Cantemus Welcomes New Artistic Director: Jason K Iannuzzi
Jason Iannuzzi joined Cantemus in July as Artistic Director. In addition to a successful career in music and drama education, Mr. Iannuzzi brings to Cantemus a robust background of choral conducting, vocal coaching, music direction, and extensive knowledge of the choral-orchestral repertoire.
With experience in assistant or interim conductor capacities for several community choruses, the bulk of Mr. Iannuzzi’s non-school professional work has been as Assistant Conductor of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh. There he prepared the professional, symphonic chorus for performances with the Pittsburgh Symphony and world-renowned maestros including Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Leonard Slatkin, Mariss Jansons, Yan Pascal Tortelier, and the late Richard Hickox. Mr. Iannuzzi conducted the ensemble in concert throughout the greater Pittsburgh area, including preparing commissions by Nancy Galbraith (Requiem) and John Harbison (Abraham); and, when Robert Page retired as Music Director of the ensemble, assumed sole preparation responsibility for several major works with the Pittsburgh Symphony.
In Pennsylvania, he also served as Artistic Director for the Murrysville Festival Chorus and interim director for the Blazing Star Chorale, as well as Assistant Conductor to the Bucks County Choral Society, leading that ensemble in a concert tour of Germany and the Czech Republic.
Mr. Iannuzzi also has extensive experience as a director, vocal coach, and musical director for opera and musical theater productions. He has served as chorus master and assistant conductor to both Westminster Choir College’s Opera Theatre and Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Music. He was privileged to prepare the orchestra for the Pittsburgh premiere of Michael John LaChiusa’s The Wild Party for Carnegie Mellon School of Drama and worked as Assistant Music Director for the Pittsburgh premiere of Kurt Weill’s Mahagonny.
A widely respected and experienced music and drama educator, Mr. Iannuzzi has taught students at all levels in both public and private school settings for the past 24 years. He currently leads the thriving and regionally regarded choral program at Lexington High School, consisting of four curricular choirs, nine student-led a cappella groups, and over 250 singers. The breadth and sophistication of choral/orchestral repertoire and the performances by his LHS choruses rival many fine college programs. Under his direction, LHS choruses have presented several world premieres, the East Coast premiere of Michael Gandolfi's Winter Light, and the first complete high school performance of James Whitbourn's Annelies. Mr. Iannuzzi’s choruses have collaborated with the Lexington and Concord Symphonies, Harvard University Choruses, New England Conservatory Choirs, Boston's Back Bay Chorale, and renowned fiddler Eileen Ivers. His choirs have appeared in concert in Sweden, Finland, Estonia, China, Greece, and Bulgaria, and are preparing for their second appearance at Carnegie Hall. Their performances have been hailed as “extraordinary” and praised for their "exquisite music making" and "incredible demonstration of solidarity.”
Mr. Iannuzzi holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education summa cum laude from Westminster Choir College and a Master of Music degree in Conducting from Carnegie Mellon University, where he was a student of Robert Page. He has sung professionally as a member of symphonic choruses for some 25 years.
An artist who is passionate about the power of music to transform audiences and performers alike, Mr. Iannuzzi brings to Cantemus the highest musical standards, and is eager to bring his talents and leadership abilities to continuing Cantemus’ position as a significant regional cultural asset.