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Joseph Flummerfelt (Conductor)

Born: February 24, 1937 - Vincennes, Indiana, USA

Recently names Conductor of the Year by Musical America, Joseph Flummerfelt's musical artistry has been acclaimed in many of the world's finest concert halls for over 30 years.

Joseph Flummerfelt studied Organ and Church Music at the DePauw University (Bachelor of Music, 1958), Choral Conducting at the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music (Master of Music, 1962), Choral Conducting at the University of Illinois (Doctor of Musical Arts, 1971). He had also Summer Studies with Julius Herford and Roger Wagner in San Diego, California (1958) and Nadia Boulanger in Fountainebleu, France (1964).

Joseph Flummerfelt professional experince include: Instructor in Choral Music at the University of Illinois (1963-1964), Director of Choral Activities at the DePauw University (1964-1968), Director of Choral Activities at the Florida State University (1968-1971), Visiting Professor at the Indiana University (Fall 1987). Since 1971, he has served as artistic director and principal conductor of Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey. He has been director of choral activities for the Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, South Carolina, since 1977 and for 23 years was the Maestro del Coro for the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy (1971-1993). He is chorus master for the New York Philharmonic Orchestra (from 1979), the founder and conductor of the New York Choral Artists (from 1979), and former Music Director of Singing City in Philadelphia (1994-1999).

A gifted orchestral conductor, Joseph Flummerfelt made his conducting debut with the New York Philharmonic in 1988 and has appeared as guest conductor with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke's, Honolulu Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Spoleto Festival Orchestra (USA and Italy), Bochumer Symphoniker (Germany), and the Juilliard Symphony Orchestra, among others. Appearances in recent seasons included his return to the New York Philharmonic Orchestra where he conducted the world premiere performances of Voices of Light by Stephen Paulus, and W.A. Mozart's Requiem and Igor Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms at the Spoleto Festival USA, and performances of Verdi's Requiem with the Hartford Symphony.

For three decades Joseph Flummerfelt has collaborated in the preparation of hundreds of choral/orchestral performances with many eminent conductors, including Claudio Abbado, Leonard Bernstein, Pierre Boulez, Riccardo Chailly, Carlo Maria Giulini, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, Wolfgang Sawallisch and Steinberg.

Choirs prepared by Joseph Flummerfelt have been featured on over 40 recordings, including Britten's War Requiem and Johannes Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem and Schicksalslied with Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra; Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 2 and a Grammy Award-winning G. Mahler's Symphony No. 3 with Leonard Bernstein; Puccini's Tosca and Berlioz's Romeo and Juliet with Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra; Messiaen's Le Transfiguration de Notre Seigneur Jesus Christ with the National Symphony. His collaboration with Samuel Barber includes the Grammy Award-winning recording of the composer's opera, Anthony and Cleopatra.

Among the many recordings he has made with the Westminster Choir, his recent Delos recording of J Brahms' choral works (Singing for Pleasure) was chosen by The New York Times as a favorite among all existing J. Brahms recordings. American Choral Classics, featuring members of the New York Philharmonic with the Westminster Choir, was released by Newport Classics in 2001.

Widely known as a master teacher, Joseph Flummerfelt has long worked with both gifted students and established professionals in his classes and rehearsals at Westminster Choir College and in master-classes in the USA and around the world. One of the consistent results of his passion for choral/orchestral music is the student-composed Westminster Symphonic Choir, an ensemble continually praised for its power of expression, colorful nuance, robust rhythmic intensity and elegant balance.

Joseph Flummerfelt's many honors include le Prix du President de la Republique from L'Academie du Disque Francais, two Grammy nominations and four honorary doctoral degrees.


Source: Liner notes to the 3-CD album 'Kurt Masur at the New York Philharmonic Vol. 1 - Bach: Saint Matthew Passion - Debussy: Saint Sébastian' (NYPO, 2001); Joseph Flummerfelt Website (2004)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (April 2005, November 2012)

Joseph Flummerfelt: Short Biography | Westminster Choir | Westminster Symphonic Choir | Recordings of Vocal Works

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Alan Gilbert

Chorus Master

BWV 232 [w/ New York Choral Artists]

Kurt Masur

Chorus Master

BWV 244 [w/ Westminster Symphonic Choir]

Links to other Sites

Joseph Flummerfelt, Conductor (Official Website)
Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Joseph Flummerfelt (Westminster)
Brumfield and Associates:: Profesional Artist Management

"Greatest Choral Conductor in the World" Begins Residency at His Alma Mater (College News)
Joseph Flummerfelt (Spoleto USA 2004)
Calvin College - The Artist Series

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