Jordan College of Fine Arts
School of Music

Dr. Eric Stark, Professor, Director of Butler Chorale and Butler Madrigal Singers

Eric Stark Bio 2012

In a dynamic career that combines performance, scholarship and collaborative leadership, conductor Eric Stark has established himself as a choral-orchestral specialist. During the 2012 concert season, he lead over 300 musicians in an acclaimed performance of the massive  Grande Messe des Morts (Requiem) by Hector Berlioz with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir and the Butler University Chorale ("The 'Dies irae'…is one of the most thrilling episodes in the chorus-orchestra literature, and Stark managed it with aplomb." Indianapolis Star). He made his debut as guest conductor of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in a 2008 presentation of Handel's  Messiah ("galvanic performance….the Choir sang excellently throughout."  Nuvo Newsweekly). His Kennedy Center debut in Washington, DC with the Washington Chorus was also met with critical and popular acclaim ("Eric Stark had the chorus singing crisply and brightly….its rich, close harmonies shimmering." Washington Post).

Stark has also led performances of Britten's War Requiem an
d Saint Nicolas, Mendelssohn's Elijah and Die erste Walpurgisnacht, Orff's Carmina Burana, Bach's Mass in B minor, the Weihnachts-Oratorium and numerous cantatas, Handel'Messiah and Israel in Egypt, Zipoli's Te Deum, Beethoven's Mass in C, Mozart's "Coronation" Mass and Requiem, Brahms's Ein deutsches Requiem, the Poulenc Gloria, Fauré's Requiem, and Lauridsen's Lux Aeterna. He has prepared choruses for such notable conductors as Nicholas McGegan, Raymond Leppard, Jahja Ling, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Mario Venzago, Carl St. Clair, Erich Kunzel, Krzysztof Urbanski and Jack Everly. His choruses are heard on multiple compact discs, including Mendelssohn's Elijah (2011); From East to West (2005) a holiday compilation with the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir; The Harmonies of Hoosier History, (2001) featuring works by Indiana composers performed by the Indianapolis Arts Chorale; and A Festival of Carols (1997) with the Muncie, IN Masterworks Chorale.

In addition to his duties as Artistic Director of the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, Stark is also Professor of Music, Director of Graduate Studies and Assistant Chair of the School of Music at Butler University's Jordan College of the Arts. There he conducts the Butler Chorale, teaches graduate and undergraduate conducting and choral literature, and serves as coordinator of the vocal and choral areas. His former conducting students have received appointments at leading choral positions around the United States, including Stetson University, Princeton University, San Francisco Girls Chorus, Los Angeles Opera, Fort Wayne Children's Chorus and the University of Wisconsin. In 2003 and 2009 he taught a Butler University honors course he designed Putting Wings on Dreams--The First 100 Years of Powered Flight, using the dramatic stories of aviation pioneers as case studies in human determination and innovation. He has served on the faculties of Christian Theological Seminary, Indiana-Purdue at Fort Wayne and Earlham College. He received the doctoral degree in choral conducting from Indiana University, where he was a student of Jan Harrington, Robert Porco, and Thomas Dunn. A 1988 graduate of Wabash College, he is also a volunteer pilot for Angel Flight, a non-profit network of pilots providing free air transportation for those with medical needs.

(317) 940-9981
estark@butler.edu