Berkshire Choral International


We can’t help boasting: Berkshire Choral has a great reputation. Recognized conductors often seek us out. The experience of turning a diverse group of passionate amateurs into a tight-knit chorus in the space of a week is as invigorating for them as it is for you.

Sonoma, California

Robert Istad

June 12-19, 2016

Robert Istad is Associate Professor and Director of Choral Studies at California State University, Fullerton, where he conducts the University Singers and Women’s Choir in addition to teaching courses in conducting, advanced interpretation and literature. Under his direction, the CSUF University Singers have performed all over the world, and were featured at the 2012 ACDA Western Division Conference. Istad and the CSUF University Singers have been invited to perform as part of the 2013 ACDA National Conference in Dallas, Texas. He has prepared choruses for Esa–Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Carl St.Clair and the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Nicholas McGegan and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, as well as conductors Bramwell Tovey, Eric Whitacre, William Lacey, Giancarlo Guerrero, Marin Alsop, George Fenton, Robert Moody, John Alexander, William Dehning, David Lockington and Mark Manderano. Dr. Istad received his Bachelor of Arts degree in music from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, his Master of Music degree in choral conducting from California State University, Fullerton and his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in choral music at the University of Southern California. He studied conducting with Dr. William Dehning, John Alexander and Dr. Jon Hurty.

Dr. Istad is also the Artistic Director of the Long Beach Camerata Singers and Long Beach Bach Festival and the new artistic director of the Pacific Chorale following John Alexander’s retirement. He is in demand as an adjudicator, guest conductor and guest clinician throughout the nation. This will be his first time conducting a BCI chorus.

Newport, Rhode Island

David Hayes

June 26-July 3, 2016

Trained as a violinist and violist, David Hayes joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 1990. He received his Bachelor of Music in musicology from the University of Hartford and a diploma in conducting from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Otto-Werner Mueller. He also studied with Charles Bruck at the Pierre Monteux School.

He is music director of the Mannes Orchestra, the New York Choral Society, and the Philadelphia Singers; he is also director of orchestral and conducting studies at the Mannes College of Music..

Mr. Hayes has conducted several operas in Belgium and the Czech Republic. Recently, he led Tan Dun’s Tea: A Mirror of Soul for the Opera Company of Philadelphia. He has led several productions for the Curtis Opera Theatre, including The Death of Klinghoffer, Albert Herring, The Rape of Lucretia, La Tragédie de Carmen, Mahagonny, Happy End, Alcina, I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Il viaggio a Reims, L'elisir d'amore, Gianni Schicci, La Rondine, and Les Noces.

Guest-conducting engagements include concerts with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Washington Chorus, Louisiana Philharmonic, and the Verbier Festival. 

Vienna, Austria

Jane Glover

July 10-17, 2016

Music Director of Chicago’s Music of the Baroque since 2002 and Artistic Director of Opera at London’s Royal Academy of Music, Jane Glover made her professional debut at the Wexford Festival in 1975, conducting her own edition of Cavalli’s L’Eritrea. She joined Glyndebourne in 1979 and was Music Director of the Glyndebourne Touring Opera from 1981 to 1985; she was Artistic Director of the London Mozart Players from 1984 to 1991.

In continual demand on the international opera stage, Ms Glover has appeared with numerous companies including the Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, English National Opera, Glyndebourne, Berlin Staatsoper, Royal Danish Opera, Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg, Opéra National de Bordeaux,  Glimmerglass Opera, New York City Opera, Opera Australia, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and the Teatro La Fenice in Venice.  Known chiefly as a Mozart specialist, she has conducted all the Mozart operas regularly, all over the world, since her initial performances of them in Glyndebourne in the 1980’s. (Highlights include Magic Flute at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, the Da Ponte trilogy in Chicago with the director Diane Paulus; Die Entführung at the Royal Opera, Cosi fan tutte in Berlin, etc.)  But her core repertoire also includes Monteverdi (she and Paulus also performed his three operas in Chicago, in 2000, 2003 and 2006), Handel (many operas including Giulio Cesare, Alcina, Agrippina, Tamerlano, Acis and Galatea, Ariodante and Theodora), and Britten, who indeed personally influenced and guided Jane Glover when she was 16, and to whose music she constantly returns. Her operatic repertoire also regularly includes Purcell, Gluck, Beethoven, Rossini, Donizetti, Humperdinck (she performed Hansel and Gretel at the BBC Proms) and Knussen. In addition she collaborates closely with the Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG), for whom she has conducted major productions of Purcell (King Arthur), Handel (L’Allegro) and Mozart.

Ms Glover’s concert engagements similarly take her all over the world.  She has performed with all the major symphony and chamber orchestras in Britain, repeatedly at the BBC Proms (a highlight was Britten’s War Requiem), as well as with orchestras in Europe, the US, the Far East and Australasia.  She is also especially known for her experience in the choral repertoire, and was Music Director of both the London and the Huddersfield Choral Societies.

Jane Glover’s many recordings feature a series of Mozart and Haydn symphonies for ASV, and arias with Felicity Lott, all with the London Mozart Players, plus other recordings of Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Britten and Walton with the London Philharmonic, the Royal Philharmonic, and the BBC Singers; Haydn Masses for Naxos and Handel’s Messiah for Signum. Her extensive broadcasting career includes the television series Orchestra and Mozart, and the radio series Opera House and Musical Dynasties, all for the BBC.

Her book, Mozart’s Women, was published, to great critical acclaim, in September 2005. It was nominated for both the Samuel Johnson Prize and the Whitbread Prize for Non-Fiction.

Highlights in recent and upcoming seasons include operas Lucio Silla, The Turn of the Screw and Jeptha (Bordeaux); Marriage of Figaro (Goteborg, Sweden); Gluck’s Armide and Iphigenie en Aulide (Juilliard/Met Lindemann program); Royal Academy of Music productions that include the world premiere of Peter Maxwell Davies’s Kommilitonen, (directed by its librettist David Pountney), productions of The Rake’s Progress, Cosi fan tutte, Cavalli’s Giasone, Béatrice et Bénédict and Die Zauberflöte; The Rape of Lucretia, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and L’incoronazione di Poppea (Aspen); Don Giovanni (directed by James Robinson in St. Louis) and Magic Flute (directed by Isaac Mizrahi also in St. Louis); Semele (Milwaukee); La Clemenza di Tito and Die Zauberflöte (Chicago Opera Theater); The Creation (Montreal); Britten War Requiem (Berkshire Choral International); with MMDG in Washington, Toronto and Madrid and concerts with Music of the Baroque, the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, the Toronto Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Carnegie Hall and at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York, the Orchestre Nationale de Bordeaux et Aquitaine, the Ulster Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony, the Philharmonia, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the London Mozart Players, the City of London Sinfonia, London’s Mostly Mozart Festival, Philharmonia Baroque and the Handel & Haydn Society.

Jane Glover studied at the University of Oxford where, after graduation, she did her D.Phil. on 17th-century Venetian opera. She holds honorary degrees from several other universities, has a personal Professorship at the University of London, and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Music.  From 1990 to 1995 she served on the Board of Governors of the BBC. She was created a CBE in the 2003 New Year’s Honours.

Sheffield, Massachusetts

John Sinclair

July 17-24, 2016

One of Florida's most visible musicians, Dr. John V. Sinclair, DMA, is celebrating his 21st season as artistic director and conductor of the Bach Festival in Winter Park. He is chair of the department of music and is the John M. Tiedtke Professor of Music at Rollins College. He also conductor of the International Moravian Music Festivals.

Under Dr. Sinclair’s tenure, the Bach Festival Choir has achieved international recognition, touring extensively in Europe, producing a nationally released CD, and performing with the London Symphony Orchestra during its Florida residencies. Dr. Sinclair is known for creative interpretations, an expressive conducting style, and innovative programming.

Dr. Sinclair conducts the Walt Disney World Candlelight Processional at EPCOT and has conducted recordings for Warner Brothers, the Walt Disney Corporation, Moravian Music Foundation, and the Bach Festival. He conducts approximately 150 performances each year. Over the past 15 years, he has made more than 700 appearances throughout the United States and overseas as conductor, clinician, or lecturer, including conducting a principal mass at St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City.

A master teacher, Dr. Sinclair has received many awards while at Rollins, including the Hugh F. McKean Teaching Award, the Arthur Vining Davis Fellowship, and the Lifetime Achievement Award. United Arts of Central Florida has twice named him Outstanding Music Educator of the Year, and Florida International Magazine selected him as one of their Power Players in the Arts.

Dr. Sinclair founded the Rollins College Community School of Music and the Bach Society’s arts-in-education program, FreshStARTS, which takes innovative music programs to thousands of public school students in central Florida each year.

Gary Thor Wedow

July 24-31, 2016

Gary Thor Wedow has established an enviable reputation for dramatically exciting and historically informed performances with opera companies, orchestras, festivals, and choral organizations throughout North America. In December of 2012, he debuted with the New York Philharmonic conducting Messiah, an occasion noted in the New York Times for ‘a fleet, lithe orchestral performance, aptly complemented by the buoyant singing of the chorus’. Hailed by the Baltimore Sun for “hot music making” and “convincingly elegant period style” in Opera News, Maestro Wedow’s 2014-2015 season includes a return to Seattle Opera for two productions: Don Giovanni in the fall and Handel’s Semele in the winter. Back in New York, he will again be on the podium for the New York Philharmonic’s performances of Messiah at Avery Fisher Hall in December and also conducts Handel’s masterpiece for the Santa Fe Symphony.

Born in La Porte, Indiana, and now a resident of New York City, Wedow has been a member of the Juilliard School faculty since 1994 and has led performances there of L’incoronazione di Poppea, La finta giardiniera, Ariodante and Don Giovanni. A musical scholar as well as conductor, he has prepared several performing editions of baroque works in collaboration with countertenor Lawrence Lipnik. His long association with director Stephen Wadsworth has included productions of Handel’s Xerxes, Ariodante and Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride.

Wedow has been a frequent guest of Florida Grand Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Glimmerglass Opera, Berkshire Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Amherst Early Music Festival and Pittsburgh Opera among others. His wide ranging repertoire includes Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, both Sartorio’s and Handel’s Giulio Cesare, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Le nozze di Figaro, Carmen, Patience, La bohème, The Rake’s Progress, Pirates of Penzance and several world premieres including The Loathly Lady with libretto by Wendy Steiner, music by Paul Richards. Choral masterpieces and symphonic repertoire have taken him to the podiums of Orchestra London – Ontario, Phoenix Symphony, Edmonton Symphony and Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society where he was, for many years, Associate Conductor. As a pianist, Wedow studied with virtuoso Jorge Bolet at Indiana University School of Music and received his Master of Music degree at the New England Conservatory.

Kathy Saltzman Romey

July 31-August 7, 2016

Conductor Kathy Saltzman Romey has been the Minnesota Chorale's artistic director since 1995, preparation conductor of the Oregon Bach Festival professional chorus, and Director of Choral Activities at the University of Minnesota, where she oversees the graduate program in choral conducting and conducts choirs.

She has prepared the Minnesota Chorale for performances with both the Minnesota Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra under the baton of such conductors as Edo de Waart, Eduardo Mata, Roger Norrington, Christopher Hogwood, Hugh Wolff, John Harbison, Helmuth Rilling, Bobby McFerrin, Eiji Oue, and Robert Shaw. She also developed and coordinates Bridges, the Chorale's nationally recognized performance outreach program.

Romey graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in music from the University of Oregon. She continued her studies in Frankfurt, Germany under Bach scholar and conductor Helmuth Rilling, receiving an artistic degree in choral conducting from the Frankfurt State Conservatory of Music in 1984. During her five years in Germany, she assisted Dr. Rilling at the Memorial Church in Stuttgart, was a member of Rilling's professional choir, the Gaechinger Kantorei, and worked on the staff of the International Bach Academy.

Romey joined the conducting faculty at the University of Minnesota in the fall of 1992, where she directs the Concert Choir, Men's Chorus, and Women's Chorus. From 1985-1992, she was director of choral activities at Macalester College, conducting the Macalester Concert Choir and the Macalester Festival Chorale. She is active regionally and nationally as a guest conductor and clinician at music conferences and festivals.

Active as a guest conductor, chorus master, and clinician throughout the United States and Europe, Romey has regularly prepared ensembles with the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart for special programs and tours in Germany, France, Poland, Austria, Switzerland and the United States. Currently, she serves on the faculty of the Junges Stuttgarter Bach Ensemble. This international choir and orchestra are assembled annually for the Stuttgart Bach Week, focusing on the study and presentation of major works by Johann Sebastian Bach. In addition to her work with the Bachakademie, Romey has prepared programs with the Westminster Symphonic Choir, Netherlands Radio Choir, Carnegie Hall Festival Chorus, and Grant Park Music Festival.