Office Phone: (540) 432-4221
Main Campus, Harrisonburg
Office Location: LA 018
James Richardson, baritone, is currently assistant professor of music at Eastern Mennonite University where he teaches voice and conducts ChoirWithoutBorders. Mr. Richardson holds his master of music degree from The Peabody Conservatory of Music of The Johns Hopkins University where he graduated Pi Kappa Lambda and was awarded the Annie Wentz Prize in Voice. He is also a first and second place winner in the NATS mid-south auditions and a four-time semifinalist. While in the studio of Marianna Busching and under the coaching of John Shirley-Quirk, he performed numerous opera roles ranging from early works such as Bacchus in Purcell’s Timon of Athens to 20th century opera including Bartly in Vaughan Williams’ Riders to the Sea and the Vicar in Britten’s Albert Herring. His work with master teachers includes Martin Isepp, William Stone, William Sharp, and Vinson Cole. Equally at home in the world of oratorio, Mr. Richardson’s performance in Judas Maccabaeus was described by the Baltimore Sun as “polished, richly laden with vivid tempos and dynamic phrasing.” More recently, at Westminster Choir College he performed Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs; and he toured throughout Ukraine as a soloist with Philadelphia’s Tenth Presbyterian Church Choir and Westminster Brass. As a regular recitalist and art song enthusiast, repertoire from the past couple seasons includes cycles by Brahms, Schumann, Spohr, Holst, Finzi, Hoiby and Kohn; not to mention solo Bach cantatas Amore traditore and Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen. In February he partnered with pianist and composer James Clemens in a program featuring Clemens’ Lessons: A Song Cycle for My Daughter. Mr. Richardson is also a frequent soloist with the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival where he has sung the Mass in B Minor; the part of Schlendrian, the disapproving father in the Coffee Cantata; and the Count from The Marriage of Figaro.
DMA in progress, James Madison University School of Music
MM, The Peabody Conservatory of Music of The Johns Hopkins University, 2003
B.M, Covenant College, 1999
Scholarly Presentations and Abstracts
“Reflections on Performance Practice of the Genevan Psalter: Musical Literacy as a Means to Worship.” Introductions to Issues in Historical Performance Practice, James Madison University School of Music, Harrisonburg, VA, April 27, 2015.
“Understanding Beethoven’s Folk Song Settings on Their Own Terms: Removing the Lens of Romantic Lieder.” James Madison University School of Music, Harrisonburg, VA, December 12, 2014.
Exhibits, Performances and Productions
(May 23, 2015) The Madison Singers, Spoleto Festival, Charleston, SC.
(April 21, 2015) Buff, Impresario (Mozart), James Madison University.
(February 20, 2015) Come Sweet Peace: Reflections on the Music and Times of Civil War Virginia, The Madison Singers, International Symposium on Assessment in Music Education, Williamsburg, VA.
(February 16, 2015) Master Class Participant, The King’s Singers, Harrisonburg, VA.
(February 7-8, 2015) Captain Hook (Bernstein), James Madison University Opera Spotlight.
(December 2, 2014) An Evening of German Lieder, The Greenwood Tree, Staunton, VA.
(November 7-9, 2014) Benoit & Alcindoro, La Boheme; James Madison University Opera Theater.
(April 4-6, 8, & 10-12, 2014) Music Director, Into the Woods; EMU MainStage Theatre.
Honors, Awards and Grants
EMU Teaching Fellowship Award; 2014 – present
Mr. Richardson’s singing in Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus was described by the Baltimore Sun music critic, Tim Smith, as “polished, richly laden with vivid tempos and dynamic phrasing.”
Phyllis Bryn-Julson called his performance in Albert Herring “wonderful! He portrayed the character with utmost wit and intelligence, paying special attention to the many details of the role, while keeping such wonderful warmth in the voice the entire time.”
National Association of Teachers of Singing