Artistic Director Dr. Paul Flight — a noted choral conductor, teacher, and singer — is in his thirteenth season (2018-19) with the California Bach Society. A former member of such distinguished ensembles as the Waverly Consort, Theatre of Voices, Pomerium Musices, and the New York Collegium, he brings a wealth of expertise to CBS. Critics have praised Dr. Flight's conducting acumen, stating: "Flight has made of the choral group a professional ensemble capable of every expressive nuance and glorious ensemble sound." In addition, he is the artistic director of Schola Cantorum San Francisco, a professional chamber choir, and the founding director of Berkeley-based Chora Nova.
For nine years Dr. Flight was principal conductor of the Madison Early Music Festival, where he directed masterworks by Bach, Handel, Telemann, Vivaldi, Purcell, Dufay, and Guerrero. He has twice been a visiting professor of music at the University of California at Berkeley, directing the music department's top choral ensembles. As a visiting professor at Mills College, he has lectured on opera, and music history and form. He conducted an operatic double-bill production of Gustav Holst's Savitri and Darius Milhaud's Les malheurs d'Orphéefor Mills College.
A renowned countertenor, Dr. Flight has performed works by John Adams, Leonard Bernstein, and Unsuk Chin with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Scottish Symphony, the Berkeley Symphony, the Cincinnati May Festival and the Norwegian State Opera. In 2003 he sang the title role in Philip Glass's Akhnaten for Oakland Opera Theater. He made his debut at the Kennedy Center in 2008, singing the first countertenor role in Adams's El Niño, and in August, 2010 he made his debut at the Edinburgh International Festival singing the third countertenor role.
Dr. Flight received his doctorate from Indiana University, where he studied conducting with Robert Porco. His research focused on the Venetian composer Giovanni Croce (1557-1609). He has recorded a program featuring the music of Croce for Harmonia, a nationally syndicated radio show, and appeared as a guest on KALW radio's performing arts program My Favorite Things.