Death of a US conductor of the year

Joseph Flummerfelt, long-serving director of Westminster College Choir, died on Friday.

Joe was 82.

In 2004 he was named Conductor of the Year by Musical America.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin writes: ‘Today is a sad day for the choral world: Joseph Flummerfelt left us last night. He is a true legend, has been the soul of the Westminster Choir College for decades, has shaped choral singing in America and beyond and has influenced countless musicians, including myself. I am eternally grateful to have received his guidance when I was a 18 year old conductor; his care for sound, breathing, beauty and his kindness and sensitivity have inspired the conductor I am today. Thank you, Dr Flummerfelt. You will be sorely missed.’



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  • Superlative musician. Heartfelt and moving performances. R.I.P., Maestro, and thank you for the enduring memories of live concerts under your direction.

    • I sang under Dr. Flummerfelt in The Symphony Choir for 3 years while student at WCC from 71’ – 75. I was an Alto, a Music Ed Major, Pipe Organ Principal and voice Minor.
      He was so intense and would go row by row and sometimes singer by singer to make sure we were exactly correct. We admired and were frightened by him at the same time.

      • Nancy,
        WCC alto section has always been my passion for the glorious choral sound of the choir. I am so sorry for your loss.

      • Hi, Nancy! Yes I certainly do remember, Singer by Singer. Would never go unprepared. Demanded excellence from all! (Elizabeth/Betty Neff Cahill ‘75. )

  • So many years, so much repertoire with the NY Choral Artists.
    Rest in peace Joe Flummerfelt. Well Done!

  • Grazie mille Maestro for the good years we had together in Spoleto – you with that ever better and better choir with soloists and I with an orchestra behind you. Indeed we had some very good times together. Glad to encounter you for a last time in Charleston in 2017, Spoleto USA R.I.P.

  • I sang under Joseph Flummerfelt at Florida State, 1970-1971, just before he departed for WCC. I was an undergraduate clarinet major wanting a choral experience, and what a moving, memorable one it was. Our performance of the Brahms Requiem remains, after so many years, one of the peaks of my musical life.

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