Dr. Bolkovac started his teaching career at Holy Names College in Oakland, California (now Holy Names University) where he was appointed as a full-time faculty member at age 26 to teach in the Kodály Graduate Music Education Program. He taught ear training, choral conducting, conducted the college choirs, and later directed the college orchestra for three years, and eventually became the Director of the Kodály program. Shortly after his arrival at Holy Names, he also began the first of over twenty international trips to teach and conduct in Australia, England, New Zealand, The Philippines, and Taiwan. His first appointment as a Music Director was with the Bay Area Lutheran Chorale, a community chorus based in San Francisco that performed the standard choral/orchestral repertoire. He later earned his doctorate, and became the Artistic Director of the California Bach Society. Following this appointment, he became very involved in the San Francisco Bay Area's rich early music scene, revitalizing the California Bach Society into one of the Bay Area's finest Baroque ensembles, and working frequently with some of the finest singers and orchestral players.
After 16 years in the Bay Area, he moved to Australia to take up the position of Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of Queensland in Brisbane where he directed the university choral ensembles and taught ear training and choral conducting. While at the University of Queensland, Dr. Bolkovac was nominated for an Excellence in Teaching Award, and also won a competitive national grant to Berlin and The Library of Congress to study performance practice styles in early commercial recordings of the choral music of Brahms. He became known throughout Australia for his performances of Baroque oratorios, his many international workshops, and artistic leadership of the Brisbane Early Music Festival. His performances in Australia received consistently favorable reviews in the local and national press:
"An inspired performance . . . Handel's noble phrases were shaped with skill and ingenuity . . ."--The Sunday Mail, Brisbane, Australia
"Bolkovac's Maccabeus has, before all else, style . . . Concentus, now three years old, has developed a distinctive, baroque tone of colour, light and sharp definition."--The Australian, Sydney
"The general joy of the Concentus singers responding to conductor Bolkovac's exacting sensitivity made this a performance to savour."--Courier-Mail, Brisbane
After four busy and productive years in Australia he returned to the United States in 1999 and took up the position of Primrose Fuller Professor of Choral Music at The Hartt School and leadership of its Vocal Studies Division in 2001; which he led until 2013. In 2003 he became the Artistic Director of the New Haven Chorale, a community-based oratorio choir. He has conducted a wide array of performances with the New Haven Chorale, The Hartt School choruses, and several with The Hartt choruses and Hartt Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with the New Haven Chorale, as well as The Hartford Chorale. He has also guest-conducted the Hartford and New Haven Symphonies. Some of the major works have included:
Argento's I Love and I Hate; Bach's Magnificat; Te Deum and Benvenuto Cellini Overture by Berlioz; Bernstein's Chichester Psalms; Bloch's Avodat Hakodesh (Sacred Service); Brahms's Schicksalslied, Nänie, and Ein deutsches Requiem; Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols and Rejoice in the Lamb; Carissimi's Jonas; Charpentier’s Te Deum, Copland's Appalachian Spring, Billy the Kid Suite, and The Tender Land (Rivera concert version); Duruflé's Requiem; Handel's Alexander's Feast; Haydn’s Creation, Mariazeller Mass, Paukenmesse, and Symphony #13 in D Major; 'Mars' and 'Jupiter' from Holst's The Planets; Kodály's Missa Brevis; Urlicht and Finale from Symphony in C Minor (Resurrection) by Gustav Mahler; Mozart's Requiem, Coronation Mass,Spatzenmesse, and Symphonies #29 in A Major, #31 in G Major, and #32 in D Major; Ramirez’s Misa Criolla; Stabat Mater by Szymanowski, The Here and Now by Christopher Theofanidis; Verdi's Requiem; and Dona nobis pacem and A Sea Symphony by Vaughan Williams. Bolkovac has also conducted a wide array of a cappella works from the Renaissance through the 21st century.
Dr. Bolkovac leads annual 'Sing for the City' concerts to raise money for local charities and co-founded Hartford Concerts for Charities and the Solo Dei Gloria Orchestra with Ezequiel Menendez, Director of Music at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford. After a decade-long relationship with the Cathedral of St. Joseph, Ed took on the role of Music Director of the Schola Cantorum, the cathedral’s 20-voice professional chorus. Dr. Bolkovac has led Hartt choral tours to Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany and Hungary. He recently completed a textbook with co-author Anne Comiskey entitled, Developing Harmonic Hearing.
D.M.A., Stanford University, 1993
M.M., SUNY-Binghamton, 1980
Diploma, Kodály Zenepedagógiai Intézet, 1976
Conducting Study, Liszt Ferenc Zeneakadémia, 1977
B.S. in Music Education, Duquesne University, 1975