A PRIORI was born out of a desire to explore the moving poetry within German Lieder, and has bloomed into a greater quest to uncover the cores of masterworks written for voice and piano. We believe that the intersection of text and music that has fascinated composers and audiences throughout the ages is even more relevant in today's musical world than it has ever been. Language adapts to communicate more clearly within society, and so too do musicians by breathing new life into texts. We as singer and pianist feel a responsibility to imbue these texts and this music with the passions and pains of a new generation. The Latin phrase a priori translates to "from what comes before," emphasizing the importance of learning from the past in order to cultivate a more informed present in every facet of life.
David Thomas Mather, a Michigan native, and Bahar Soyoz, hailing from Turkey, met during their studies in Boston and fell in love with Schubert's Winterreise as an art piece and as an unfiltered, raw picture of the extremes of human emotion through suffering. Exploring the depth of the human condition through Schubert's haunting melodies found us collaborating and reacting at a micro-level to small, nuanced musical gestures. That work was so artistically filling, and inspired us to search for that level of intensity in other song cycles and in programming. We enjoy the challenge of truly embodying a piece's character through textual analysis and organic performance with authentic emotional responses to the music as it is created.
Praised for his “liquid vocal gold” (Carduus), baritone David Mather is a versatile and adaptive vocalist who embraces a wide body of repertoire from the early Baroque to German lieder to musical theatre, and seeks to draw inspiration from both classical and contemporary style in his performance.
Mr. Mather lives and works in Boston as a freelance professional chorister in Boston, MA while singing as a member of Carduus and A Priori. He has given concerts for audiences in the Notre Dame Cathedral and La Madeleine in Paris, as well as in non-traditional performance venues including the Postojna Cave in Slovenia. For the start of their 2020 season, he debuted with The Boston Camerata as part of the Play of Daniel project tour, and has also appeared with the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, Lowell House Opera, the Utah Symphony Chorus, and the Grand Teton Music Festival Chorus. He has competed internationally with choirs in competitions like Interkultur and Young Prague, and hopes to continue traveling and touring as a choral singer to experience art and music of people around the globe.
As Music Director at First Christian Church in Greencastle, Indiana in 2018, Mr. Mather programmed and produced the 3rd annual Jason Asbury New Beginnings concert series event to benefit the Asbury Endowment for the Arts of Putnam County, an endowment that brings music education and resources into public schools in Putnam County for children who struggle to afford lessons and instruments, providing them with opportunities to explore the arts.
Mr. Mather holds his Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance with a Minor in Theatre from DePauw University, and will complete his Master of Music degree in Historical Performance, Voice from the Longy School of Music of Bard College in Spring 2021. He has studied with Tyler Duncan, Ellen Hargis, Jayne Sleder, Caroline Smith, and André Campelo.
Bahar Soyoz is an experienced pianist who enjoys playing both solo and chamber repertoire. She specializes in collaborative piano with voice, but has performed with several brass instruments including trombone, trumpet and horn.
She received her Bachelors degree at Hacettepe University in Turkey as a soloist, where she performed many recitals and concertos. During her fourth year, Soyoz studied in Leipzig as an Erasmus student under Markus Tomas. There, she participated in music festivals such as Gumusluk Muzik Festivali and AIMA, where she had the chance to work with pianists like Aysegul Sarica and Elif Sahin. Working as a staff pianist at Hacettepe University after graduating, she developed her deep passion for collaboration with wind and percussion instrumentalists at the school. Sharing music on stage was an experience she wanted more of in her life; she chose to pursue a Masters degree in Collaborative Piano from the Longy School of Music in the U.S. as a Fulbright Fellowship recipient.
Soyoz works primarily as a collaborative pianist; she also has a private piano studio where she has taught students of all ages and backgrounds for four years. She continues her pedagogy as a piano teacher in the Early Music Education program at Bilkent University as well. She enjoys painting in her free time and is eager to start recording complete song cycles with her colleagues in the near future.