La Donna Musicale Performers Biographies

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Soprano Adriana Ruiz studied voice and choral conducting at the Conservatorio Esteban Salas in Santiago de Cuba. Adriana was part of Orfeón Santiago, directed by Electo Silva, recording as a soloist and lead soprano and touring Europe and the Caribbean. In 2018, she was named an Early Music America Emerging Artist to represent “the best of the emerging early music talent from a large pool of applicants.” She then performed in the Emerging Artist Showcase at the prestigious Bloomington Early Music Festival. She recently appeared as soloist and ensemble member with the award-winning Apollo’s Fire in New York, Cleveland, and Chicago, gave a recital of Spanish Renaissance songs with guitarist Jason Yoshida on the new Vocal Artist Management Virtual Recital Series, and performed at the Bach at Noon series of the Bach Collegium San Diego. Adriana is pursuing a master’s degree in Historical Performance at Boston University.

Mezzo-soprano Daniela Tosic, praised for her “burnished and warm sound” (Boston Musical Intelligencer) and “dark, lustrous voice” (Boston Classical Review), is a soloist and a chamber musician who specializes in early, contemporary, and world music repertoires. She has performed in concerts throughout the U.S., Europe, and South America. Daniela is a founding member of the internationally renowned vocal ensemble Tapestry, winner of the Echo Klassik and Chamber Music America Recording of the Year awards. The trademark of the ensemble is combining medieval repertory and contemporary compositions in bold, conceptual programming.  Tapestry has premiered numerous contemporary pieces, including Steve Reich’s Tehillim with the Colorado Symphony and Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, conducted by Marin Alsop. Daniela regularly appears with La Donna Musicale, an ensemble focusing on women composers’ repertory, Rumbarroco (Latin-Baroque), and Syldason, a marimba-voice duo.  Daniela recorded for Telarc, MDG, Kalan, Boston Revels, and several independent labels. 

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Fausto Miro, praised by the Boston Musical Intelligencer for his “clear, powerful burnished tenor, resonant and easy even in the highest reaches of his voice,” the lyric tenor Fausto Miro is known for his “thrilling dramatic impact” (South Florida Sun Sentinel) on the stages of some of the country’s leading ensembles. This includes the New York Opera Studio, Boston Opera Collective, Opera Tampa, St. Petersburg Opera Company, The Florida Orchestra, Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, and the Opera Festival of San Luis Potosi, where he succeeded as a finalist in the Linus Lerner International Vocal Competition.
A resident of Boston, Mr. Miro performs throughout New England as a featured soloist in collaboration with Emmanuel Music, Central Reform Temple of Boston, Renaissance Men, Cappella Clausura, The Copley Singers, Labyrinth Choir, Polymnia Choral Society, The Old North Marblehead Festival Chorus, and Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra.


Na’ama Lion is well known in the Boston area as a versatile performer on historical flutes. She has explored Baroque, Classical, and Romantic music with numerous groups and period orchestras, including La Donna Musicale, Boston Baroque, the Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Cecilia, Rumbarroco, Arcadia Players, Academia Daniel, and Barrocade. She has also performed medieval music with the world-renowned Sequentia and Renaissance music with the flute quartet Travesada. As a committed performer of new music, she has had new pieces written for her and her ensembles by Murray Barsky, Paul Brust, Robert Carl, Marti Epstein, Jorge Ibanez, John McDonald, Leon Schidlowsky, and Atsushi Yoshinaka. Na’ama holds a doctorate from Boston University, a Soloist Diploma from Arnhem Conservatory in The Netherlands, and a bachelor’s degree in modern flute from Tel Aviv University. She teaches at Harvard College and the Longy School of Music. Na’ama has recorded for Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Telarc, and independent labels.


Diane Heffner is an active freelance clarinetist and teacher of historical and modern instruments. She performs regularly with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Boston Baroque, and Handel and Haydn Society. She has appeared with the American Classical Orchestra (Connecticut), Rebel Baroque Orchestra (New York), Musicians of the Old Post Road, Chicago Opera Theatre, Classical Arts Orchestra (Chicago), Dayton Bach Society, Portland Baroque Orchestra (Oregon), Connecticut Early Music Festival, Boston Early Music Festival, and American Bach Soloists. In 2005, she appeared as a basset clarinet soloist with the Arcadia Players on the Mozart Clarinet Concerto at Dartmouth College. On modern clarinet, in her home base of Boston, she is a founding member of Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble and Alcyon Chamber Ensemble, and she appears regularly with Alea III, Boston Gay Men’s Chorus, Emmanuel Music, Prism Opera, Vermont Symphony, and various other freelance ensembles. Heffner is on the applied faculty at Tufts University, the Cambridge School of Weston, and the All-Newton Music School. She received B.M. and M.M. degrees with honors from the New England Conservatory, where she studied clarinet with Joseph Allard and chamber music with Rudolph Kolisch and Leonard Shure. She is part of The Mood Swings Orchestra, a Boston’s all-women 19-piece big band in the style of the traditional dance bands of the 1930s, 1940s, and beyond.


Julia Connor, violinist and fiddler, has a wide-ranging musical voice, performing everything from baroque music on period instruments to fiddle tunes from Ireland to new works by living composers. Julia is a founding member of both the Berwick Fiddle Consort, which performs historical fiddle music from the British Isles and Canada on period instruments and the violin and piano duo Room to Spare, which composes and performs original groove-based new music. Julia performs regularly on baroque violin, fiddle, and modern violin in the Boston area.  Her solo playing has been featured in the Society for Historically Informed Performance (SoHIP) summer concert series (Boston), the Kings Chapel Concert series (Boston), the Music by Women Festival (MS), and ClareFM radio (Ireland). She has been an artist-in-residence at Avaloch Farm (Boscawen, NH) and PLAYA (Summer Lake, OR). Julia holds a Master’s degree with honors from the New England Conservatory and is a graduate of the Oberlin College and Conservatory, where she earned degrees with high honors in violin performance and Hispanic studies.

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Laury Gutiérrez, viola da gamba, was born in Venezuela, holds degrees from Indiana University and Longy School of Music, and did doctoral work in historical performance at Boston University. Praised as a “first-rate” instrumentalist by the Boston Globe, she is the founding director of both La Donna Musicale, an internationally acclaimed ensemble that specializes in the performance of early music by women composers, and Rumbarroco, a Latin-Baroque fusion ensemble. She has been a featured guest artist–lecturer at Harvard University, Brandeis University, and Simmons College, a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University, and is currently a resident scholar at the Brandeis University Women’s Studies Research Center. Early Music America awarded her their first Thomas Zajac Memorial Scholarship (2021). She was also cited as an Exemplary Leader in the Arts category by the Venezuelan community in Massachusetts, confirmed by the City of Boston.

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Katherine Shao is a keyboard player, composer, and performance artist of Baroque, Classical, and contemporary music, including jazz. She has also played multiple roles in performance art, including production, theatrical staging, sound design, management, and media editing. After receiving a Master of Music from Indiana University, she co-founded two envelope-pushing groups: Bimbetta, a quintet of singers and instrumentalists that intertwined humor, contemporary culture, and feminism with the music of 17th- and 18th-century Europe, and American Baroque, an award-winning ensemble specializing in commissioning new pieces for period instruments. She has performed and recorded with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, San Francisco Symphony, and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. Over the past decade, she has turned her focus to jazz piano, performing and recording her own compositions, which blend soundscapes, jazz, and modern beats. Currently, she is also a member of the contemporary music ensembles Cosmic Gothic and Cassandra Lee and the Acoustic Project.

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Kirsten Lamb is a double bassist and vocalist from New Jersey. Praised by The Huffington Post as a “brilliant young musician” and the Boston Globe for her “versatility and assurance,” she has performed folk, jazz, classical, and contemporary music throughout the United States and abroad. Kirsten graduated from Oberlin Conservatory in 2009 with a BM in music in both double bass and ethnomusicology. She has studied with bassists Thomas Sperl and Peter Dominguez, sitarist Hasu Patel, and viola da gambist Catharina Meints and has developed a unique solo performance style. Kirsten recently completed an MM in Contemporary Improvisation from New England Conservatory, where she studied with Cecil McBee, Dominique Eade, Hankus Netsky, and Anthony Coleman, debuted several original solo works in Jordan Hall, played for Elvis Costello, performed in John Zorn’s 35-year retrospective, and participated in NEC’s community outreach program. Upon graduation, Kirsten was awarded the Gunther Schuller Medal. Kirsten maintains a private studio, is a frequent guest teacher at schools throughout the Boston area, and recently began a weekly residency with Young Audiences of Massachusetts. Kirsten is currently working on a full-length CD featuring original solo and ensemble compositions. For more information, visit



Kera M. Washington is an ethnomusicologist and the founder of Zili Misik, formerly Zili Roots, an all-female world music ensemble performing roots music of the African Diaspora, or “New World Soul.”  She is on the faculty of the Music Department of Wellesley College, where she is the Artistic Director of the Yanvalou Drum and Dance Ensemble. She also teaches music at the Mather Elementary School in Dorchester, MA, and is completing a dissertation on Haitian folkloric music at Tufts University. Kera found her first love, percussion, while studying ethnomusicology at Wellesley College, Wesleyan University, and Brown University, and has been performing and teaching music for over two decades. She has studied with master musicians from Haiti, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Brazil, and the US and has traveled throughout Africa and the Americas to further her studies. Kera has taught at Wellesley College, MIT, and Northeastern University, as well as at St. Peter School in Cambridge. She also has worked as an artist/educator in the All In One Boat Program. She has presented numerous workshops and music residencies in Boston and surrounding New England. Zili Misik’s CDs are available at



Considered “one of the iconic harpists of this new age,” Eduardo Betancourt is a Grammy-award-winning Venezuelan musician, producer, arranger, composer, instructor, and multi-instrumentalist with 30 years of experience in traditional, fusion Venezuelan music and Latin Jazz.

In 2010, Betancourt won a Latin Grammy Award for his participation in the album “Tesoros de la música Venezolana” by Ilan Chester. In 2016, he was nominated for the “Pa’ Tío Simón” album with Rafael “Pollo” Brito.

At the 2016 Pepsi Music Awards in Venezuela, Betancourt’s album, AD LIBITUM, was nominated three times for “Best Artist,” “Best Song,” and “Best Album.” His accomplishments include more than 100 recordings and performances with renowned international artists such as Simon Diaz, Oscar D León, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Danny Rivera, Luis Salinas, and many essential artists from Venezuela.

As a guest instructor at Berklee College of Music in 2018, he offered a Master’s Class in Harp and Venezuelan music entitled “Eduardo Betancourt: Venezuelan Harp, from Traditional to Contemporary” through the Latin Minor Studies program led by Professor Oscar Stagnaro. Betancourt collaborates with the Venezuelan Project, a Latin Jazz group who have performed at the House of Blues and on National Public Radio (NPR), and solo under the name EduardoProject, giving workshops and teaching master classes worldwide.

Betancourt plays on Electric Llanera and Camac EC harps (their design and construction he helped guide for the French harp company, Les Harpes Camac). With his instruments, he explores and applies new sonorities to traditional Venezuelan music, giving his work a refreshing contemporary sound.

“Eduardo Betancourt is undoubtedly a leader in his field… With his acoustic harp, he brings together traditional Venezuelan musical styles. With his electric harp, he expands the horizons of his instrument, carving out new identities for it in the twenty-first century.” -Jakez François, President, Les Harpes Camac.


Juan Sebastián Sánchez, percussion, comes from Colombia. He performed in the Symphonic Band of the Redemptorist College of Manizales, then completed his studies at the University of Caldas. He was selected as a percussionist of the YOA (Orchestra of the Americas), touring Ukraine, Poland, Scotland, and Germany in 2018 and Mexico in 2019. As a member of the Young Philharmonic of Colombia Seasons, he toured Switzerland, Germany, and Austria. He has won the Youth Music Exchange International Soloist Percussion Competition and the competition sponsored by Kunming International Philharmonic, China. Juan Sebastián is studying World Percussion Performance at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and working as Percussion Artist with the Austrian multi-percussionist Martin Grubinger and the Red Bull brand in Salzburg, Austria.


Roberto Pérez Oraa, born in the plains of Venezuela (Guanare), has been a self-taught performer from an early age. His primary instrument is the Bandola Llanera, but he also uses other native Venezuelan instruments such as maracas and percussion. As director of the Venezuelan group Percujazz, he has shared the stage with high-end international artists such as Aquiles Baez, Jeff Berlin, the C4 Trio, Michell Camilo, Edmar Castañeda, Dennys Chambers, Scott Henderson, Stanley Jordan, Mario Parmisano, and the Yellow Jackets in more than 40 international jazz festivals in Venezuela. He directs a quartet in Venezuela, where he is currently based, and gives Bandola Llanera classes to low-income children, teaching the folk music of his native country and other cultures. Now, he is also doing musical work with the Llanos Symphony Orchestra in the Llanera Soul Chair, imparting his knowledge to honor the cultural growth of his country.