The American choral conductor, Vance George, is a graduate of Goshen College.
Vance George, recognized internationally as one of Americaís leading choral conductors, completes 23 years of work this season as Director of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, hailed as one of the finest symphony choruses in the world. He has accepted four Grammy awards on behalf of the Orchestra and Chorus, including those for Best Performance of a Choral Work (for Orffís Carmina burana and Johannes Brahmsís German Requiem) and Best Classical Album (for a collection of Igor Stravinskyís music including Perséphone, The Firebird, and Le Sacre du printemps; and, in 2004, for Gustav Mahlerís Symphony No. 3).
Vance George has prepared the San Francisco Symphony Chorus for many acclaimed recordings, including those of Griegís incidental music for Peer Gynt, two recordings of G. Mahlerís Symphony No. 2 (with Michael Tilson Thomas recording, and an earlier recording under Herbert Blomstedtís direction), choral works of J. Brahms, G. Mahlerís Third Symphony and Das klagende Lied, I. Stravinskyís Perséphone, selections from Berliozís Lélio, and John Adamsís Harmonium. The Chorus is also heard under Vance Georgeís direction on two Delos CD's, Christmas by the Bay, which received a Grammy nomination for Best Crossover Recording of 1999, and the highly acclaimed Voices 1999/2000: A Choral Journey Through the 20th Century. In February 2001, the Chorus made its Carnegie Hall debut, performing I. Stravinsky and G. Mahler with the Orchestra.
As a guest conductor, Vance George has led performances of J.S. Bachís Mass in B minor (BWV 232); the Saint John (BWV 245) and Saint Matthew Passions (BWV 244); L.v. Beethovenís Missa solemnis; Haydnís Creation; Maurice Durufléís Requiem; Francis Poulencís Gloria; I. Stravinskyís Symphony of Psalms; and the Verdi Requiem. In recent seasons he has appeared with the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, Spokane Symphony, Akron Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Salzburg Symphony, and Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and at the Berkshire Choral Festival and the Ventura Bach Festival. In 1995, for the United Nations-sponsored tour commemorating the 50th anniversary of the end of the World War II, Mr. George served as Chorus Director for performances of L.v. Beethovenís Symphony No. 9 by the Asian Youth Chorus and Orchestra in Taiwan, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and five USA cities.
Vance Georgeís work embodies the legacy of the great maestros he has known as protégé and colleague, especially Robert Shaw, Julius Herford, Margaret Hillis, Robert Page, Otto Werner-Mueller, and Mary Oyer. He is highly regarded as a teacher of conducting and has presented master-classes and workshops throughout the USA, including Alaska and Hawaii. He has taught in the USA, Canada, and India. In 1997 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Kent State University, and in 1999 Chorus America presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award. He has served on the board of Chorus America and the choral panel for the National Endowment for the Arts.