Helen McMaster Endowed Professorship in Vocal and Choral Studies
Helen and the late Harold McMaster established this endowed professorship in spring 2000. Helen McMaster, a long-time Perrysburg resident, has supported the arts at BGSU for many years. In 1992 she served as honorary chair of Bowling Green’s Campaign of the Arts, to which the McMasters donated $150,000.
Generous friends of BGSU, she and her husband previously donated to programs in music, business, science and the Center for Photochemical Sciences. They established the Harold and Helen McMaster Professor of Photochemical Sciences position in 1993, helped to purchase a photoelectron microscope for the center in 1992 and gave the University a $1 million gift for the McMaster Endowment Fund, which supports the chemical sciences, in 1985.
College professors in vocal, choral or opera may nominate endowed professors (follow the link for more details).
2012–2013 Endowed Professorships in Vocal and Choral Studies
For over three decades, Samuel Ramey has reigned as one of the music world’s foremost interpreters of bass and bass-baritone operatic and concert repertoire. With astounding versatility he commands an impressive breadth of repertoire encompassing virtually every musical style from the fioratura of Argante in Handel’s Rinaldo, which was the vehicle of his acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut in 1984, to the dramatic proclamations of the title role in Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle, which he sang in a new production at the Metropolitan Opera televised by PBS. Mr. Ramey’s interpretations embrace the bel canto of Bellini, Rossini, and Donizetti; the lyric and dramatic roles of Mozart and Verdi; and the heroic roles of the Russian and French repertoire.
Past McMaster Endowed Professors
Libby Larsen (b. 24 December 1950, Wilmington, Delaware) is one of America’s most performed living composers. She has created a catalogue of over 400 works spanning virtually every genre from intimate vocal and chamber music to massive orchestral works and over twelve operas. Grammy Award winning and widely recorded, including over fifty CD’s of her work, she is constantly sought after for commissions and premieres by major artists, ensembles, and orchestras around the world, and has established a permanent place for her works in the concert repertory. As a vigorous, articulate advocate for the music and musicians of our time, in 1973 Larsen co-founded the Minnesota Composers Forum, now the American Composer’s Forum, which has become an invaluable aid for composers in a transitional time for American arts. A former holder of the Papamarkou Chair at John W. Kluge Center of the Library of Congress, Larsen has also held residencies with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Charlotte Symphony and the Colorado Symphony. Click for a gallery of Libby Larsen's visit.
Ann Baltz is founder and artistic director of the nationally acclaimed performance training program, OperaWorks. A master teacher of performance skills and operatic improvisation for opera companies, conservatories and universities, Baltz has been heralded as one of the leading opera educators in America today. She is a frequent presenter at the Classical Singer’s Conventions, and has been featured as a speaker for Opera America’s seminar “Building a Career: Strategies for Success.” Representative schools where she has presented workshops include the Manhattan School of Music, Mannes College of Music, New England Conservatory, Boston University, Westminster Choir College, Rice University and the San Francisco Conservatory.
Composer, conductor and teacher Alice Parker began composing early, and wrote her first orchestral score while still in high school. She graduated from Smith College with a major in music performance and composition, then received her master’s degree from the Juilliard School where she studied choral conducting with Robert Shaw. Her life-work has been in choral and vocal music, combining composing, conducting and teaching in a creative balance. Her arrangements with Robert Shaw of folksongs, hymns and spirituals form an enduring repertoire for choruses all around the world. She serves on the board of Chorus America, and was recently honored by the Eastern Division Convention of the American Choral Directors Association. Parker has published books on melodic styles, choral improvisation and “Good Singing in Church.”
Pianist Margo Garrett is well known to audiences for her frequent performances in chamber, sonata and vocal recitals. She will present a two-day residency at Bowling Green on Oct. 8 & 10, 2007. The large roster of internationally known artists with whom she has long performing relationships include sopranos Kathleen Battle, Barbara Bonney, Elizabeth Futral, Beverly Hoch, the late Judith Raskin, Lucy Shelton, Dawn Upshaw, Benita Valente, mezzo Shirley Close, tenor Anthony Griffey, violinists Jaime Laredo and Daniel Phillips, violist Paul Neubauer, cellists Sharon Robinson, Matt Haimowitz and the late Stephen Kates. Her recordings can be found on Albany, CRI, Deutsche Grammophon (1992 Grammy for Best Vocal Recital), Dorian, Musical Heritage Society, Nonesuch and Sony Classical. Active for many years in the world of contemporary music, she has performed the premieres of more than 30 works.
Vance Y. George is recognized internationally as one of the world’s leading choral conductors. He has conducted throughout the U.S. as well as Europe, Australia and Asia. During his 23 years as conductor with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, the group was hailed as one of the finest in the world. On their behalf he accepted two Grammy awards for Best Choral Performances in 1992 and 1995 for Orff’s Carmina Burana and Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem. Highly regarded as a teacher of conducting George has taught and presented workshops and lectures at many universities including the University of Wisconsin, Indiana University, Eastman School of Music, The San Francisco Conservatory, Cincinnati Conservatory, Kent State University and the University Berkeley-California.
Jon Fredric West
Leading heldentenor Jon Fredric West (‘74) presented a two-day residency at Bowling Green on Oct. 4–5, 2006. During the residency he gave a recital and held master classes.
A Dayton native, West holds a bachelors’s degree in performance from BGSU. He attended the Opera Theater Program at the Manhattan School of Music for his master’s degree and completed postgraduate studies at the Juilliard Opera Theater. He has received grants from The National Opera Institute, The Sullivan Foundation and an award from The Liederkranz Foundation.
West has established himself as the world’s foremost Siegfried in Richard Wagner’s Siegfried and Götterdämmerung. He recently sang the role as part of the complete Ring Cycle at the Metropolitan Opera in New York under James Levine. He came to the Met after triumphant performances in both operas at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, led by Zubin Mehta. With pianist and former BGSU Artist-in-Residence Jerome Rose, he recently recorded Schubert’s Winterreise on Medici Classics.
West has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony (at the Ravinia Festival), BBC Symphony Orchestra, Bayerische Rundfunk, Houston, San Francisco, Saint Louis, Boston, Pittsburgh, Toronoto and Cincinnati symphonies. He has sung under the batons of James Conlon, Sir Simon Rattle, Christoph Eschenbach, Andrew Davis, Walter Weller, Sir Colin Davis, Michael Tilson Thomas, Eugene Ormandy, Leonard Slatkin, Seiji Ozawa and Lorin Maazel.
Marilyn Horne—Inaugural Professorship
Opera News has called her “maybe the most influential singer in American history” and in fall 2005, she taught students at the College of Musical Arts.
Famed singer Marilyn Horne returned to Bowling Green Oct. 4–6, 2005, as the inaugural artist of the Helen McMaster Endowed Professorship in Vocal and Choral Studies. She last visited BGSU in December 1996 when she gave a sold-out recital on the Festival Series.
Currently focusing on a “master teacher” career, Horne spent several days privately coaching voice students in the College of Musical Arts. She also conducted two master classes featuring many of these same students.
Horne’s five-decade career in opera, concert and recital has been celebrated throughout the world for the power and artistry of her unique and dazzling mezzo-soprano coloratura.