Artistic Biography of Brett Karlin
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Artistic Biography of Brett Karlin

Artistic Director, Master Chorale of South Florida & Master Chorale of Tampa Bay

Leading performances praised as “intense, richly detailed…polished and well-crafted” (Miami Herald), “finely nuanced and expressive” (South Florida Classical Review), and “integrating choral and instrumental sonorities with clarity and impact” (Palm Beach Arts Paper), Brett Karlin is quickly establishing himself as a dynamic conductor of choral-orchestral masterworks. Having worked with a wide variety of ensembles, Karlin is a passionate performer of large-scale symphonic masterpieces, while equally at home with historically informed performances of distinctive Baroque repertoire.

As the artistic director of both the Master Chorale of South Florida & Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, Karlin leads over 250 singers through choral-orchestral masterworks and prepares the choirs for collaborative performances with other artists and ensembles, including The Cleveland Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, The Florida Orchestra, Itzhak Perlman, Eric Whitacre, Andrea Bocelli, and Kristin Chenoweth, among many others.

Now entering his 17th season with Master Chorale of South Florida, Karlin will conduct the 120-voice chorus, orchestra, and guest artists through classical monoliths—Bach’s Magnificat, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah—as well as the premiere of a commissioned work by leading American composer, Jake Runestad, at the 2020 Chorus America Conference.

As artistic director of The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, Karlin will prepare the Chorale for several masterworks and pops concerts with The Florida Orchestra, including a concert series and workshop with choral luminary Eric Whitacre. Karlin will also lead the ensemble in two performances – Faure’s Requiem and a concert of holiday favorites. The 2019-20 season for Master Chorale of Tampa Bay comes on the heels of a 40th anniversary season, which featured a concert tour to New York City for the ensembles debut at St. John the Divine Cathedral and Carnegie Hall.

In addition to these appointments, Karlin has previously held the positions of music director for the Broward Symphony Orchestra, chorus master for Florida Grand Opera, and mentored the next generation of classical musicians as the director of Florida’s Singing Sons and Seraphic Fire’s Miami Choral Academy. Karlin has also maintained guest conducting engagements with a variety of choral, orchestral, and academic ensembles, including The Symphonia, Lynn Philharmonia, Seraphic Fire, and several All-County/Honor Choir ensembles.

In 2009, he became the assistant conductor for Seraphic Fire, where he assisted with the ensemble’s critically acclaimed and 2012 Grammy-nominated CD, A Seraphic Fire Christmas. Karlin also served as assistant chorus master and singer for the Professional Choral Institute’s recording of the London version of Brahms’ Ein Deutches Requiem, which received a 2012 Grammy nomination for “Best Choral Performance.” This season he’ll lead Seraphic Fire in several performances of A Seraphic Fire Christmas.

Karlin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Voice from Florida State University and a Master of Music from the University of South Florida. An avid lover of music from the Baroque era and historically informed performance (HIP), Karlin can be found tuning harpsichords and listening to J.S. Bach when not working with ensembles.