Philip Brunelle

Biography

Born: 1943; Austin, MN  
Philip Brunelle is an important American conductor, largely of choral music and opera. He spent 17 seasons as the director of the Minnesota Opera and, in the 1970s and 1980s, regularly appeared on Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion radio program. He has also made a number of recordings for various labels, including RCA, Virgin Classics, and Angel Records. Brunelle was born in Austin, MN, in 1943. He began studying the piano at the age of Read more four, showing the same enthusiasm for music as his mother. His father, a Protestant minister, died when Brunelle was 13, leaving the family of six in difficult circumstances.

Brunelle, bolstered by his mother's determination, managed to forge ahead with his musical education, studying with Harry Opel at the Minnehaha Academy, with Theodore Bergman (piano) at the MacPhail Center for the Arts in Minneapolis, and with Dominick Argento at the University of Minnesota. He also studied organ with Arthur B. Jennings, whom he would succeed in the late '60s as organist and choir director at Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis.

For five years Brunelle served as pianist and percussionist for the Minnesota Orchestra in the 1960s. In 1969 he became director of the Minnesota Opera, then known as Center Opera. During his 17-year tenure there, he introduced many new operas, including three by his teacher Dominick Argento, among them The Voyage of Edgar Allan Poe. 1969 was also the year Brunelle founded the Plymouth Music Series, which would become known as VocalEssence in 2002.

In 1974 he began appearing on Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion radio program. Brunelle ended his tenure with the Minnesota Opera in 1985, in part because of differences with management over his preference for local artists. His regular appearances on the Keillor radio show ended in 1987, but Brunelle continued to perform with Keillor on concert dates with major orchestras in Chicago, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco.

Though Brunelle has held no major post since 1985, he has continued to regularly conduct the chorus and orchestra of VocalEssence and make guest appearances throughout the world. In the new century his activities included serving as Chair of the Sixth World Symposium on Choral Music in Minneapolis and St. Paul (2002) and conducting Stockholm's Royal Opera. He also maintained a schedule that included regular organ recitals and contributing a monthly column to The American Organist. Read less

There are 19 Philip Brunelle recordings available.

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Formats & Featured

Biography

Born: 1943; Austin, MN  
Philip Brunelle is an important American conductor, largely of choral music and opera. He spent 17 seasons as the director of the Minnesota Opera and, in the 1970s and 1980s, regularly appeared on Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion radio program. He has also made a number of recordings for various labels, including RCA, Virgin Classics, and Angel Records. Brunelle was born in Austin, MN, in 1943. He began studying the piano at the age of Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
The Company of Heaven, Part One: Chaos
The Company of Heaven, Part One: The Morning Stars
The Company of Heaven, Part Two: Angels appear to Jacob, Elisha and Mary
The Company of Heaven, Part Two: Christ, the fair glory
The Company of Heaven, Part Two: War in the heaven
The Company of Heaven, Part Three: Heaven is here
The Company of Heaven, Part Three: A thousand, thousand gleaming fires
The Company of Heaven, Part Three: Funeral march for a Boy
The Company of Heaven, Part Three: Whoso dwelleth under the defence of the most High
The Company of Heaven, Part Three: There came out also at this time
The Company of Heaven, Part Three: Ye watchers and ye holy ones
The Tender Land, ACT ONE: Prelude
The Tender Land, ACT ONE, Scene One: The front yard of the Moss home (Beth, Ma Moss)
The Tender Land, ACT ONE, Scene One: 'Two little bits of metal' (Ma)
The Tender Land, ACT ONE, Scene One: The arrival of the postman (Beth, Mr. Splinters, Ma)
The Tender Land, ACT ONE, Scene Two: Opening the package (Beth, Ma)
The Tender Land, ACT ONE, Scene Two: 'This is like the dress I never had' (Ma)
The Tender Land, ACT ONE, Scene Two: Dance and exit (Beth, Ma)
The Tender Land, ACT ONE, Scene Three: Laurie's entrance: 'Once I thought I'd never grow' (Laurie)
The Tender Land, ACT ONE, Scene Three: Ma's entrance (Ma, Laurie)
The Tender Land, ACT ONE, Scene Three: 'Remember the boy that used to call'; Ma's exit (Laurie, Ma)
The Tender Land, ACT ONE, Scene Four: Entrance of Martin and Top (Top, Martin)
The Tender Land, ACT ONE, Scene Four: Martin and Top enter the farmyard (Martin, Top, Laurie)
The Tender Land, ACT ONE, Scene Four: Duet: 'We've been north' (Martin, Top)
The Tender Land, ACT ONE, Scene Four: Grandpa meets the boys (Grandpa, Top, Laurie, Martin)
The Tender Land, ACT ONE, Scene Four: Trio: 'A stranger may seem strange that's true' (Martin, Top, Grandpa)
The Tender Land, ACT ONE, Scene Four: Interlude: Martin and Top make horseplay
The Tender Land, ACT ONE, Scene Five: The invitation (Grandpa, Laurie, Ma, Top, Martin)
The Tender Land, ACT ONE, Scene Five: Quintet: 'The promise of living' (Martin, Laurie, Ma, Grandpa, Top)
The Tender Land, ACT THREE, Scene One: Duet: 'Laurie, Laurie ...' (Martin, Laurie)
The Tender Land, ACT THREE, Scene One: Martin alone: 'Daylight will come in such short time' (Martin)
The Tender Land, ACT THREE, Scene One: Dialogue (Top, Martin)
The Tender Land, ACT THREE, Scene One: Top's aria: 'That's crazy' and exit of Martin and Top (Martin, Top)
The Tender Land, ACT THREE: Interlude: Daybreak
The Tender Land, ACT THREE, Scene Two: 'The sun is coming up' (Laurie)
The Tender Land, ACT THREE, Scene Two: Laurie's farewell: (Beth, Laurie, Ma)
The Tender Land, ACT THREE, Scene Two: 'All thinking's done' (Ma)


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