Grammy award winner Cheryl Bensman-Rowe, MEMF Artistic Director, is known to both early and new music audiences in this country and abroad. A former member of the Waverly Consort and Western Wind Vocal Ensemble, she has also performed with King’s Noyse, the Folger Consort, The Smithsonian Chamber Ensemble, and Pomerium Musices. Orchestral engagements include the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, and the St. Louis Symphony. She has toured extensively in North and South America, Europe, and Japan. Appearances include concerts at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Aspen Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Ravinia, Casals, Mostly Mozart, Wiener Festwochen, and Holland Festival. She has recorded for Nonesuch, ECM, and CBS Masterworks. Ms. Bensman-Rowe is also a member of the MEMF voice faculty.
Festival Director Sarah Marty, a Faculty Affiliate of the UW–Madison (UW) Arts Institute, teaches a creative entrepreneurship course for the UW Wisconsin School of Business, and is the Co-Director of the Holding History program. The 2008 winner of the Bartell Award for Excellence in the Arts, Ms. Marty is Producing Artistic Director for Four Seasons Theatre, and Production Manager for the UW Varsity Band Spring Concert. Producing credits include the 10th Anniversary Kaleidoscope Celebration of the Overture Center, the May 2013 and March 2016 Center for Healthy Minds events with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra 50th Anniversary Celebration, and the Wisconsin Public Radio 100th Anniversary Marquee Event. Additional credits include Forward Theater, Wisconsin Public Television, Madison Opera, and Madison Theatre Guild. She earned a Master’s Degree in Business from the Bolz Center for Arts Administration, an MS in Curriculum & Instruction, and a Bachelor of Music Education degree, all from UW–Madison.
Paul Rowe, MEMF Artistic Director, is Professor of Voice at UW–Madison. He has performed with many of the leading American musical organizations including the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall in Boston, and Carnegie Hall in New York, American Ballet Theater at the Metropolitan Opera, and Kennedy Center and Musica Sacra at Carnegie Hall, and Alice Tully Hall. He has appeared with the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, Smithsonian Chamber Players, the Alabama and Arkansas symphony orchestras, the Folger Consort, and the Ensemble for Early Music, among many other groups. As a member of the Waverly Consort, Mr. Rowe toured the United States, Asia, and South America, and participated in the Consort’s regular series at Alice Tully Hall and the Cloisters in New York. In addition, he performed for two years as a member of the New York Vocal Arts Ensemble, touring the United States and former Yugoslavia. Mr. Rowe is also a member of the MEMF voice faculty.