Mark Bailey, Artistic Director

Photo by Paige Baker

Guest conducting Cappella Romana

Founding artistic director, conductor, and baroque violist Mark Bailey is extensively involved in the performance of baroque, classical, and early romantic instrumental, vocal/choral, and operatic works. Mr. Bailey is founding artistic director of the American Baroque Orchestra (ABO). Mr. Bailey frequently guest conducts renowned ensembles, such as the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Cappella Romana and Pro Coro Canada. As well, he often is invited to give seminars on conducting technique, performance practice, and Slavic baroque music, as he has at the Mostly Mozart Festival of Lincoln Center, the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute in Toronto, Canada, University of Oregon, and Indiana University.  Other guest appearances include conducting two gala concerts at Carnegie Hall, featuring the music of Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Mark Bailey’s recordings have been acclaimed by The New York Times critics’ choice list and praised by National Public Radio’s Performance Today. His most recent 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.”

Through his work as conductor of the American Baroque Orchestra, Mr. Bailey has uncovered and revitalized lost repertoires of the 17th and 18th centuries. In addition, he has discovered numerous new perspectives on performance practice regarding beloved masterworks of the period. He is also project director of Ukrainian Voices: Music of a Nation, in which he is conducting the complete sacred concertos of Artem Vedel in performance and live recordings with the American Baroque Singers throughout the United States and Canada, beginning in Fall 2017.

Mr. Bailey is also an active composer, whose instrumental and choral compositions and arrangements have been performed by ensembles such as Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and have premiered at Lincoln Center, Yale University, Boston’s landmark Emmanuel Church, and throughout the United States, as well as at St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, Russia. Approximately forty of his compositions have been published. Mr. Bailey also founded the Composer’s Seminar at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary, where he served on the faculty from 1992 to 2008. In addition to composition, Mr. Bailey is an active period violist, exploring performance practice across the centuries. He is a founding member of the Musica Vera Duo, with guitarist Kevin Sherwin.

Former conducting positions include artistic/music director of the New Haven Oratorio Choir and Orchestra, the The New England Benefit Orchestra, The Festival Chamber Orchestra at Yale, The Westchester Concert Singers and assistant conductor of the Eastman Philharmonia, the opera department at the Eastman School of Music, and for the Heidelberg Castle Opera Festival, Heidelberg, Germany.

In the field of performance practice research, he is Head of Yale’s renowned collection of Historical Sound Recordings. At Yale, he also is faculty adviser of the Tiny Baroque Orchestra of Pierson College and the Academy Sinfonietta. Mr. Bailey earned his music degrees at the Eastman School of Music and at the Yale School of Music (through the Yale Institute of Sacred Music), Yale University. He studied orchestral conducting principally with Harold Farberman, David Effron, and Daniel Lewis, and choral conducting with Marguerite Brooks. Outside of music, Mr. Bailey is State Commissioner for the Connecticut Task Force on Animal Welfare and Chairman of the New Haven Humane Commission.

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