Ensemble for the Romantic Century, now in its twelfth season, was founded by pianist Eve Wolf in 2001, with the intention of creating an engaging and innovative approach to chamber music concerts. Co-directed by Eve Wolf and her fellow-pianist Max Barros, ERC’s stellar team includes James Melo, musicologist; Donald T. Sanders, director of theatrical production; Vanessa James, production designer; and Beverly Emmons, lighting designer, as well as some of the finest actors and musicians active in New York and elsewhere. ERC’s theatrical concerts interweave letters, memoirs, diaries, poems, and other literature with chamber and vocal music; the music’s historical context is reinforced through its connections with history, politics, philosophy, psychology, and the other arts to create a compelling new performance experience.
ERC has, to date, created over 40 original theatrical concerts. ERC has partnered with such institutions as The Jewish Museum of New York; the Archivio Fano of Venice, Italy; the Festival de Musique de Chambre Montréal; the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts/MIFA; the French Institute-Alliance Française/FIAF, New York; the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies at Columbia University; the Italian Cultural Institute of New York; and the City University of New York (CUNY). Since 2007, ERC has been a musicological affiliate in residence at the Barry S. Brook Center for Music Research and Documentation at the CUNY Graduate Center, where ERC has established an annual series of interdisciplinary seminars for each of the Ensemble’s concerts. The seminar series is now officially recognized as one of the academic projects of the Barry S. Brook Center for Music Research and Documentation. ERC’s artistic excellence is recognized through professional performance grants from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA). These grants are a testimony to the growing recognition of the Ensemble as one of the most innovative chamber music groups in New York.
ERC’S PROGRAMS ARE DISTINGUISHED BY THEIR ARTISTIC EXCELLENCE, BREADTH OF REPERTOIRE, AND VARIETY OF SUBJECT MATTER.
Highlights of our twelve seasons include: Seduction, Smoke and Music: The Love Story of Chopin and George Sand (2010-2011 season), a theatrical concert written and conceived by Ensemble for the Romantic Century and Barrett Wissman, Executive Producer, Barrett Wissman and IMG Artists was performed in Italy at The Tuscan Sun Festival, with Hollywood superstar Jeremy Irons as Chopin and Sinéad Cusack as George Sand, and with ballet greats Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky of American Ballet Theater. This same production will be featured in the Festival del Sole in Napa Valley on July 19th, 2012.
ERC extended its interdisciplinary scope in the 2009-2010 season, Artists in Exile, with the presentation at Columbia University’s Italian Academy of a Toscanini mini-festival that included a performance of Toscanini: In my Heart too Much of the Absolute, a CUNY seminar with distinguished author and Toscanini biographer Harvey Sachs, and a preview showing of the documentary film Toscanini in His Own Words. This production was then performed to a sold-out audience in the Sale Apollinee at Venice’s historic Teatro La Fenice, with an Italian script and Italian actors.
In the 2007-08 season, Imaginings, ERC embarked on a revealing journey through the imaginations of four writers, with The Sorrows of Young Werther (Goethe), Tolstoy’s Last Days (Tolstoy), Herself to Her a Music (Emily Dickinson), and Jules Verne: From the Earth to the Moon, a large multimedia production that incorporated video design.
In its sixth season, The Paris Project, ERC created a series of four theatrical concerts that evoked the artistic, literary, and political changes that electrified Paris at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. In The Dreyfus Affair, ERC created a large political and musical canvas with seven actors and seven musicians, contrasting the bohemian and ebullient world evoked in Satie: Bohemian from Montmartre. The season ended with a gala performance, at Florence Gould Hall, New York, of Peggy Guggenheim Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, a complex multimedia theatrical concert with music from the 1920’s through the 1980’s. This production was a collobaration with the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts/MIFA and the French Institute-Alliance Française/FIAF, New York
In 2005, ERC completed a commission by the Jewish Museum in New York for a production based on the famous Sonntagsmusik salons of Fanny Mendelssohn. The concert, Fanny Mendelssohn: Out of Her Brother’s Shadow, was related to the Jewish Museum’s exhibition The Power of Conversation, showcasing female salonnières from the 18th through the 20th centuries; ERC also served as music consultant for the exhibition. Van Gogh’s Ear, an ERC collaboration with The French Institute-Alliance Française/FIAF, the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts/MIFA, and the Festival de Musique de Chambre Montréal, was performed at Florence Gould Hall, New York, and then in both French and English in Montreal, where it received international acclaim. Strad Magazine hailed the production as “the most intriguing and successful program of the entire festival.” In 2004, the Ensemble presented The Young Arthur Rubinstein at the Arthur Rubinstein Hall in São Paulo, Brazil during the Eleazar de Carvalho Week, to overwhelming success. In the spring of 2004, Schubert’s Dream was performed while ERC was in residence at Williams College in Massachusetts.
In its relatively short history, the Ensemble for the Romantic Century has enriched the music scene with highly innovative productions that are also historically informed, aesthetically exquisite, and emotionally transporting.
Eve Wolf, Founder and Executive Artistic Director
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Paul Leach, President
David Burrows, Musicologist
Jacqueline de Chambord, Photographer
Alexander Lewis, Videographer
Caity Quinn, Programs and Grants Manager
Julian Sachs, Stage Manager
Juliana Lewis, Media and Marketing Manager