Robert Page (musical director) is Paul Mellon Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies at Carnegie Mellon University. The 2004–05 season marks the 24th anniversary of his appointment as Music Director and Conductor of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh. During his tenure at the helm, the Mendelssohn Choir has achieved national and international fame as one of the nation’s leading choral ensembles. Named Pennsylvania’s Artist of the Year in 1998, he has been dubbed “a national treasure” by American Record Review. Serving as Assistant Conductor and Director of Choruses of the Cleveland Orchestra from 1971–1989, Page conducted the world-renowned ensemble on many occasions, including national radio and television broadcasts. Since 1989, he has held the title of Director of Special Projects and Choral Activities with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
In great demand as a conductor of symphony orchestras, opera and music theater productions, Page has conducted many of the major orchestras of the United States, including Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Houston, Dallas, Louisiana, Milwaukee, Virginia and San Antonio, as well as the opera companies of Cleveland, Kansas City and Toledo. In Europe he has conducted the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (London) and the Luxembourg RTL Orchestra at the Echternach Festival. In June 1995, Page conducted the Czech State Philharmonic of Brno and the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh in performances of the Beethoven Missa Solemnis in Brno, Prague and Krakow, and the Budapest Concert Orchestra (MAV) with the Mendelssohn Choir in a performance of the Verdi Requiem in Budapest. In 1997 Page was invited to conduct the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra in performances of Carmina Burana in the Czech Republic and Vienna. The orchestra invited him back to conduct the opening concerts of the Dvořák Festival in Dvořák’s home town, in Prague and in the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna.
Page’s choirs can be heard on forty discs issued on major labels. Receiving eight Grammy nominations, Robert Page won Grammy awards for his recordings of Orff’s Carmina Burana (Cleveland Orchestra) and Catulli Carmina (Philadelphia Orchestra), a Grand Prix du Disc for Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess (Cleveland Orchestra) and a Prix Mondial de Montreux for his world-première commercial recording of the original version of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13, ‘Babi Yar’ (Philadelphia Orchestra/Eugene Ormandy).
Active in the national choral orchestra scene, Page has served on the choral, festival and overview panels of the National Endowment for the Arts. He is a founding member of Chorus America, the service organization for independent choruses, and served as its president for three years. Page has conducted or has been associated with the world premières and/or commissions of many major works. These include the first performances in America of Penderecki’s Utrenja and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13 (original version). World premières include Penderecki’s Paradise Lost, an opera jointly commissioned by the Chicago Lyric Opera and La Scala, for which Page (at the invitation of the composer) prepared the Chicago Lyric Chorus for performances in Chicago and Milan. Page has presented Pittsburgh with the first performances of William Schuman’s Concerto on Old English Rounds for Viola and Orchestra, Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13 and Leonardo Balada’s Torquemada, and as Music Director of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, commissioned An American Oratorio by Ned Rorem.
He earned degrees from Abilene Christian University and Indiana University and is the recipient of honorary degrees from Beaver, Quincy, Drury and Seton Hill Colleges as well as his alma mater.