Fernando Malvar-Ruiz, internationally regarded choral conductor, clinician and educator, is the Artistic Director Designate of Los Angeles Children’s Chorus (LACC). He will assume the position of Artistic Director on August 1, 2018, succeeding LACC Artistic Director Anne Tomlinson, who steps down at the conclusion of the 2017-18 season following a remarkable 22-year tenure with the Chorus.
Malvar-Ruiz has worked with children’s and youth choirs almost his entire professional career. From 2004 to July 2017, he was the Artistic Director of the American Boychoir, a boarding/day choir-school located in Princeton, New Jersey, which served boys in grades four through eight and whose preeminent Concert Choir toured globally to tremendous critical acclaim. Malvar-Ruiz oversaw all music training and artistic aspects of the organization. His 13-year tenure was highlighted by over 150 performances and up to five national and international tours annually. He also prepared the choir for appearances with the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, St. Olaf Choir, Westminster Choir and New York Choral Artists, among many others.
With the American Boychoir, Malvar-Ruiz has worked on the world’s leading stages with such conductors as Marin Alsop, Pierre Boulez, Charles Dutoit, James Levine, Kurt Masur, Mstislav Rostropovich, Michael Tilson Thomas and Valery Gergiev and artists ranging from cellist Yo-Yo Ma, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and pop legends Beyoncé Knowles, Sir Paul McCartney and Josh Groban to opera singers Kathleeen Battle and Jessye Norman. Under Malvar-Ruiz, the American Boychoir also appeared on the 77th annual Academy Awards and performed for the 9/11 Memorial Service broadcast live globally on CNN in 2006. He also conducted the choir on six recordings and served as the music director on the 2014 film “Boychoir,” inspired by his own choir, directed by François Girard and starring Dustin Hoffman, Kathie Bates and Deborah Winger, as well as choristers from American Boychoir. Malvar-Ruiz previously served as the American Boychoir’s Associate Music Director from 2000-2004 under famed conductor and pedagogue James Litton.
A recognized expert in the adolescent male evolving voice, Malvar-Ruiz has guest conducted at the Kodály Music Education Institute of Australia, the World Children’s Choir Festival in Hong Kong, the Czech Republic, in Latvia, France, Korea and throughout China. He instructed at the summer master’s program in Kodály at Capital University and has served on the faculty of the Internacional De Verano de Direccion Coral y Pegagogia Musical in Las Palmas, Spain. Malvar-Ruiz regularly conducts at honor choir and choral festivals throughout the United States for the American Choral Directors Association and the Organizations of American Kodály Educators. Previously, Malvar-Ruiz was Conductor of the Central Illinois Children’s Choir, Conductor of the Parkland College Chamber Singers in Champaign, Illinois, and Assistant Conductor of the University of Illinois’ Concert Choir and Varsity Men’s Glee Club. Earlier posts included Music Director of the Columbus Youth Choir at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. With Ohio State University, he was Conductor of the Master-Singers and Assistant Conductor of the Men’s Glee Club and University Chorus.
Malvar-Ruiz, a Spanish citizen, was born in Equatorial Guinea and began studying music at age ten. After earning an undergraduate degree in piano performance and music theory from the Real Conservatorio Superior de Música in Madrid, he completed his Kodály certification in Kécskemet, Hungary. He holds a Masters degree in Choral Conducting from Ohio State University and has completed the coursework toward a doctoral degree in musical arts from the University of Illinois.