- M.M., Peabody Conservatory
- B.M., Oberlin College & Conservatory
Walter Huff is professor of choral conducting at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.
Along with his responsibilities at the Jacobs School, he will continue his duties as Atlanta Opera Chorus master. Huff has been chorus master for The Atlanta Opera since 1988, preparing the chorus in more than 80 productions, receiving critical acclaim in the United States and abroad.
Atlanta Opera Chorus members are highly touted for their technical training and acting skills, and have been showcased in traditional operatic productions, as well as contemporary and more off-beat operas, such as Philip Glass's Akhnaten, Wagner's The Flying Dutchman, Gluck's Orfeo and Euridice, a critically praised showcase of Carmina burana and Pagliacci, and a modern staging of Carmen in 1992.
In 1996, The Atlanta Opera Chorus performed Gershwin's Of Thee I Sing as part of the Cultural Olympiad during the Centennial Olympic Games. In 2008, the chorus, under Huff's direction, sang 23 critically acclaimed performances of Porgy and Bess at Opéra-Comique in Paris and on tour in Granada, Normandy and Luxembourg. Members of the chorus were featured on P.D.Q. Bach's Oedipus Tex and Other Choral Calamities, which won a Grammy Award for best comedy recording in 1990. The chorus also can be heard on a recording of Mozart's Requiem (ACA Digital), recorded at St. Philip's Cathedral in Atlanta, Ga., in 1997.
Huff received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory and his Master of Music degree from Peabody Conservatory (Johns Hopkins). He studied piano with Sarah Martin, Peter Takacs and Lillian Freundlich, and voice with Flore Wend. He has performed with singers throughout Europe and the United States and served as coach with the Peabody Opera Theatre and Washington Opera. He has performed in master classes given by renowned singers and pianists such as Sir Peter Pears, Licia Albanese, Eileen Farrell, Dalton Baldwin, Leon Fleisher and Elly Ameling.
After serving as a fellow at Tanglewood Music Center, he received Tanglewood's C. D. Jackson Master Award for Excellence, presented by Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Recently, he was one of four Atlanta artists chosen for the first Loridans Arts Awards, given to Atlanta artists who have made exceptional contributions to the arts life of Atlanta over a long period of time.
Huff has been musical director for The Atlanta Opera Studio, Georgia State University Opera and Actor's Express Theater. While maintaining his duties as chorus master for Atlanta Opera, Huff has been musical director for the Atlanta Opera High School Opera Institute, a nine-month training program for talented, classically-trained high school singers. He also has served as chorus master for Faust and Der Rosenkavalier with San Diego Opera (2011).
He served on the faculty at Georgia State University for four years as assistant professor, guest lecturer and conductor for the Georgia State University Choral Society.
Huff maintains a busy vocal coaching studio in Atlanta, working with singers from around the country in opera and musical theater.