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Richard Sparks

Richard Sparks is currently Professor of Music at the University of North Texas, where he joined the faculty in 2009. He is well-known to Seattle audiences, where in addition to his work with the Seattle Symphony Chorale from 1990–94, he founded Seattle Pro Musica and conducted three ensembles in 70 different programs with them from 1973–80, and founded and conducted Choral Arts from 1993–2006. He was also Director of Choral Activities at Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) in Tacoma, Washington from 1983–2001. At PLU he led the Choir of the West, one of the top undergraduate choirs in the country, on regular tours and also made eight recordings with that ensemble. Sparks has been active in the professional world as well; guest conducting with the Anchorage Music Festival (his first year conducting Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem substituting for an ailing Robert Shaw), Portland Symphonic Choir, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Northwest Chamber Orchestra, Exultate Chamber Singers in Toronto, and the Swedish Radio Choir. He first worked with the Swedish Radio Choir in 2002, and again in 2007 and 2008, the first North American to work with the choir in more than 40 years. With them he prepared the choir for numerous concerts, most notably a Brahms Requiem for Valery Gergiev with the Rotterdam Philharmonic which has been released on DVD. He was also the first non-Canadian conductor to direct the Canadian National Youth Choir. In 2008 he was Music Director/Conductor for a production of Monteverdi’s Orfeo in




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