Robert Istad

Director of Choral Studies, California State University, Fullerton


Robert Istad is beginning his inaugural season as the Artistic Director of Pacific Chorale. Mr. Istad’s 2016-2017 season included debuts with the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, and return engagements with Pacific Chorale, Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra, Sony Classical, and Long Beach Camerata Singers. He is also Dean of Chorus America’s Academy for Conductors. In June 2016, Istad made his debut with Berkshire Choral International and Santa Rosa Symphony Orchestra.

Istad has prepared choruses for a number of America’s finest conductors and orchestras, including: Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Carl St.Clair and the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, as well as conductors Esa–Pekka Salonen, Keith Lockhart, Nicholas McGegan, Vasilly Sinaisky, Sir Andrew Davis, Bramwell Tovey, John Williams, Eugene Kohn, Eric Whitacre, Giancarlo Guerrero, Marin Alsop, George Fenton, and Robert Moody.

Istad is former Artistic Director of Long Beach Camerata Singers and Long Beach Bach Festival. Under his leadership, Long Beach Camerata Singers has performed with Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra, and Long Beach Opera.

Istad is also Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies at California State University, Fullerton. He was recognized as CSUF’s 2016 Outstanding Professor of the Year. Recently, he and the University Singers performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Andrea Bocelli, Kathleen Battle, recorded albums with Yarlung Records and with composer John Williams and Sony Classical, have toured throughout the world and performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Glinka Cappella, Hollywood Bowl, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and the Liszt Academy of Music. They have been selected to perform at national and divisional conferences organized by ACDA, NCCO, and NAfME.

Istad is President of the California Choral Director’s Association, and is in demand as an adjudicator, guest conductor, speaker and clinician throughout the nation.