About Florestan Recital Project


Florestan's original founders with composer Thea Musgrave

Florestan was born in 2001, when Aaron Engebreth and Joe Dan Harper brainstormed about a song series during a long opera rehearsal. They shared a love for song, a desire to actually use university training for its intended purpose, and Aaron’s vague panic about ending up working a fluorescent-bulb-lit office job for the next fifty years. Those hurried beginnings have given way to a near fifteen-year history of performance, innovation, recording, and mentorship.

We are named for the fiery character of Florestan, one of the creative alter egos of composer Robert Schumann, who wrote of a basic mission: “to be remindful of older times and their works and to emphasize that only from such a pure source can new artistic beauties be fostered.” That message is at the center of our activities, generating projects that draw connections between art song of the past, present, and future, while exploring the genre’s rich collaborative possibilities.

Aaron and Joe Dan joined with pianist Anne Kissel as Florestan’s co-founders and artistic directors. When Joe Dan and Anne embarked on a Fulbright grant to Germany in 2003, Alison d’Amato came on as a co-director to further develop the Boston-based concert series. As lives and employment opportunities took off in several directions, Florestan has evolved into a multi-faceted organization with an international network of collaborators, co-directed by Aaron and Alison since 2012.

Since these Boston-based beginnings, Florestan has produced an array of recitals, festivals, and innovative performances of classical music for audiences from coast to coast. Our oeuvre includes premieres of new work as well as revivals of existing pieces. Mentoring is also an essential part of Florestan’s mission, and we have led and participated in several efforts to foster the development of young musicians and composers, from short-term residencies to emerging artist programs.

In 2008, Florestan Records launched, initiating a varied and critically acclaimed catalog of world premiere art song recordings. In 2012, Florestan redesigned our website specifically to accommodate ongoing recording projects, many of which are available for free through streaming web audio. By offering a free, simple and user-friendly online platform for our recordings, Florestan offers professionally-produced releases that are accompanied by carefully researched program notes, biographical information on the composer and poets, as well as full texts and translations. We believe these works should be freely accessible to all audiences.

Click for Appearances, Recordings, and Mentoring highlights.




Alison d'Amato
Aaron Engebreth



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