The Florida Orchestra

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James Bass
Music and Artistic Director

James K. Bass, GRAMMY-nominated singer and conductor, is the director of choral studies at the School of Music at the University of South Florida and the artistic director of the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay. At USF he conducts the University Chamber Singers, Collegium and the Collegiate Singers, in addition to teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in choral conducting, philosophy, and literature. Previously he was on the faculty at Western Michigan University and the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Bass received the doctor of musical arts degree from the University of Miami–Florida, where he was a doctoral fellow, and his master’s of music and bachelor’s of science degrees from the University of South Florida. He is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy.

Bass was selected by the master conductor of the Amsterdam Baroque Soloists, Ton Koopman, to be one of only 20 singers for a presentation of Cantatas by J.S. Bach in Carnegie Hall, and was an auditioned member of Robert Shaw’s workshop choir at Carnegie.  Bass is an active bass soloist and has performed at Winchester Cathedral in London, has sung three world-premieres of large works, and appears on CD recordings on the Albany and Seraphic Fire Media label. He has appeared with the New World Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas, The Florida Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony, Back Bay Chorale and Orchestra, Firebird Chamber orchestra and Conspirare and Craig Hella-Johnson as bass soloist.

Bass is a bass member and chorus master for Seraphic Fire, the Miami-based professional choir, and has served as choirmaster for the Classical Music Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria. During the summer of 2011, he co-founded the Professional Choral Institute at the University of South Florida. In its inaugural year of recording, Seraphic Fire and PCI received the GRAMMY nomination for Best Choral Performance for their recording of Johannes Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem. In 2014 he was appointed as conductor for the International Conducting Institute in Bacau, Romania. He has prepared choirs for Sir Colin Davis and the London Symphony Orchestra, Sir David Willcocks and the London Bach Choir, Giancarlo Guerrero and The Cleveland Orchestra, Michael Tilson Thomas and the New World Symphony,  Jahja Ling, Stefan Sanderling, Markus Huber, Gerard Swartz, and Robert Shaw.

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