James BagwellProfesor of Music; Director, Orchestral and Choral Music; Director, Music Program
James Bagwell maintains an active international schedule as a conductor of choral, operatic, and orchestral music. He was most recently named associate conductor of The Orchestra Now (TON) and in 2009 was appointed principal guest conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra. From 2009-2015 he served as music director of The Collegiate Chorale. Some of the highlights of his tenure with them include conducting a number of operas-in-concert at Carnegie Hall, including Bellini’s Beatrice di Tenda, Rossini’s Möise et Pharaon, and Boito’s Mefistofele. He conducted the New York premiere of Philip Glass’s Toltec Symphony and Golijov’s Oceana, both at Carnegie Hall. Since 2011 he has collaborated with singer and composer Natalie Merchant, conducting a number of major orchestras across the country, including the San Francisco and Seattle Symphonies.
He has trained choruses for a numerous American and international orchestras, including the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Budapest Festival Orchestra and the American Symphony Orchestra. He has worked numerous conductors including Charles Dutoit, Andris Nelsons, Gustavo Dudamel, Alan Gilbert, Gianandrea Noseda, Valery Gergiev, Yannik Nézet-Séguin, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Lorin Maazel, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Michael Tilson Thomas, Louis Langrée, Leon Botstein, Ivan Fischer, Jesús López-Cobos, and Robert Shaw.
Mr. Bagwell prepared The Collegiate Chorale for concerts at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland; in 2012 the Chorale traveled to Israel and the Salzburg Festival for four programs with The Israel Philharmonic. Since 2003 he has been director of choruses for the Bard Music Festival, conducting and preparing choral works during the summer festival at The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. He frequently appears as guest conductor for orchestras around the country and abroad, including the Cincinnati Symphony, Jerusalem Symphony, and the Interlochen Music Festival. He is Professor of Music at Bard College, and Director of Performance Studies and the Graduate Conducting Program at the Bard College Conservatory.