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Blachly, Alexander

Blachly, Alexander

Blachly, Alexander, distinguished American choral conductor and musicologist; b. Washington, D.C., Nov. 13, 1944. He was educated at Haverford Coll. (B.A. in music composition, 1967) and at Columbia Univ. (M.A., 1971, with the thesis The Motets of Philippe de Vitry; Ph.D., 1995, with the diss. Mensuration and Tempo in 15th-Century Music: Cut Signatures in Theory and Practice). In 1971-72 he was director of the Columbia Univ. Collegium Musicum, where he was an assoc. prof. in music from 1972 to 1974. He was director of the Diller-Quaille Renaissance Choir (1972–75) and of the Josquin Choir (1975–78) in N.Y. In 1972 Blachly founded and subsequently served as the consummate director of Pomerium, a professional a cappella vocal ensemble devoted to the masters of the Renaissance, among them Du Fay, Ockeghem, Josquin, and Lassus. He conducted his ensemble on both sides of the Atlantic at various festivals and concerts, including appearances in N.Y., Philadelphia, Boston, Cleveland, Utrecht, Antwerp, and Regensburg. From 1976 to 1988 he was an instructor in musicology and performance at Sarah Lawrence Coll., and from 1982 to 1985 he was director of the N.Y. Univ. Collegium Musicum. He was director of Ancient Voices and the Perm Madrigal Singes at the Univ. of Pa. from 1985 to 1993. Blachly became director of choral music and assoc. prof. of music at the Univ. of Notre Dame in 1993. Throughout the years, he continued to tour and record with Pomerium in performances marked by historically informed and beautifully rendered interpretations. Blachly has contributed valuable articles to various books and journals, and has also ed. Orlande de Lassus: Motets for the Christmas Season (Vol. I, N.Y., 1999). In 1992 he was honored with the Noah Greenberg Award of the American Musicological Soc. and in 1999 his Pomerium was nominated for a Grammy Award.

—Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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