Robert Nordling’s conducting has been characterized as “emphatic”, “dramatic”, and “vivid” with a “fresh and airy quality and a certain elegance” (San Francisco Chronicle). Robert serves as the Music Director of the Bandung Philharmonic Orchestra (Indonesia), the Baroque on Beaver Island Music Festival (Northern Michigan) and the Lake Forest Civic Orchestra (Chicago). He has appeared with the Grand Rapids Symphony, the Orquestra Juvenal de Mar del Plata (Argentina), the Masterworks Festival Orchestra and Chorus, Nusantara Symphony (Jakarta, Indonesia) the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute Orchestra, the Cedardell Opera Festival Orchestra, and chamber orchestras in Chicago, San Francisco and England. Robert also founded and was the music director of the Bay Chamber Symphony Orchestra (San Francisco).
2018-19 season includes works by Beethoven (Symphony 5, Emperor Concerto) Vaughan Williams (Symphony 3) Elgar (Enigma Variations), Handel (Messiah), Copland (A Lincoln Portrait), William Grant Still (Darker America), Ethel Smyth (Serenade in D). This season also will see performances with soloists Hee-Young, cellist (Lalo Cello Concerto), Airin Efferin, pianist soloist (Shostakovich Piano Concerto 2), Kevin Cole, pianist (Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue), Sally Pinkas, pianist (Beethoven, Emperor Concerto), Aryo Wicaksono, pianist (Liszt Totentnaz), Michael Hall, violist (Garrop Krakatoa).
Nordling continues his commitment to new music this year and will conduct World Premieres of commissioned works by Wisnu Filipus (Overture in D for Brass) Marisa Hartanto (Ngasirah), Aksan Sjuman (Dance of the Water Lily), Stacy Garrop (Krakatoa; Concerto for Viola), Kim Dienhelt (Striadica: A Symphonic Passage), and a U.S Premiere of Ana Lara’s Canticum Sacrum.
2018 saw Nordling named as Music Director of the Shoreline Music Society. Shoreline finds its home in the beautifully renovated Ramsdell Theatre in Manistee, Michigan. The 2018-2019 season will include performances by the Shoreline Chamber Orchestra as well as chamber music and solo concerts.
A sought out clinician and educator, Robert performs orchestra clinics, music educational workshops and master classes in schools in the USA and abroad. He leads the Bandung Philharmonic Conducting Fellows program which trains young Indonesian conductors in Master Class and performance. He has also served on the music faculty of the Calvin College Music Department and Trinity International University where he conducted the orchestras and taught in the areas of music history, music appreciation and conducting.
A native of New Jersey, Robert began his early studies on violin with Stephen Clapp and Paul Zokovsky. Following his undergraduate study at the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music, he was awarded conducting fellowships to the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute where he worked with Leonard Bernstein, Michael Tilson Thomas, Herbert Blomstedt and Erich Leinsdorf. He also received conducting fellowships from the Oregon Bach Festival to work with Helmuth Rilling and the Cedardell Opera Festival to work with Boris Goldovsky.
Robert is also an active composer and arranger based in Chicago, and his current interests include Arthurian literature, English poetry, science fiction, Indian food, furniture-making, Welsh Terriers, Tom Waits, Gustav Mahler, Cherith Nordling and espresso coffee.
Michael Hall lives in Chicago and has performed and taught across Europe, Asia and the United States. Described by the New Music Connoisseur as “utterly masterful,” and Chamber Music Today as having “superb technique,” he recently made his Chicago Orchestra Hall solo debut and concluded a recital tour to Vienna, Austria and Udine and Tolmezzo, Italy. Hall has been a featured performer at the Thailand International Composition Festival in Bangkok, the Positano Chamber Music Festival in Italy, the Vianden International Chamber Music Festival in Luxembourg and the Composer’s Concordance Series in New York City.
Twice he has presented world premieres at International Viola Congresses at Minneapolis and Reykjavik, Iceland, performed at the 2014 Primrose International Festival in Los Angeles, and presented to critical acclaim the North American premiere of Chen Yi’s, Xian Shi, the first viola concerto written by a Chinese composer, with the Chicago Composers Orchestra, and earlier with the Chiang Mai Philharmonic in Thailand. Future performances include solo appearances at the 2016 New Music Gathering, the inaugural Ear Taxi Festival, May String Festival in Bandung, Indonesia, 2016 UMKC Summer Composition Workshop, 2016 Thailand International Composition Festival, the American Viola Festival at Oberlin and performing Mozart’s “Sinfonia Concertante” with the Northwest Symphony Orchestra.
Compositions written for Michael Hall include three recently released commercial recordings: Narong Prangcharoen’s Antahkarana, Mara Gibson’s Canopy and James Mobberley’s “Subject To Change Without Notice,” which received accolades from the American Record Guide, Fanfare Magazine, the NewMusic Box and “I Care If You Listen.” Other notable solo premieres have included works by Marta Ptaszynska, Matthew Burtner, Antonio Celso Ribeiro, Michelle McQuade Dewhirst, Christian Ellenwood, Jean-David Caillouet, David Vayo, Seth Boustead, Eric Malmquist and Yu Pengfei. In addition to presenting the Asian premieres of works by Elliott Carter, Zhou Long, Shulamit Ran and Nico Muhly, Hall has championed the music of Alfred Schnittke, Stephen Paulus and Kee Yong Chong.
Future premieres of solo works written for Hall include compositions by Eric Moe, Amy Williams, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Rob Deemer, Chaipruk Mekara, Milicia Djordjevic, Luke Gullickson, Ilya Levinson and a trio by David Vayo. Commercial recordings can be found on the Delos, Centaur, Acoma, Clarion, Vienna Modern Masters, and Albany Records labels. Hall has performed on Thailand’s PBS-TV, National Public Radio’s “Live From Studio A” and WFMT’s new music program Relevant Tones. Hall regularly performs with the Chicago Philharmonic, Joffrey Ballet, Ravinia Festival, Baroque on Beaver Island Music Festival, and the Chicago Composers Orchestras. He has also worked with members of Ensemble Del Niente, Fonema Consort and newEar Contemporary Chamber Ensemble.
Additional solo performances include the Philadelphia Salon Series, Frequency Series at Constellation, Sonict New Music Series, Carriage Barn Series, Bennington College, PianoForte Salon Live Series, Open Ground Series, South Loop Music Festival, 360º Series, CUBE New Music Series and and his third residency at the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory Summer Composition Workshop, where he will be a featured performer. Hall will also be making his sixth appearance at the Thailand International Composition Festival in Bangkok. An avid chamber musician, Hall was a founding member of the Lake String Quartet, Ensemble-in-Residence at Yellowstone National Park. He has also performed at numerous summer festivals, including the Grand Teton Festival, the National Orchestral Institute, Kneisel Hall Chamber Music School, and the Aspen Music Festival, where he was a winner in the Indiana-Aspen Concerto Competition.
Michael believes strongly in the expressive power of collaborating with diverse disciplines in the arts. Collaborations with dancers and visual artists led to guest recitals and lectures at the Nelson Atkins Museum, Kansas City Art Institute, Chicago Renaissance Society, Musical Bridges Program and the Experimental Sound Studio. Cross-curricular interests naturally led to Michael’s Young Composers Project, funded by the City of Chicago with a Neighborhood Arts Grant. The project combined Howard Gardner’s concepts of Multiple Intelligences with the basic building blocks of music to teach math and creative writing to children grades K-6 in public elementary schools on Chicago’s South Side. Other awards include grants from USArtists International and the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation.
Joel P. Navarro
Joel Magus P. Navarro (born 1955) is a Filipino-American conductor and music educator. He is one of the Philippines' most esteemed choral conductors. He is also a composer, singer, arranger, choral clinician, writer, producer, music minister, author, and book editor. He specializes in 20th and 21st century choral music, but is equally comfortable and adept in music of many epochs. An active performer of music from different eras and ethnic traditions, he takes an ardent interest in post-modern music, Southeast Asian music traditions, and global hymnody.
Joel earned distinction as a choral conductor during his years with the Ateneo de Manila College Glee Club from 1979-2001. Under his direction, the choir rose to national prominence when they won First Prize in the College Choir category of the National Music Competitions for Young Artists (NAMCYA) in 1980. He led the choir in several European choral competitions from 1983 to 2001, garnered many top awards, and gave critically acclaimed performances around the world.
He has also earned honor with The Capella of Calvin University. Under his direction, The Capella gave many acclaimed performances regionally and internationally. In 2008, he led the choir to two 3rd prizes at the Florilège Vocal de Tours international choral competition in Tours, France. Since The Capella's inception in 1935, Navarro is only the fourth in the succession of full-time conductors of The Capella after Seymour Swets, Howard Slenk, and Merle Mustert. Dr. Pearl Shangkuan succeeded him in the Fall of 2014 as the fifth conductor and the first female conductor of The Capella.
At Calvin University, Navarro also directed the Campus Choir which partners yearly with The Women's Chorale (Pearl Shangkuan, director) in the Advent Service of Lessons and Carols held at the La Grave Christian Reformed Church in downtown Grand Rapids. The third choir he directed was the Calvin Oratorio Society, a community choir composed of students, faculty, alumni, and friends of Calvin College. From 2003-2014, Navarro conducted the annual Handel's Messiah, accompanied by the Calvin Orchestra and which featured professional soloists. He was succeeded by composer-conductor Sean Ivory in both choirs.
At S.B.C. he directed the SBC Canticorum (a community choir) and the SBC Chorale, succeeding his predecessors Rev. Lee Chong Min and Dr. Virginia Tsai. While at Singapore, he also conducted the PsalmiDeo Chorale, a choir of Filipino professionals. In 2017, he was selected to be the choirmaster of the Bandung Philharmonic under Maestro Robert Nordling.