Biography & Press Photo

Judith Clurman is an Emmy-nominated and Grammy-nominated conductor, educator, and choral specialist. Her knowledge and love of diverse musical genres and her passion for excellence has enabled her to build bridges across an array of musical styles and forge relationships with esteemed professionals worldwide. As a conductor and collaborator, she has worked with the Boston Symphony, New York Philharmonic, New York City Ballet, Mostly Mozart Festival, Lincoln Center’s Great Performers series, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the New York Pops, the American Songbook and other renowned organizations.

Photo © Peter Schaff. All rights reserved.

Known for her consistently fresh and innovative programming, Clurman served as music director/conductor of the Lincoln Center Holiday Tree Lighting, where she initiated collaborations with leading popular, jazz, and classical artists. She was founding conductor of the New York Concert Singers and Project Youth Chorus, and music director of Prism Concerts and the 92nd Street Y’s “Music of the Spirit.”

Conducting Essential Voices USA and Josh Schmidt
for The Composer Speaks series. (Clip on YouTube)

Judith’s advocacy of new music has led to commissions and premieres of works by over 50 esteemed American composers, including Milton Babbitt, Nico Muhly, Stephen Paulus, Christopher Rouse, and Stephen Schwartz. She participated in critically acclaimed U.S. premieres of works by Rossini, Wagner, and Philip Glass, the world premiere of a newly discovered Mozart canon text, and a Leonard Bernstein arrangement of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.”

While Clurman’s work has taken her to many prestigious performance spaces, perhaps her most familiar residence was on television’s beloved Sesame Street. Her collaboration with the Muppets as Associate Music Director earned a 2009 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition. The Recording Academy recognized the recording of Tania León’s “Inura” on which Clurman conducted the Son Sonora Voices with a 2013 Grammy nomination for Contemporary Classical Composition. NPR featured her acclaimed CD “Celebrating the American Spirit” on Inauguration Day 2013.


Bernstein Meets Broadway, Barnes and Noble 9/15/2014.
(Clip on YouTube)

Students and professionals alike cherish Judith as an educator, mentor, and collaborator. She served as Director of Choral Activities at the Juilliard School from 1989–2007; Co-Director for Harvard University’s Leonard Bernstein: Boston to Broadway Festival; faculty member/vocal specialist for the National Endowment for the Arts/Columbia University Institute of Classical Music; and Visiting Artist/Conductor at Cambridge University, the Curtis Institute, Princeton University, the Zimriya (Israel), and the Janacek Academy (Czech Republic).

Carnegie Hall

Conducting the World Premiere of Songs of Freedom: A Celebration of Chanukkah at Carnegie Hall. Photo by Grace Lam. All rights reserved.

Currently Judith conducts Essential Voices USA and collaborates with the Omaha Symphony’s Sacred Voices concerts.  She conducted “The Music in My Mind” for Marvin Hamlisch’s children’s book, Marvin Makes Music. She has recorded for New World, Sono Luminus, Delos, and Albany. Judith’s publications and choral arrangements are published by G. Schirmer, Schott, Subito, Boosey & Hawkes, and Hal Leonard. She is a member of ASCAP, ASCAP’s Special Classification Committee, and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Printer-Friendly Version of this bio:

Download Long Bio as Word Document or Long Bio as PDF File. A brief bio is also available in Word or PDF.

Publicity Still for Download:


    Web JPG (131k)

    Print JPG (2.2MB)

    Photo © by Frank Wang.
    Please credit photographer with use.

Katrina Schmidt writes in Omaha’s about.com

I. Interview with Judith Clurman (PDF)

II. Choral Repertoire with Judith Clurman (PDF)

II. From Sesame Street to Carnegie Hall with Judith Clurman (PDF)

IV. Preserving and Supporting the Choral Tradition (PDF)


“Working with Judith Clurman is always a delight. She's so professional and such a superb musician, that I always know the end result will be incredible...a great thing for a composer to know”

— Jennifer Higdon