Julianne Baird is an accomplished early music singer who brings scholarly expertise and a clear soprano voice to bear on a wide repertory of music, primarily from the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. She has made dozens of solo recordings for the Dorian, Koch, L'Oiseau-Lyre, and Albany labels, among others, and appears as a soloist on some of the best complete recordings of Baroque opera and oratorio available in the catalog.
Baird began her career singing with the Waverly Consort and other ensembles. Her first major engagement was in the world premiere of Steve Reich's Tehillim with the New York Philharmonic in 1983 -- a foray into contemporary music that, while not especially relevant to the rest of her work, nevertheless gave her career a boost. Throughout the rest of the 1980s and 1990s, Baird solidified her reputation as one of early music's most charismatic young performers, appearing internationally in works of Handel, Bach, Purcell, and Monteverdi. In concert, she also explored the lute song repertory, French, Italian, and German solo cantatas, and Renaissance vocal works.
Her extensive musicological education (including a Ph.D. from Stanford University) has allowed her to combine her natural musicality and vocal gifts with an uncommon degree of stylistic knowledge and understanding. The results, thankfully un-academic in sound and feeling, have made her popular with conductors and audiences alike. She has been particularly successful as an interpreter of Handel in general and of the Messiah in particular, where her clear sound and judicious ornamentation always seem right at home.
On occasion, Baird has ventured into eighteenth and nineteenth century works. Her recording of Mozart songs for Dorian captures the composer's crisp style, if not always his warmth and humor. Her performances of Schubert include a unique recording of the 18-song version of the Winterreise song cycle.
Since 1989, Baird has served on the faculty of New Jersey's Rutgers University, where she has earned a reputation as a committed and capable teacher. She is also in demand nationwide for master classes and recitals.