Will Crutchfield

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Will Crutchfield (born 1957) is an American conductor, musicologist, and vocal coach. He is the founding Artistic and General Director of Teatro Nuovo, a company whose inaugural season will be in the summer of 2018 at State University of New York at Purchase.[1] The new company continues the work that Crutchfield began as the Director of Opera for Bel Canto at Caramoor International Music Festival, a widely-heralded program which celebrated its twentieth and final season in 2017.[2] He also has been a frequent guest conductor at the Polish National Opera and has led opera performances at the Canadian Opera Company, Washington National Opera, and Minnesota Opera. From 1999 through 2005, he served as Music Director of the Opera de Colombia in Bogotá. He was recently named one of Musical America's 2017 "Movers and Shapers," the publication's list of the top 30 industry professionals of the year. [1]

Life and career[edit]

Crutchfield was born in 1957 in Raleigh, North Carolina and spent most of his childhood in Newport News, Virginia, where he attended Hilton Elementary School and Warwick High School. As a youngster Crutchfield studied piano under Cary McMurran. In 1975, while still in high school, he signed on with the fledgling Virginia Opera, which had been organized the previous year in Norfolk. He graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. in political science. His father, a Presbyterian minister, the Rev. Dr. Robert S. Crutchfield of Newport News, Va., is also a professional operatic tenor.[3]

A specialist in the bel canto repertoire, he prepared the first performing edition of Donizetti's Élisabeth ou la fille de l'exilé and conducted its world premiere at the Caramoor Festival on July 17, 2003.[4] Crutchfield conducted Rossini's Ciro in Babilonia at the 2012 Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, marking the first collaboration between his Bel Canto at Caramoor program and the Rossini Opera Festival.[5] He returned to the Rossini Opera Festival in 2014 to conduct Aureliano in Palmira in the world premiere of the critical edition of the score which he edited for Casa Ricordi.[6][7] His performances and the subsequent recording of this work garnered the 2015 prize for best rediscovered work at the International Opera Awards.[8] In the summer of 2016, he conducted Aureliano in Palmira in its North American premiere for the Bel Canto at Caramoor International Music Festival.[9]

In 2014, Crutchfield was named a fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.[10] In addition to his scholarly work on vocal style, Crutchfield was the youngest music critic in the history of The New York Times, where he was a regular contributor from 1983 to 1989.[11][12] He has also authored numerous reviews and articles for Opera News, including his Crutchfield at large series.[13][14]

Selected bibliography[edit]

  • Will Crutchfield (1983), 'Vocal Ornamentation in Verdi: The Phonographic Evidence', 19th-Century Music, Vol. 7, No. 1 (Summer, 1983), pp. 3–54.
  • Will Crutchfield (1989), 'The Prosodic Appoggiatura in the Music of Mozart and His Contemporaries', Journal of the American Musicological Society, Vol. 42, No. 2 (Summer, 1989), pp. 229–274.
  • Will Crutchfield (1988) 'Fashion, Conviction and Performance Style in an Age of Revivals' in N. Kenyon (ed.), Authenticity and Early Music: A Symposium, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198161530


  1. ^ TeatroNuovo/Unison Media (15 May 2017). "Will Crutchfield announces Teatro Nuovo, a new Bel Canto opera program to debut in July 2018". Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  2. ^ Woolfe, Zachary (7 July 2017). "At Caramoor, an Operatic Milestone That's Both Farewell and Beginning". New York Times.
  3. ^ Holland, Bernard (3 April 1995). "Critic-Turned-Conductor Finds A Mission in Handel's Operas", New York Times. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  4. ^ Tommasini, Anthony (19 July 2003). "A Donizetti Discovery, Reinterpreted". New York Times. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  5. ^ Shengold, David (January 2014). "Rossini: Ciro in Babilonia". Opera News, Vol. 78, No. 7. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  6. ^ Osborne, Richard (2015). "Rossini: Aureliano in Palmira". Gramophone. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  7. ^ Rossini Opera Festival Archives (2014). Aureliano in Palmira. Retrieved 27 July 2017 (in Italian).
  8. ^ "2015 - Opera Awards". Retrieved March 20, 2017. 
  9. ^ Loomis, George (19 July 2016). "Aureliano in Palmira, Caramoor Venetian Theatre, Katonah, New York — review". Financial Times. Retrieved 27 July 2017.</
  10. ^ John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. Fellows: Will Crutchfield. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  11. ^ Playbill Arts (18 July 2009). "Q&A: Conductor Will Crutchfield Discusses Bel Canto at Caramoor". Archived version Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  12. ^ List of articles by and about Will Crutchfield in The New York Times
  13. ^ Siff, Ira (June 2005). "The Scholar" (profile of Will Crutchfield), Opera News, Vol 69, No. 12. Retrieved 27 July 2017 (subscription required).
  14. ^ List of articles by Will Crutchfield in Opera News. Retrieved 27 July 2017.

External links[edit]