About Julian Wachner
Julian Wachner is a versatile and energetic musician active as a conductor, composer, and keyboardist. Since 2011, he has been music director at New York's influential Trinity Wall Street Church.
Wachner was born in Los Angeles in 1969 and grew up in the city's Hollywood neighborhood in a musical household. He started piano and cello lessons at age four at the University of Southern California, and then went to New York at nine to study composition at the Saint Thomas Choir School. He attended the Boston University College of Fine Arts, studying composition with Lukas Foss, among others. He also took organ lessons to gain experience as a choir director at the university's Marsh Chapel. While in school, he co-founded the Boston Bach Ensemble, and he also directed the Back Bay Chorale and the Providence Signers in Rhode Island. In 1996, he earned a D.M.A. from Boston University and was hired as an assistant professor of sacred music at the university's School of Theology in 1999. In 2001, he moved to Montreal to join the faculty at McGill University. There too, he founded new ensembles -- the Schulich Singers and the Bach-Academie de Montréal -- and conducted choirs and instrumental ensembles both at the university and in the community. He also composed and premiered an opera, Evangeline Revisited, marking the 250th anniversary of the expulsion of the Acadians from the Maritime region.
Wachner was named director of the Washington Chorus in 2008, and in 2011 he left McGill to become the music director at Trinity Wall Street. This position put him at the helm of three performing organizations: the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, the Trinity Baroque Orchestra, and NOVUS NY, a contemporary music ensemble. New York offered him many opportunities for the performance of his music, including secular as well as sacred pieces; he has described his style as lying "between the Apollonian world of church music and the academy and the Dionysian world of opera and the stage." With the Trinity College Choir, Wachner appeared in 2013 on the Rolling Stones' "50 and Counting" tour. Wachner has guest conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra and the San Francisco Opera and has appeared at numerous summer festivals. Two volumes of Wachner's music appeared on the Naxos label: in 2010 and 2014, and he also has a large catalog of recordings as a conductor, with many of these have focused on contemporary music. In 2020, he was heard with NOVUS NY and the Choir of Trinity Wall Street on the world premiere recording of Ellen Reid's opera p r i s m. In 2018, Wachner became the artistic director of Michigan's Grand Rapids Bach Festival. ~ James Manheim