ABOUT THE CONDUCTOR
A California native, Dr. Robert Harris holds bachelors and masters degrees from the Conservatory of Music at the University of the Pacific and a doctorate in conducting from the University of Washington where he studied with Rodney Eichenberger and Abraham Kaplan, the former chorus master of the New York Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein. An active singer during the first 15 years of career, he performed leading baritone roles in operas by Verdi (Il Trovatore, La Traviata and Un Ballo in Maschera), Mozart (The Marriage of Figaro and The Magic Flute) and others including Gounod’s Faust, Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffman, Monteverdi’s Coronation of Poppea, and The Consul and Amahl and the Night Visitors by Gian-Carlo Menotti. Oratorio repertoire includes Handel’s Messiah, William Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast and Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. For more than forty years he has conducted choral groups in public schools, churches, universities, and community groups. In Savannah he is the founding conductor of I Cantori, a 24-voice chamber ensemble which has been performing since 1991. The group has premiered many new works and has brought some leading composers to Savannah, including Daniel Pinkham, Peter Schickele, Vijay Singh, James Mulholland, Robert Young, Williametta Spencer, and the Czech composer Zdenek Lukas. Dr. Harris is a professor at Armstrong State University, where he is in his 35th year of service. As a choral scholar Dr. Harris has done research in the British Library in London, the Library of Congress, the manuscript collection at the Houghton Library at Harvard, and public libraries in New York and Boston. He has also done extensive work in the Czech Republic. He has published numerous editions including music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Antonin Dvorak and several Baroque Era composers including Alessandro Scarlatti, Nicola Porpora, Francesco Durante, and the American composer George F. Root.