Meet the Soloists: Choral Classics 2019

David Bachmann, Apollo’s accompanist and associate conductor, began his musical training at the age of five. He went on to earn his Bachelor Degree in Music from the University of Wisconsin and his Masters Degree in Choral Music Education from Northwestern University, where he served as a teaching assistant/conductor under Margaret Hillis and accompanist for the Northwestern University Concert Choir. He also received additional conducting training from Dr. William Estes, Dr. Kenneth Jennings and Dr. John Paynter. In 1973 Mr. Bachmann joined the Music Department faculty of New Trier High School, where he has taught and conducted both choral and instrumental ensembles for 30 years and currently teaches music theory as well. He has also served as Director of Music and Organist at the First Presbyterian Church of Wilmette and has presented clinics and workshops throughout the Midwest in both conducting and computer-assisted instruction in music. Mr. Bachmann, who has won national awards in both piano and organ competitions, has worked with Apollo since 1975. He has appeared with the Chorus not only in Chicago-area performances but also in New York's Lincoln Center and on tour in Europe. In addition, Mr. Bachmann has served as accompanist in New York City for Peter Tiboris, Sir David Willcocks and John Rutter. His ensembles have performed live and on cable TV throughout the U.S. and internationally. They have also recorded for NBC's Performing Arts Live series and have prepared music for PBS's Music in Our Schools series.

Eric Budzynski is a frequently sought-after organist and accompanist throughout the Chicago area. He is the Organist and Music Associate of Alice Millar Chapel at Northwestern University. Previously he has served as Organist of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church (Chicago) and Director of Music for The Church of Saint Paul and the Redeemer (Chicago) and The Parish Church of Saint Luke (Evanston, IL). He holds the MMus in Church Music and Organ degree with honors from Northwestern University and the BM cum laude in Organ Performance from Duquesne University. As a recitalist he has been featured in many venues including the National AGO Convention, Holy Name Cathedral Music Series, Music Institute of Chicago, and Fourth Presbyterian Church (Chicago). Eric has served as resident/guest organist at St. Paul’s Cathedral (London), Christ Church (Oxford), and The American Cathedral (Paris). He is a recipient of the Jean Langlais Award for Excellence in Sacred Music and took first prize in the Violette Cassel Organ Competition and the Pittsburgh AGO Competition. Eric has appeared as organist with Elmhurst Symphony, Millar Brass, Music of the Baroque, Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra (featured soloist), and Bach Week Evanston and can be heard at the harpsichord in Apollo Chorus’ Messiah on Clarion Records. As a composer, Eric is published by Church Publishing and his compositions have been performed at The National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Northwestern University, Fourth Presbyterian Church (Chicago), and St. James Cathedral (Chicago). Eric is the 2013 recipient of the Innovation Award from Northwestern University for the “This We Believe” program and took First Place in The Moth, NPR’s nationwide story telling contest.

Hailed as possessing a voice of “spell-binding power and intensity” (The Register-Guard), mezzo-soprano Julie Miller has appeared as a soloist with wonderful organizations such as the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Oregon Mozart Players, Grant Park Music Festival and Ravinia Festival. Recently, Ms. Miller appeared with Madison Opera, Lyric Unlimited/Lyric Opera Chicago and English National Opera/Hackney Empire Theatre as Baroness Nica (Charlie Parker's Yardbird); with Opera Idaho as Charlotte (Werther); the Mezzo Soloist with the Apollo Chorus of Chicago (Handel: Messiah); the Mezzo Soloist with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra (Mozart: Requiem); and the Mezzo Soloist with the Madison Symphony Orchestra (Janacek: Glagolitic Mass). Highlights of Ms. Miller’s operatic career include Jo (Little Women) and Ma Joad (The Grapes of Wrath) with Sugar Creek Opera; Emilia (Otello), Ida (Die Fledermaus), Annina (La Traviata) and Krystina (The Passenger) with Lyric Opera of Chicago; Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus) with Vero Beach Opera; Stéphano (Roméo et Juliette) with Townsend Opera; and Flora (La Traviata) with Festival Opera. She has also been heard with orchestra as a Soloist in performances of Mahler's Symphony No. 2, Bach’s Magnificat and Cantata No. 6, Handel’s Messiah, Duruflé’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and both Mozart’s Mass in C minor and Requiem. Ms. Miller is the recipient of the the Jerome and Elaine Nerenberg Foundation Scholarship (Musicians Club of Women), the Rose McGilvray Grundman Award (American Opera Society of Chicago), the Richard F. Gold Career Grant (Shoshana Foundation) and the Edith Newfield Scholarship Award (Musicians Club of Women). She is an alumna of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago, and a member of the inaugural class of Dawn Upshaw’s Graduate Program in Vocal Arts at the Bard College Conservatory of Music.

Chicago native David Govertsen recently stepped in on short notice at Lyric Opera of Chicago where he "handsomely replaced the ill Peter Rose as the producer La Roche opposite Renée Fleming and Anne Sophie von Otter in Capriccio. Mr. Govertsen also appeared on short notice as Arkel in Pelléas et Mélisande with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Esa-Pekka Salonen and as a soloist in James MacMillan's Quickening with the Grant Park Orchestra. A former member of the Ryan Opera Center at Lyric, his other mainstage assignments have included roles in Die Zauberflöte, Boris Godunov, Werther, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Madama Butterfly, Roméo et Juliette, and Les Troyens. Mr. Govertsen recently created the roles of David/Bonobo in Matthew Aucoin's new opera Second Nature for Lyric Opera Unlimited. Other operatic highlights of recent seasons include a reprise of La Roche at Santa Fe Opera, 2nd Soldier and 5th Jew in Salome with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and the title character in Cimarosa's Il Maestro di Capella with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. On the concert stage he has appeared with the Madison Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Bach Week Festival, Battle Creek Symphony, and Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, among others. Mr. Govertsen made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2011 as the Herald in Otello with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Riccardo Muti. He is an alumnus of both the Santa Fe Opera and Central City Opera apprentice programs and holds degrees from Northwestern University, Northern Illinois University and the College of DuPage.