Artistic Director Eric Townell
“The single most reinforcing, life-affirming
experience I know is to sing in a really great choir.”
Maestro Eric Townell is an experienced and creative conductor of operatic, orchestral and choral repertoire from the Baroque period through the 21st Century. Since joining the Rochester Oratorio Society in 2006, he has led the ROS in subscription concerts, regional outreach performances, live radio broadcasts, a televised concert, collaborative concerts with the region's leading arts organizations, and an award-winning tour to Beijing and Shanghai for the 2008 Olympic Cultural Festival.
Maestro Townell has prepared the Rochester Oratorio Society for a number of appearances with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra under Christopher Seaman and Jeff Tyzik, performing the music of Bach, Beethoven, Vaughan Williams, Handel, Verdi, Gershwin and Orff. In 2008, Eric also established Resonanz, a select high-quality choral ensemble that represents the Rochester Oratorio Society at special engagements.
Eric is the former music director of the Festival Choir of Madison (1993-2006), the Master Singers of Milwaukee (2003-2010) and the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra (1991-2001). He holds a doctorate of musical arts degree from the Peabody Conservatory and degrees in music performance and conducting from Northern Illinois University and Indiana University. He studied conducting and solfege with Catherine Comet at St. Louis Conservatory; opera conducting with Georg Tintner in the Czech Republic; orchestral conducting with Frederik Prausnitz at Peabody and Charles Bruck at the Monteux School, and choral/orchestral conducting with Helmuth Rilling as a member of the 2002 Master Class at the Oregon Bach Festival. He appears frequently as guest conductor and festival clinician with orchestras, choirs and opera companies across the country.
Eric Townell appears by arrangement with Harwood Management Group, New York, (212) 864-0773. For more information about his background and current activities, please visit:
Our Past Leaders
The Rochester Oratorio Society is fortunate to have been guided through its long and distinguished history by just three wonderful leaders: Theodore Hollenbach, Roger Wilhelm, and Eric Townell.
Theodore Hollenbach founded the Rochester Oratorio Society in 1945 and served as its Music Director until 1986. Click here to read more about Maestro Hollenbach.
Roger Wilhelm stepped onto the podium to lead ROS in 1986, and held the post of Music Director until 2006. Click here to read more about Maestro Wilhelm.