Julian Wachner to Conduct the Trinity Choir and Set the Artistic Vision for Trinity Church and St. Paul’s Chapel
July 19, 2010 – – Composer and conductor Julian Wachner has been named Director of Music and the Arts for Trinity Wall Street, the historic Episcopal parish in Lower Manhattan, it was announced today by the Rev. Canon Anne Mallonee, Trinity’s vicar. Wachner will oversee all liturgical, professional, and community music and arts programming at Trinity Church and St. Paul’s Chapel. As the principal conductor for the professional Trinity Choir, Wachner will lead the choir in concerts, recordings, and worship services. Wachner will assume this position onSeptember 7, 2010.
“Along with parish ministries in New York City and around the world, Trinity Wall Street has a longstanding commitment to musical and artistic excellence,” said the Rev. Canon Mallonee. “As Director of Music and the Arts, Julian will ensure that Trinity’s artistic programming is fully integrated into its worship, educational, and social-justice goals and programs. His passionate vision also ensures that music and the arts at Trinity will continue to inspire, comfort, and invigorate spiritually. Julian is a great collaborator, and will be a terrific addition to our leadership team.”
One of North America’s most exciting and versatile musicians, Wachner is sought-after as both conductor and composer. He has appeared on the world’s leading stages, including engagements with The Philadelphia Orchestra, Glimmerglass Opera, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops Orchestra, Portland Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Honolulu Symphony, Music Academy of the West, Calgary Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Handel & Haydn Society, Pacific Symphony, and L’Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal.
His original music has been described as “bold and atmospheric” by the New York Times, “jazzy, energetic, and ingenious” by the Boston Globe, “highly enjoyable, touching, clever, and inspiring” by the Deseret News, and “upbeat, jazzy, glittering, and poignant” by the Providence Journal. His complete catalogue of music, more than 80 works, is published by E. C. Schirmer. An award-winning organist and improvisateur, his improvised finale at his solo recital at the Spoleto Festival USA led one reviewer to report that “this stupefying wizardry was the hit of the recital, and it had to be heard to be believed.” Wachner records for the Chandos, Naxos, Atma Classique, Arsis, Musica Omnia, and Titanic labels.
Wachner currently serves as Music Director of the GRAMMY® award-winning Washington Chorus, at the Kennedy Center, to which he is contracted through the 2015-2016 season. He is also associate professor of music at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University and Principle Conductor of Opera McGill, a position he will maintain through the 2010-2011 academic season.
“Trinity Wall Street believes that the arts play a role in social change, in the life of the spirit, and in the life of the community,” said Wachner. “I am honored to join this historic institution to lead the world-class music-making of the Trinity Choir and the Trinity Baroque Orchestra, and to enhance the ongoing effort in making the arts and music an integrated part of the parish’s programs and ministries.”
Music has played an important role throughout Trinity’s 313 year history, beginning with the installation of its first pipe organ in 1740. Throughout the years, Trinity’s music department has been led by accomplished musicians who have made significant contributions to church music. William Tuckey is credited with bringing Handel’s Messiah to New York, where it had its New World premiere at Trinity Church in 1770; in the mid 1920s, Channing Lefebvre started what would become the Downtown Glee Club; and George Mead initiated the weekly radio music show The Trinity Radio Choir on CBS in 1948. Trinity’s most immediate past music directors were Owen Burdick (1990-2008) and Dr. Larry King (1968-1989).
The Trinity Choir was established as a professional choir in 1838, and is now considered one of New York’s preeminent vocal ensembles. The Trinity Choir presents an annual concert season featuring works by master composers such as Bach, Handel, and Monteverdi, as well as new and unusual music. The Choir’s 2008-2009 concert season included works by Bach, Buxtehude, and Scarlatti, as well as contemporary a cappella Scandinavian choral works and Latin American baroque masterpieces and its acclaimed Messiah performance. The 2009-2010 season featured Requiem Masses by Richafort, Schutz and Howells with guest conductor Jane Glover and a unique concert featuring Estonian composers with guest conductor Stefan Parkman. A special Trinity Choir benefit concert for Haitian relief premiered the Trinity Youth Chorus, a unique collective of Lower Manhattan choirs offering a disciplined music-theory and choral performance education for children. The Trinity Choir also continues its outreach in New Orleans by leading and staffing All Souls Episcopal Church music camp for children.
The Choir has performed New York premieres of many works, including Dominick Argento’s The Masque of Angels, and William Albright’s oratorio A Song to David, which Albright hailed as the work’s “finest, most accurate and moving performance.” The Trinity Choir has recorded the complete Hadyn Masses and Handel’s Messiah, all for the NAXOS label, and their concerts are featured on the classical music station WQXR. In 2010, the Trinity Choir was invited by the Mark Morris Dance Group to perform Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas at the Golden Mask Festival in Moscow.
The Trinity Choir’s 2010-2011 concert season will be announced in the coming days on www.trinitywallstreet.org, along with an interview and more information about Wachner’s appointment.
ABOUT TRINITY WALL STREET
Located at the head of Wall Street, Trinity Church has been part of New York City’s and our nation’s history since its charter in 1697. Today, the organization has grown to include many important areas of focus and is collectively known as Trinity Wall Street. Most importantly, Trinity Wall Street is an Episcopal parish offering daily worship services and faith formation programs at Trinity Church, St. Paul’s Chapel, and online at trinitywallstreet.org. In addition, Trinity Wall Street includes Trinity Grants, providing $72 million in funding to 85 countries since 1972; St. Margaret’s House, providing subsidized housing to the elderly and disabled; Trinity Preschool; Trinity Institute, an annual theological conference; an extensive arts program presenting more than 100 concerts each year through Concerts @ One, the Trinity Choir, and the Trinity Youth Chorus; and Trinity Real Estate, which manages the parish’s six million square feet of commercial real estate in lower Manhattan.