Release Date: May 25, 2010
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Virtuoso choral conductor Harold Rosenbaum, associate professor of music at the University at Buffalo, where he conducts the UB choirs and heads the graduate program in choral conducting, will receive the 2010 Victor Herbert Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) in recognition of his contribution to the choral repertory and his service to American composers and their music.
The award, which many consider long overdue, will be presented on May 27 at the 11th annual ASCAP Concert Music Awards ceremony at The Times Center in New York City, hosted by ASCAP member, radio host and performer Peter Schickele (aka P.D.Q. Bach).
"I feel that this award is to be shared," Rosenbaum says, "because it is not just about me. It's about all the wonderful composers around the world whose work has not been published for various reasons but who continue to write music anyway because they have to -- even with virtually no hope of being heard.
"Over the past 22 years in particular, I have gone over more than 5,000 unpublished scores and have been able to bring many of these works to performance. I am so grateful to have had that opportunity. It is my joy to do this," he says.
The receipt of the Victor Herbert award is a particular honor because Herbert, the Irish-born, German-raised American conductor and composer of 43 operettas and scores of other notable works for voice, piano, cello and orchestra, is a founder of ASCAP.
Rosenbaum, one of the most accomplished and critically acclaimed choral conductors of our time, is as prolific as Herbert, having conducted up to 11 choirs in one season. He is best known, however, as founder, artistic director and conductor of two premier choral groups.
One is the award-winning, internationally celebrated New York Virtuoso Singers, which Rosenbaum founded in 1988 and which is today America's leading exponent of contemporary choral music. The NYVS is regularly invited to perform with leading orchestras and at prestigious institutions such as The Tanglewood Music Festival and The Juilliard School and has premiered more than 250 works by major composers.
It has won the prestigious ASCAP-Chorus America "Award for Adventuresome Programming of Contemporary Music" three times, and has received Chorus America's "American Choral Works Performance Award." It appears on 15 commercial CDs and its performance of Andrew Imbrie's Requiem received a Grammy nomination in 2000 and was voted by Fanfare as Critic's Choice, Best of Year.
The second is Rosenbaum's critically acclaimed Canticum Novum Singers, one of New York's premiere choirs, now in its 37th season, which has presented the music of all periods, with a special focus on early music in more than 450 American concerts and on four European tours.
In 2008, Rosenbaum was the winner of the American Composer Alliance's Laurel Leaf Award, given in recognition of "distinguished achievement in fostering and encouraging American music." Previous winners include the Juilliard String Quartet, Leopold Stokowski, George Szell, Leonard Slatkin, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Also, in recognition of his leadership in the interpretation and performance of contemporary music, G. Schirmer, Inc. — the world's largest music publisher — has established its Harold Rosenbaum Choral Series, for which Rosenbaum composes, edits, and gives performance suggestions for conductors.
A tireless proponent and advocate for contemporary composers and American composers in particular, Rosenbaum has created an annual choral composition competition, commissioned 25 works, conducted more than 250 world premiers, including works by Ravel, Schnittke, Henze, Berio, Perle, and Harbison, and has recorded contemporary choral music for SONY Classical, Albany, CRI, Bridge, Koch International, Capstone, and DRG.
He is also a recipient of Chorus America's American Choral Works Performance Award.
Rosenbaum's choirs have performed many times on Lincoln Center's Great Performers Series, on many major television programs and in concert with James Galway, Tony Bennett, Licia Albanese, Marianne Faithful, Leonard Slatkin, and The Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society.
In addition to his other activities, Rosenbaum is artistic director of The Society for Universal Sacred Music, which creates opportunities for universal sacred music to be performed and heard through concerts, workshops and festivals. He will be conducting Mozart's Requiem in Israel this June in a festival sponsored by the Varna Music Academy, and, at The Juilliard School of Music on October 12 he will conduct choral music of William Schuman, founder of that school, with his New York Virtuoso Singers.
His website, which includes lists of CDs, information on his choirs and a schedule of concerts here and abroad can be found at http://www.haroldrosenbaum.com
Mr. Rosenbaum is also organist and choir director at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Katonah, NY and lives with his family in upper Westchester County.