Zephyr is a versatile ensemble featuring baroque-era wind and string instruments with harpsichord. The ensemble focuses on the rich repertoire of baroque music from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. 

            Our wind player, William Thauer, is an accomplished musician on various baroque and classic oboes, including oboe d’amore and oboe da caccia, as well as various baroque recorders. Our string player, Gail Ann Schroeder, is a consummate musician who specializes in instruments of the viol family, from treble viol to viola da gamba. Our harpsichordist, Beverly Biggs, travels with her double-manual French harpsichord, one of several keyboard instruments in her collection.

            Repertoire ranges from mid-baroque to transitional and early-classic music from England, France, Germany, and Italy.

            Having played together in various mixed groups over many years, the members of Zephyr made their debut as an ensemble during the spring of 2020. They plan ongoing performances as a trio as well as with guest instrumentalists and singers.

The musicians of Zephyr

William Thauer, baroque oboe and recorder. Praised by the Boston Globe for his “elegant oboe playing,” William Thauer performs with Baroque & Beyond, the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra, NCBO Chamber Players, Mallarmé Chamber Players, and Raleigh Bach Soloists. He has been a featured soloist on the Bach Series at Duke Chapel, a longstanding member of the Dallas Bach Society, and a guest performer with the Houston Bach Society, Washington Bach Consort, Magnolia Baroque, Charlotte Bach Akademie, Bach Society of Charleston, Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity (NY), Grand Harmonie (MA), and Denton Bach Players (TX). Prior to moving to North Carolina, he performed frequently with The Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, Concert Royal, and l’Orchestre Baroque de Montréal. He has recorded for the Atma, Reunion Studios, and Virtuosi labels, and has written articles on oboes and their repertoire for recordings on the German label, Ars Produktion.  

Gail Ann Schroeder graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Music degree in Music History. She furthered her performance studies on the viola da gamba at the Royal Music Conservatory of Brussels, Belgium, with Wieland Kuijken, obtaining her First Prize and Higher Diploma, with distinction.  She subsequently taught viola da gamba, pedagogy and directed the viol consort at the Brussels Conservatory from 1988 to 2002. Ms. Schroeder has performed extensively as soloist and with numerous ensembles including the Huelgas Ensemble, Catacoustic Consort, Combattimento Consort Amsterdam and the Alabama Symphony .  She has participated in numerous radio and television productions, and on CD recordings for such labels as DHM, Sony Classical, Ricercar and Erato. Since returning to the USA in 2006, Ms. Schroeder has been in demand as a teacher and ensemble coach at workshops for the Viola da Gamba Society of America, the Amherst Early Music Festival, Mountain Collegium and has participated in the French Baroque Project at the University of Alabama.  Currently living in North Carolina, she teaches privately, free-lances on viola da gamba and is artistic director of Asheville Baroque Concerts.

Harpsichordist Beverly Biggs was the Founding Artistic Director of Baroque & Beyond, an early-music concert series based in Chapel Hill. A freelance harpsichordist, she has performed with the North Carolina Symphony, NC Bach Festival, NC Baroque Orchestra (where she has also been a featured soloist), and Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle. She lived for many years in the Pacific Northwest, where she served as founding artistic director of Connoisseur Concerts and Allegro, directing and performing for several long-running series like the Northwest Bach Festival, Period Music at The Met, Music in Historic Homes, and the Royal Fireworks Festival & Concert; and touring in the U.S. and Canada. She holds performance degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and Southern Methodist University. Her mentors include the late Gustav Leonhardt, Alan Curtis, and Margaret Irwin-Brandon. She is featured as a soloist and collaborative musician on recordings with Bravura Discs, Alienor Records, and Arabesque. She has also performed U.S. and world premieres of contemporary works for harpsichord duo.  www.beverlybiggsharpsichord.com