The Sebastians (www.sebastians.org) are a dynamic and vital musical ensemble specializing in music of the baroque and classical eras. Lauded as “everywhere sharp-edged and engaging” (The New York Times), the Sebastians have also been praised for their “well-thought-out articulation and phrasing” (Early Music Review) and “elegant string playing… immaculate in tuning and balance” (Early Music Today).
Winners of the Audience Prize at the 2012 Early Music America Baroque Performance Competitions, the Sebastians were also finalists in the 2011 York International Early Music Competition and the 2011 Early Music America/Naxos Recording Competition. They have participated in the Carnegie Hall Professional Training Workshop with L’Arpeggiata, and have performed at Music Matters (LaGrua Center in Stonington, CT), Friends of Music at Pequot Library (Southport, CT), Juilliard in Aiken (Aiken, SC), and in the Twelfth Night Festival and Concerts@One at Trinity Wall Street (New York, NY).
For the tricentennial of the publication of Antonio Vivaldi’s L’Estro Armonico concerti, the Sebastians commissioned composer Robert Honstein to write a companion suite, Night Scenes from the Ospedale, which they premiered alongside Vivaldi’s work in December 2011. The suite will receive its New York premiere on November 13, 2013 at Columbia University’s Italian Academy, and in November the Sebastians will also record Vivaldi and Honstein for their debut recording.
In 2013–2014, the Sebastians continue for the second season as ensemble-in-residence at All Angels’ Church in New York City and will spend a semester as artists-in-residence at Connecticut College. In addition, their season contains a tour to Columbus, OH, collaborations with TENET (www.tenetnyc.com), performances with Salon/Sanctuary Concerts and Parkville Classicals, among others. In August 2013, the Sebastians collaborated with dell’Arte Opera Ensemble to present a fully-staged production of Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea.
…everywhere sharp-edged and engaging… The New York Times
The musical quality was further enhanced by the presence of the [Sebastians], a leading young early-music ensemble, which performed beautifully throughout. The New York Times
…of the demand for this group, there can be little doubt…. energetic… youthful, vigorous performance style… The New York Times
…fast-rising group of period-instrumentalists that opened its own season with a lively concert on Saturday… The New York Times
…the instrumental ensemble… including fine musicians from the Sebastians, played with stylistic authority and rhythmic verve… The New York Times
…a worthy addition to any concert series accustomed to hearing leading mainstream string quartets. Early Music America
…well-thought-out articulation and phrasing… Early Music Review
…elegant string playing… immaculate in tuning and balance… Early Music Today
The Sebastians took us on a delightful journey, one in which lucid, subtle playing left space for the emotion and wit… the audience had been thoroughly seduced by the ensemble’s deft balance of firebrand playing and classical elegance. Seen and Heard International
Supporting these aims, Dell’Arte scored a canny coup for its first opera from the baroque repertoire by inviting the up-and-coming period-instrument ensemble The Sebastians to form the core of the Poppea band. …the Sebastians surely provided a salutary grounding for a crew of singers with little or no experience in this kind of music. Parterre Box
The singers were helped by taut ensemble playing from conductor Jeffrey Grossman and The Sebastians, a period chamber ensemble. Superconductor Blog