Jeffrey Baxter, a 1982 Furman graduate in music education, has been named the Florence Kopleff Choral Administrator Chair for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. The chair was created in perpetuity as a tribute to American contralto Florence Kopleff who died in July of 2012.
Baxter, a longtime member of the ASO Chorus and current choral administrator, is the first holder of the chair.
Once called the “greatest living alto” by Time magazine, Kopleff had acknowledged the deep influence former Atlanta Symphony Orchestra music director Robert Shaw had on her life. She first met him in 1941, and was a mainstay of the Robert Shaw Chorale, having performed on every recording made by the group.
Baxter studied with Dr. Bingham Vick, Jr., while at Furman. He holds a master’s degree in music (vocal performance) from Georgia State University and a Doctor of Musical Arts (choral music) from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati.
Baxter worked in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s choral office since 1992 where he was a musical assistant to the late Robert Shaw. He has served as ASO’s full-time choral administrator since 2001, managing and singing in the all-volunteer, Grammy Award-winning ASO Chorus. In addition to administrative duties, Baxter is also the organization’s foreign language diction coach and musical assistant to ASO director of choruses, Norman Mackenzie.