Madrigalia Names Cary Ratcliff Artistic Director

Rochester composer, musician, and conductor Cary Ratcliff has been named Artistic Director of Madrigalia.  Ratcliff joins Madrigalia as the choral ensemble’s fourth director in its near 40-year history.


“We are very excited to welcome Cary as Artistic Director,” said Madrigalia’s President Jeanne Fisher. “His skills as a conductor and composer, along with his national reputation, will bring Madrigalia to even greater levels of artistic excellence.”


“Cary is a musician's musician,” said Madrigalia Music Director Emeritus Roger Wilhelm. “No question, his musicality is beyond question. He has a wonderful ear for detail, and will bring that sensitivity and creativity to Madrigalia as they continue their tradition of excellence in choral singing."


Ratcliff is no stranger to Madrigalia. The ensemble has commissioned and performed many of his choral works, and he served as a guest conductor for a series of concerts with the ensemble in 2009. His latest turn with the group included a series of innovative Christmas concerts last December, and a second series of concerts in January. Those concerts were followed by a series of recording sessions with Ratcliff, and Madrigalia looks forward to releasing its next CD in the fall entitled: For Better, For Worse: Songs of Marriage.


“I am delighted to have the opportunity to continue working with the wonderful, versatile singers of Madrigalia,” said Ratcliff. “The human spirit has expressed itself in beautiful, intriguing, challenging and compelling music for the human voice. I look forward to exploring these riches with Madrigalia, and sharing them with the Rochester region.”


Well-known in Rochester and across the country, Ratcliff composes in choral, orchestral, chamber music, art song, and operatic genres. His numerous choral works range from the oratorio Ode to Common Things (on poems of Pablo Neruda), to the unorthodox Requiem: Eric Wolterstorff in memoriam, to works for children's chorus. Other works include his operas Eleni and Ellis Island, Moon Tiger Songs, Cello Sonata, and his prize-winning Viola Concerto. He has also composed orchestral soundtracks for the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum. He is keyboardist with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and is Music Director & Composer-in-Residence at Bethany Presbyterian Church in Greece. He holds a doctorate in Composition from Eastman School of Music, where he studied with Joseph Schwantner and Christopher Rouse, and also accompanied in the voice studio of Jan DeGaetani. He has subsequently taught choral arranging and orchestration courses at Eastman, and conducted dozens of programs with the Musica Nova Ensemble and Graduate Chamber Orchestra.

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