Mark Bailey, Artistic Director

Photo by Paige Baker

Mark Bailey is extensively involved in the performance of baroque, classical, and early romantic instrumental, vocal/choral, and operatic works. He has particular expertise in Slavic music of the 17th and 18th centuries, as well as the Bach family, Handel, Haydn, and Mozart. Mr. Bailey is founding artistic director of the American Baroque Orchestra (ABO). As well, he is celebrating his 20th anniversary as artistic director of the Yale Russian Chorus (YRC). 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 and the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute in Toronto, Canada.  Other guest appearances include conducting two gala concerts at Carnegie Hall, featuring the music of Moscow and St. Petersburg.

His first recording with the YRC in 1996 was placed on The New York Times critics’ choice list and described as a must-have recording by National Public Radio’s Performance Today. Mr. Bailey’s latest YRC recording, entitled Immersion, is available on iTunes and His most recent recording, “Heart of Kyiv,” is a compilation of Slavic 17th and 18th century works 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.”

Guest conducting Cappella Romana

Former conducting positions include artistic/music director of the New Haven Oratorio Choir and Orchestra, the Westchester Concert Singers, The New England Benefit Orchestra, The Festival Chamber Orchestra at Yale, 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 addition to conducting, 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, Artistic Director of the American Modernist Orchestra. Mr. Bailey is also co-founder and co-director of the Benchmark Performance Series on Cape Cod, and creator of the Slavic Music Festival at Yale University.

Mr. Bailey is also an active composer, whose instrumental and choral compositions and arrangements have been performed by ensembles such as Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. Other works of his 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.

Playing transcriptions of dances by J.S. Bach

From 1992 to 2008, Mr. Bailey served on the faculty of St. Vladimir’s, where he conducted, taught composition, analysis, choral leadership, and Church Slavonic. 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 has studied conducting principally with Harold Farberman, David Effron, and Marguerite Brooks, and has coached with Daniel Lewis among others. 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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