WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Malcolm J. Merriweather
Dr. Merriweather is from Grand Island High School, and he sang in SPC choirs until he graduated.
Conductor and baritone Malcolm J. Merriweather has literally taken NYC by storm with all his accomplishments in a short time (he’s only 37). He is singing in a recital at Eastman on Saturday, March 18, 2023.
Merriweather enjoys a versatile career with performances ranging from the songs of Margaret Bonds to gems of the symphonic choral repertoire. The baritone can be heard on the GRAMMY nominated recording of Paul Moravec’s Sanctuary Road (NAXOS). Hailed by Opera News as “moving…expertly interpreted,” Margaret Bonds: The Ballad of the Brown King & Selected Songs (AVIE) has earned considerable praise around the world.
He is the Director of The New York Philharmonic’s Chorus and Music Director of New York City’s The Dessoff Choirs, known for their performances of great choral works from the pre-Baroque era through the 21st century. He is an Associate Professor, Director of Choral Studies, and Voice Department Coordinator at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, and the Artistic Director of “Voices of Haiti,” a 60-member children’s choir in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, operated by the Andrea Bocelli Foundation.
Merriweather’s 2022-2023 season includes galas and subscription concerts at David Geffen Hall as the New York Philharmonic’s Chorus Director. He returns to conduct The Dessoff Choirs in their season programming, and guest conducts the NYSSMA Zone 2 Festival in Rochester, NY; Brooklyn College Symphony Choir’s Autumn Concert; and the Manhattan School of Music Chorale and Chamber Singers. He was Music Director for the New York premiere of Considering Matthew Shepard presented by Trinity Wall Street. As a vocalist, he sings in Handel’s Messiah with the Masterwork Chorus at Carnegie Hall, and in Paul Morovec’s Sanctuary Road at Penn Square Music Festival and Cincinnati May Festival.
Merriweather made his Mostly Mozart debut during the 2018-2019 season conducting the West Choir in a world premiere of John Luther Adams’ In the name of earth and appearances with Andrea Bocelli and “Voices of Haiti” at Madison Square Garden. This performance came shortly after leading “Voices of Haiti” in performances with Bocelli at Teatro del Silenzio and for Pope Francis at the Vatican. Merriweather has also led The Dessoff Choirs in world premiere performances of works by Eve Beglarian, Douglas Geers, and Matthew Aucoin as The Dessoff Choirs celebrated the bicentennial of the birth of poet and journalist, Walt Whitman. Merriweather has conducted the West Choir, Grace Chorale of Brooklyn, and Worcester Chorus, and made numerous appearances leading performances at Brooklyn College and the Harvard Club of New York. He was previously Organist and Choirmaster at the Church of St. Luke and St. Simon of Cyrene (Episcopal) in Rochester, NY, and, for five years, Associate Choirmaster at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City.
Amidst the pandemic, Merriweather’s 2020-2021 season was enriched with guest lectures and virtual appearances around the world, most notably at Yale University and Columbia University. He has inaugurated a series of virtual events entitled “Dessoff Dialogues.” These conversations emphasize matters of social justice, equity, and inclusion as they relate to classical music and the choral art.
As a baritone, Merriweather has been featured as a soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, The Dessoff Choirs, the New York Choral Society, and Bach Vespers Choir and Orchestra at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in New York City. He has premiered contemporary solo works by Eve Beglarian, John Liberatore, Ju Ri Seo, Douglas Fisk, and James Adler, and has been a fellowship recipient at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and at the Tanglewood Music Center.
Merriweather holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting from the studio of Kent Tritle at the Manhattan School of Music, where his doctoral dissertation “Now I walk in Beauty, Gregg Smith: A Biography and Complete Works Catalog” constituted the first complete works list for the composer and conductor. He received Master of Music degrees in Choral Conducting and Vocal Performance from the studio of Rita Shane at the Eastman School of Music, as well as his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Syracuse University, summa cum laude. His professional affiliations include membership in Pi Kappa Lambda, the American Choral Directors Association, and Chorus America.