Bram Wayman: Conductor/Composer

Bram Wayman — Conductor/composer


Bram is currently directing the music program at Watkinson School, Hartford, Connecticut's oldest independent school, where he has cast the ensembles and general music courses in a professional light. Students are taught fundamental musicianship as they explore challenging and diverse repertoire, expected to lead each other in a chamber music paradigm, and encouraged to craft their own interpretations of music, examining their role as artists in the face of "great figures" of the past. Bram teaches performance practice and rhetoric from primary sources, including Baroque treatises by Muffat (1696/8) and Loulié (1695) and rhetorical examples of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Quiintilian; his students have performed and conducted secco recit, sung Anglican chant, and learned Renaissance music from traditional part-books.

Concurrently with, and influencing, his teaching, Bram maintains his professional work outside of Watkinson, laying the ground-work for a professional post-classical ensemble — aimed at classical music performance that breaks the bounaries of the traditional concert hall — to bring music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to underprivileged auduences in Hartford. He studies organ and continuo playing with Raymond Nagem, and advances his research in Baroque performance practice in anticipation of the release of a book on the subject.

During the 2016–2017 season, Bram served as professional apprentice to Kent Tritle, as the first conductor to be taken on by Mr. Tritle in such a capacity. Working with several ensembles in New York (the Oratorio Society of New York, the performers at St. John the Divine, and Musica Sacra), Bram conducted in rehearsal and performance, prepared parts, assisted with the contract of musicians, played rehearsal piano, offered feedback, and otherwise aided with rehearsals of professional and amateur performers alike.

Bram is known for his encouragement of performers and of audiences to engage in repertoire of particularly high drama. He has researched, prepared, and performed music of the Byzantine Empire (in collaboration with Cappella Romana of Portland, or and Hellenic College Holy Cross of Brookline, ma), and led ensembles in work on towering repertoire of the West by composers old and new, including Bach's Mass in B minor, Mozart's unfinished Mass in C minor, and Britten's War Requiem. At Watkinson School, Bram's first concert season presented music by Nathaniel Dett, Gerald Finzi, Billy Strayhorn, George Frideric Handel, Stan Rogers, Gioachino Rossini, and C. Hubert H. Parry. In past seasons, with his post-classical ensemble Consort, Bram took music by Rheinberger, Cornysh, Elgar, Mundy, Fasch, Bartholomew, and many others to audiences of lesser privilege in Kansas City, performing in bars, coffeehouses, homeless shelters, and libraries, opening the Classical cloister to many formerly outside its walls.