Alan Harler, conductor

Alan Harler became Mendelssohn Club’s twelfth Music Director in 1988 and was named Artistic Director in 2009. He is a former Laura H. Carnell Professor and Chairman of Choral Music at Temple University’s Esther Boyer College of Music. In addition, he is an active conductor outside of Philadelphia, having performed regularly at the Festival Casals in San Juan, Puerto Rico and the Aspen Choral Institute, and has given master classes and conducted performances in Taiwan and China under the sponsorship of the Taiwan Philharmonic Association.

Maestro Harler is a strong advocate for new American music. He was founder and director of the Contemporary Vocal Ensemble of Indiana. During his tenure with Mendelssohn Club, he has commissioned and premiered over fifty new compositions, including such major works as David Lang’s battle hymns (2009), Jennifer Higdon’s On the Death of the Righteous (2008), Charles Fussell’s High Bridge (2003), Roberto Sierra’s Lux í¦terna (1996), and Robert Moran’s Requiem: Chant du Cygne (1990). He conducted Mendelssohn Club in a critically acclaimed recording of the Moran Requiem for Argo/London Records in 1994. Maestro Harler has prepared choruses for many of the country’s leading conductors, including Riccardo Muti, Klaus Tennstedt, Charles Dutoit, Zubin Mehta, Rafael Frí¼hbeck de Burgos, Lorin Maazel, David Robertson, and Wolfgang Sawallisch.

Maestro Harler was honored recently with Chorus America’s prestigious Michael Korn Founders Award for Development of the Professional Art, and the Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia’s Honorary Lifetime Membership for a Distinguished Contribution to the Musical Life of Philadelphia.