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Leo Nestor Biography

Leo Nestor

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Living in: United States

Leo Nestor (B.A., Music-Composition, California State University, East Bay; M.M., D.M.A., Choral Music, University of Southern California), Justine Bayard Ward Professor of Music; Director of Choral Activities, Director, Institute of Sacred Music; member of the conducting faculty, co-operating member of the composition faculty, The Catholic University of America Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, Washington, District of Columbia, USA.

Dr. Nestor conducts the CUA Chamber Choir and University Chorus, teaches undergraduate conducting and guides the formation of graduate students in choral music and musica sacra.

Leo Nestor's works are published principally by ECS Publishing, a division of the E. C. Schirmer Music Company, Boston; other works appear in the catalogues of Oxford University Press, MorningStar Music, Oregon Catholic Press and Selah Publishing House.

Dr. Nestor is founder, conductor, and artistic director of the American Repertory Singers, a professional vocal ensemble specializing in the performance and recording of contemporary literatures with eight recordings on Arsis Audio, most recently Come to Me: Love Songs by American Composers. He is among the four founding members (1984) and serves as advisor (1996) to the Conference of Roman Catholic Cathedral Musicians.

In 2001, Dr. Nestor was appointed musical advisor to the Secretariat for Liturgy of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Dr. Nestor has taught at Mt. St. Mary's College, Los Angeles; the University of Wisconsin, Madison; he has served as professor of conducting at St. John's University, Collegeville MN. He has served as artistic advisor, member of the international jury and Comitato d'Onore, conductor of the Coro Internazionale of L'Associazione Internazionale Amici della Musica Sacra in Rome from 1991-1998. Dr. Nestor was music director at Washington's Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception from January of 1984 through July of 2001.

Performances of Professor Nestor's works are frequent throughout the United States; he has been fortunate to have works performed in London as well as Rome; commissions increasingly form a significant part of his output. Larger works have been composed for The Catholic University of America (In the Fullness of Time for chorus, soli and orchestra) and for the papal visits to Los Angeles (People of God in the City of Our God) and St. Louis (Magnificat). Among recent premi¸res and recordings: Kennedy Center-commission for The Washington Chorus, Variations on "Of the Father's Love Begotten" for divisi chorus, large brass ensemble, percussion and organ; American Songs and Ballads for chorus, violin, violoncello and guitar for the Capitol Hill Chorale; Four Part Songs from the Highlands for divisi chorus and flute for the composer's alma mater, California State University, East Bay; An American Triptych for divisi chorus and organ for National City Christian Church; Psalmody for the Great Vigil of Easter for solo voices and string orchestra at St. Peter's Church on Capitol Hill; in July 2006; Four Anthems on Gregorian Themes for Randall Swanson and St. Clement's Choir received its premi¸re performance at the Chicago 2006 AGO National Convention. Most recently, Abide in Me (2007) for the installation of the Most Rev. John Charles Wester, Bishop Salt Lake City; Strengthen for Service (2007) for the installation of Rev. William Byrne, St. Peter's Church on Capitol Hill, the composer's parish. Rise Heart Thy Lord Is Risen (2007) for University Christian Church, Fort Worth. Rhapsody, Narrative and Prayer (2007) for the one-hundred-fiftieth anniversary of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Montclair, New Jersey.

During his December 2007-August 2008 sabbatical, Nestor's principal compositional project was and continues to be the completion of I Will Sing and Make Melody, a liturgical Psalter for the three-year Sunday cycle and major feasts. In April Prof. Nestor was invited to address the graduate students in sacred music at the University of Notre Dame. He served as composer-in-residence at the Cathedral of the Madeleine, Salt Lake City, working daily with music director Gregory Glenn, the Cathedral Choir, Cathedral Choristers and Coro Hispano, composing and conducting works for each ensemble, often performing with members of the Utah Symphony.

Lord, You Give the Great Commission for chorus, double brass quintet, organ and percussion was commissioned by the Archdiocese of Washington for the April 2008 Apostolic Visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Washington DC; Regina caeli, laetare for chorus, organ and trumpet for the Most Reverend Michael J. Bransfield, Bishop of Wheeling-Charleston; I Sing of a Maiden (2008) for The Catholic University of America Chorus and Symphony Orchestra's 2008 Christmas concert; and a work for chorus and organ to receive its premi¸re performance at the 2010 American Guild of Organists National Convention.

Nestor will conduct the University Chorus and Symphony Orchestra in the President's Festival of the Arts in a performance on Mendelssohn's Elijah in March 2009.

Residing on Washington's Capitol Hill, Dr. Nestor maintains an active life as teacher, conductor and composer.


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