- Choral Conducting
Music Addition, MA066
Chris Albanese is assistant professor of music in choral conducting at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He is also director of the Singing Hoosiers, holding the Pam and Jack Burks Professorship.
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Albanese comes to Indiana University by way of San Francisco, where he was a member of the Grammy Award-winning ensemble Chanticleer, under the direction of William Fred Scott. Referred to as “the world’s reigning male chorus” by The New Yorker, Chanticleer performs a variety of repertoire, ranging from early music to pop and jazz in over 120 yearly concerts across the United States and internationally.
As a member of Chanticleer, Albanese has appeared in some of the world’s most spectacular venues, including Los Angeles’ Disney Concert Hall, Vienna’s Musikverein, Prague’s Rudolfinum, Paris’ Oratorie du Louvre, and St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre for a performance broadcast on Russian television. His tenure also included a sold-out joint performance with Twin Cities-based male ensemble Cantus at Minneapolis’s Orchestra Hall, which was live-streamed via Minnesota Public Radio. His performances and interviews have been broadcast by public radio and NPR affiliates in Minneapolis, New York, Seattle, Denver, and Cincinnati, and he has appeared with Chanticleer as a featured guest on The Hallmark Network’s Home and Family.
At the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), Albanese served as conductor of the University of Cincinnati Men’s Chorus, while leading the University Men’s and Women’s choruses for performances of Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music and Jeffrey Van’s A Procession Winding Around Me. He also prepared the choruses for CCM’s North-American university premiere of Arthur Honegger’s Joan of Arc at the Stake. Additionally, he served the roles of chorus master and assistant conductor for CCM’s mainstage and undergraduate opera productions, respectively.
As an educator, Albanese served on the choral faculties of Xavier University and Archbishop McNicholas High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. He has facilitated master classes throughout the United States and Europe, and has presented clinics for the Ohio Music Education Association, Music America, Chanticleer Youth Choral Festival, and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
An active performer, Albanese’s solo credits include performances with the Dayton Opera, Cincinnati Bach Festival, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Ars Musica Chicago, and the Castleton Festival under the baton of Lorin Maazel. Albanese’s singing has garnered positive reception from critics, including John von Rhein of the Chicago Tribune, who, in reviewing a performance of Bach’s Mass in B Minor, wrote, “I look forward to hearing more from this promising young tenor.”
Albanese has cultivated a deep interest in the sacred repertoire of colonial New Spain and has researched, written, and presented on the topic of compositional technique and its relationship to missionary rhetoric in the Missa ego flos campi of Juan Gutierrez de Padilla.
His scholarly endeavors also include research in the field of vocal pedagogy and its applications within the choral rehearsal. He is currently authoring a handbook for choral conductors which draws on research in the areas of voice science, pedagogy, and choral acoustics in order to broaden understanding of vocal production, while suggesting a set of best practices for communicating principles of free, healthy, and expressive vocalism to the solo singer in the ensemble setting.
In addition to his experiences in Western art music, Albanese has enjoyed fulfilling musical experiences in a variety of genres, including rock, pop, jazz, gospel, hip hop, and Hindustani classical music. He spent four years as a keyboardist in the Chicago-based Chris Buehrle Band, played lead tenor saxophone with the Dayton Jazz Ensemble, and studied raga and basic Hindustani vocal technique with Stefan Fiol and Kanika Pandey.
Albanese earned a B.M. in Music Education and Vocal Performance from the University of Dayton and an M.M. in Vocal Performance from Northwestern University. In December 2017, he will be conferred with the degree of Doctoral of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.