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). I Care If You Listen praised the ensemble’s “beautifully-nuanced playing and thoughtful expressivity” in their début album, calling the recording a “technical and timbral tour-de-force.” MORE
Winners of the Audience Prize at the 2012 Early Music America Baroque Performance Competition, 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), in the Twelfth Night Festival and Concerts@One at Trinity Wall Street (New York, NY), and on the Early Music in Columbus series (Ohio).
The Sebastians début CD, Night Scenes from the Ospedale (Jan. 2015), pairs Vivaldi concerti from L’Estro Armonico with newly composed interludes by Robert Honstein. I Care If You Listen praised the “beautifully-nuanced playing and thoughtful expressivity” in the recording, calling the album a “technical and timbral tour-de-force.” The group’s second CD, the Sebastians a 2: Virtuoso Music of the Holy Roman Empire (Sep. 2015), explores the rich baroque repertoire of music for violin and harpsichord written by composers from modern-day Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic.
In 2015–16, the Sebastians continued their residency at All Angels’ Church and concluded their two-year collaboration with lauded choral ensemble Seraphic Fire in Miami. In addition to concerts with Seraphic Fire throughout Florida, the ensembles traveled to Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York City. In February 2016, the group explored forgotten cantatas of Christoph Graupner in collaboration with baritone Michael Hix and Acis Productions. The season included performances on the Renaissance & Baroque Society of Pittsburgh and Yale Collection of Musical Instruments series as well as performances at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, Greenwich; Collinsville Congregational Church; St. John’s Episcopal Church, Tulsa; and an innovative concert at St. Bartholomew’s Church in NYC where the Sebastians’ performances of Bach complemented works by contemporary composer Andy Akiho.
This season, in addition to performances in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Seattle, the Sebastians present a year-long celebration of their namesake, J. S. Bach, in New York City, featuring Bach’s Brandenburg Concerti; Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with a newly-commissioned companion work by Tawnie Olson; Bach’s sonatas and partitas for solo violin as an installation piece; a program exploring the Musical Offering; and a spectacular production of Bach’s St. John Passion in collaboration with TENET.
…of the demand for this group, there can be little doubt…. energetic… youthful, vigorous performance style… The New York Times
…a worthy addition to any concert series accustomed to hearing leading mainstream string quartets. Early Music America
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
recorder & oboe
cello & gamba
oboe & recorder
cello & gamba
cello & gamba
theorbo / guitar
Period violinist Daniel S. Lee enjoys a varied career as a soloist, chamber musician, concertmaster, and teacher. Praised for his "ravishing vehemence" and "fleet-fingered, passionate… soulful performance" (The New York Times), he has appeared as a soloist and guest leader with Early Music New York, New York Baroque Incorporated, Quodlibet Ensemble, San Francisco Bach Choir, TENET, Trinity Baroqure Orchestra, and Yale Schola Cantorum. He has also performed for the 4x4 Baroque Music Festival, Connecticut Early Music Festival, Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart, NYS Baroque, Pegasus Early Music, and York Early Music Festival. As a modern violinist, he made his Carnegie Hall debut at age sixteen performing alongside Itzhak Pelman, Pinchas Zukerman, and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
He founded and co-directs the Sebastians, a period ensemble lauded for its "stylistic authority and rhythmic verve" (The New York Times). As a violino piccolo specialist, he frequently appears as a soloist in Bach’s first Brandenburg Concerto and cantata 140, and has given the modern-day premiere of his own transcription of Johann Pfeiffer’s concerto. A graduate of the Juilliard School and Yale School of Music, he is currently on the violin, viola and chamber music faculty at Connecticut College and the University of Bridgeport. More information can be found at danielslee.com.
Praised for his “invigorating, silken" playing and “mysterious atmosphere” (Cleveland Plain Dealer) and as an “evocative” violinist (The New York Times), Nicholas DiEugenio leads a versatile performing life as a chamber musician, concertmaster, and soloist in music ranging from early baroque to current commissions, and everything in between!
Nicholas and pianist Mimi Solomon perform in the US and abroad, and are currently embarking on the project “Unraveling Beethoven,” a cycle of all ten violin sonatas combined with response works from five composers. He has played concerts in St. Petersburg’s Glinka Hall, Merkin Hall, at the CMS of Lincoln Center, and at Carnegie’s Weill Hall. His recording of the complete Schumann violin sonatas with fortepiano (Musica Omnia) garnered several Global Music Awards in 2015; Nicholas can also be heard on recent recordings with the Sebastians and the Quodlibet Ensemble. His upcoming album with Mimi Solomon includes works for violin and piano of Steven Stucky and Robert Palmer.
A passionate teacher, Nicholas is Assistant Professor of Violin at UNC Chapel Hill, and was previously violin professor at the Ithaca College School of Music. He teaches at the Kinhaven Music School in Vermont during the summers. Nicholas holds degrees from CIM and the Yale School of Music, where he earned a DMA. As a core member of the Sebastians, Nicholas performs on a violin made by Karl Dennis in 2011, and also on a 1734 violin made by Dom Nicolo Amati.
Praised by the New York Times for his “evocative” playing, violinist Nicholas DiEugenio leads a versatile musical life from Biber to Carter and beyond. A core member of the Sebastians, DiEugenio also performs and records with pianist Mimi Solomon. He has twice been a prizewinner at the Fischoff Competition; his recording of the three Schumann Sonatas with Chi-Chen Wu is available on Musica Omnia. Currently Assistant Professor of Violin at UNC Chapel Hill, he holds degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Yale School of Music. www.nicholasdieugenio.com
Lauded for his “beauty of tone and keenness of musicianship” (Opera Britannia), cellist Ezra Seltzer is a founding member and principal cellist of the Sebastians, and has performed as guest principal cellist of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Musica Angelica, Orchester Wiener Akademie, and the Trinity Wall Street Baroque Orchestra. He has also been a soloist and principal cellist at the Boulder Bach Festival, and is the associate principal cellist at the Carmel Bach Festival. With the vocal ensemble TENET, he has performed at the Festival Casals de Puerto Rico as well as at Berkshire Bach in Massachusetts. Last season he also appeared with the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Chicago’s Baroque Band, and New York Baroque Incorporated. He attended Yale University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in history and Master of Music in cello, and graduated from the inaugural class of Juilliard’s historical performance program.
Jeffrey Grossman's extensive musical activities include frequent performances as a harpsichordist, pianist, portative organist, and conductor. Acclaimed for his musicality, he has been praised as a “sensitive and fluent accompanist” of “flair and conviction” in Fanfare magazine. A native of Detroit, Michigan, he holds degrees from Harvard College, the Juilliard School, and Carnegie Mellon University. Jeffrey performs with numerous groups in the New York metropolitan area, including the Sebastians, PHOENIXtail, the Bach Players of Holy Trinity, Concitato, and Fire & Folly. He also tours parts of the rural United States with artists of the Piatigorsky Foundation. He can be heard on the Gothic, Naxos, Albany, Métier, and MSR Classics record labels. He currently resides in New York City. For more information, please visit jeffreygrossman.com.
Founding Director: Daniel S. Lee
Artistic Director: Jeffrey Grossman
Managing Director: Karl Hinze
Founding Members: Daniel S. Lee & Ezra Seltzer