Location: New York, USA
Stephen M. Black is an active conductor and performer in New York City. A graduate of the Yale School of Music, he is the Director of Music at St. Joseph’s Church Yorkville, New York City's German national parish on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Mr. Black is also the founder of the St. Joseph's Singers, a select chamber choir in residence at the church. In April 2008 he led the church’s choral ensembles in a concert of music by Arvo Pärt, Aaron Jay Kernis, and J. S. Bach on the occasion of Pope Benedict XVI’s internationally televised visit to the historic parish. In addition to his position with St. Joseph’s Church, Mr. Black is the Artistic Director of the Central City Chorus, one of New York City's premiere mid-sized choruses. He is also the conductor of the Brearley Singers, associated with the Brearley School on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. He has led performances of Bach’s Magnificat and Christmas Oratorio with the Central City Chorus, and recently conducted a critically acclaimed performance of the Frederick Delius Requiem at Symphony Space in Manhattan. With the Brearley Singers he has conducted Haydn’s Paukenmesse, Duruflé’s Requiem, Bernsteins' Chichester Psalms, and Mozart's Solemn Vespers K. 339. In addition, he has prepared choruses for performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 at Riverside Church with the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony, Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Astoria Symphony, and William Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast with the Empire State Youth Orchestra. As a guest conductor he has led summersings sponsored by the St. George's Choral Society and the West Village Chorale. Mr. Black has received several honors and awards in both organ performance and choral conducting. In 1997 he won first prize in the John R. Rodland organ competition in New Jersey, the largest organ scholarship competition in the United States. In 1999 he was one of six finalists in the American Guild of Organists Young Artist Competition. He has performed recitals at Washington National Cathedral; St. Patrick's Cathedral and St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue in New York City; All Saints Cathedral in Albany, New York; Longwood Gardens in Westchester County, Pennsylvania; and St. Mary's Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland. In addition, he was awarded a conducting fellowship from the Dennis Keene Choral Festival in the summer of 2002. Mr. Black is continually involved in the performance of new music. He has commissioned composers Elliot Levine and Kristin Kuster to write for the Central City Chorus. He has also presented New York City premieres of compositions by Emma Lou Diemer, Kirke Mechem, and Emmy-award winning composer Steve Heitzeg. With the St. Joseph's Singers he has presented concerts of new music, including a TimeOut Magazine Critic's Choice Concert in October 2006 featuring the world premiere of a choral suite from Stefan Weisman's critically acclaimed opera Darkling. As a professional singer he appears regularly with the New York Virtuoso Singers, an ensemble devoted exclusively to the performance of contemporary music.