Praised for her “dazzling technique and soulful expressiveness,” (Rocky Mountain News), and a musical approach that’s “distinctly sensual…pliant, warm, and sweet,” (New York Times), Debra Nagy is one of North America’s leading performers on the baroque oboe. She plays principal oboe with ensembles around the country (including the American Bach Soloists, Apollo’s Fire, and Handel & Haydn Society, Boston Early Music Festival, among other ensembles) and is a dedicated chamber musician: Debra is the founder/director of Les Délices (whose debut recording was named “One of the Top Ten Early Music Discoveries of 2009”) and performs late-medieval music as a regular guest with Boston’s acclaimed Blue Heron and Chicago's Newberry Consort. Debra has received many awards for her creative and scholarly pursuits including first-prize in the American Bach Soloists Young Artists Competition, a 2009 Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and a 2010 Creative Workforce Fellowship from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. She has recorded over 30 CDs with repertoire ranging from 1300-1800 and has had live performances featured on the radio across the U.S., Canada, and in Europe.
Debra loves living as a multi-instrumentalist in two musical worlds (Medieval and Baroque-Classical) and is continually inspired by immersion in all aspects of the creative process: research, programming, collaborations, and composing in historical styles. Debra's most recent projects have included a new production of Machaut's medieval masterpiece Remede de Fortune and a Baroque-Jazz crossover program called Songs without Words.
A dedicated and inspiring teacher, Debra serves on the artist faculties of the American Bach Soloists’ Summer Academy and the Oregon Bach Festival's Berwick Academy, and has given masterclasses at Juilliard, the Cleveland Institute of Music, San Francisco Conservatory, Cincinnati Conservatory, and University of Washington. She is also committed to service and to fostering the next generation of leaders through her work as a board member of Early Music America and liason to its Youth Advisory Board.
When not rehearsing, performing, or dreaming up new projects, Debra cooks prodigiously (including much canning and pickling) and loves commuting by bicycle from her home in Cleveland's historic Ohio City neighborhood.