FRANCISCO J. NÚÑEZ
2017 guest conductor
Francisco J. Núñez, a MacArthur "Genius Grant" Fellow, is a composer, conductor, visionary, leading figure in music education, and the artistic director/founder of the Young People's Chorus of New York City (YPC), renowned worldwide for its diversity and artistic excellence. Since its founding in 1988, Núñez has heightened an awareness of the ability of children to rise to unforeseen levels of artistry and has expanded and invigorated the repertoire for children's chorus with over 100 works commissioned from many of today's most distinguished composers. Among them is Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Del Tredici, who has called Núñez "the Horowitz of the choral world."
Núñez also leads the University Glee Club of New York City, its fifth conductor since the all-men's chorus was established in 1894, was the director of choral activities at New York University from 2003 to 2010, and is sought after throughout North America and Europe as a guest conductor by professional orchestras, chamber ensembles, and choirs, as well as a master teacher for choral workshops and festivals.
Through his Núñez Initiative for Social Change, Núñez is working to expand the YPC model to children's choruses beyond New York City and is often invited to give keynote addresses as a leading authority on the role of music in achieving equality and diversity among children in today's society by such organizations as Chorus America, the Sphinx Organization, Yale University, the Conservatory of Music in Beijing, Hong Kong International Youth and Children's Choir Festival, the Tokyo College of Music, Festival 500, Roche International, and the Rhodes World Public Forum in Greece.
Núñez composes countless compositions and arrangements in all musical formats and styles for choirs, orchestras, and solo instruments and has received an ASCAP Victor Herbert Award and the New York Choral Society's Choral Excellence Award. ABC-TV has honored him as its "Person of the Week," Fox News has profiled him for "changing young lives with music," and Musical America Worldwide named him among 30 "Influencers" for his contributions to the music industry. He was most recently honored by MEANYC (a sister organization of NAfME), and was presented with an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Ithaca College.
It is our pleasure to welcome Mr. Francisco J. Núñez to Western Michigan University as guest conductor of the 79th annual Southwestern Michigan Vocal Festival to be held in Miller Auditorium on March 16, 2017.