Nina Stern has carved a unique and astonishingly diverse career for herself as a world-class recorder player and classical clarinetist. A native New Yorker, Ms. Stern studied at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel, Switzerland, where she received a Soloist’s Degree. From Basel, she moved to Milan, Italy where she was offered a teaching position at the Civica Scuola di Musica. Ms. Stern performs widely on recorders, chalumeaux, and historical clarinets. She has appeared as a soloist or principal player with orchestras such as The New York Philharmonic, New York City Opera, American Classical Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, La Scala Theatre Orchestra, Clarion Orchestra, I Solisti Veneti, Hesperion XX, Apollo’s Fire, and Tafelmusik. Her numerous festival and concert series appearances have included performances under leading conductors such as Loren Maazel, Kurt Masur, Christopher Hogwood, Trevor Pinnock, Claudio Scimone, Kent Tritle, Jane Glover, Bruno Weil, Ton Koopman, Andrew Parrot and Jordi Savall. She has recorded for Good Child Music, Erato, Harmonia Mundi, Sony Classics, Newport Classics, Wildboar, Telarc, MSR, and Smithsonian labels.

Nina Stern’s latest projects include performances and recordings of traditional music of Eastern Europe, Armenia, and The Middle East, as a soloist, and with her ensembles Rose of the Compass and East of the River (Daphna Mor, co-Director.) Recently, Rose of the Compass has collaborated annually with the conductor Kent Tritle and the Choir of St. John the Divine in creating programs for the "Great Music in a Great Space" concert series at the Cathedral.

Ms. Stern was appointed to the faculty of Juilliard’s Historical Performance program in 2012 and has served on the faculties of the Mannes College of Music – where she directed the Historical Performance Program from 1989 to 1996 – the Civica Scuola di Musica (Milan, Italy), Oberlin Conservatory, and the Five Colleges in Massachusetts.

Nina Stern is also hailed as an innovator in teaching school-age children to be fine young musicians. She is a founder of “S’Cool Sounds" a successful hands-on music education project in inner city public school classrooms. The Washington Post applauded this program as a model in its “innovation in the classroom” series (11/9/03). For this important work Ms. Stern was awarded an Endicott Fellowship in 2003 and was honored in 2005 with the “Early Music Brings History Alive” Award, bestowed by Early Music America. Nina Stern served as Director of Education for the New York Collegium from 2002-2007. She has consulted for Midori & Friends and for Carnegie Hall’s Weill Institute, helping them to develop and expand their recorder curriculum. She is the author of “Recorders Without Borders”  - two books for beginning recorder players and percussion. Ms. Stern has shared her teaching methods with students and teachers throughout the U.S. and in the Netherlands, and has worked to establish recorder programs in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya, at Village Health Works in Kigutu, Burundi and at a school for Syrian refugee children in Azraq, Jordan.

Visit Nina's website at
Last updated on: January 24, 2019
The Faculty

RECORDER, New York, New York
The Seattle Recorder Society
Port Townsend Early Music Workshop
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Here's what folks had to say about her previously:

  • “Nina was delightful, the ear work was fascinating.”

  • “Took me out of my comfort zone  - a good thing!”

  • “Great teacher and lovely music.”

  • “Nina did a stunningly good job of making us feel like we were all in the same boat, but meeting us individually as well.”

This will be Nina's fourth time at PTEMW. As a teacher she is in high demand and we are very fortunate to have her back!
Nina Stern's Classes:

  • Recorder Master Class - the World of French Baroque Music
    Limited to 8 advanced recorder players
    The recorder masterclass this year will focus on the world of French Baroque music. Together we will examine the beautiful embellishments, phrasing and articulation, inégale, dance forms and tempos – all of the details that characterize this graceful and elegant music. Students are encouraged to bring duets and trios as well as solo suites. (Music by Jacques Hotteterre, Pierre Philidor, Boismortier, etc). Together, we will also study the preludes of Hotteterre and Freillon-Poncien and experiment with creating our own.

  • Music of the Franco-Flemish School
    For upper intermediate and advanced recorder players
    This class will focus on the luscious polyphonic music of 15th century Burgundian composers such as Guillaume Dufay, Gilles Binchois, Antoine Busnois and Hayne van Ghizeghem continuing into the 16th century with Johannes Ockeghem, Jacob Obrecht, Josquin des Prez, Adrian Willaert and Orlandus Lassus.

  • Songs and Dances of the Mediterranean -
    Melody through Rhythm, Rhythm through Melody (with Peter Maund)

    Open to all levels

    This class will explore the connections between melodies and rhythms in music from the Middle East, the Sephardic repertoire as well as medieval and renaissance Italian music. Participants will learn how you can add percussion to their own solo and consort playing, how rhythm informs melody and melody informs rhythm.
Watch Nina Stern, recorder, and Glen Velez, percussion and frame drum, perform Sirt Im Sasani, Lamento di Tristano, and La Rottan -- three pieces from two very different cultures: 13th-century Armenia and 14th-century Italy. The first, by the Armenian writer Arakel Siunetsi, translates as "My Heart Trembles with Fear," a trembling that you can hear in the percussion.

The performance at St Bart's in Manhattan on September 27, 2015, was part of a CD Release concert for Amaryllis, produced by Ms Stern in collaboration with master percussionist Glen Velez.