Acclaimed by the Washington Post for his “sterling performances”, baritone Brian Ming Chu has established himself onstage as a dynamic interpeter of music from the Baroque to the Great American Songbook. Hailed for his “rich, authoritative tone" (Kansas City Metropolis), and “range, agility, and expressive storytelling ability” (Monterey Herald), he has been a regular soloist with the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, Brandywine Baroque, the Dryden Ensemble, La Fiocco, The King’s Noyse, Piffaro, the Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Washington Bach Consort, as well as the Caramoor and Carmel Bach music festivals. As a lecturer in voice at Muhlenberg for ﬁfteen years, he brings critical thinking from the performer’s perspective to his analytical approach to pedagogy.
A specialist in oratorio and choral music, he has given numerous performances in the title role of Mendelssohn’s Elijah, the Bach Passions, Haydn’s Creation, the Brahms, Mozart and Verdi Requiems, and Handel’s Messiah on three continents. Additional credits include Orff’s Carmina Burana, Finzi’s In terra pax, Vaughan Williams’ Dona nobis pacem, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. He premiered the role of Rudyard Kipling in John Muehleisen’s A Kipling Passion for the WWI centenary in Kansas City, and performed the role of Martin Luther in Ludwig Meinardus’ 1876 oratorio, Luther in Worms, with the Bach Choir Eisenach and Dresden Singakademie, for the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Mr. Chu made his Kennedy Center debut in Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 with the Choral Arts Society of Washington. On the operatic stage, he has performed with opera companies around the country, in signature roles including Marcello in La Bohème, the Count in The Marriage of Figaro, Figaro in The Barber of Seville, and Silvio in Pagliacci. With the Bethlehem Bach Choir, he premiered multiple roles in their newly-commissioned (2014) opera, Young Meister Bach. Recent appearances include the title role of Anton Rubinstein's Russian opera, The Demon, at the Academy of Vocal Arts, and Mahler’s songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn in Philadelphia.
A passionate advocate for contemporary art song, Mr. Chu has been cited for “vocal and interpretive conﬁdence” (Philadelphia Inquirer) in repeat appearances with the modern ensemble Network for New Music, collaborating with eminent American composers, such as Aaron Jay Kernis (Brilliant Sky, Inﬁnite Sky), Lori Laitman, Daniel Asia (Amichai Songs), Steven Stucky, and music theater composer Adam Guettel. He has appeared in recital at Carnegie’s Weill and Merkin Halls in New York, the Annenberg Center for the Arts, Washington's Phillips Collection, and as a US Embassy Cultural Artist in French West Africa and Vienna, Austria. Mr. Chu did his graduate work in voice and opera at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, and holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Cornell University. He has taught additionally on the voice faculties of Haverford and Swarthmore Colleges, Lehigh University, and Rowan University.