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Master Chorale of Tampa Bay taps Brett Karlin as new artistic director after two-year search

After a two-year search, the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay in March 2018 has named Brett Karlin its new artistic director. Courtesy of the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay.
Published Apr. 5, 2018

TAMPA — After a two-year search, the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay has hired a permanent artistic director.

Brett Karlin will lead the 120-member community chorus in the 2018-19 season. He has worked with large scale orchestral works, collaborating with the Cleveland Orchestra and Andrea Bocelli, but is also a big fan of intimate Baroque pieces.

"I'm absolutely excited," Karlin, 31, told the Times, pointing to his previous relationship with the chorale. He served as its associate conductor from 2010 to 2013 while a graduate assistant at the University of South Florida.

"That's why this is so meaningful and special to me," he said. "I also taught at Hillsborough Community College and was music director at Forest Hills Presbyterian Church. I still remembered the names of about a third of the choir."

Karlin will commute between the Tampa Bay area and Fort Lauderdale, where he serves as music director for the Broward Symphony Orchestra and artistic director of the Master Chorale of South Florida. He has had a hand in two Grammy-nominated albums, as the assistant conductor for the national ensemble Seraphic Fire (A Seraphic Fire Christmas) and as the assistant chorus master and a singer in for the Professional Choral Institute's recording of Brahms' Ein Deutches Requiem, a 2012 Grammy nominee for best choral performance.

This season he'll prepare the chorale for several concerts with the Florida Orchestra, including Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Oct. 13-14); A Child in Our Time, Michael Tippett's Holocaust remembrance tribute 80 years after Kristallnacht (Nov. 9-11); and Joseph Haydn's The Creation (March 23-24).

In his spare time he enjoys relaxing to Bach and tuning harpsichords. Though he describes the latter as a "hobby" learned in 2009, he has tuned harpsichords for the Palm Beach Opera, the New World Symphony and the Cleveland Orchestra.

Contact Andrew Meacham at ameacham@tampabay.com or (727) 892-2248. Follow @torch437.

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