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Charles Bressler (Tenor)

Born: April 1, 1926 - Kingston, Pennsylvania, USA
Died: November 28, 1996 - Manhattan, New York, USA

The American tenor, Charles Bressler, studied organ, piano and voice with Lucia Dunham, Sergius Kagen, and Marjorie Schloss at the Juilliard School of Music in in Manhattan, New York, graduated in 1950 and received postgraduate diploma in 1950.

After finishing his studies, Charles Bressler became a founding member of the New York Pro Musica Antiqua, with which he toured widely from 1953 to 1963. He was also a founding member of the New York Chamber Soloists from 1957. He was a favourite soloist with many New York choruses, including the Cantata Singers, The Collegiate Chorale and Musica Sacra. In a 1986 review of Musica Sacra's performance of J.S. Bach's St. John Passion (BWV 245), Bernard Holland wrote in The New York Times, ''Charles Bressler's Evangelist was splendid, expressive musically and leaping fearlessly into Bach's intricate shifts in key.''

Likewise Charles Bressler appared with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and performed for the openings of both the Kennedy Center in Washington and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. He also sang with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre de Paris, as well as the Santa Fe Opera, the Washington (D.C.) Opera Society, and San Francisco Opera and toured Europe as a concert artist. He was best known for his performances of early music, but also had success in contemporary roles. He earned the Best Male Singer Award from the Theatre des Nations Festival in Paris for the title role in New York Pro Musica's production of The Play of Daniel.

Charles Bressler taught at various schools, including the North Carolina School of the Arts, Brooklyn College, the New York Mannes College of Music (from 1963), and Manhattan School of Music (from 1978). He recorded for several labels.


Source: Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Classical Musicians (1997); Ruud Janssen (February 2006); NY Times Obituary (December 1996)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (August 2001, May 2009)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Under his name


BWV 508-523: Selections [w/ New York Chamber Soloists]

Leonard Bernstein


BWV 243 [1st], BWV 244

Charles Munch


BWV 243

Links to other Sites

Charles Bressler, 70, Tenor and Teacher (NY Times)


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