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” (Mozart Forum). 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 including numerous operatic choral performances at the Church of the Transfiguration in Orleans, MA, such as Carissimi’s Jephtha; Händel’s Messiah, Israel in Egypt, and Saul; Mendelssohn’s Elijah; Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors; and J. S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. 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.” Recent 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; Britten’s Festival Te Deum, Rejoice in the Lamb, and The Company of Heaven; Bruckner’s Os Justi and Pange Lingua; Duruflé’s Requiem; Ešenvalds’ Trinity Te Deum, Psalm 67, Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis, and In Paradisum; Finzi’s Intimations of Immortality, For St. Cecilia, Lo, the Final Sacrifice, and Welcome Sweet and Sacred Feast; Ives’ Psalm 135; Martin’s Mass for Double Choir; Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, Mass in E flat Minor, Requiem, and Scande coeli limina; Pärt’s Passio, Salve Regina, Berliner Messe, L’abbé Agathon, and Peace Be Upon You, O Jerusalem; Poulenc’s Gloria; Rachmaninoff’s All Night Vigil; Rheinberger’s Mass in C; Sviridov’s Three Choruses from Tsar Feodor Ioannovich and Ineffable Mystery (Ñeizr̃echénnoe Chúdo); Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem; Walton’s The Twelve.
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 Duruflé’s Requiem, and works by Bach, Copeland, Grieg, Händel, Sowerby, and Vaughan Williams, among others.
An accomplished producer of over thirty recordings on the Paraclete label, Richard is a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences in the Producers and Engineers wing. A recent project, a collaborative recording featuring Gloriæ Dei Cantores of Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil, has been hailed as “one of the very finest recordings this work has ever received” (Fanfare); “. . . a superlative recording . . . beyond glorious,” (The Buffalo News); and “…brilliant recording… sheer beauty” (HR.Audio.net).
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.