Borealis Wind Quintet     Photos     Biography     Reviews     Programs



The Borealis Wind Quintet, nominated for a 2006 Grammy Award in the Chamber Music Category, is acclaimed as one of America’s preeminent chamber ensembles. The highest musical integrity, irresistible energy and five-fold charisma distinguish Borealis in the chamber music field. Audiences love their exquisite programming that includes the finest of the classics, engaging commissioned works, opera arias and works for piano and winds. The Washington Post praised their “sensitive collaborations that have a sophisticated and cosmopolitan air.” Peter G. Davies of the New York Times described one concert as “a polished, elegantly turned performance…each work received lively, expert and musicianly treatment by this skilled and exceptionally talented chamber group.” Joseph Horowitz, also of the New York Times describes “lively communicative readings…the performance was a scintillating one.” The Philadelphia Inquirer writes that “they demonstrated the sort of rapport that characterizes the very best chamber playing.”

Keith Bonner, flute, has performed in a wide variety of ensembles, including symphony and opera orchestras, Broadway pits, movies, and television. Mr. Bonner is currently principal flute of the Riverside Symphony, and performs the Nielsen Flute Concerto with them in spring of 2016 at Lincoln Center, NYC. He has performed with the Symphony orchestras of New Jersey and Stamford, CT as well as the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, New York City Ballet, American Symphony Orchestra and the New York Symphonic Ensemble. Mr. Bonner can be heard in the orchestra of the 25th-anniversary production of Les Miserables now on Broadway. He is on the faculty of Brooklyn College and Special Music School in New York City. He has degrees from the Manhattan School and the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Tamar Beach Wells, obo, is a versatile soloist and orchestral musician. She is principal oboe with the Greater Bridgeport Symphony and performs regularly with the Hartford Symphony. She performs with the American Composers Orchestra, the Berkshire Bach Ensemble, and the Westchester Symphony. She has toured nationally with Andrea Bocelli and has been a member of the Springfield Symphony and the Goodspeed Opera. In addition to the oboe, she plays the English horn, oboe d’amore, and bass oboe, and frequently collaborates with vocalists, choruses and other artists in diverse settings ranging from traditional solo performances to recording sessions with pop singers. She holds degrees with highest honors in performance and education from the Hartt School of Music and Performing Arts and a Masters degree from the Juilliard School of Music. Tamar has been on the faculty of the Hartt School and the University of Connecticut and maintains a private studio in her Litchfield County home.

Jo-Ann Sternberg, clarinet, leads a diverse musical life in the New York area as a chamber musician, orchestral player, music educator, and interpreter of new music. Jo-Ann is a member of Sequitur Ensemble, the Saratoga Chamber Players, Wind Soloists of New York, the Richardson Chamber Players and the Riverside Symphony; principal clarinet of the orchestras of the Oratorio Society of NY, the NY Choral Society, and St John the Divine; and she also regularly performs and tours with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, Mark Morris Dance, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and Musicians from Marlboro; and can often be heard playing in a number of different Broadway musicals. Following her undergraduate years in the combined Tufts University/New England Conservatory dual degree program (BA in English/BM in Clarinet Performance) where she was mentored by Peter Hadcock, Ms. Sternberg continued her studies at Yale University with David Shifrin and at The Juilliard School with Charles Neidich where she was awarded the William Kapell Memorial Prize.

Currently, Ms. Sternberg serves on the faculties of the Music Performance Program of Princeton University and the Music Advancement Program at the Juilliard School, and maintains an active teaching studio from her New York City home. Additionally, she serves as a mentor for the Juilliard Mentoring Program and coaches chamber ensembles for the New York Youth Symphony. In the summer months, Ms. Sternberg lives in Maine where she is the founder and artistic director of The Maine Chamber Music Seminar at Snow Pond, performs and teaches at the Chamber Music Conference & Composers’ Forum of the East at Bennington College, and participates in numerous performance residences throughout greater New England. Previous summers have featured performance residencies at the Portland Chamber Music Festival, Salt Bay Chamber Fest, Mount Desert Chamber Music Festival, Sebago/Long Lake Festival, Bowdoin Summer Music Festival, Marlboro, Norfolk, North Country Chamber Players, and Ravinia. From September through May, Ms. Sternberg resides in Manhattan with her husband and children. Ms Sternberg is a Selmer Artist.

Dan Culpepper, French horn, is a very active freelance horn player in New York City. He performs with the New York City Ballet, New York Pops, Little Orchestra Society and at Radio City Music Hall. Mr. Culpepper’s career has been both diverse and eclectic. He has performed or recorded with Frank Sinatra, Elton John, James Taylor, Pavarotti, Sting and Yo-Yo Ma among others. His movie credits include Pocohontas and Ransom. Mr. Culpepper has appeared on “David Letterman” and “Good Morning America” and has recorded numerous TV and radio commercials. He is currently principal horn of Phantom of the Opera on Broadway.

Wayne Hileman, bassoon, has performed with many orchestras including the New Haven, Stamford, American and Westchester Symphonies, and appeared as a chamber player, soloist or as continuo at many venues, including the Pro-Arte, Windham, Alliance Artist and New England Bach Festivals. In addition, he is an audio engineer, restoring historic recordings for major labels, producing live concerts for NPR, editing and mastering new releases for many classical artists and is a voting member of the Recording Academy (the Grammys). Mr. Hileman holds degrees from Potsdam College and Yale University.