I believe that art has the power to make us more aware of our present everyday experience of life—the beauty of everyday things and events, and the inspiration we can derive from these to become better and more whole people. An essential element of my work with Choral Arts Philadelphia is breaking down the social and economic barriers to broader enjoyment and experience of music—to bring the realization that music transcends all boundaries and nourishes our fundamental hunger for living life to its fullest.
My passion for this personal mission was forged through my work from a very young age as a conductor, composer, church musician, and educator. I was raised in Germany, where I studied the organ at Bremen Cathedral with Wolfgang Baumgratz and became immersed in the rich tradition of German sacred music. I later entered The Curtis Institute of Music as a student of John Weaver and Ford Lallerstedt, continuing on to graduate studies with McNeil Robinson at the Manhattan School of Music.
My work as a musician has afforded me artistic appointments and performing opportunities at a wide range of places—indeed the place of music and the holistic experience of sound in place have been central to my vision for Choral Arts Philadelphia. I have served as director of music for numerous Philadelphia churches, including historic Old St. Joseph's, Old Pine Street Presbyterian, The Lutheran Church of the Holy Communion, and currently St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. I’ve had the pleasure of playing the organ in magnificent spaces throughout the world: Rochester Cathedral, Ulm, Munster, the Cathedral of Bremen, and in Philadelphia on the Wanamaker Grand Court organ and the new organ in Verizon Hall. Educating the next generation of musicians is also essential to my work. I have served on the faculties of Swarthmore College and Westminster Choir College and am currently on the faculty of The Curtis Institute of Music. Finally, my work roots in German musical culture brought me to the music directorship of The Bach Festival of Philadelphia in 2008, where I have focused my energies on presenting the lesser heard but stunning masterpieces, both sacred and profane, of Bach and his contemporaries.