Fernando Malvar-Ruiz was appointed Litton-Lodal Music Director of The American Boychoir in July 2004. Since then, he has toured with the Choir to 30 states and Canada. He prepared the Choir for performances at the YouthAIDS Benefit Gala, the 77th Annual Academy Awards Ceremony and the Tanglewood Music Festival. He also conducted the Choir at the nationally televised U.S. Open Tennis Tournament Women’s Finals and prepared it for performances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and The Philadelphia Orchestra.
Prior to his current position, Mr. Malvar-Ruiz served for four years as the Associate Music Director of the Choir, under James Litton and Vincent Metallo, respectively. During this tenure, Mr. Malvar-Ruiz toured with the Choir to 44 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. He also traveled with and prepared the Choir for its appearances at the 2001 Bermuda Festival and 2000 Des Moines International Children’s Choral Festival. In addition, he primed the Choir for two Christmas programs for broadcast on Public Radio International, and one of the Choir’s self-released CDs, Lullaby: music for the quiet times.
He brings extensive experience in the field of choral music to The American Boychoir, having previously directed the Columbus (Ohio) Youth Choir, the Central Illinois Children’s Choir and choirs in Spain and Hungary. He has also taught choral music at Parkland College where he conducted the school’s Chamber Singers.
A widely sought after guest conductor, lecturer and clinician, Mr. Malvar-Ruiz served as Artistic Director and Guest Conductor for the 2005 World Children’s Choir Festival in Hong Kong. He has conducted the Children’s Honor Choir at the 2003 American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Eastern Division Convention in Boston, the 2006 Children’s Honor Choir at the Kansas Choral Directors Association convention, Honors Choirs at national conventions of the Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE) in North Carolina and Minnesota, the Pennsylvania Junior High Honor Choir, Mississippi Honor Boychoir and the Indiana Honor Children’s Choir. He has also been a featured lecturer at conventions of ACDA’s regional divisions and was a guest conductor of the Children’s Bach Festival in Hoboken, New Jersey. For the past 11 summers, he has been an instructor in the Master’s program in Music Education at the Kodàly Institute at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio where he teaches conducting and musicianship.
Mr. Malvar-Ruiz, who is a native of Spain, began his study of music at the age of ten. He received bachelor’s degrees in piano performance and music theory from the Real Conservatorio Superior de Música in Madrid. He also attended the Kodály Institute in Kécskemet, Hungary, where he was awarded the Sharolta Kodály scholarship by unanimous decision of the faculty. In 1996, he graduated from The Ohio State University with a master’s degree in choral conducting and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in musical arts from the University of Illinois.
The Litton-Lodal Music Directorship has been endowed by a gift from Jan and Elizabeth Lodal, long-time trustees of The American Boychoir School and parents of Eric Lodal, a 1990 graduate of the School. The position was named in honor of James Litton, who was Music Director of the Boychoir from 1985 to 2001. Their generous donation was designed to guarantee for the future the artistry and excellence of the School’s choirs.