Brian Bartoldus is a multi-faceted musician who serves as a conductor throughout the greater Baltimore/Washington area. Since 2017, he has served as the Artistic and Director of the Handel Choir of Baltimore, a critically acclaimed choral ensemble that presents yearly performances of Handel’s Messiah with period instrument orchestra, as well as other major choral and choral-orchestral works.
In the fall of 2011, Brian and several of his colleagues founded Third Practice, a DC area vocal ensemble that uses carefully planned programming to show the connections between contemporary compositions and the music of the past. The ensemble's artful singing has won plaudits from the press, who have commended their "ethereal voices," (Patrick D. McCoy, Washington Life Magazine), "precise timing, careful balance and clear-cut phrasing," (Cecelia Porter, The Washington Post), "evocative heavy lifting" (Anne Midgette, The Washington Post) and "first-rate" musicality (Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, The New York Times). Since their founding, Third Practice has enjoyed collaborating with such esteemed musicians as Three Notch’d Road: The Charlottesville Baroque Ensemble, The City Choir of Washington, Frederick Camerata, Great Noise Ensemble, and the Children’s Chorus of Washington. Highlights of their repertoire include David Lang’s Pulitzer prize-winning the little match girl passion, Andriessen’s La Commedia, Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, and the world premiere of Tavener’s Three Hymns of George Herbert.
In addition to conducting, Brian is active as a lecturer and clinician, presenting throughout America and England on subjects ranging from Gregorian chant to late 20th century masterworks. He has composed pieces for such esteemed groups as The Washington Chorus and Ensemble vOkabile (Hamburg, Germany), as well as several local performers and ensembles. Brian also serves as adjunct faculty at Mount St. Mary's University, and performs as an organist, pianist, and chorister (in that order), particularly in relation to his position as Music Director and Organist at Frederick Presbyterian Church.
In 2015, Brian earned his D.M.A. in choral conducting from Yale University, where he studied with professors Marguerite Brooks, Simon Carrington, Jeffrey Douma, and Masaaki Suzuki. He completed his undergraduate studies in composition and organ performance at Shenandoah University, where his primary teachers included William Averitt, Robert Shafer, and Steven Cooksey. Brian currently resides in Frederick, MD, with his wife Santana and daughter Magdalena.