The CalArts community remembers choral conductor and former Music faculty Paul Vorwerk (Music MFA 75), who recently passed away.
Volker Straebel, current dean of The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts, and David Rosenboom, who served as dean from 1990 to 2020, shared a remembrance in a joint statement:
Paul had a long history with CalArts and The Herb Alpert School of Music beginning in the mid-1970s. Following that, except for a period when he was at U.C. Santa Cruz in the 1980s, he continued at CalArts for many years. Paul played many roles here, including choral conducting, teaching the grammar of conducting and instructing various aural skills classes. A favorite word in his skills pedagogy was “audiolizing,” developing internal mind and body images for harmonic entities, like complex chords so that as a high-level musician, one would be able to recognize and move among them with fluid spontaneity.
Vorwerk earned acclaim in Los Angeles and beyond for his professional accomplishments, such as his appointment as music director and conductor of the Santa Cruz Chorale in December 1995. He is also credited as the founder-director of Musica Pacifica, a chamber ensemble of singers and players of historical instruments. The ensemble’s recording of La Dafne, the 1608 opera by Marco da Gagliano, earned the Record World Critics Award for Best Classical Recording, as well as a Grammy nomination.