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AKOYA: pearls of perfect shape and bright, mirror-like luster; the most treasured natural pearls.
























Musical duo AKOYA seeks to reflect the natural beauty within treasured pieces from the past. The ensemble specializes in the interpretation of early repertoire and seeks, through an historically informed approach, to unveil hidden gems from the baroque era in their purest form. Meeting between the Eastern and Western Coasts of North America, Naomi Dumas (violin) and Caitlyn Koester (harpsichord) founded AKOYA during their studies in the Historical Performance program at the Juilliard School in New York City, NY. There they had the privilege to receive coachings from instructors including Rachel Podger, Elizabeth Blumenstock, Richard Egarr, and Béatrice Martin.  Since the member’s graduation in May 2019, AKOYA has performed recitals in Montreal, New York, and San Francisco, and will be recording their debut album of Christoph Graupner’s complete sonatas for violin and harpsichord with ATMA Classique in May 2022.

Originally from Quebec and currently living in France, baroque violinist Naomi Dumas has appeared throughout North America and Europe as soloist, chamber musician and among ensembles including Il Pomo Doro, Ensemble Diderot (Paris), Teatro Nuovo (New York), Juilliard 415, and the Helsinky Baroque Orchestra. A graduate of the Historical Performance program of the Juilliard School and the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, she had the priviledge to study under the tutelage of Cynthia Roberts, Elizabeth Blumenstock, Rachel Podger, and Amandine Beyer, and to perform under the direction of numerous conductors including Masaaki Suzuki, Richard Egarr, Paul Agnew, and William Christie.  Ms Dumas particularly enjoys the rhetorical qualities and emotional integrity of early repertoire and seeks to let the music speak to the audience with transparency and candor.  An avid writer and researcher, her article “The Advent of Early Music in Quebec” was featured in the Early Music America journal in March of 2019.

During her undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan, Caitlyn Koester was lucky to fall under the mentorship of harpsichordist Joseph Gascho, who through his influence revealed a great love for playing the harpsichord and early repertoire. Caitlyn is a graduate of Historical Performance programs at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Juilliard School, where she was featured as soloist with each program’s baroque orchestras. She has played under the direction of Monica Huggett, Rachel Podger, William Christie, Masaaki Suzuki, Robert Mealy, Alfredo Bernardini, and Jonathan Cohen, and studied with harpsichordists Joseph Gascho, Peter Sykes, Richard Egarr, Béatrice Martin, and Corey Jamason. Caitlyn has worked as harpsichordist and music director with organizations including dell’Arte Opera, Calliope East Bay Music and Arts, Salon Sanctuary, GEMS, and various concert series’ . Her performances have taken her to Montréal and Taiwan, and she can be found regularly performing across the United States. She is on history and theory faculty at San Francisco Conservatory, and performance faculty at Pacific Union College. Finding music of the 17th- and 18th-centuries to exemplify humanity in its purest forms, Caitlyn aspires to maintain a musical life as a harpsichordist and educator who exposes and nurtures a love of this repertoire among wider audiences in the United States.

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