About

Phillip Serna Performing George Frideric Handel’s Messiah, HWV5 with the period-instrument ensemble Urbana415 in Indianapolis, IN.Phillip Serna Performing with the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra Double Bass Section

Phillip Serna Performing with the period-instrument ensemble Black Tulip in Chicago, ILPhillip Serna co-directing Adlai E. Stevenson High School period-instrument Baroque ensemble & viol consorts

Phillip Serna Performing with the period-instrument ensemble New Comma Baroque in Fort Wayne, INPhillip Serna Performing with the period-instrument ensembles Burning River Baroque & New Comma Baroque Presenting Johann Gottlieb Graun’s Concerto for Violin, Viol, Strings & Continuo in c-minor at the Boston Early Music Festival Fringe

Phillip Serna Performing with the period-instrument ensemble Viol Medium in La Grange, ILPhillip Serna Performing with the 5th Wave Collective's Double Bass Section

 

 

 

 

“Smooth & polished…”  – Centerstage.net
“A viola da gamba is added to the [Schola Antiqua vocalists] in the three motets included to great effect. It is neither too intrusive in the mix of voices nor too far in the background as to be ineffectual…the blend of the voices combined with the subtle presence of the viola da gamba makes this a wonderful conclusion to an enjoyable listening experience.” – Notes, June 2011
“…with the addition of gamba, are some of the most well-balanced and lovely moments on the recording…” – Early Music America Magazine, Fall 2011

Dr. Phillip Serna receiving his Doctor of Music degree from the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University in Evanston, ILIn addition to performing contemporary, solo, orchestral, and chamber repertoires on double bass, Dr. Phillip Serna has emerged among the nation’s leading advocates of Early Music performed on viols – violas da gamba. He earned his Bachelor of Music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 1998, later completing his Master of Music & Doctor of Music degrees at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music in 2001 and 2007, respectively. His dissertation, ‘Original Crossover? Popular Ballad-Tunes as Art-Music for Viols in Seventeenth-Century England’, focused on solo and ensemble settings of English ballad-tunes for viola da gamba as well as lyra viol transcriptions for double bass.

Phillip Serna Performing with the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra Double Bass SectionSharon Harms & Phillip Serna play Mario Lavista's Salmo 150 for Soprano, Crotales and Double-Bass at the University of Notre Dame for Chicago's International Latino Cultural Center’s 9th Latino Music Festival

On double bass, Dr. Serna has performed under the batons of conductors including Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Christoph Eschenbach, Neeme Järvi and David Robertson as a member of Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He performs with a wide diversity of ensembles including the 5th Wave Collective, Camerata Chicago, EChO – the Evanston Chamber Opera Company, Illinois Philharmonic, Illinois Symphony, Lake Forest Symphony, Musicians for Michiana, New Philharmonic, Northwest Indiana Symphony, Renovo String Orchestra, the Southwest Michigan Symphony, the Zohn Collective, and many others.

Phillip Serna Performing with Mary Anne Ballard, Gail Ann Schroeder, Russell Bookout, James Lambert & Eric Miller in the VdGS 3rd Coast's Johannes Schenck Birthday Celebration - The Complete Le Nymphe di Rheno/ the Nymphs of the Rhine, Op. 8 Phillip Serna Performing with the period-instrument ensembles New Comma Baroque & the Wisconsin Baroque Ensemble in Madison, WI

Phillip Serna Performing with the period-instrument ensemble Flutes of a Feather in Fort Wayne, INPhillip Serna Performing with the period-instrument ensemble L'Ensemble Portique for the Bach Week Festival in Evanston, IL

Phillip Serna Performing with the period-instrument faculty of the Music Institute of Chicago in Evanston, IL
Co-founding  Black TulipNew Comma Baroque, the Spirit of Gambo – a Chicago Consort of Viols and ViolMedium, Dr. Serna collaborated with a myriad of distinguished historical-performance ensembles, most notably Ars Antigua, the Bach Collegium of Fort Wayne, the Bella Voce Sinfonia, Burning River Baroque, the Callipygian Players, the Chicago Early Music Consort, Duo Fantaisie en écho, Flutes of a Feather, L’Ensemble Portique, Les Touches, Madison Bach Musicians, the Newberry Consort of Viols, Sonata à Quattro, Urbana 415 and others. Dr. Serna has performed at the Bach Week Festival, Chicago Early Music Festival, Handel Week Festival, Madison Early Music Festival, Peoria Bach Festival, and was featured at the Gamba Gamut, a fringe event hosted by the Viola da Gamba Society of America at the 2007, 2011, 2013 and 2015 Boston Early Music Festivals. Phillip Serna Performing Rudolph Dolmetsch's Concertino for Viola da Gamba & Small Orchestra, 1941 in Berrien Springs, MI
From the U.S. premieres of Dolmetsch’s Concertino in 2012 and Abel’s Concerto Violo de Gambo in 2018, to the 1st complete performances of Telemann’s 1735 Fantasias, Dr. Serna repeatedly distinguishes himself as a champion of literature new and old for viola da gamba. In performance, he has appeared on many prestigious concert series including the Academy of Early Music, Byron Colby Barn’s Early Music at the Barn Series, Gotham Early Music Scene’s Midtown Concerts, the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center’s Mainstage Series, Morton Arboretum’s Winter Chamber Series, SoHIP Boston: the Society for Phillip Serna Performing with the North Shore Chamber Arts Ensemble in Glencoe, ILHistorically Informed Performance and many others. He has appeared on WFMT Chicago, Wisconsin Public Radio, Milwaukee Public Radio, and can be heard on film and video game scores by Neil Acree, Andrew M. Edwards, Scott Glasgow, and Kubilay Üner alongside CD releases from Clarion, Cedille, and Varèse Sarabande Records as well as his upcoming solo album Shattered Glass – New Music for Viola da Gamba by Women Composers, available in March 2020.

Phillip Serna directing the Music Institute of Chicago's Advanced Viol Consort before an Illinois Philharmonic Concert in Palos Hills, ILPhillip Serna Performing with the period-instrument faculty of the Music Institute of Chicago in Evanston, IL

 

 

 

 

Phillip Serna performing A Concert of Musick for Viols with the Madison Youth Viol Consort in Madison, WI
In 2007, Dr. Serna’s article ‘Early Strings in the Classroom/ Introducing Students to Renaissance and Baroque String Repertoire on Period Instruments’ on classroom outreach advocacy was published in the American String Teachers Association String Teacher’s Cookbook – Creative Recipes for a Successful Program. He serves as the Online Editor for Early Music for the International Society of Bassists , on the editorial board of the Online Journal of Bass Research, and has contributed articles to the Bass World – the Official Magazine of the International Society of Bassists, the American String Teacher, to the Contrabass Conversations Podcast, and the online bass resource DoubleBassblog.org. In Early Music publications, Dr. Serna has served as outreach editor for the VdGSA News – the Newsletter of the of the Viola da Gamba Society of America, and has contributed to Early Music America ‘s magazine.

Phillip Serna with his Double Bass students at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, INPhillip Serna with his North Central College faculty colleagues Mara Gallagher, Jon Warfel, Ben Nadel & Claire Langenberg at Wentz Hall, Naperville, IL

Phillip Serna directing the Music Institute of Chicago's viola da gamba students
Dr. Serna maintains a private teaching studio spanning the greater Chicago-area teaching double bass and viola da gamba at Valparaiso University and North Central College; double bass, viola da gamba and viol consort at the Music Institute of Chicago and the J.S. Bach Academy of Music at Bethany Lutheran Church and School, and serves as assistant director and sponsor of viol consorts and Illinois’ first public-school period-instrument program at Adlai E. Stevenson High School which has appeared at the Illinois Music Education Conference (IMEC), the Midwest Clinic, the American String Teachers Association Conference and presented a fringe event at the Boston Early Music Festival.

Phillip Serna directing Adlai E. Stevenson High School viol consortsPhillip Serna co-directing Adlai E. Stevenson High School period-instrument Baroque ensemble & viol consorts at the Boston Early Music Festival

Phillip Serna directing OPUS Chamber Music Camp's double bass studentsPhillip Serna, Jeremy Beyer & Eric Miller performing at the Chicago Bass Festival, Bennett Gordon Hall, Ravinia, Highland Park, IL

 

 

Phillip Serna presenting Making Your Baroque Solos More H.I.P. at the Historically Informed Performance Summit at the 2013 International Society of Bassists Convention at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY.
Dr. Serna is in demand as an adjudicator and clinician in the Midwest and has serving on the faculties at the Chicago Bass Festival, Ball State Bass Day, Butler Midwest Bass Day, OPUS Chamber Music Camp, and the Whitewater Winter Bassfest. Dr. Serna presented ‘Making Your Baroque Solos More H.I.P.’ in conjunction with Jessica Powell Eig’s ‘The Cuckoo’s Egg …or Just Plain Cuckoo? Transcriptions of Early Music for Double Basses’ at the Historically Informed Performance Summit at the 2013 International Society of Bassists Convention at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. The two reunited  presenting  ‘Take a Walk on the Viol-Side – An Introduction to Period Bass’ for the Young Bassists program and performing ‘The Great Dooble Bass – Music for Violone & Viols’ at the 2019  International Society of Bassists Convention  at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana.

Phillip Serna & Jessica Powell Eig co-presenting Take a Walk on the Viol-Side - An Introduction to Period Bass for the Young Bassists Program at the 2019  International Society of Bassists Convention at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana.Phillip Serna & Jessica Powell Eig co-presenting The Great Dooble Bass - Music for Violone & Viols at the 2019  International Society of Bassists Convention at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana.

Madison Early Music Festival viola da gamba faculty Phillip Serna, Eric Miller & Lisa Terry with students
On violas da gamba, Dr. Serna has served on the faculties of the Madison Early Music Festival, Music on the Mountain Winter Workshop, the Whitewater Early Music Festival and is music director of Viols in Our Schools, an education initiative that earned him Early Music America’s 2010 Laurette Goldberg Award for Early Music Outreach. Dr. Serna is a member of the International Society of Bassists (ISB)Early Music America (EMA), New Music Chicago (NMC) and serves as president of the Viola da Gamba Society Third Coast (VdGS 3rd Coast), the Chicago-area chapter of the Viola da Gamba Society of America (VdGSA). He lives in Plainfield, IL with his best friend and wife, Magdalena, along with their daughter Natalia and their dog, Chewie. 

For more information, download Phillip Serna’s Curriculum Vitae or Performance Resume, sample his Double Bass Solo Repertoire, sample his Viola da Gamba Solo Repertoire, or feel free to contact him at https://www.phillipwserna.com/contact.

Phillip Serna performing Giovanni Bottesini's Concerto No.2 in b-minor in Aurora, ILPhillip Serna performing Georg Philipp Telemann's Concerto for Viola da Gamba TWV51:A5 in Naperville, IL

Phillip Serna Performing with the period-instrument ensemble the Newberry Consort of Viols at the 1st Chicago Early Music FestivalPhillip Serna Performing with the period-instrument ensemble Duo Fantaisie en écho in Ann Arbor, MI

Phillip Serna Performing with the period-instrument ensemble Black Tulip in Evanston, ILPhillip Serna Performing with the period-instrument ensemble the Spirit of Gambo - a Chicago Consort of Viols

Phillip Serna Performing with the period-instrument ensemble New Comma Baroque in River Forest, ILPhillip Serna Performing with the period-instrument ensemble Harmonie at the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society in Waterloo, ON, Canada

Phillip Serna presenting a Viols in Our Schools presentation to students in Aurora, ILPhillip Serna leading the Northbrook Symphony Orchestra Double Bass Section