December 2018 Meeting: Kevin Sherwin

Thursday, December 6, 2018, at 7:00 PM

Stiefel Concert Hall at Mannes
55 West 13th Street (fourth floor)
New York, NY 10011

The Classical Guitar on Early Sound Recordings: Style, Expression, and Technique
Throughout the first half of the 20th century, classical guitarists exhibited distinctive performance practices that were captured through historical sound recordings. Drawing primarily on the Yale Collection of Historical Sound Recordings, this presentation will explore, discuss, analyze, and provide historical audio samples, and uncover performance practices that are not explicitly instructed in early manuscript scores of the repertoire.

The presentation will be followed by a Guitar Soloists of Mannes concert, featuring performances by the undergraduate and graduate guitar students of Mannes School of Music. There will be no Open Mic at this meeting.

Kevin Sherwin is a guitarist and leader of orchestral and choral ensembles, who infuses his active concert schedule with scholarly work in music performance practice. Mr. Sherwin’s extensive engagements as a guitarist include his solo debut at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, performances at the University of Cambridge, Great Music Series in San Diego, Long Island Guitar Festival, Music without Borders Festival of Montreal, Yale University Art Gallery, and concert tours throughout North America, including Boston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, as well as Kentucky, Ohio, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. As a concerto soloist, he has also performed major works including the Rodrigo Concierto de Aranjuez, Villa-Lobos Concerto, and Vivaldi Concerto in D Major, among others.?

Mr. Sherwin is currently in his third season as Associate Artistic Director of the period-instrument ensemble, The American Baroque Orchestra. Through his work as a conductor with the American Baroque Orchestra, Mr. Sherwin conceived and led the program, “Hebrew Song and Splendor: Sephardic Music of 18th Century Amsterdam,” working with soprano Kathryn Aaron and mezzo soprano Judith Malafronte in original re-constructions of works from the Portuguese Synagogue of Amsterdam. Mr. Sherwin also re-constructed Jewish synagogal chant in the style of 16th century Italy, incorporating these compositions into performances of works from Salomone de Rossi’s The Songs of Solomon, which he conducted at the ABO Choral Festival in New Haven, as well as the San Francisco Bay Area.

In the 2017-2018 season, Mr. Sherwin conducted interactive projects with students at the Yale School of Music and Yale College to explore, study, and perform masterpieces of the Romantic Era according to performance practices of the time. The culmination of these projects were three performances at the New Haven Lawn Club, featuring works by Brahms, Tchaikowsky, Gustave Charpentier, Puccini, Verdi, and Sarasate, among others. Previously, Kevin Sherwin was conductor of the Yale-based ensemble, the Academy Sinfonietta, Artistic Director of the New Haven Summer Chorus and Orchestra and Associate Conductor of the renowned Yale Russian Chorus.

In addition, Mr. Sherwin’s ensemble work includes regular performances on baroque and classical guitar in the Musica Vera Duo, with baroque violist Mark Bailey. Mr. Sherwin has also performed with the Yale Collegium Musicum on theorbo, and various historical plucked instruments. He directed the New Haven Guitar Quartet, featuring students from the Yale School of Music, as well as performed at the Yale University Art Gallery with soprano Kathryn Aaron in a program of rarely heard Dutch Baroque music. He also regularly performs as baroque guitarist with the American Baroque Orchestra.

Kevin Sherwin has been invited to give presentations at the following international conferences: Guitar Foundation of America International Convention and Competition (University of Louisville, 2018) – The Classical Guitar on Early Sound Recordings: Style, Expression, and Technique; Perspectives on Historically Informed Practices in Music (University of Oxford, 2018) – Conductors on early film: coordinating romantic-era orchestral expression; Historical Performance: Theory, Practice and Interdisciplinarity (Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, 2017) – The performance of baroque synagogal music in eighteenth century Amsterdam. He has been featured on the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Department of Musical Instruments online publication, in an article entitled “Giving Voice to Times Both Past and Future,” discussing the collection’s 1953 Ignacio Fleta guitar from a performer’s perspective. Mr. Sherwin has worked as a performance practice researcher for the Yale Collection of Historical Sound Recordings, where he wrote various articles on Romantic-era performance practices, including on previously unexamined recordings of classical guitarists from the early 20th century. Mr. Sherwin is extending his work in performance practice further into the 20th century, serving as a researcher for the Charles Ives Society.

Among his awards and honors, Mr. Sherwin was cited in 2016 by the Town of North Haven, Connecticut, for excellence in contributing to the musical arts. In addition, he has received awards from the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts, the Guitar Foundation of America, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and the Long Island Guitar Festival.

In addition, Mr. Sherwin is newly active as a composer. He has written several pieces for solo guitar, which he performs on recitals. As well, he has written special commemorative pieces for the Town of North Haven, Connecticut based on American colonial melodies, and a piece entitled “In Majestatem Gloriae” for two choirs, based on ancient Gregorian chant, featured on the Sundays at 5 Concert Series in Ansonia, Connecticut.

Kevin Sherwin, a graduate of Yale University, studied guitar with Tali Roth at the Juilliard School, and subsequently with Christopher Ladd. Mr. Sherwin, during his time at Yale College, served as an apprentice conductor to Mark Bailey. He continues to work with Mr. Bailey on several ongoing projects related to the American Baroque Orchestra, including as a founding member of The Musica Vera Duo and the ABO Summer Festival, both of which he co-conceived.

Mr. Sherwin performs on a classical guitar made by Aaron Green (2013) and a baroque guitar made by Michael Schreiner, modeled after the French Jean-Baptiste Voboam instrument from 1690.