Mark Bailey, Yale Russian Chorus (YRC) artistic director since 1995, is an expert in Slavic music, with particular focus on the repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries. Currently he is also artistic director of the American Baroque Orchestra, which he founded. Mr. Bailey frequently guest conducts renowned ensembles, such as The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, as well as Cappella Romana and Pro Coro Canada, particularly in Slavic music, but with non-Slavic works as well. Additionally, he often is invited to give presentations on Slavic baroque music, as he has at the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute in Toronto, Canada. Mr. Bailey also has been a principal guest speaker on Slavic choral music for the Great Performers series and the Mostly Mozart festival at Lincoln Center in New York City. Other guest appearances include conducting two gala concerts at Carnegie Hall, featuring the music of Moscow and St. Petersburg, both with the YRC.
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 recording of Slavic music, entitled Immersion, is available on iTunes and Amazon.com. 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.”
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 has been a baroque violist with the American Baroque Orchestra, the Arcadia Players, Northampton, Massachusetts, The Sebastian Players in Connecticut, and Schola Cantorum at Yale University. Mr. Bailey’s instrumental and choral compositions and arrangements have been performed by ensembles such as Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, which commissioned several works from Mr. Bailey for their 2011-2012 season opener, and 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. In 2007 he received a commission from Yale instructor Scott Hartman and the Yale Trombones to compose a piece for them, which premiered in Hartford, Connecticut, in May 2008. Mr. Bailey is also co-founder and co-director of the Benchmark Performance Series on Cape Cod, and creator of the annual Slavic Music Festival at Yale University.
From 1992 to 2008, Mr. Bailey served on the faculty of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary in Crestwood, New York, where he taught composition, analysis, choral leadership, and Church Slavonic. He also served on the conducting staff for the chapel choirs, founding and leading the Composers Seminar at St. Vladimir’s in 2007 and 2008. Mr. Bailey is a Fellow at Davenport College, Yale University, and serves as a freshman and sophomore advisor. In the field of research, he is the interim curator for the renowned collection of Historical Sound recordings at Yale University. 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 extensively involved in animal welfare and, in 2012, was appointed by the mayor of the City of New Haven, Connecticut, as a humane commissioner, and is now chairman of the commission.