Dr. Melvin P. Unger
Riemenschneider Bach Institute
Baldwin Wallace University
Berea, Ohio, USA 44017
As Director of the Riemenschneider Bach Institute, Melvin P. Unger holds the Riemenschneider Chair in Music at the Conservatory of Music at Baldwin Wallace University. His publications include critical first editions (Carus-Verlag and A-R Editions), articles, and five books: The German Choral Church Compositions of Johann David Heinichen (1683-1729), 248 pp. (New York: Peter Lang, 1990); Handbook to Bach's Sacred Cantata Texts: An Interlinear Translation with Reference Guide to Biblical Quotations and Allusions, 777 pp. (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 1996); Performance Practice of the Instrumental-Vocal Works of Johann Sebastian Bach, a translation of Karl Hochreither's work, Aufführungs-praxis der Vokal-Instrumentalwerke Johann Sebastian Bachs, 217 pp. (Scarecrow, 2002); J. S. Bach's Major Works for Voices and Instruments: A Listener's Guide (Scarecrow, 2005); and Historical Dictionary of Choral Music (Scarecrow, 2010).
He is a recipient of the American Bach Society's William H. Scheide Fellowship (1996), two American Choral Directors Association Research Awards (1991, 1997), and the Association of Canadian Choral Conductors 1998 Book Award. Dr. Unger is a member of the Advisory Board of the American Bach Society and of the editorial board of Performance Practice Review (Claremont Graduate University). For several years he served on the ACDA Research and Publications Committee.
Dr. Unger holds degrees in choral music from the Universities of Saskatchewan (Canada), Oregon, and Illinois, and was a conducting student of Helmuth Rilling at the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt while on a scholarship from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst. He has appeared at state, national, and international conferences and festivals, including the Classical Music Seminar-Festival in Austria, where the Edmonton Da Camera Singers served as the principal chorus-in-residence, a responsibility that included a performance of Vierne's Messe Solennelle at St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna. North American appearances have included ones in Alberta, British Columbia, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Manitoba, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Ontario, Oregon, Saskatchewan, South Dakota, Washington, and Wisconsin.
He is the founder and conductor of the BW Singers, with whom he has appeared at conventions of the Ohio Music Education Association (2001, 2006); in Severance Hall with the Cleveland Women's Orchestra (2005); and at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. (2004). Dr. Unger also conducts the Singers' Club of Cleveland (www.singersclub.org), a male chorus celebrating over one hundred years of singing in the greater Cleveland area.
[Below: Masaaki Suzuki and Mel Unger at the International Bach Symposium in Belfast, Ireland, November 2007. See related link to the left]