The Frannie and Bill Graves Chair
abilities as musical collaborator, conductor, and concert organist have
brought him international recognition. As Director of Choruses for the
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra since 2000 and holder of its endowed Frannie
and Bill Graves Chair, he was chosen to help carry forward the creative
vision of legendary founding conductor Robert Shaw to a new generation
of music lovers. At the ASO he prepares the Choruses for all concerts
and recordings, conducts holiday concerts annually and works closely with
ASO Music Director Robert Spano and commissioned-composers in the creation
and premiere of new works.
His leadership was rewarded in 2003 with Grammy awards for Best Classical
Album and Best Choral Performance for the ASO and Chorus recording of
A Sea Symphony by Vaughan Williams, in 2005 with another Best Choral
Performance Grammy for the Berlioz Requiem and in 2007 for Best
Opera Recording with Golijov's Ainadamar. Mackenzie also serves
as Director of Music and Fine Arts for Atlanta's Trinity Presbyterian
Church, and pursues an active recital and guest conducting schedule.
Mr. Mackenzie has been hailed by The New York Times as Robert Shaw's
"designated successor." In his 14-year association with Shaw
(1985-1999), he was keyboardist for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, principal
accompanist for the ASO Choruses, and ultimately assistant choral conductor.
In addition, he was musical assistant and accompanist for the Robert Shaw
Chamber Singers, the Robert Shaw Institute Summer Choral Festivals in
France and the United States, and the famed Shaw/Carnegie Hall Choral
In 1996 Mr. Mackenzie made his New York conducting debut in a concert
sponsored by Carnegie Hall, leading the Robert Shaw Chamber Singers in
a critically acclaimed performance at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine,
substituting for Shaw on short notice. In 1999 he was chosen by Shaw to
prepare the Carnegie Hall Festival Chorus for Charles Dutoit, and he was
choral clinician for the first three annual workshops after Shaw's passing.
In 2011 he and Robert Spano led the Carnegie Hall Workshop, culminating
in a performance of the Berlioz Requiem.
A native of suburban Philadelphia, Mr. Mackenzie made his debut as a pianist
with the Philadelphia Orchestra at age 12, and as an organist at age 20.
He made his New York recital debut at the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church.
He holds degrees from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and Westminster
He has prepared choruses for performance under Robert Spano, Donald Runnicles,
John Adams, Roberto Abbado, Charles Dutoit, Bernard Labadie, Nicholas
McGegan, John Nelson, Alan Gilbert, Yoel Levi, Robert King, James Conlon,
and Sir Neville Marriner.
A frequent recitalist and clinician for conventions of the American Guild
of Organists and the American Choral Directors Association, he has also
been featured on National Public Radio's "Performance Today"
and Minnesota Public Radio's "Pipedreams" broadcasts.
Mackenzie's acclaimed Telarc recording of a cappella sacred music
(featuring the Vaughan Williams Mass in G-Minor) represents the
ASO Chamber Chorus' first recording apart from the orchestra.
Mackenzie also prepared the ASO Chorus for its acclaimed 2003 debut and
successive 2008 and 2009 performances in Berlin with the Berlin Philharmonic
(in Britten's War Requiem, Berlioz's Grande Messe des Morts
and Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem, respectively), conducted
by ASO Principal Guest Conductor Donald Runnicles.