Kenneth Schermerhorn

Biography

Born: November 20, 1929; Schenectady, NY   Died: April 18, 2005; Nashville, TN  
Kenneth Schermerhorn was one of the most respected conductors on the American scene, especially highly regarded as a builder of orchestras.

He grew up learning to play the trumpet and graduated from the New England Conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts, where he studied conducting with Richard Burgin. He then won the Koussevitzky Prize, the main prize for young conductors at the Berkshire Music Center. During his military service he
Read more became the conductor of the Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra (stationed in Germany), obtaining leadership and artistic experiences rarely available to aspiring conductors in their early 20s. On his return to the United States he joined the American Ballet Theater, of which he was the musical director from 1957 to 1967. He also studied with Leonard Bernstein at Tanglewood and became assistant conductor to Bernstein at the New York Philharmonic (1959 - 1960 season). During this period Schermerhorn married Lupe Serrano, the ABT's principal ballerina.

From 1963 to 1968 he was the music director of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, then in the years 1968 - 1980 had a similar position with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. In both cases he was credited with accomplishing great improvements in their ensemble and artistic qualities. He remarried in 1975, to soprano Carol Neblett. The dancer-choreographer Mikhail Baryshnikov chose Schermerhorn's 1977 recording with the National Philharmonic Orchestra of London of Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker as the soundtrack for an annually-televised production of that ballet.

From 1982 to 1984 he accepted three major positions. The first was the resumption of the post of music director of the American Ballet Theater (1982 - 1988). Grove's Dictionary's contributor Michael Steinberg credits his ballet leadership experience, in part, with making him "one of the most versatile, dependable American conductors of his generation." In 1983 Schermerhorn became music director of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, which he brought from the status of an average regional orchestra to a contender for national recognition. In late 2000 he lead the orchestra on a tour of the East Coast, including its Carnegie Hall debut. In 1983 he was also selected to conduct the gala concert for the Metropolitan Opera Centennial, thus appearing on a world-wide television network produced by PBS. In 1984 he became the music director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, remaining there through 1988. That orchestra had been founded by HNH Records executive Klaus Heymann, who was transforming it into a fully professional ensemble with the aim of making it fit to record and release recordings on his Hong Kong (later Marco Polo) Records label. Schermerhorn accomplished this feat of orchestra-building and, in so doing, forged a close link with HNH. For HNH's labels Marco Polo and Naxos he has recorded orchestral music of Villa Lobos and Alexander Glazunov, and a Cesar Cui release. In 1999 he began recording for Naxos a series of the orchestral music of Charles Ives and Howard Hanson.

Schermerhorn guest conducted extensively, appearing on the concert stages of the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Boston Symphony, The Cleveland Orchestra, and symphony orchestras of Cincinnati, Detroit, San Antonio, Seattle, San Francisco, Baltimore, and New Orleans, as well as at the Taipei Symphony Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Mexico, the Zagreb Philharmonic, and other venues in Australia, Europe, China, and Japan. He conducted opera in San Francisco, San Diego, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Milwaukee, and Edmonton. He died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center after a brief battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Read less

Biography

Born: November 20, 1929; Schenectady, NY   Died: April 18, 2005; Nashville, TN  
Kenneth Schermerhorn was one of the most respected conductors on the American scene, especially highly regarded as a builder of orchestras.

He grew up learning to play the trumpet and graduated from the New England Conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts, where he studied conducting with Richard Burgin. He then won the Koussevitzky Prize, the main prize for young conductors at the Berkshire Music Center. During his military service he
Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
Kyrie eleison
Gloria: Gloria in excelsis Deo
Gloria: Qui tollis peccata mundi
Gloria: Quoniam tu solus sanctus
Credo: Credo in unum Deum
Credo: Et incarnatus est
Credo: Et resurrexit tertia die
Sanctus
Sanctus: Benedictus
Agnus Dei
Agnus Dei: Dona nobis pacem
I. Introduction: Embolada
II. Preludio: Modinha
III. Fugue: Conversa (Conversation)
I. Preludio: O Canto do capadocio (Scamp's Song)
II. Aria: O Canto da nossa terra (Song of Our Land)
III. Danza: Lembranca do Sertao (Remembrance of the Bush)
IV. Toccata: O trenzinho do Caipira (The Peasant's Little Train)
I. Preludio: Ponteio
II. Fantasia: Devaneio (Digression)
III. Aria: Modinha
IV. Toccata: Picapu
I. Aria: Cantilena
II. Danza: Martelo
I. Aria: Choro
II. Fantasia
I. Preludio
II. Aria: Modinha
III. Toccata: Catira batida
IV. Fuga
I. Prelude: Vagaroso e mistico
II. Fugue: Poco apressado
Theme
Variation 1
Variation 2
Variation 3
Variation 4
Variation 5
Variation 6
Variation 7
Variation 8
Variation 9
Variation 10
Variation 11
Variation 12
Variation 13
Prologue
Waltzes
Elegy
Interlude
Dirge
Lullaby
Serenade
Axe
Invitation to Church Social
Church Social
Hymnal Variations
Cotillion
Cotillion Coda
Death Dance
Mob Scene
Epilogue
I. Moderately, wistfully
II. Slowly, gravely
III. Vivaciously
I. ?
II. ?
Kyrie eleison
Gloria - Gloria in excelsis Deo
Gloria - Qui tollis peccata mundi
Gloria - Quoniam tu solus sanctus
Credo - Credo in unum Deum
Credo - Et incarnatus est
Credo - Et resurrexit tertia die
Sanctus
Sanctus - Benedictus
Agnus Dei
Agnus Dei - Dona nobis pacem
I. Intermezzo scherzando
II. Canzonetta
III. Cavatina
IV. Finale: Tarantella
I. Andante moderato
II. Allegro
III. Adagio cantabile
IV. Lento maestoso
V. Allegro molto vivace
I. Andante solenne - Allegro con forza
II. Andante teneramente, con semplicita
III. Allegro con fuoco
I. Overture
II. Children's Dance
III. Love Duet
IV. Prelude to Act II and Maypole Dances
Finlandia, Op. 26
Finlandia, Op. 26


YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Already a subscriber? Sign In