes in Oaxaca, Mexico.