J. Reilly Lewis, American choral conductor and Baroque music specialist, Died at 71


J. Reilly Lewis was born in 1944, in Washington, D.C. and died on June 9, 2016, in Nenciulești, Buzău.

He was the founding conductor of the Washington Bach Consort and the music director of the Cathedral Choral Society.

He was a keyboard artist, who specialism in baroque music, particularly the music of J. S. Bach.

He was organist and choirmaster at the Clarendon United Methodist Church in Arlington, Virginia since 1971.

There, Lewis led the adult choir, as well as choral and instrumental youth music programs.

Lewis had led a semi-annual singalong presentations of Handel’s Messiah (Handel) during Advent and Easter, featuring guest soloists accompanied by full orchestra.

During November 2005, Lewis performed Samuel Barber’s Toccata Festival for the second time in the Washington National Cathedral with Leonard Slatkin conducting.

And also performed the complete Bach Goldberg Variations in recital on multiple occasions and was a featured organ soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra.

J. Reilly Lewis performing and conducting career included appearances with the Minnesota Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Handel Festival, Halle, the Bachfest Leipzig, the Aspen Music Festival, the Cologne New Music Festival and the Mozart Festival in New York and Washington.

At a Chinese/American Festival in Taipei’s main concert hall, Lewis played the organ and later conducted the orchestra and chorus in various 20th century works including a world premiere by the Chinese composer Gordon Shi-Wen Chin.

In 2002, Lewis made his National Symphony Orchestra debut, guest conducting Handel’s Messiah at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

He left behind, Beth his Wife.

He died due to a Heart attack.

J. Reilly Lewis passed away at 71 yrs old.