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), St. John’s Episcopal Church (Tulsa, OK), Juilliard in Aiken (SC), in the Twelfth Night Festival and Concerts@One at Trinity Wall Street (New York, NY), Early Music in Columbus (Ohio), the Renaissance and Baroque Society of Pittsburgh (PA), and Houston Early Music (TX). The Sebastians frequently collaborate with the vocal ensemble TENET, including recent, critically acclaimed performances of Bach‘s St. John Passion.
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 Fall 2018, the Sebastians will release a new CD of trio sonatas and vocal works by Corelli, Colista, Handel, and Vivaldi, with soprano Awet Andemicael.
The Sebastians 2017–18 season celebrates music that crosses boundaries: music published in Amsterdam by Italian composers; music by German, French, and Italian composers exploring a question of their individual “national” styles; vocal cantatas by Buxtehude that transcend the mortal world for the spiritual, in collaboration with TENET; and works by Bach in contrasting Italian and French styles. They are currently in residence at the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments.
…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
Award-winning violinist Daniel S. Lee enjoys a varied career as a soloist, leader, collaborator, and educator. Praised for his “ravishing vehemence” and “soulful performance” (The New York Times), he has appeared as a soloist and leader with Early Music New York, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Quodlibet Ensemble, and Yale Schola Cantorum, among others. He is the founding director of the critically-acclaimed period ensemble, the Sebastians. As a piccolo violin specialist, he has performed as a soloist in Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 and Cantata 140, and has given the modern-day premiere of his own transcription of Johann Pfeiffer’s concerto. He has studied at the Juilliard School (B.M.), Yale School of Music (M.M. and Art.Dip.), and University of Connecticut (D.M.A), and has given lectures and masterclasses at Connecticut College, Purchase College (SUNY), University of Kansas, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was recently appointed as a faculty member at Yale School of Music. www.danielslee.com
Praised for his “ravishing vehemence” and “soulful performance” (The New York Times), violinist Daniel S. Lee has appeared as a soloist and leader with Early Music New York, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Quodlibet Ensemble, and Yale Schola Cantorum, among others. He is the founding director of the critically-acclaimed period ensemble, the Sebastians. He has given lectures and masterclasses at Connecticut College, Manhattan School of Music, Purchase College (SUNY), University of Kansas, and UNC Chapel Hill. He is currently on the faculty at Yale School of Music. www.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. www.nicholasdieugenio.com
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
Hailed for his “scampering virtuosity” (American Record Guide) and “superb” playing (The New York Times), cellist Ezra Seltzer is the principal cellist of the Trinity Baroque Orchestra, New York Baroque Incorporated, and Early Music New York and a founding member of the Sebastians. He has frequently appeared as guest principal cellist of Musica Angelica and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, where he earned praise for his “delicate elegance and rambunctious spirit” (Twin Cities Pioneer Press) in performances of all six Brandenburg Concertos. Other performances with the SPCO include Handel’s Messiah with Jonathan Cohen and J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Paul McCreesh. With Musica Angelica, he appeared in performances of J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion in Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, and also performed in an international tour with soprano Emma Kirkby and countertenor Daniel Taylor. This summer he will be the associate principal cellist at the Carmel Bach Festival and will also appear as a soloist with Apollo’s Fire in concerts in Cleveland and New York. 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.
Keyboardist and conductor Jeffrey Grossman specializes in vital, engaging performances of music of the past, through processes that are intensely collaborative and historically informed. In recent seasons, Jeffrey has conducted from the organ and harpsichord Bach’s St. John Passion and Mass in B minor and Handel’s Agrippina. This season, Jeffrey directs from the keyboard selected concerts with the Sebastians and TENET, and returns to the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra as featured harpsichord soloist in Bach’s Brandenburg Concerti. In addition to serving as artistic director of the acclaimed baroque ensemble the Sebastians, he also performs this year with the Green Mountain Project, Chamber Music Northwest, Quodlibet, the Little Orchestra of New York, and the Bach Players of Holy Trinity. For the past twelve seasons, he has also toured parts of the rural United States with artists of the Piatigorsky Foundation, performing outreach concerts intended to bring live classical music to underserved communities. Jeffrey can be heard on the Avie, Gothic, Naxos, Albany, Soundspells, Métier, and MSR Classics record labels, and several new CD recordings of early music are currently in production.
A native of Detroit, Michigan, Jeffrey holds degrees from Harvard College (AB in Music cum laude), the Juilliard School (MM in Historical Performance), and Carnegie Mellon University (MM in Conducting). His principal teachers include Robert Page and Jameson Marvin in conducting; Louis Nagel in piano; Kenneth Weiss, Don O. Franklin, and Barbara Weiss in harpsichord. In addition to his performing activities, Grossman is also active as a music engraver (primarily using the SCORE music publishing system) and has prepared editions for many major publishers and ensembles. In 2014, his engraved score of Elliott Carter’s final composition won first prize in the chamber ensembles division of the Music Publishers Association Paul Revere Awards for Graphic Excellence. Jeffrey currently resides in New York City. www.jeffreygrossman.com
Founding Director: Daniel S. Lee
Artistic Director: Jeffrey Grossman
Managing Director: Karl Hinze
Founding Members: Daniel S. Lee & Ezra Seltzer