Berkshire Choral International

Richard Kosowski


Richard Kosowski maintains an active career as a soloist, recitalist, chorister, conductor, director and educator. His performance career includes a varied repertoire encompassing over 50 opera and oratorio roles, representing music from the early 17th century through the 21st century. He is an active song recitalist, and this past March Rich performed a chamber recital with his wife, mezzo-soprano Mary Beth Kosowski, and soprano Melissa Givens (BCI, Sheffield soloist for Elijah 2006). Together, they performed music by Debussy, Saint-Saëns, Viardot, Zaninelli, and Hella-Johnson, and presented the Southeast premiere of Sammartini’s Lenten cantata, Il pianto delle pie donne (The tears of the pious women), for which Rich scribed parts for and conducted a small orchestra and sang the role of the Angel.  As a professional chorister he has sung across North America, Europe, and Asia with the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera National Company, National Chorale (NYC), Coro Vocati (serving as tenor section leader, diction pedagogue and rehearsal assistant) and the Choral Guild of Atlanta.

On the faculty of the Townsend School of Music at Mercer University since 2007, Rich is currently the Director of Graduate Studies for TSM, and in fall 2018 he will begin to serve as the interim Chair of the Vocal Studies area. As music director and conductor for Mercer University Opera, he has led performances of Rogers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! (2016), Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers (2017) and Iolanthe (2013), Mozart’s Così fan tutte (2018) and The Magic Flute (2014), and in January 2015, he conducted Handel’s Alcina. This past fall, he led performances of the children’s opera The Trial of Goldilocks for 2,500 children and adults in Macon and in neighboring Monroe County. In March 2017, he led the premiere of extended orchestral scenes from the new opera Hugh Smalling, which recounts the life and events of a local Macon (GA) hero who lost his life in a bombing raid during World War II. The full opera is scheduled to premiere in the 2019 -2020 academic year.

Rich is the music director for the Mercer University Youth Choirs program, a position he has held since 2011. In this role he has prepared MUYC for performances of Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, Nick Page’s The Nursery Rhyme Cantata for “Once Upon a Symphony,” and two annual performances of “Home for the Holidays” with the Macon Symphony Orchestra, as well as numerous local concerts. Under his direction, MUYC has traveled to 22 states and performed in important venues in New York City, Boston, Chicago, Providence (RI), Philadelphia, Washington DC, Winston-Salem, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Louisville, Memphis, Nashville, Charleston (SC) and Savannah. He began his teaching career as an elementary music specialist with Atlanta (GA) Public Schools.

For the past year, Rich has served as the interim Director of Music for Mulberry Street United Methodist Church, a large, vibrant congregation and the mother church of Methodism in Georgia. In this capacity, he served as conductor of the Ainsworth Choir (adult choir) and the Wesley Choir (1st-5th grades) and oversaw the musical activities of the church. His weekly duties include planning liturgy for and preparing the choirs and soloists for two of three services each Sunday. At Mulberry, he has led choral/ orchestral performances of Bach’s Sleepers, Awake! (BWV 140) and the Easter portion of Handel’s Messiah.

Rich holds a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Houston Moores School of Music (TX), a Master of Music from the University of Miami Philip and Patricia Frost School of Music (FL) and a Bachelor of Music Education from Truman State University (MO). He will serve on both the Baltimore and Fullerton faculty in his eighth year with BCI.

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