Beethoven: Three Great Works
04/08/23 at 08:00pm
Ralph W. Kuncl, PhD, MD
Conductor of The National Anthem
Dr. Ralph W. Kuncl is the 11th president of the University of Redlands. He joined the University in 2012, having served before as provost, executive vice president, and chief research officer at the University of Rochester in New York.
The majority of his early career was spent at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he served as professor of neurology, pathology, and cellular and molecular medicine. He received international recognition in the study of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, for laboratory discoveries of important disease mechanisms that helped rationalize its first effective treatment. While at Hopkins, he was appointed as the university’s founding Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education.
He began taking music lessons at the age of 7, and over the years was more of a fan than a pro at the piano, organ, and clarinet. Dr. Kuncl studied in the college chorus at Occidental College under the guidance of nationally recognized choral conductor Howard Swan, a contemporary colleague of Robert Shaw. He continued singing at University of Chicago and then was a member of the Baltimore Choral Arts Society for 23 years, performing in concert with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, and jazz great Dave Brubeck.
While at Redlands, Dr. Kuncl has had the good fortune of singing with the University Chapel Singers at Carnegie Hall in New York City, and most recently he joined the Chapel Singers and the University’s symphony orchestra, on Valentine’s Day 2018, for a performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. His only conducting experience (self-taught amateur) was leading the University of Redlands Feast of Lights chorus and orchestra in 2014 in a rousing Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah. He has hoped by commissioning Angel Blue you will be enthralled by her singing our national anthem instead of watching him.
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