Location: New York, USA
Harold Rosenbaum is one of the most accomplished and critically acclaimed choral conductors of our time. He is Lead Choral Conductor for Parma Recordings and a Soundbrush Records Artist. He is the 2010 winner of ASCAP's Victor Herbert Founders Award in recognition of his contribution to the choral repertory and his service to American composers and their music, and the winner of the 2008 American Composer Alliance's Laurel Leaf Award, given in recognition of "distinguished achievement in fostering and encouraging American music." Among the recipients of the Laurel Leaf have been the Juilliard String Quartet, Leonard Slatkin, Leopold Stokowski, George Szell, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Also, in recognition of his leadership in the interpretation and performance of contemporary music, G. Schirmer Music Inc. created a Harold Rosenbaum Choral Series, for which he composes, edits, and gives performance suggestions for conductors.
A tireless proponent and advocate for contemporary composers and American composers in particular, he has created an annual choral composition competition, has commissioned 51 works, has conducted over 450 world premieres (including works by Ravel [in Paris], Schoenberg, Schnittke, Carter, Henze, Berio, Perle, Harbison, Corigliano, Lang, Ran, Zwilich, Adamo, Ran, Musgrave, Bolcom, Danielpour, Thomas, Wyner, Tower, and Kernis), and has recorded contemporary choral music on close to thirty commercial CD’s for SONY Classical, Albany, CRI, Bridge, Koch International, Soundbrush, KASP, Capstone, MSR Classics, and DRG. He is also a three time recipient of the ASCAP/Chorus America Award for Adventuresome Programming of Contemporary Music, and a recipient of Chorus America's American Choral Works Performance Award.
To fulfill his dream of conducting the most complex and masterful choral compositions of the 20th and 21st centuries, Mr. Rosenbaum established The New York Virtuoso Singers (http://nyvirtuoso.org/), a professional choir entering its 26th season.
The NYVS is regularly invited to perform with leading orchestras, and at prestigious institutions such as The Tanglewood Music Festival and The Juilliard School. It has premiered close to 400 works by composers such as Luciano Berio, John Harbison, Hans Werner Henze, Louis Andriessen, Shulamit Ran, George Perle, Ernst Krenek, Thea Musgrave, Jonathan Harvey, Arvo Pärt, Andrew Imbrie, and many others.
Prior to the formation of The NYVS, Mr. Rosenbaum had already established his all-volunteer choir, The Canticum Novum Singers (www.canticumnovum.org), as one of New York's premiere choirs presenting the music of all periods, with a special focus on early music. The Canticum Novum Singers has presented over 500 concerts in this country, and on four European tours. Of the 600+ singers who have been with the choir since 1973, over 100 have become professional choristers, soloists, conductors and composers. This choir has premiered over 60 compositions by composers such as Handel, J.C. Bach, Fauré, Bruckner, Harbison, Berio, Schnittke, Rorem, Schickele, and Benjamin.
Mr. Rosenbaum is a much sought after guest conductor, clinician, adjudicator, funding panelist, coach, lecturer, consultant, and educator. He has taught at four universities including The Juilliard School. Currently he is Associate Professor at the University at Buffalo/SUNY, where he directs the choirs, heads the graduate program in choral conducting, and teaches other courses. A lifelong passion of his has been to bring together choral singers from many different backgrounds and levels of skills to perform. As founder not only of the above mentioned choirs, but of The Canticum Novum Festival Choir, Westchester Oratorio Society, Long Island Jewish Choral Society, and Westchester Jewish Choral Society, and as conductor over the last 41 years of eight university choirs, six church choirs, ten synagogue choirs, two youth choirs, and a senior adult choir, he has conducted close to 1,600 concerts including ones combining his choirs. Examples include the Verdi Requiem at Carnegie Hall with seven choirs, and Haydn's Creation with the Queens College Preparatory Choir, Transfiguration Lutheran Church Choir of Harlem, and Westchester Jewish Choral Society. For that concert Mr. Rosenbaum was awarded The Most Remarkable Ecumenical Achievement Award by The New York Times.
Mr. Rosenbaum's productivity has always been startling. During one season he was artistic director of 11 choirs (most of which met weekly). He was a full-time professor one year at both the University at Buffalo and Queens College, while simultaneously conducting 5 non-university choirs. To celebrate The Canticum Novum Singers' 25th season, he conducted 25 Bach cantatas, including 11 in one day. During one 3 1/2 week period, he conducted Verdi's Requiem in Carnegie Hall, a 3-hour world premiere in Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center (both of these concerts with the Brooklyn Philharmonic and multiple choirs), Bach's St. John Passion, and a concert of modern music with The New York Virtuoso Singers.
In his second appearance at The Tanglewood Music Center, he conducted 7 modern works in the afternoon, and 3 more that evening in the "Prelude" concert for the Boston Symphony. At any given time, he is working on 15-20 current and future projects. One past project stands out in its breadth of scope: the co-production with Merkin Concert Hall, with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, of "Voices of the Century", a series of six concerts presenting, in Mr. Rosenbaum's opinion, the 50 greatest a cappella pieces of the 20th century from 13 countries.
Mr. Rosenbaum has collaborated with such composers as David Del Tredici, Stephen Schwartz, John Harbison, George Perle, William Schuman, Milton Babbitt, John Corigliano, John Adams, Mark Adamo, Osvaldo Golijov, Ned Rorem, Charles Wuorinen, Peter Schickele, Augusta Read Thomas, David Lang, Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe, David Felder, George Tsontakis, Shulamit Ran, Andrew Imbrie, Tan Dunn, Earl Brown, and Tristan Keuris. He has also worked with actors Tony Randall, F. Murray Abraham, Werner Klemperer and Michael York, stage directors Jonathan Miller and François Girard, film director Murray Lerner, plus Barbara Cook, Dawn Upshaw, John Buccino, DJ Spooky, and recently with legendary film composer Ennio Morricone and The Roma Sinfonietta in concerts in the General Assembly of the United Nations and at Radio City. During the 2013-2014 season he once again collaborates with Mr. Morricone, this time in Carnegie Hall.
Throughout Europe Mr. Rosenbaum has conducted close to 100 concerts, working with the Budapest Symphony Orchestra, L'Orchestre d'Europe, the New Prague Collegium, Dohnanyi Budafok Orchestra, the Madeira Bach Festival Orchestra, and choirs from the USA and France. Appearances include The Ludlow Festival and the Cheltenham Fringe Festival in England, The Madeira Bach Festival in Portugal, and The Siracusa Festival in Italy.
In this country Mr. Rosenbaum has collaborated over 100 times with leading orchestras such as The New York Philharmonic with James Conlon, The Brooklyn Philharmonic (59 times) with Robert Spano, Lukas Foss, Dennis Russell Davies, Michael Christie, and Grant Llewellyn, The American Symphony with Leon Botstein, The American Composers Orchestra with Steven Sloane, The Riverside Symphony with George Rothman, The Orchestra of St. Luke's with Sir Charles Mackerras and Robert Spano, plus The Juilliard Orchestra, Concerto Köln, The Bard Festival Orchestra, The Westchester Symphony, and many others. He has also collaborated with The Paul Taylor Dance Company, Continuum, P.D.Q. Bach in Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall, The Mark Morris Dance Group, Bang on a Can, The Glyndebourne Opera Company, S.E.M. Ensemble, Da Capo Chamber Players, The New York Youth Symphony, and The Bel Canto Opera Company.
Mr. Rosenbaum's choirs have performed many times on Lincoln Center's Great Performers Series, and have appeared on The David Letterman Show (on Millennium New Year’s Eve), and in concerts with James Galway, Tony Bennett, Licia Albanese, Marianne Faithful, Leonard Slatkin, The Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society and many others. He has appeared countless times on radio and TV, including an annual national broadcast of an episode of CBS TV's 48 Hours entitled The Mystery of the Nativity.
Mr. Rosenbaum is Artistic Director of The Society for Universal Sacred Music (www.universalsacredmusic.org). The Society creates opportunities for universal sacred music to be performed and heard through concerts, workshops and festivals. In June of 2012 the Society’s resident choir, The New York Virtuoso Singers, made its first international tour, to Denmark and Sweden, followed by a concert in the Bandshell in Central Park. In the summer of 2010 he conducted Mozart's Requiem in Israel in a festival sponsored by the Varna Music Academy. At The Juilliard School of Music on October 12, 2010, he conducted choral music of William Schuman, founder of that school, with his New York Virtuoso Singers. On May 22, 2013 he returned there to conduct a vocal ensemble at the memorial concert for Elliott Carter. Last summer he conducted Verdi’s Requiem in Italy. In the summer of 2014 he will conduct Mozart’s Solemn Vespers in Greece.
Mr. Rosenbaum is also organist and choir director at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Katonah, NY.
In 2011 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Queens College, his Alma Mater.
He resides in upper Westchester County with his wife Edie, Executive Director of the Society for Universal Sacred Music, and a singer. They have two daughters and three grandsons.