Vance George – Short Biography 1
Vance George is internationally recognized as one of America’s leading choral conductors. Under his direction the San Francisco Symphony chorus has been hailed as one of the finest in the world. On their behalf he has accepted four Grammy awards, for Best Performance of a Choral Work Orff’s Carmina Burana, 1992 and Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem, 1995, Best Classical Album of the year Stravinsky’s Perséphone, 2000 and Mahler’s Symphony No. 3, 2004. He also conducted the San Francisco Chorus and Orchestra in works ranging from Bach’s Mass in B Minor to Carmina burana. TV and film credits include an Emmy for Sweeney Todd, 2002 and soundtracks for Amadeus, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and Godfather III. Vance George’s 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 has received great acclaim for his unique knowledge of musical styles, languages, vocal colors, and his synthesis of the choral-orchestral tradition. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by Kent State University, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from Chorus America.
Vance George – Short Biography 2
Vance George is recognized internationally as one of America’s leading choral conductors. Under his direction he and the San Francisco Symphony Chorus have been hailed as one of the finest in the world and have received four Grammys and an Emmy.
His unique range of musical styles, knowledge of languages, mastery of vocal colors, and synthesis of the choral-orchestral tradition has been lauded by audiences, critics, and conductors. His work embodies the legacy of the great maestros and mentors he has known as protégé and colleague, especially Robert Shaw, Margaret Hillis, Robert Page, Otto Werner-Mueller, Mary Oyer and Kurt Masur, John Nelson, Helmut Rilling, Edo de Waart, Herbert Blomstedt and Michael Tilson Thomas.
For more than 23 years he prepared and conducted the SFS Chorus and SF Symphony in performances of large choral/orchestral repertoire as well as seasonal and pops concerts.
Prior to SFS Chorus he was Associate Conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus for seven years. As guest conductor he has led performances of Bach’s Mass in B minor, the Passions, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven Masses, the Requiems of Brahms and Verdi in Minneapolis, Spokane, Akron, Salzburg, Indianapolis and Sydney.
The San Francisco Symphony Chorus may be heard in Orff’s Carmina burana, Grieg’s Peer Gynt, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, a collection of short choral works by Brahms, the Requiem under the direction of Herbert Blomstedt and in Mahler’s Das klagende Lied, Stravinsky’s Perséphone, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 3, Michael Tilson Thomas conducting. The Emmy was for Sondheim’s Sweemu Todd in a semi staged versiou featuring George Hearn, Patti Lupone and Neil Patrick Harris.
Under Vance George’s direction the chorus may be heard on the Delos label in Christmas by the Bay and Voices 1999/2000 and on film soundtracks for Amadeus, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and Godfather III.
Vance George is highly regarded as a teacher of conducting and has written on the subject for Cambridge Press. A graduate of Goshen College and Indiana University, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Musical Arts by Kent State University and a lifetime achievement award by Chorus America. He has served on the Chorus Amerca Board and the National Endowment of the Arts.
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