Richard K. Pugsley

Known for his musical sensitivity and performance authenticity, Richard K. Pugsley, Director of the world renowned Gloriæ Dei Cantores, has been applauded for his “expert conducting” (Classics Today) with “clarity and instinct for high impact moments” (San Francisco Classical Voice), and for his ability to “reveal the details of each composition with a rare sensitivity and luminosity” (New York Classical Review). Pugsley has conducted the internationally recognized Gloriæ Dei Cantores for over 15 years, and performed with the choir in concert halls and churches in 24 countries throughout Europe, Russia, and North America for over 25 years. His passion for enlivening the sacred texts of choral literature as relevant and present encounters of sung prayer spans the traditions of ancient Gregorian chant, to classic repertoire, modern works, and rarely-performed choral gems.

Maestro Pugsley has conducted over 2,000 works at the Church of the Transfiguration in Orleans, MA. Featured performances have included; Bach’s Furchte dich nicht, Lobe den Herren, Komm Jesu komm, Jesu der du meine Seele, Jesu meine Freude, Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied; Beethoven’s Mass in C minor, Missa Solemnis; Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, Festival Te Deum, and Rejoice in the Lamb; Bruckner’s Os Justi and Pange Lingua, Messe in F Minor; Des Prez’s Missa Pange Lingua; Ešenvalds’ Trinity Te Deum, Psalm 67, Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis; Gretchaninov’s Missa Festiva; Grieg’s Fire Salmer; Hanson’s Cherubic Hymn and How Excellent thy Name; Haydn’s Mass in D Minor; Howells’ A Sequence for St. Michael, Requiem, and Take Him Earth for Cherishing; Ives’ Psalm 100, and Psalm 135; Kodaly’s Missa Brevis; Langlais’ Missa Solonnelle and Messe en style ancien; Martin’s Mass for Double Choir; Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Mass in C Minor, Mass in E flat Minor, Scande coeli limina, and Vesperae Solenenes de Confessore; Pärt’s Salve Regina, Berliner Messe, L’abbé Agathon, and Peace Be Upon You, O Jerusalem; Persichetti’s Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis and Mass for Mixed Chorus; Poulenc’s Four Lenten motet’s, Four Advent motets and Gloria; Rachmaninoff’s Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom; Rheinberger’s Mass in E, Mass in F and Mass in G; Sowerby’s An Angel Stood by the Altar, Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in D and Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in E minor; Stravinsky’s Mass for Mixed Chorus and Winds; Vaughan Williams’ The Call and Mass in G minor.

In addition, numerous operatic and choral performances such as Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu nostri; Carissimi’s Jephtha; Händel’s Messiah, Israel in Egypt, and Saul; Mendelssohn’s Elijah; Beethoven’s Mass in C minor, Berger’s Brazilian Psalm; Brahm’s Requiem; Britten’s The Company of Heaven, Duruflé’s Requiem; Ešenvalds’ In Paradisum; Fauré’s Requiem; Finzi’s Intimations of Immortality, For St. Cecilia, Lo, the Full Final Sacrifice, Welcome Sweet and Sacred Feast, and Requiem de Camera; Handel’s Israel and Egypt; Haydn’s The Creation; Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors; and J. S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. Mozart’s Requiem; Pärt’s Passio, Rachmaninoff’s
All Night Vigil;
Sviridov’s Three Choruses from Tsar Feodor Ioannovich and Ineffable Mystery (Ñeizr̃echénnoe Chúdo); Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem and Walton’s The Twelve.

His directing in the New England Premiere of The Pilgrim’s Progress was heralded by the Boston Globe as “powerful in conception and polished in execution.”

A soloist of critical acclaim, Mr. Pugsley’s most recent performance as the lead role of Pilgrim in Ralph Vaughan Williams’ opera, The Pilgrim’s Progress, was hailed for his “fully-embodied” and “musically thrilling” (NewsMax) performance, “where he captured the character’s humility and resilient faith” (Boston Classical Review). Other lead roles have included Saul in Händel’s oratorio, Saul, Pilgrim in the 2005 New England Premiere of Vaughan Williams’ The Pilgrims Progress, solo roles in Requiems by Fauré and Duruflé, Dona Nobis Pacem by Ralph Vaughan Williams and works by Bach, Copeland, Grieg, Händel, Sowerby, and Vaughan Williams, among others.

Pugsley is an accomplished producer of over thirty recordings on the Paraclete and Gloriæ Dei Cantores Record labels. He most recently produced Gloriæ Dei Cantores’ album, Stabat Mater: Choral Works by Arvo Pärt that was released in 2020, rose to #5 on the Traditional Classical Billboard Charts, and has been hailed as “superb, unfailingly secure, lovely, and expressive​” (Fanfare).

Maestro Pugsley is a tenacious advocate for youth music education, continually inspiring young musicians to reach their greatest potential and experience the joy of excellence through performance. He has been recognized as an extraordinary teacher and coach of vocal technique. Pugsley has directed numerous ensembles and led workshops with thousands of students throughout the world including in South Africa, South Korea, Australia, and across the United States.