Utah Symphony / Utah Opera announced the appointment of Barlow Bradford as Utah Symphony chorus master, and Caleb Harris as Utah Opera chorus master.
After a decade as chorus master of both groups, Susanne Sheston has decided to pursue other professional music opportunities. The finale for her tenure was marked by the September performance of Berlioz's "Damnation of Faust."
"Susanne brought a professionalism and integrity to her work that was evident in the quality of performances achieved by both the Utah Opera Chorus and Utah Symphony Chorus," said President and CEO Melia Tourangeau. "She is so 'irreplaceable' we had to hire two people to attempt to fill her shoes."
Bradford is already well known in Utah for his work with the University of Utah choirs and the Utah Chamber Singers.
"Barlow Bradford has already greatly influenced the choral community in Salt Lake City and we are thrilled he will be preparing the Utah Symphony Chorus to collaborate with our world-class Utah Symphony musicians," said Tourangeau.
After an extended search, Utah Opera Artistic Director Christopher McBeth was pleased to announce the appointment of Caleb Harris, who comes to Utah from the University of Northern Colorado, where he served as associate professor of music, piano/collaborative piano and director of the collaborative program.
"Caleb Harris has an impressive background of operatic and collaborative musical experiences. We feel fortunate to bring him into the team of talented artists preparing our Utah Opera performances so quickly after he moved to our community," said McBeth.
Harris' first presentation with Utah Opera Chorus will be for the presentation of Verdi's "La Traviata" in the newly renovated Capitol Theatre on Jan. 18 through Jan. 26.
As an orchestral and choral conductor, he co-founded the Utah Chamber Artists in 1991 and has led that organization to international acclaim for its impeccable, nuanced performances and award-winning recordings—including an INDIE from NAIRD (National Association of Independent Record Distributors & Manufacturers) for the CD "Welcome All Wonders" that was released in 1996 on the BWE label.
Utah Chamber Artists was featured on NPR's "The First Art," a program dedicated to choral music and performed as a featured ensemble with the Boston Pops and Utah Symphony. Under his baton, Utah Chamber Artists also toured Israel with the Israel Chamber Orchestra, performed as the guest choir at the American Choral Directors Association national convention, and joined the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on their national television broadcast.
Bradford's focused, energetic conducting style led to his appointment as music director of the Orchestra at Temple Square in Salt Lake City and associate director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Prior to that, he was director of orchestras at the University of Utah.
His compositions and arrangements have garnered much attention for their innovation and dramatic scope, from delicate, transparent intimacy to epic grandeur.
Many of Bradford's arrangements have been recorded by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and performed regularly by such noted ensembles as the Dallas Symphony Chorus, New York Choral Artists, and the Utah Chamber Artists.
Bradford's performance career began in his early teens when he won numerous competitions in both organ and piano performance, including the National Young Artists Competition and the Utah Symphony Salute to Youth.
As a teacher, Bradford taught courses in music theory, conducting, arranging, composing, private piano and organ at the University of Utah and Brigham Young University Hawaii. He received his doctorate of musical arts from the University of Southern California. He studied conducting at the Aspen Music Festival and the Tanglewood Music Festival and received bachelor of music in piano performance from the University of Utah.
Harris also held the Nat King Cole Fellowship at Tanglewood for two summers and has performed with such notable musicians as William Preucil, concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra and tenor Vale Rideout.
A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Harris joins Utah Opera from an appointment as Associate Professor of Music, Piano/Collaborative Piano; and Director of the Collaborative Program at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado.
His students have won awards in many competitions, including the MTNA state and district finals, Denver Philharmonic Competition, Greeley Chamber Orchestra Concerto Competition, UNC Concerto Competition, and Rocky Mountain Concerto Competition. Harris has also adjudicated over 30 competitions for piano, voice and chamber music across the United States.
Together with Utah Opera, which performs at the Capitol Theatre, USUO reaches 450,000 citizens in Utah and the Intermountain region with educational outreach programs serving more than 200,000 students annually.
The organization employs 60 staff and 85 full-time musicians, presenting four full operas and more than 70 symphony performances in each regular season as well as community concerts throughout Utah and an annual summer series the Deer Valley Music Festival in Park City.
For more information, visit www.usuo.org .