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Christopher Kendall

Dean and Paul Boylan Collegiate Professor of Music, Theatre & Dance
Office: 2300 Moore


Dalcroze School of Music, Theatre & Dance
B.Mus, Antioch College
M.Mus (Orchestral Conducting), University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music

Christopher Kendall was the Director of the University of Maryland School of Music from 1996-2005 during a time of extraordinary growth in the stature of that program and its occupancy of the $130 Million Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, which combines public arts presentation with the academic disciplines of music, dance, and theater.  As Director, he initiated a multi-disciplinary project entitled Cultures in Counterpoint in response to 9/11, and was responsible for the appointment of such figures as Andre Watts and William Preucil to the Artist-faculty of the School.

From 1993 to 1996, Kendall was Director of the Music Division and Tanglewood Institute of the Boston University School of the Arts. Prior to this, he was Assistant, then Associate Conductor of the Seattle Symphony from 1987 to 1992. The invitation to take this position followed his guest conducting engagement with the orchestra as part of an American Symphony Orchestra League/Meet the Composer new orchestral music project. During his years in Seattle, Kendall led the Seattle Symphony in subscription, education, baroque and new music concerts, conducted the Messiah, Fourth of July and other special concerts, and was on the podium regularly on its Mainly Mozart, Discover Music and American Music series.

Since its founding in 1975, Kendall has been Conductor and Artistic Director of the 21st Century Consort, ensemble-in-residence at the Smithsonian Institution. The Emmy-Award winning ensemble has toured, recorded and broadcast nationally for over three decades, frequently creating programs related to the exhibitions of art museums in which the ensemble performs, and commissioning and giving the world premieres of numerous works by established and emerging American composers.

Kendall founded the Folger Consort, early music-in-residence at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C., in 1977, and has performed, toured nationally and recorded regularly with the ensemble as lutenist and conductor. The ensemble’s annual series at the Folger and Washington National Cathedral continues to be among the leading chamber music destinations in Washington after three decades.

From 1979 to 1986, Kendall was artistic director of Millennium, an arts production company devoted to presentation of the music of the past 10 centuries. Millennium sponsored the Martha’s Vineyard Music Festival through the Nathan Mayhew Seminars from 1980 to 1986, featuring a chronologically organized series of chamber music events and music history seminars with the Folger Consort, Emerson String Quartet and 20th Century Consort. Millennium received funding for a pilot public television program treating the history of Western music. Professor Kendall assembled the team of leading scholars, led by the late Howard Meyer Brown, to develop the scripts for the 10 episode series. He directed and performed in the musical performances for the first episode which addressed medieval music and was shot in France in 1984. The film, The Advent of Polyphony narrated by Fritz Weaver, won a gold medal at the Houston International Film Festival the following year.

Professor Kendall was Music Director of the Washington Sinfonia from 1978 to 1981, and has been guest conductor with the Seattle Symphony, the Dayton Philharmonic, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony (Ontario), the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, the New York Chamber Symphony, the Annapolis Symphony, the Da Capo Chamber Players, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Collage and Dinosaur Annex, both new music ensembles in Boston, and the Orchestra, Symphony and Chamber Orchestra of The Juilliard School and the Musica Nova Ensemble at the Eastman School.

Awards for Professor Kendall include the Emmy and the Washington Area Music (Wammie) Awards, 1984, 1987 and 1989, with the 20th Century Consort; the Woolson Award, 1989, with the Folger Consort; and the Smithson Award, 1992, with the 20th Century Consort. He has served on and chaired panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, Dance America, the Library of Congress and Smithsonian Institution and frequently served as an adjudicator for the Friedheim Competition at the Kennedy Center.

Kendall’s performances can be heard in recording on the Innova, Bridge, Nonesuch, ASV, Centaur, Bard, Delos, CRI and Smithsonian Collection labels. Professor Kendall earned his B.M. degree from Antioch College in 1972 and M.M. degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music in 1974, where he studied conducting with Thomas Schippers, Leonard Bernstein, Elmer Thomas, Louis Lane, and Robert Shaw, and did extensive study at the Dalcroze School of Music in New York City with Hilda Schuster.

Kendall photo

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