The American Romantics were founded in 2017, inspired by the extraordinary and forgotten artistry of musicians from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Working closely with the Yale Collection of Historical Sound Recordings, our performers uncover the stylistic performance practices of the Romantic-era. Following these discoveries, we offer concert programs that invite the audience's imagination to travel back in time to enjoy the music of favorite composers such as Tchiakovsky, Chopin, Rachmaninov, Mahler, among others, with new perspectives on the aesthetics of a past time period.
Currently, the ensemble performs a resident concert series in the ballroom of the New Haven Lawn Club, in New Haven, Connecticut. Lead musicians regularly perform throughout the continent, and recently were featured presenters at the University of Oxford in Great Britain.
Through its partner ensemble, the American Baroque Orchestra, the American Romantics receive tax-deductible contributions as a 501(c)(3) non-profit. To donate, visit: http://americanbaroqueorchestra.com/support-us.
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Principal Conductor Kevin Sherwin co-founded the
American Romantics in 2017 at Yale University out of a passion for the extraordinary sound recordings of Romantic-era performers.
Mr. Sherwin’s performances include his solo debuts as guitarist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and Regent Hall in London, England. He has also performed extensively throughout North America. In addition to conducting the American Romantics, he is entering his fifth season as Associate Artistic Director of the American Baroque Orchestra. He is primary author of the performance practice research guide for the Yale Collection of Historical Sound Recordings, as well as co-author of the complete Charles Ives Discography. Recently, he has given presentations on performance practice at the University of Oxford, the Guitar Foundation of America International Conference, and the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Among his awards and honors, Mr. Sherwin was cited by the Town of North Haven, Connecticut, for excellence in contributing to the musical arts. He has also received awards from the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts, the Guitar Foundation of America, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, among others. In April 2019, he was featured as conductor and guitarist in the YoungArts New York Gala at the Metropolitan Museum’s Temple of Dendur, working with Grammy-nominated musical director, Michael McElroy. With violist Mark Bailey, he recently returned to perform at the University of Cambridge as the Musica Vera Duo for the
Cambridge Summer Music Festival.
American Baroque Orchestra founding artistic director Mark Bailey serves as artistic advisor for the American Romantics. As a conductor and baroque violist, Maestro Bailey is extensively involved in the performance of baroque, classical, and early romantic instrumental, vocal/choral, and operatic works. In addition to conducting the American Baroque Orchestra, he frequently guest conducts renowned ensembles, such as the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Cappella Romana, and Pro Coro Canada. As well, Mr. Bailey often is invited to give seminars on conducting technique, performance practice, and Slavic baroque music, as he has at the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center, the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute in Toronto, Canada, the University of Oregon Musicking Conference, and the Performance Practice Institute Conference at Indiana University. Other guest appearances include conducting two gala concerts by invitation at Carnegie Hall, featuring the music of Moscow and St. Petersburg. As a scholar, Mark Bailey is Head/Director of the Yale Collection of Historical Sound Recordings (HSR), which is North America's largest repository of its kind. Mr. Bailey pursues research in Romantic-era performance practice, as well as advises researchers from across the globe at Yale HSR. As a conductor, Mark Bailey's recordings have been acclaimed by The New York Times critics’ choice list and praised by National Public Radio’s Performance Today. t His most recent commercial recording, “Heart of Kyiv,” features Slavic works of the 17th and 18th century, with Mr. Bailey leading Pro Coro Canada. Among many fine reviews of Mr. Bailey’s concerts, Northwest Reverb wrote of his collaboration with Cappella Romana: “...the choir followed Bailey’s detailed, expressive direction with rapt focus...they sounded like one solitary living creature, the expansion and contraction of the music coming as naturally as breath.” Mr. Bailey's 2015 performances of the Rachmaninoff All-Night Vigil, also with Cappella Romana, earned him several fully positive reviews as well, both in Seattle and Portland. Outside of music, Mr. Bailey is a state commissioner for the Connecticut Task Force on Animal Welfare and a member of the advisory board for Connecticut Votes for Animals, reflecting his passion for humane legislation and welfare.
Violinist Manaka Matsumoto has received top prizes at the 2008 All Japan Junior Classic Competition, the 2011 Ameropa International Concertante competition, and the 2014 Dorothy J. Bales Violin Competition, for which she was awarded the loan of a Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume violin for one year. She has performed as a soloist with Italian chamber ensemble “I Solisti Aquilani”, the Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra, Ensemble Sakai and the American Romantics, and as concertmaster with NEC Symphony, Yale Philharmonia, New Haven Chamber Orchestra and the American Romantics. An active recitalist, she has performed in concert halls, city halls and community centers since 2010, and from 2016 has been giving recitals annually at Hankyu Cultural Foundation’s Magnolia Hall in Osaka, Japan. As a composer and arranger, Manaka has written and performed her own transcriptions since 2014, notably her solo violin arrangements for Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. Her piece Perspective – Duet for Violin and Viola (2016) was one of the 9 pieces selected for the Boston Microtonal Society’s 3rd Anuual Call for Scores, in which there were 46 submissions from all over the globe. Perspective was premiered at the 2017 Boston Microtonal Society’s concert Modèles – Microtonal Music for Violin and Viola by violinist Gabriela Diaz and violist Wendy Richman. She recently premiered her own composition Dance Suite for Solo Violin “Terpsichore” (2018) at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in June 2018. Manaka is currently pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts in violin performance at Stony Brook University, where she studies with Arnaud Sussmann, Jennifer Frautschi and Philip Setzer. She received her Master’s Degree from the Yale School of Music and her Bachelor’s Degree from New England Conservatory. Her past violin teachers include Ani Kavafian, Paul Biss and Kota Nagahara.
Cellist Anna Seda has performed internationally in an array of settings including the Singapore Symphony, National Public Radio live from China, the Bienal De Violoncello, Peru's international cello conference, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Passionate about standard repertoire as well as contemporary and folk music, she equally values her experiences playing for for living composer George Crumb (Crumb Fest), performing the Schumann Cello Concerto with orchestra, and exploring Scottish music for baroque cello.
Anna began her cello studies in Denver, Colorado at age 4 with the Suzuki Method, and gained momentum in her teens with the chance to study at the Aspen Music Festival. In later years Anna was the recipient of a University of Colorado Fellowship to the Aspen Music Festival and also attended the Adriatic Chamber Music Festival in Italy, Charlie Castleman's Quartet Program, and the National Summer Cello Institute which specialized in Feldenkreis method for cello. Notable masterclasses include Juilliard cellists Darrett Adkins and Timothy Eddy, Eastman School of Music professor Steven Doane, and Arizona State University cellist Thomas Landschoot. Holding degrees from the University of Colorado, University of Denver, and the Boston Conservatory, her most influential mentors include Sato Knudsen of Boston Symphony, the Tacaks String Quartet, contemporary cellist Rhonda Rider, Scottish cellist Abby Newton, and Suzuki Cello teacher trainer Carol Tarr.
Soprano Kathryn Aaron performs with a distinctive blend of musicality and scholarship, encompassing a repertoire that spans from the liturgical drama of Hildegard von Bingen to the oratorio of Handel, Bach, and beyond. She marked her Washington DC debut in 2001 performing the role of Poetry in Les Arts Florissants with the Violins of Lafayette directed by Ryan Brown and appeared with the Boston Early Music Festival in their 2003 production of Ariadne. In 2005 she joined forces with the Bloomington Early Music Festival as the soprano soloist for Handel’s Dixit Dominos and performed the prima donna role of Elisa in the festival’s period performance of the Mozart opera Il re pastore. In regular demand as an oratorio singer, she has shared stage as a soloist with Masaki Suzuki, Nic McGegan, Paul Hillier, and Simon Carrington. In the summer of 2009 she was a soloist for the Discovery Series at the Oregon Bach Festival as well as a member of the Festival Ensemble of Stuttgart, all under the direction of Helmut Rilling. Kathryn is a regular soloist with the American Baroque Orchestra and Singers, the Arcadia Players conducted by Ian Watson and the Allentown Camerata conducted by Dr. Allan Birney. Kathryn holds degrees in vocal performance from Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University, the Jacob School of Music at Indiana University, and the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University.