Tenor and conductor Nate Widelitz first became part of the Listerhood just after he finished his bachelor’s degree at USC, and then his active career and educational aspirations took him on an international adventure including a year in Bulgaria, studying folk music; grad school at Yale; and teaching music on the East Coast. But since Nate returned to Southern California about a year ago, he has been a very busy guy, filling enviable positions one after another: in a short time, he has landed jobs as the new Assistant Conductor with Pacific Chorale, as Interim Director at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in the Palisades, and teaching at LA Valley and Mt. San Antonio Colleges, all while singing with the LA Master Chorale, de Angelis Vocal Ensemble, and more. With genuine modesty, he admits, “It feels good to get some traction,” recognizing that it’s the years and the work that have come before that have led to this burst of activity.
But with a schedule like that, it’s no wonder that Widelitz predicts that special projects are about to become more scarce in his calendar. But this weekend, we can enjoy one such project, as he will conduct two concerts of the Horizon Music Group, celebrating the German motet and all its impact. That commitment and attention to detail show in the way he talks about the upcoming concerts: “This is undoubtedly the best group I’ve ever been in front of,” and it’s no wonder: the young maestro has hand-picked the choir as well as the repertoire, offering a chance to work with a carefully curated group of performers he particularly trusts. The music inspires similar passion, as Nate confesses to a deep love of German motets, Baroque music (especially Bach), and those who were heavily influenced by the style, such as Brahms: “Yale is very Baroque: once there, I dove in, hook, line and sinker.” All of this points to the truth that while timing counts, all that work leading up to the moment of opportunity is where the gold is.
Catch HMG’s Chamber Choir this weekend in Hollywood (Saturday at 4pm), or in Redondo Beach (Sunday at 3pm), to welcome Nate back and hear these spectacular choral works: