PHILIP BRUNELLE is an internationally renowned choral scholar, conductor, and performer. Brunelle's conducting engagements include appearances with the Chicago Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Houston Grand Opera, Opera Theatre St. Louis, Washington Opera, Swedish Royal Opera, and the Dresden State Opera, and he was the music director of the Minnesota Opera from 1968 through 1985. He is a frequent guest on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion and appears with Keillor in concerts throughout the U.S.
As the founder and artistic director of VocalEssence (formerly the Plymouth Music Series), Brunelle has worked enthusiastically to expand audiences for rarely heard works of the past and for new vocal, choral, operatic, and orchestral music. He has served on the faculties of Westminster Choir College, the University of Minnesota, and United Theological Seminary. His choral editions and opera orchestrations are published by Boosey & Hawkes, G. Schirmer, Theodore Presser, and Editions Salabert.
Brunelle received bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Minnesota. At the age of 24 he received a Rockefeller grant to study in New York at the Metropolitan Opera. His contributions to the field of music have been honored with a Kodály Medal from the government of Hungary, the Royal Order of the Polar Star from the King of Sweden, and honorary degrees from St. Olaf College, Gustavus Adolphus College, United Theological Seminary, and Saint John's University. He has served on the boards of directors of the Minnesota State Arts Board and the National Council on the Arts.
Brunelle is married to studio artist Carolyn Brunelle. They are the parents of three grown children.