Chair, Associate Professor of Music, Voice

Tenor John Grau has established himself as a renowned and in demand performer of oratorio and opera from Baroque to 20th-century music. As a soloist, he has performed at the Boston Early Music Festival, the Ravinia Music Festival, the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park Festival, and the inaugural Duke University Bach Cantata Series, to name a few.

An exciting interpreter of the music of J.S. Bach, John’s voice has “soared” (Orlando Sentinel) repeatedly with the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park, performing the role of the Evangelist and solos in the major works of J.S. Bach. He has also appeared as the tenor soloist in the B-minor Mass with the Boulder Bach Festival and the Rochester Choral Arts Ensemble and performed the tenor arias in Bach’s St. John Passion at St. Olaf College. 

Recent engagements have also included performances of Handel’s Messiah with the Rochester Choral Arts Ensemble and the Messiah Choral Society, the Monteverdi Vespers of 1610 with the Seicento Baroque Ensemble and at the Montana Early Music Festival, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Brevard Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. In addition, he has numerous appearances as a soloist with Oratory Bach in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and has performed with the Colorado Bach Ensemble.

As well as a thriving solo career, John has appeared with professional vocal ensembles such as The Singers-Minnesota Choral Artists, The South Dakota Chorale, and The Minnesota Beethoven Festival Chorus with Dale Warland. He is also the co-artistic director and founding member of the Bach Vocal Artists vocal ensemble based in Winter Park, Florida.


BA, Biology and Music, St. Olaf College
MM, Vocal Performance, Northern Arizona University
DMA, University of Minnesota

John Grau portrait


Dr. Grau’s scholarly activities contribute to the vocal pedagogy field. He has presented his research on developing tenor voices using excerpts from Handel oratorio arias at the Minnesota Music Educators Association, and at the National Association of Teachers of Singing convention in July of 2014. His recent research is focused on vocal and physical health and the relation to vocal function and pedagogy. As a committed performer and educator, Dr. Grau also serves as an adjudicator for the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park Oratorio Competition for young American singers specializing in oratorio repertoire. This inaugural competition is scheduled for February 2025.