Robert Geary, founding Artistic Director of Volti, the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir, and the Golden Gate International Choral Festival, also serves as Artistic Director of the San Francisco Choral Society. His multi-dimensional commitment to the choral arts over nearly forty years has led him and his choirs to national and international prominence. Under his direction for 35 seasons, Volti has become recognized as one of the most important and accomplished new music ensembles in the United States. For the past 31 years he has overseen the development of the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir, an innovative education and performance program whose record of success in international competition is at the highest national standard. With his guiding vision, the Golden Gate International Children’s and Youth Choral Festival has become part of the international choral environment, bringing thousands of young singers from dozens of countries to California for a thrilling series of performances and competitions. For the past 19 years he has led the San Francisco Choral Society to a robust position as a keeper of the traditional repertoire and an innovative force in the commissioning and performance of new works for chorus and orchestra.
Recipient of awards for Outstanding Conductorial Achievement in Giessen Germany and Artistic Interpretation from the Miedzyzdroje Festival in Poland, Geary has also received the KDFC Music Educator of the Year Award and the Lois Blair Rawlings Educational Inspiration Award.
Geary has conducted first performances of nearly 200 compositions. He has conducted in dozens of countries, served as a clinician and guest conductor in the US, Finland, Denmark and Singapore, and his choirs have been recognized in the United States by invitations to perform for the national conferences of Chorus America, the American Choral Directors Association, the Organization of American Kodaly Educators, and the College Music Society.
His choirs can be heard on recordings with many labels including Other Minds, Harmonia Mundi, Koch International, Swiss International Radio, Ablaze and Innova. They have performed for radio, television, opera, symphony and music festivals nationally and internationally. Geary also has prepared his choirs for some of the world’s leading conductors, including Helmuth Rilling, Robert Shaw, Kurt Herbert Adler, Edo de Waart, Krzysztof Penderecki, Herbert Blomstedt, Dale Warland, Kent Nagano and Michael Tilson Thomas.