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     Westenburg, Richard (26th April 1932-20th February 2008)

    He was a music and choral director who was raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and learned to play the piano while young.  His teenage years saw him concentrating more on the organ and this is what he studied at Lawrence University in Wisconsin.  He also studied for his degree in musicology and film at the University of Minnesota before moving to Montana to become a teacher.  He went on to take further studies in Paris with Nadia Boulanger and others and on his return to the United States he entered Union Theological Seminary to take studies in theology before taking up a post at the Union’s School of Sacred Music.  Settled in New York he took up the position of the Director of Music at the Central Presbyterian Church and at the same time he started the professional chorus Musica Sacra, which has become the longest continual serving choral ensemble in the New York area.  They became acclaimed for their concerts and are recognised for the recording of and their annual performance of Handel’s Messiah, which has often been performed at Carnegie Hall.  Aside from leading this successful group, he held the position of Director of Music at various other churches within the city and taught at many musical education venues that include Juilliard, Mannes College of Music, Notre Dame, Yale and Seoul, South Korea, among others.  As a music director he led many orchestras and ensembles for events such as the World Symposium on Choral Music and these include Chanticleer, Houston Symphony, Saint Paul’s Chamber Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra.   He passed away in Norwalk, Connecticut in 2008 when he was 75 and his legacy lives on with the continued success of Musica Sacra.


    Musica Sacra Recordings

    Baloo Lammy (Traditional Scottish)

    D. G. 429 732-2 (CD:  Christmas Carols & Motets)

    Conductor - Richard Westenburg

    Arranger  - Norman Luboff

    Version composer - William Billings


    RCA Victor Singers Recordings

    O Come All Ye Faithful (John Francis Wade)

    RCA 09026-61910-2 (CD: Christmas Sing-Along)

    Conductor – Richard Westenburg

    Organ – William Whitehead



    1. http://www.musicasacrany.com/about/founder-richard-westenburg/
    2. http://www.musicasacrany.com/about/
    3. http://www.answers.com/topic/richard-westenburg
    4. http://www.musicasacrany.org/tribute/?tag=richard-westenburg
    5. http://www.chorusamerica.org/vox_article_WestenburgObit_Sp08.cfm
    6. http://www.acorn-online.com/news/publish/redding-obits/29637.shtml















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