Judith Clurman, Conductor

Contact: jclurman (@) gmail.com

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Judith Clurman Bio (PDF)
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“Judith Clurman – the exceptional conductor”
— Time Out, New York

About Judith Clurman

Emmy and Grammy nominated conductor, educator, and choral specialist Judith Clurman is driven by a passion for vocal music in all its forms and styles.  Equally at home with repertoire from the classical canon to the American Songbook, musical theater and contemporary compositions, Judith’s performances are marked by dynamic interpretations and effortless panache.

Above: Judith Clurman, conductor, rehearsal video with Essential Voices USA

As music director for Essential Voices USA (EVUSA) Judith collaborates with the New York Pops on their Carnegie Hall subscription series.  With the Symphony Singers, she has worked with the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center. She served as founding conductor of the New York Concert Singers and Project Youth Chorus, music director of Prism Concerts, the 92nd Street Y’s “Music of the Spirit” program, and as artistic director of the Lincoln Center Tree Lighting.

Judith has worked with many of the world’s finest musical organizations including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, New York City Ballet, Mostly Mozart Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Lincoln Center’s Great Performers and American Songbook Series.  She has conducted the Österreich Festival Orchestra and Chorus at the Mozarteum Grosser Saal, in Salzburg, Austria.

Above: Judith Clurman conducting EVUSA with the NY Pops at Carnegie Hall (© Richard Termine used with permission)
Above: Conducting at the Mozarteum with the Music Celebrations Orchestra and Chorus (Music Celebrations, used with permission)
Above: Judith with composer Stephen Schwartz at rehearsal (© Richard Termine used with permission)

“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

A favorite among composers and a tireless advocate for new music. Ms. Clurman has commissioned, premiered and recorded works by over sixty American composers including Milton Babbitt, William Bolcom, Jason Robert Brown, Marvin Hamlisch, Jennifer Higdon, Nico Muhly, and Stephen Schwartz.  She has been involved with highly praised US Premieres of the music of Philip Glass, Rossini, and Wagner, the World Premiere of a newly-discovered Mozart text for Lincoln Center’s Mozart Bicentennial, and a Leonard Bernstein arrangement of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, performed at Harvard.

“Over the years I have attended hundreds of performances of The Sound Of Music. Last month’s Salzburg performance was extraordinary.  Ms. Clurman provided adroit musical direction. With vibrant integrityJudith Clurman’s The Sound Of Music Suite was refreshingly expressive, wonderfully inventive and simply elegant.”
— Elisabeth Von Trapp

Above: Mozart’s Requiem in Rememberance of 9/11. Photo by Richard Termine.

Judith is familiar to television audiences for her national broadcasts on NBC and PBS with “Music of the Spirit”; as music director of the 2017 Singing Tree Float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade; as conductor of the nationally televised July 4th Macy’s Fireworks Spectacular in 2015; and, perhaps most notably for younger listeners, as associate music director of Sesame Street (Season 39).  Her work with the Muppets earned her a 2009 Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition.  Additionally, three of the songs that she arranged also garnered Emmy nominations for the show. She is proud of her vocal arranging and recording of Feist’s “1,2,3,4” with the Muppets, which has received millions of views online. The video received a feature article in The New York Times.

“The group sang with ravishing smoothness and warmth and with complete flexibility in dynamics and coloration.”
— The New York Times

In the days following September 11th, and moved by leading a chorus in “God Bless America” in a New York City firehouse, Judith conceived of the ambitious “Sing Out Mr. President.”  With support from the Library of Congress, Ms. Clurman commissioned and premiered 16 American composers to set the words of 16 presidents to music. The piece was performed at the Library of Congress in 2003, was heard on NPR on President’s Day in 2011, was featured in the 2013 inauguration and has been a favorite of school choruses and presidential inaugurations.

“Clurman’s singers offer brilliantly rich sound, fluent musicality and sophisticated wide-ranging expression. The term virtuoso would be no hyperbole.”
— American Organist

The Recording Academy recognized Judith’s achievements with a Grammy nomination for her ensemble’s participation in Tania Leon’s In Motion CD.  Her two latest recordings, Season of Light: Songs of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, New Year and Holiday Harmonies: Songs of Christmas, with soloists Jamie Barton and Maureen McKay, celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. She has recorded for New World, EVUSA recordings, Sono Luminus, Albany, and Delos.

A member of the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music, Judith is in demand as an educator and mentor across numerous musical fields. Her current and former students work in major opera companies, musical theater productions, and conducting positions worldwide. She served as Director of Choral Activities at The Juilliard School from 1989-2007; as Co-Director for Harvard University’s “Leonard Bernstein: Boston to Broadway” Festival; and as a faculty member and vocal specialist for the National Endowment for the Arts/Columbia University Institute of Classical Music.  Ms. Clurman has been a Visiting Artist/Conductor at Cambridge University, Berlin Universitat Potsdam, the Zimriya in Israel, the Janacek Academy in the Czech Republic, Curtis Institute of Music, and the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University.

“Clurman is an outstanding choral conductor.”
– New York Daily News

She is a member of ASCAP, ASCAP’s Special Classification Committee, and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Her music and arrangements are published by G. Schirmer, Hal Leonard, and Schott, and have been performed by the NY Pops, the Boston Pops, and Detroit, Houston, National, and Toronto symphonies.

Above: Judith at Mozart’s Magic Flute House at the Mozarteum (personal photo)
Above: Recording Session at the DiMenna Space for Classical Music (© Richard Termine used with permission)
Above: Judith and Steven Reineke at rehearsal (personal photo)