Richard Schacht, Bass
Richard Schacht joined The Santa Fe Symphony Chorus in the fall of 2017, upon relocating full-time to Santa Fe from Urbana, Illinois, where he had a career-long appointment at the University of Illinois as Professor of Philosophy. He received his BA from Harvard (where he sang in its renowned Glee Club, under Eliot Forbes), and his PhD from Princeton.
Schacht, also a French horn player both in high school and then at Illinois, has been involved in many sorts of singing since childhood. They have ranged from madrigals to choral ensembles large and small, to musicals and operas (most notably as the Commendatore in Don Giovanni and the King in Aida, but more often anchoring the bass contingents). At Illinois he sang for many years in the choral program’s premiere ensemble, the University of Illinois Chorale, as well as its Oratorio Society. His first oratorio experience (at Chautauqua) was in Elijah, as a 12-year-old alto.
Over the years Schacht has sung much of the major choral repertoire, from oratorios to masses and other large-scale works to a wide range of a cappella and accompanied works from all periods. Highlights include singing Brahms’s Deutsches Requiem with Erich Leinsdorf, Verdi’s Requiem with Eugene Ormandy, Bach’s St. John’s Passion with Robert Shaw, Dido and Aeneas with Mark Morris, and, with various Illinois conductors, such masterpieces as Bach’s B-Minor Mass, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, and Rachmaninov’s Vespers (which is heaven for his kind of bass).
In addition to the SFSC, Schacht is a member of The Sangre de Cristo Chorale. He and his wife Judy Rowan (who also sings in the SFSC) now happily reside in a house they recently built in the Tesuque area that is ideal for the pursuit of musical (as well as philosophical) interests.