Frederick Renz



This acclaimed conductor, producer, and director of early music dramas and harpsichord performer noted for his scholarly research and his flawless, lucid, and expressive playing is active in the field of early music with a wide-ranging repertoire of music from the eleventh to the eighteenth centuries. As an undergraduate at SUNY (State University of New York) at Fredonia, Renz won the college's prestigious Concerto Competition, performing Bach's Read more Piano Concerto in D minor. He earned his master of music degree at the University of Indiana, where he studied harpsichord and conducting and earned a performer's certificate in harpsichord. He completed course work for a doctorate in conducting with Willi Apel and Julius Herford. Renz graduated in 1962. As a Fulbright Scholar, Renz studied harpsichord with eminent harpsichordist and scholar Gustav Leonhardt at the Amsterdam Conservatory in Holland. Renz was later awarded an honorary doctor of music degree by SUNY. Renz was a keyboard soloist with the legendary New York Pro Musica for six seasons, and then founded the Early Music Foundation, Inc. when that ensemble disbanded in 1974. Renz continues to work with the Early Music Foundation's renowned performing group the Ensemble for Early Music, which is dedicated to music of the medieval and Renaissance periods, and the Grande Bande Orchestra of Original Instruments, which performs music of the Baroque and early Classical eras. Renz has achieved fame for his pioneering work in the genre of medieval music-dramas that he has brought back to life from the study of original manuscripts. Renz received numerous commissions from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, for whom he reconstructed The Play of Mary Magdalene, The Resurrection Play of Tours, The Raising of Lazarus/Conversion of St. Paul, and Sponsus: The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins; the Spoleto Festival, which received performances of Herod and the Innocents; and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, in which Renz, as an artist-in-residence, staged his re-creations of The Play of St. Nicholas and Daniel and the Lions. All of these works require special performing techniques and unique instrumentations that were uncovered through Renz's extensive and sensitive musicological research. As a critically acclaimed harpsichordist, Renz has given many solo recitals and has appeared with orchestras and chamber groups in New York. As an educator, he has served as visiting professor and artistic consultant for the Fundacion del Estado para la Orquesta Nacional Juvenil in Venezuela, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Oklahoma, the Athens Festival, and the Tokyo Summer Festival. Read less
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