Artist Profile

Bernard McDonald

Conductor and pianist Bernard McDonald garnered wide-ranging experience as a vocal coach, assistant conductor, and chorus master with major opera companies in America, Europe and Far East, before embarking on a freelance career. He currently holds the G. Dewey and M. Maine Larsen Chair in Opera at Simpson College.

Professional training at the Merola Program of the San Francisco Opera led directly to an invitation to join the music staff of the New York City Opera. He was subsequently Head of Music and Chorus Master at the Florida Grand Opera in Miami. As Chorus Master of Glyndebourne, he prepared over twenty-five productions to great critical acclaim for a host of internationally renowned conductors: highlights include Idomeneo with Sir Simon Rattle, Die Zauberflöte with Sir Charles Mackerras and Otello with Vladimir Jurowski.

Dr. McDonald has also worked with, among others, the Aspen Music Festival and School, the New National Theatre Tokyo, the Netherlands Opera, the Netherlands Radio Choir, and the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir. He has been on the faculty of the RSAMD and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM).

A native of Dumbarton, Scotland, his studies include piano at the RSAMD; opera at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, and CCM; musicology at the University of Glasgow; and a doctorate in conducting from Indiana University.

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