Brunelle, Philip, American conductor, organist, and choral scholar; b. Faribault, Minn., July 1, 1934. He was educated at the Univ. of Minn. From 1968 to 1985 he was music director of the Minn. Opera, where he conducted operas by various American composers. In 1969 he was named organist and choirmaster at the Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis, where he quickly organized and became artistic director of the Plymouth Music Series of Minn., a distinguished and innovative series widely known for its diversified programming. As a guest conductor, Brunelle appeared with various American orchs. and opera companies. After making his European conducting debut at the Aldeburgh Festival in 1983, he made guest conducting appearances in several European music centers. In 1991 he founded and served as artistic director of the Ensemble Singers, which also made occasional appearances with his Plymouth Music Series. In 1994 he conducted the Ensemble Singers in successful engagements in Nuremburg, Leipzig, and Prague. In addition to his performing career, Brunelle served as a visiting prof, at the Univ. of Minn. School of Music and contributed a regular column to The American Organist. He has prepared eds. of several major choral works. In 1982 he was awarded the Kodály Medal by the Hungarian government. In 1988 he received Sweden’s Stig Anderson Award and in 1989 the King of Sweden presented him with the Royal Order of the Polar Star. He was awarded honorary doctorates from St. Olaf Coll. in Northfield, Minn. (1988), Gustavus Adolphus Coll. in St. Peter, Minn. (1993), and St. John’s Univ. and United Theological Seminary (1999). Brunelle’s repertoire is expansive, ranging from early music to contemporary scores. Among modern composers he champions are Copland, Argento, Hemberg, Shchedrin, Susa, and Larsen.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire