The Guild is concerned with the art and the craft of conducting, with practical problems encountered within the profession, with repertoire, and with the multiple roles that Music Directors must fulfill in orchestras, choruses, opera and ballet companies, wind ensembles, bands, musical theater, and other instrumental and vocal ensembles, whether these are professional or amateur, functioning independently or within the context of colleges, universities, and secondary or primary schools. The Guild’s overall goal is to enhance the professionalism of conductors by serving as a clearing house for knowledge and information regarding the art and practice of conducting; further, to support the artistic growth of orchestras, bands, choruses and other conducted ensembles. The Guild has a broader potential role as well: to communicate to the music community the views and opinions of the conducting profession, for which the Guild can serve as a collective voice.
- Journal of the Conductors Guild: a scholarly journal that is concerned with numerous aspects of the art, history and practice of the conducting profession.
- Podium Notes: the online Guild newsletter that carries shorter articles of interest to the profession.
- Conductor Opportunities Bulletin: a monthly publication that provides information on career opportunities.
Events and Services
- Annual Conference: an annual event that includes lectures, discussions, workshops and symposia concerning the art, craft and history of conducting. The Guild also presents awards to outstanding conductors and conducting educators at this event.
- Annual Workshops: activities devoted to the training and development of conductors. These are intensive study opportunities extending from three days to two weeks.
- Conductors Guild Mentoring & Consulting: a program that provides mentoring and consulting to members.
Since 1988 the Guild at its national conference has presented three categories of awards, two of them annually:
- Max Rudolf Award: to a conductor who has made a significant lifetime contribution to the art and to the education of young conductors;
- Theodore Thomas Award: to a conductor in recognition of outstanding achievement as both conductor and pedagogue, with significant service to the profession in the realms of scholarship, advocacy and/or orchestra building; and
- Thelma A. Robinson Scholarship: a scholarship/award (presented biannually) to the outstanding participant from the preceding two seasons of conductor training workshops, to be used for career-related expenses or advanced conducting study.
- Harold Farberman (1975-1979)
- Charles A. Ansbacher (1979-1981, 1986)
- Maurice Peress (1981-1983)
- Donald Portnoy (1983-1986)
- Samuel Jones (1987-1988)
- Evan Whallon (1989-1990)
- Michael Charry (1991-1992)
- Larry Newland (1993-1994)
- Adrian Gnam (1995-1996)
- Barbara Schubert (1997-1998)
- Wes Kenney (1999-2000)
- Harlan Parker (2001-2002)
- Emily Freeman Brown (2003-2004)
- Tonu Kalam (2005-2006)
- Sandra Dackow (2007-2008)
- Michael Griffith (2009-2010)
- James Allen Anderson (2011-2013)
- Gordon Johnson (2013-2015)
- John Farrer (2015-present)
In June of 1974, at the American Symphony Orchestra League’s National Conference held in Memphis, Tennessee, several conductors gathered together to informally discuss problems germane to conductors. Out of those discussions was born the Conductors Guild. During the year that followed, ground work to establish a meaningful organization for conductors which would be run by conductors was begun.
At the 1975 ASOL Conference in San Diego, a slate of candidates was put before the attending conductors and the first Conductors Guild Officers and Board Members were elected. At that time each Board Member and several appointed Committeemen were given a specific assignment; i.e. to research and investigate one area of interest or concern to conductors. It was the C.G.’s intent to read these papers at the 1976 ASOL Conference and to place a synopsis of each paper into the hands of all member conductors for their personal use. These papers dealt with such areas as the conductor’s relationship to managers, unions, critics, I.C.S.O.M., orchestra committees, symphony boards, audition procedures, etc. Studies were also made on such topics as foreign conductors on American podiums, conducting competitions in the United States, recordings, conductor contracts, etc.
During the 1976 ASOL Conference in Boston, the Conductors Guild held its first official Conductors Guild meetings. The assembled conductors elected three new Board Members, heard the reading of most of the aforementioned papers and studies, approved a set of Bylaws, and sponsored two sessions of live symphonic music. The first session featured Dr. Richard Lert who conducted the U.S. Army Chamber Orchestra in an open rehearsal concert of Haydn’s “London” Symphony. The second session co-produced with the College, Conservatory and University Division of the League presented the Portland (ME) Symphony performing the works of three American composers: Gerhard Samuel conducted his own “Cold When the Drum Sounds for Dawn”; Norman Dello Joio conducted his “Colonial Variants” and Maestro Fedor Kabalin conducted Ulysses Kay’s “Fantasy Variations” with Mr. Kay in attendance. Mr. Kabalin’s name was drawn from a box containing the names of all the prospective conductors by Dr. Lert. While in Boston, members of the Executive Board of the C.G. met with the chairman of I.C.S.O.M. and two B.S.O. I.C.S.O.M. representatives to discuss areas of mutual concern. Following this discussion three C.G. Board Members were invited to attend the I.C.S.O.M. National Conference in Denver in late August.
During the 1976-77 Season, the C.G. sent to all member conductors copies of its Bylaws together with synopses of several papers read in Boston. Since the C.G. [was] affiliated with the ASOL, an Ex-Officio member of the C.G. Executive Board [represented] the Guild at all ASOL Board Meetings.
At the January 1977 mid-winter meetings held in New York City the C.G. Executive Board made plans for its presentations at the ASOL Conference to be held this year  in New Orleans. The C.G. will again present two sessions of live music; one will feature a renowned maestro conducting an open rehearsal/performance; the other will present three American works with guest composers and conductors.
The Conductors Guild presently represents a strong moral and professional force that is addressing itself to the problems and aspirations of American conductors. We urge all conductors to become involved. Several major announcements will be made at the New Orleans Conference. A slate of four Officers and three Board Members will be elected. It is hoped that member conductors will make every effort to participate in these meetings and orchestral presentations.
– Author Unknown, 1977, from CG Office Archives
John Farrer; President
- Music Director, Bakersfield Symphony (CA)
- Music Director, Roswell Symphony (NM)Orchestra
- Music Director, Santa Maria Philharmonic
Mr. Farrer was associated with the San Francisco Symphony as a cover conductor for the Orchestra’s subscription concerts. He was a speaker in the San Francisco Symphony’s series of Inside Music talks, led the Orchestra in Concerts for Kids, and conducted a program at Stern Grove which attracted 20,000 listeners.
John Farrer is director of the California Conducting Institute, a national training program held in Bakersfield. Conductors from around the world participated in the fifth workshop in May 2006. Mr. Farrer was also an inst
ructor at the London Conducting Workshop at the Royal College of Music the summers of 2005 and 2006.
Mr. Farrer is a member of the music advisory committee of the Young Musicians Foundation of Los Angeles, a board member of the Chamber Orchestra of New York, and a national trustee of the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
- Associate Conductor and James Erb Choral Chair, Richmond Symphony
Hailed by the press as engaging, elegant, and entertaining, Erin Freeman is the Associate Conductor and James Erb Choral Chair of the Richmond Symphony. Her responsibilities include conducting subscription concerts, leading the Genworth Financial Symphony Pops and Union First Market Bank Lollipops Series, envisioning the artistic direction for the Symphony’s education initiatives including its four youth orchestras, and preparing the 130-voice Richmond Symphony Chorus. Guest conducting engagements include the South Carolina Philharmonic, Savannah Symphony, and Virginia All-State Orchestra. An enthusiastic champion of music education for all ages, Dr. Freeman has served as Director of Orchestras at the critically acclaimed Baltimore School for the Arts, conductor at the National High School Music Institute of Northwestern University, lecturer for the National Philharmonic and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Richmond Philharmonic, Resident Conductor at Peabody Conservatory, and Music Director of Collegium Vocale.
Freeman received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Northwestern University, a Master’s degree in Conducting from the Boston University School for the Arts, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Orchestral Conducting with Gustav Meier and Markand Thakar at the Peabody Conservatory. Previously, she studied and performed in master classes with Robert Shaw, Helmut Rilling, Robert Spano, Jonathan Carney and Murry Sidlin. Dr. Freeman was accepted as the youngest member of the Atlanta Symphony Chorus, under the direction of the late Robert Shaw, and continued that association singing with the Atlanta Symphony Chamber Chorus and the Robert Shaw Memorial Singers.
Christopher Blair; President-Elect
- Principal/Tuning Conductor, AKUSTIKS
Following undergraduate studies at the University of Vermont, Mr. Blair earned Masters degrees in Orchestral Conducting from the New England Conservatory and Acoustics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Early professional conducting appointments included the Music Directorships of the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra of Boston, the South End Symphony and Choral Society, the Melrose (MA) Symphony Orchestra, the Brown University Orchestra (where he was also Chairman of the String Program), and the position of Artistic Director of the Boston Light Opera.
In recent years Blair has appeared in concert with the Bolivian National Orchestra, the Porto Alegre (Brazil) Symphony Orchestra, the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, the Tianjin (China) Symphony Orchestra, the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, the El Paso Symphony Orchestra, the Vidin (Bulgaria) Philharmonic, and the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra. In the course of his acoustical consulting activities he has also led rehearsals of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.
- Music Director and Conductor, Western Piedmont Symphony (NC) Music Director and Conductor, Western Piedmont Youth Symphony (NC)
John Gordon Ross is completing his 25th season as Music Director and Conductor of the Western Piedmont Symphony in Hickory, NC. His first orchestral conducting opportunities came as Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra (1972-74) the Canton Symphony Orchestra and Youth Symphony (1974-75) and the Cleveland Philharmonic Orchestra (1973-1979). In recent years he has returned to Ohio to lead the Cleveland Philharmonic Orchestra, the Lima Symphony, and the Blue Ash Symphony. He served as Music Director and Conductor of the Kingsport (TN) Symphony Orchestra from 1981-1991. He is a frequent clinic and festival conductor in North Carolina, and has led both student orchestras at the Eastern Music Festival.
John Gordon Ross recently was a co-recipient of the Hickory Human Relations Council Award with Sally Ross for their service to young people. He stepped in to conduct the opening concert of the Lakeside Symphony Orchestra in Ohio in late July 2015.
Born in Selma, Indiana in 1951, John Gordon Ross received a B.M. from Ball State University and a M.M. from Northwestern University and also attended the Cleveland Institute of Music. His conducting teachers were Robert Hargreaves, Thomas Briccetti, and Walter Hendl. He also benefited from the knowledge and experience of long-term mentor Robert Marcellus, former Principal Clarinetist of the Cleveland Orchestra. He has also been a participating conductor in the master classes of Pierre Boulez and Victor Yampolsky.
He is still active as a trombonist and is the 2nd Trombonist of the Lakeside (OH) Summer Symphony and also regularly performs in North Carolina. He has taught instrumental conducting at Middle Tennessee State University and Lenoir-Rhyne University as a guest faculty member and taught other courses at King College in Bristol, TN. Currently he is an adjunct faculty member at Lenoir-Rhyne University where he is conducting choral ensembles during the spring semester. He held the title of Artist-in-Residence at Cleveland State University from 1977-79.
He is also a devotee of music of our time having led numerous world premieres with his orchestras. He is also recognized as an advocate of the music of African-American composers. He received one of the initial Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson Travel to the Collections Grants from the Center for Black Music Research and presented a paper on orchestral repertoire at their 2008 National Convention in Chicago.
- Music Director/Conductor, New York Repertory Orchestra (NY)
- Principal Conductor, Massapequa Philharmonic Orchestra (NY)
- Conductor, Maud Powell Music Festival and Opera Institute
Celebrated for his innovative programming and exciting performances, conductor David Leibowitz has achieved international acclaim for his work on the concert, opera, and ballet stage.
Mr. Leibowitz is the Music Director/Conductor and founder of the award-winning New York Repertory Orchestra. Some recent highlights of his tenure there have been a fully staged production of Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio and a landmark performance of Mahler’s epic Symphony No. 3. As an avid fan and champion of today’s music he has commissioned, worked with, and performed local and world premieres by some of today’s most important composers; such as Eduard Tubin, Harold Farberman, Paul Moravec, Stephen Dembski, John Schwabe, Salvador Brotons, William Dickerson, and Terry Pender.
Mr. Leibowitz holds the post of Principal Conductor with the Massapequa Philharmonic Orchestra (NY) and was on the conducting staff of the Rome Festival Opera (Italy) from 2002 to 2007, leading opera, ballet, and concert performances. He is also on the staff of the International Opera Institute at the Maud Powell Music Festival (IL). Operatic highlights include performances of Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte, Don Giovanni, and Le nozze di Figaro, Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’amore, Bizet’s Carmen, and Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, all to critical acclaim.
Throughout the United States, Mexico, and Europe he has directed such ensembles as the Pleven Philharmonic (Bulgaria), the Orchester Pro Arte (Vienna), the Masterplayers Orchestra (Switzerland), the Orquestra Sinfonico de la Ciudad de Mexico, the Bach Festival Orchestra (Princeton, NJ), and the Brooklyn Opera and Dance Theater. Critics hailed his performances with the Pleven Philharmonic as “passionate and exciting.”
In the New York City area, he has conducted the Greenwich Village Orchestra, Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra, Centre Symphony Orchestra, Sound Symphony Orchestra, and Music at St. Paul’s (Columbia University). He has been invited back to those ensembles and venues repeatedly.
A dedicated music educator, Mr. Leibowitz conducted the Third Street Philharmonia at the Third Street Music School Settlement in New York City from 2003-2005. He has worked as a conductor and coach with many other student and youth orchestras, including the Maud Powell Music Festival, the orchestras of Brooklyn College and City College of New York, the InterSchools Orchestra of New York, and the Gemini Youth Orchestra.
Mr. Leibowitz received his Master of Arts degree in Performance Practice, Summa Cum Laude, from the City University of New York’s Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College. His main studies were in performance, musicology, and composition. He was awarded a teaching fellowship and was named a Presidential Scholar of the University. He has continued his conducting studies with, among others, Herbert Blomstedt, Carlo Maria Giulini, and Jacques-Louis Monod. Mr. Leibowitz was a finalist in the International Masterplayers’ Conducting Competition in Lugano, Switzerland in 1986. David Leibowitz was recently given the “Gift to the City” award from the Omega Ensemble of New York for his ongoing contributions to the musical life of New York City.
Gordon Johnson; Past President
- Music Director, Great Falls Symphony Association (MT)
- Music Director, Mesa Symphony (AZ)
Johnson has served as the music director of the Glacier Symphony (MT) from 1982 to 1997 and later of the Mesa Symphony (AZ) from 1997 to 2005. He has served as the director of orchestras at the Red Lodge Music Festival since 2006.
Gordon Johnson has been recognized by the League of American Orchestras. the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and the Carnegie Hall Foundation for his contribution to the musical arts. The State of Minnesota conferred a special commendation to Johnson, on behalf of its citizens, for recognition of his contributions.
In addition to the Great Falls Symphony he is conductor of the Great Falls Youth Orchestra where he is directly involved in the training future generations of orchestral musicians. Johnson is well known for his performances heard on NRP’s PERFORMANCE TODAY and serves as host of SHOWCASE! broadcast regularly KGPR, Montana Public Radio.
During his many years of concertizing Johnson has served as a sympathetic accompanist to many superb musicians including world renowned artists Yo Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlmen, Midori, and James Galway.
Maestro Johnson has been invited to serve on adjudication panels at Arizona State University, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Montana, University of Oregon, Northwestern University and the Conservatoire Cesar Geoffray, Toulon, France.
- Instructor on Music Law, Copyright, and Arts Management, Appalachian State University
- Instructor on Music Law, Copyright, and Arts Management, Florida Atlantic University
Mr. Abrams is a frequent lecturer for the Florida Bar (Continuing Legal Education), and has presented numerous lectures to law students and undergraduates at the University of Miami, Florida State University and the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill). Mr. Abrams is an adjunct faculty member of Florida Atlantic University, where he teaches Advanced Legal Issues For The Musician (Spring semester) and is an adjunct faculty member of Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, where he teaches Copyright Law, Advanced Music Industry Practices and Arts Management and Promotion classes (Fall semester). Additionally, Mr. Abrams has lectured at the American Bar Association Forum on Mass Communications and is the author of a work entitled “Has the Digital Revolution Killed the Music Business? Problems and Possible Solutions” published in April, 2004. Mr. Abrams has also presented lectures on issues concerning the effect of media consolidation on the music, film and journalism industries.
Mr. Abrams has taught mediation skills to lawyers and others and mediates disputes and cases in the intellectual property and entertainment industries. Mr. Abrams has been called upon to testify as an expert witness in federal copyright and record industry cases on issues of liability, damages and standard industry practices.
Mr. Abrams is an elected member of the prestigious American Law Institute (ALI) and served as a member of the Executive Council of the Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section of the Florida Bar. He has been chosen by his peers for listing in the publication “Leading Lawyers of America.”
- Visiting Assistant Professor of Music & Director of Bands, Drexel University
Wesley J. Broadnax joins the faculty of Drexel University as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music & Director of Bands for the 2012-2013 academic year. His duties include conducting the Concert Band, Chamber Winds, and the Pep Band. Prior to Drexel, Dr. Broadnax served as Director of Bands/Instrumental Music Education on the faculties of the University of Delaware, California State University East Bay, and Michigan State University.
A native of Texas, Dr. Broadnax received his bachelor’s degree in music education from Stephen F. Austin State University and taught for several years in the Texas Public Schools. He received both the master’s and doctoral degrees in Wind Conducting from Michigan State University. While at Michigan State University, he was a regular performer on bass trombone and euphonium, and was a member of the West Shore Symphony, Greater Lansing Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, Jackson Symphony, Kalamazoo Symphony, and Midland Symphony, in addition to various chamber ensembles including both the West Shore Symphony Brass Trio and Capitol Brass Quartet in Lansing. In California, he performed as bass trombonist with the Silicon Valley Symphony and Mission Chamber Orchestra. His conducting teachers include John L. Whitwell and Frank L. Battisti; his bass trombone/euphonium teachers have included Nathaniel Brickens, Curtis R. Olson, Philip Sinder, J. Mark Thompson, and William Young.
Dr. Broadnax maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator. He has conducted several All-State and honor bands both nationally and internationally, having most recently conducted throughout Central Italy in August 2012 (Bandas di Norcia e Bevagna), and has presented resident conducting seminars at Michigan State University, University of Alaska-Fairbanks, Indiana State University, Bemidji State University, and St. Ambrose University. He has served as guest conductor for both the 56th Annual Stanislaus County Junior High School Music Festival in Modesto, Calif., and the Fresno-Madera Counties Music Educators Association in Reedley, Calif. He adjudicated the Western Band Association Concert Band Festival in Atherton, Calif., and conducted the Rocky Mountain Honour Band in Calgary, Alberta (Canada). He is a strong advocate of new music and has won the praises of several composers and the premieres of their works, including David Maslanka, Michael Weinstein, Dana Wilson, Jere Hutcheson, Paul Barsom, Davide Zannoni, Lawrence Singer, Joel Puckett, Nicholas Vasallo, and Stephen Rush. He participated in the Pierre Boulez Symposium on 20th Century Contemporary Music at Carnegie Hall in New York City, the focal work being the composer’s Le Marteau Sans Matre, with members of Ensemble Intercontemporain. In the summer of 2002, Dr. Broadnax completed a four-week residency as a conducting fellow at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, where he co-conducted the Young Artists Wind Ensemble and Chamber Music Program with master teacher Frank L. Battisti. In addition, Dr. Broadnax served as guest conductor for the Greater Lansing Symphony Orchestra Children’s concert series in Spring 2005 titled The Circle of Life, as part of its Black History Celebration. He also served for three years as music director/conductor for the Lansing Concert Band, and two seasons for the Oakland Municipal Band (California). Scholarship & Research activities include presentations at the Conductors Guild National Conference (Chicago), Delaware Music Educators Association (Smyrna, DE), and published articles on a variety of topics related to music education—including a recent article titled Ensemble Intonation: Five Strategies for Long—Term Improvement for the School Band & Orchestra Magazine (SBO).
Dr. Broadnax holds professional membership with the Conductors Guild, College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), California Music Educators Association (CMEA), Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association (MSBOA), and the International Trombone Association (ITA), and he is an honorary member of Kappa Kapp Psi, Tau Beta Sigma, Phi Mu Alpha and Pi Kappa Lambda organizations.
First Lieutenant Thomas P. Gamboa serves active duty as the Conductor and Commander of the Band of the United States Air Force Reserve, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. He earned his commission from Officer Training School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama in February 2011.
- Music Director of the Falcón Symphony Orchestra
Ruben Capriles starts this 2013- 2014 Season his first season as Music Director of the Falcón Symphony Orchestra in Coro, Venezuela, completing his tenure of two years as President and Music Director of the Baltimore Philharmonia Orchestra in Baltimore, Maryland.
Since his arrival to the United States in 2006 in order to pursue his graduate orchestral conducting studies at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, Capriles developed a close relationship with the Baltimore musical community, not only as graduate conducting assistant of the Peabody Opera, the Peabody Symphony Orchestra and Peabody Concert Orchestra, but also as cover conductor for Maestra Marin Alsop at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Director of Orchestras at the Baltimore School for the Arts, and conducting Teacher Associate at the Peabody Preparatory, where Capriles successfully co-conducted the Peabody Youth Orchestra during their first East Cost Tour. Other recent responsibilities have included being the founding Music Director of the Young Musicians Program Youth Orchestra at the University of California, Berkeley, where Capriles worked in close collaboration with internationally renowned artist Frederica von Stade, as well as with prestigious members of the San Francisco Conservatory faculty.
Awarded with the 2010 Bruno Walter Conducting Fellowship as Assistant Conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Academy, Capriles has had his conducting described by Marin Alsop as “passionate” and “intelligent.” Capriles has been finalist of the First Eduardo Mata International Conducting Competition, and of the Sixth Vakhtang Jordania International Conducting Competition. Capriles has been nominated for the Thelma A. Robinson Award of the Conductors Guild as best participant at the 2007 Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music; has been recipient of the Mabelle Antionette Leonhardtsen del Mar Scholarship of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University; and has been awarded with the José Félix Ribas National Order from the Venezuelan government for his contributions to the arts.
Capriles started to conduct professionally at 21 in his native Venezuela as the Music Director of the Zulia Boys Singer Orchestra, and later as the founding Music Director of the Caracas Youth Symphony Orchestra. After his five-year tenure there, the Caracas Youth Symphony Orchestra developed a strong and consistent artistic level, becoming a vital part of Venezuela’s now internationally renowned El Sistema. Dedicated to the distinguished members of the diplomatic body of the country, his debut concert with the Simón Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela was immediately broadcast in the Venezuelan national television, with the highest recognition by the critics in attendance. As laureate guest conductor of the Regional Orchestras of Venezuela, Capriles toured extensively around the country, also conducting the Caracas Municipal Symphony Orchestra and the former National Philharmonic Orchestra of Venezuela. In 2005, Capriles was appointed as Music Director of the Ciudad Guayana Symphony Orchestra, where he developed intensive programming of more than sixty concerts during that season across the expansive Guayana region, obtaining the national recognition of the Federation of Regional Orchestras of Venezuela.
In his recent guest conducting appearance with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, the Kalamazoo Gazette praised Capriles’ conducting as the “most satisfying… His sweeping baton captured the romantic flavor of Berlioz’s composition. Ensemble remained tight and balanced, making for countless musical thrills.”
As a teacher, Capriles has been invited for the second time this year to be the principal instructor in the National Academy for Conductors that is organized by Venezuela’s El Sistema to enhance the preparation of the new generation of conductors from around the country. A strong advocate of young composers of his generation, Capriles has supported and recorded new award-winning orchestral and chamber works at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, and at the “Simón Bolívar” Conservatory of Venezuela’s ‘El Sistema.’
Capriles graduated as the top conductor of his generation at the internationally renowned ‘El Sistema,’ where he received his pre-college and undergraduate training in Horn, Theory, Solfège, Composition and Conducting. Before pursuing his graduate studies in Conducting, Capriles performed professionally for two years in the horn sections of the “Simón Bolívar” Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela in Caracas, and the Maracaibo Symphony Orchestra in Maracaibo, Venezuela. Capriles completed his MM studies in Conducting at the Simón Bolívar University in Caracas, and his DMA studies in Conducting at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He holds MBA and MPP degrees from IESA in Caracas, and completed MA readings (Political Science) at Columbia University in New York. His primary conducting teachers have been José Antonio Abreu, Gustav Meier, Markand Thakar, Marin Alsop and Helmuth Rilling.
- Assistant Professor of Music, East Texas Baptist University
Mark Crim has conducted outstanding wind band, orchestral and choral ensembles for over twenty years. A product of the fine school music program in Van, Texas, Mr. Crim studied music education, trumpet and conducting at the University of Texas at Tyler, Stephen F. Austin State University and Boston University. His trumpet teachers were Dr. Max Morely, Dr. Kenneth Muckelroy and Dr. Gary Wurtz. His principal conducting teachers were Melvin Montomery, John Whitwell, Fred J. Allen and Diane Wittry.
As Assistant Professor of Music at East Texas Baptist University, Mr. Crim conducts the Symphonic Band as well as serving as music director and conductor of the University’s opera and musical theatre ensembles. He aslo teaches courses in music education, conducting, orchestration and chamber music. Mr. Crim’s position at ETBU follows a successful career in the Texas public schools.
Mr. Crim stepped down from the Longview Area Youth Orchestras in June, 2014 after four years as Music Director and another eight years in roles including Winds-Percussion Coordinator, Assistant Conductor and Co-Conductor. He held artistic and administrative responsibility for the Longview Area Preparatory Strings (LAPS) and the Longview Area Youth Symphony Orchestra (LAYSO). In addition to quality performances of core orchestral repertoire, the ensembles under his direction collaborated with regional arts organizations including the East Texas Symphonic Band, East Texas Youth Chorus and Artsview Children’s Theater to enrich the area with innovative programming for children’s youth and adult audiences.
A professional church musician since 1990, Mr. Crim has a repertoire of over five hundred choral anthems and masterworks. In his current position at First United Methodist Church in Marshall, Texas he has conducted Handel’s Messiah, Dubois’ Seven Last Words of Christ, Faure’s Requiem and produced a fully staged Amahl and the Night Visitors.
Mark was a 2004 Toyota International Teaching Scholar, spending a summer in Tokyo and Kyoto conducting and teaching and studying Japanese culture and arts. In addition to his Japan residency, Mark has taught, performed and conducted across the United States and abroad in Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany and Ukraine.
Mark lives in Hallsville, Texas with his wife Kaki, a flutist, singer, handbell ringer. Their daughter Katie, a flutist, singer and pianist, attends the Hallsville schools.
- Music Director of the McLean Youth Orchestra
- Music Director of the Go-Go Symphony
- Music Director of the Gourmet Symphony
- Assistant Conductor of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra
- Assistant Conductor of the Apollo Symphony Orchestra
John Devlin is an innovative conductor whose performances are hailed by the Washington Post as “refreshingly unfamiliar” events that deliver “a new audience for classical music,” and that have brought “the sold-out house to its feet, cheering.”
This is John’s mission as a conductor—to deliver concerts that frame orchestral music in new and innovative ways. Devlin’s artistic leadership has inspired many forward-thinking concepts such as Gourmet Symphony, Go-Go Symphony, Seamless Symphony, Interactive Symphony and the New Retro Project. Each reflects Devlin’s mission of making classical music attainable and engaging for all audiences. These projects have earned high praise as performances that “stand out and are exciting, ambitious and, dare we say — funky?”
Devlin currently serves as Music Director and Conductor of both Gourmet Symphony and the McLean Youth Orchestra. In addition to his work as Assistant Conductor of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, he is also Assistant Conductor of the Apollo Orchestra (MD). Devlin has conducted at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and at the Music Center at Strathmore. In addition, he is a technical director for multimedia projects at the National Symphony Orchestra.
Devlin is also an active conductor of outstanding high school and collegiate ensembles. Devlin recently made his Carnegie Hall debut with the Youth Orchestras of Prince William at the National Orchestra Festival. At the University of Maryland, Devlin conducted the world premiere of La Saulaie, written by Claude Debussy and completed by scholar Robert Orledge. He was also selected to conduct numerous honor ensembles, including the Pennsylvania, North Dakota, and Maine All-State Orchestras.
A strong advocate for new music, Devlin has commissioned over 30 new works that span from traditional orchestral works, to collaborations with chefs, rock bands, street dancers and rap artists.
Devlin graduated with both a master’s and a doctoral degree in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Maryland School of Music, where he studied with James Ross. His undergraduate degree is from Emory University where he graduated summa cum laude with a double major in Music and Latin.
For more information on Devlin, including recordings and upcoming concerts, please visit www.JohnDevlinMusic.com.
- Associate Conductor, United States Air Forces Band of Europe
First Lieutenant Thomas P. Gamboa serves active duty as the Associate Conductor, United States Air Forces Band of Europe. He earned his commission from Officer Training School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama in February 2011.
Lieutenant Gamboa is originally from San Diego, California. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in Music Education and Music Performance on bassoon. He also earned a Masters of Music degree in conducting from Northwestern University where he studied with Mallory Thompson. Additional conducting studies include work with Tom Lee, Donald Neuen, Victor Yampolsky, Kenneth Kiesler, Neal Stulberg, Jerry Junkin, David Effron, David Loebel, Donald Hunsberger, Michael Votta, and Mark Davis Scatterday.
Gamboa traveled with his band on numerous national and international tours including Spain, Germany, Turkey, Qatar, and Kuwait. In 2011, Gamboa was involved with the planning, execution and editing of the final television broadcast of his band for their “Holiday Notes from Home 2011” television broadcast, which featured guest artists Little Big Town and Lee Ann Womack. The Band of the Air Force Reserve celebrated a historic second nomination for an Emmy Award in Entertainment Programming for this broadcast. The performance was viewed by 1.1 million in 174 countries.
As an educator, Lieutenant Gamboa taught in the Los Angeles Unified School District at West Adams Preparatory High School in South Central, Los Angeles as the Instrumental Music Director and Music Department Chair. In the inaugural year of WAPHS, Lieutenant Gamboa created, developed, and conducted the Wind Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra, and Symphonic Orchestra during his tenure. Lieutenant Gamboa was also an instructor for the National High School Music Institute in the areas of conducting and chamber music, in addition to his duties as Assistant Conductor for the NHSMI Wind Ensemble.
Starting August 2013, Lieutenant Gamboa will serve as the Assistant Conductor and Flight Commander of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe Band at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.
- Director of Orchestras and Associate Professor of Conducting, Texas Tech University
Dr. Andrew George is Director of Orchestras and Associate Professor of Conducting at Texas Tech University, where he conducts the University Symphony Orchestra, University Opera productions, and teaches graduate courses in orchestral conducting. Prior to his current position, Dr. George spent four years as Associate Director of Orchestras at the University of Michigan, where he conducted the University Philharmonia Orchestra, the Contemporary Directions Ensemble, University Opera productions, and taught courses in orchestral conducting.
Dr. George is equally at home with professional, university, and youth ensembles, with numerous appearances throughout the US and abroad. He recently appeared as conductor of the All-Northwest Orchestra, an ensemble comprised of the top all-state musicians from the six states in the MENC Northwest Division. Recent international guest conducting engagements include the National Symphony Orchestra of Honduras, Bicentennial Youth Orchestra of Curanilahue, Chile, and an invitation from the Hong Kong government to conduct their Summer Youth Orchestra. Additionally, Dr. George has appeared as guest conductor with the Columbus Symphony, BalletMet of Columbus, Toledo Symphony, Madison Symphony Orchestra, Edgewood Chamber Symphony, All-Northwest Orchestra, Wisconsin Middle-level All State Orchestra, Vermont All-State Orchestra, Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra, Wisconsin Summer Music Clinic Honors Orchestra, and the Hong Kong Lui Ming Choi Youth Orchestra. He also served as Principal Conductor of the Composers Alliance Orchestra and Kanopy Dance Company. Additional appointments included Assistant Conductor for a recording on the Naxos label with the BBC Singers and orchestra in London, Assistant Conductor for Union Opera, and Cover Conductor for the Madison Symphony Orchestra. George appears on the CD Porter Ambrose King, released on Boston Records. Dr. George has collaborated with many of today’s significant living composers, including John Corgliano, Osvaldo Golijov, Karen Tanaka, William Bolcolm, David Schiff, Betsy Jolas, Robert Beaser, Michael Colgrass, Evan Chambers, David Lang, and Michael Daugherty.
An active clinician and teacher, George has taught conducting at the Conductors Guild Workshop, American String Workshop, and the Conductors Retreat at Medomak. He has appeared as guest clinician in many states throughout the country, in addition to presenting at the Michigan Music Educator’s Conference, Wisconsin State Music Conference, Texas Music Educators Conference, and at Oxford University, England. Prior to his appointment at the University of Michigan, George was Director of Orchestral Activities at Ohio University. George received his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the University of Michigan, his Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Wisconsin, and his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Michigan. Prior to his Doctoral Studies, George taught orchestra and strings in the Madison (WI) Public Schools for seven years. His conducting teachers include Kenneth Kiesler, David Becker, James Smith, Marvin Rabin, Martin Katz, Donald Schleicher, Louis Bergonzi, and H. Robert Reynolds. George has had additional conducting training at workshops with Gustav Meier and Michael Tilson Thomas.
- U.S. Army Officer and Bandmaster
SILAS NATHANIEL HUFF is a U.S. Army Officer and Bandmaster, orchestra conductor, composer, and teacher. Maestro Huff has conducted outstanding orchestral, band, choral, opera, ballet, and new music performances for more than a dozen years across the United States and Europe. Maestro Huff has conducted youth, university, and professional ensembles in California, Indiana, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Maryland, and Virginia. Internationally, he has conducted the L’Orchestre de L’Institut Musical de Provence-Aubagne (Aix-en-Provence, France), the Republic of Adegya National Philharmonic Orchestra (Maikop, Russia), the New Symphony Orchestra (Sofia, Bulgaria), and the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra (Zlin, Czech Republic). Maestro Huff is currently the Executive Officer and Associate Conductor of the U.S. Army TRADOC Band, and holds the music directorship of the Astoria Symphony (NYC) is Co-Director of the International Conducting Institute, an organization that trains the world’s next generation of conductors.
A native Texan, Maestro Huff studied classical guitar at Texas State University before moving to Los Angeles where he earned a Master of Music degree in music theory and composition from UCLA. While there, he studied conducting with Maestro Donald Neuen, and upon graduation became a full-time student of orchestral conducting under Dr. Richard Rintoul at California State University in Long Beach. Mr. Huff also spent one year in residence at the Trossingen Hochschule für Musik (Germany), six months studying privately in Berlin, and two summers at L’Institut Musical Provence-Aubagne (France). Maestro Huff has attended dozens of workshops led by the world’s finest maestros, including Maestros Kirk Trevor, Gustav Meier, Michael Tilson Thomas, Carl St. Clair, Harold Farberman, and others
In 2001, Maestro Huff was named Conductor of the Year by the California State University system, and he was a semi-finalist in the 2004 Maikop International Conducting Competition (Russia). Maestro Huff’s past positions include conductor of Moscow Ballet’s USA east coast tours, Associate Producer of Opera at the Manhattan School of Music, and Assistant Conductor of the California State University Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Palisades Symphony (CA), and Greenwich Village Orchestra (NY). An avid dance conductor, Maestro Huff has conducted performance with the Fullerton College Ballet Theater (CA), Long Island City Ballet (NYC), Octavia Cup Dance Theatre (NYC), Moscow Ballet, and the Martha Graham Ensemble, with which he conducted Aaron Copland’s complete Appalachian Spring with the original choreography, costumes, and set.
As a composer and advocate of new music, Maestro Huff has also organized and presented concerts of contemporary music in California, Texas, New York, Spain, France, Germany, and Italy, and continues to compose and conduct new music. Hw has conducted dozens of world premieres, including his own. In 2007, he conducted the premiere of his Five Episodes for Cello and Orchestra, and 2009 saw the premiere of his first ballet, Chun Zhi Ge (“Spring Song Festival”), which was performed again in November 2011 in China before a live audience of 50,000 and a television audience of 100 million. In the fall of 2010, Maestro Huff conducted the orchestral premiere of his Four Cowboy Songs.
Maestro Huff loves espresso, bicycling, and his novelist wife Taylor Morris. They live in Newport News, Virginia, with two ornery cats, Tre and Blackie.
- Music Director & Conductor Emeritus, Chapman University (CA)
- Music Director & Conductor Emeritus, Ambassador and Mrs. George L. Argyros Music Director’s Chair, Orange County Youth Symphony Orchestra (CA)
John Koshak is Conductor and Professor Emeritus, Chapman University, Orange County, California. During his thirty-two year tenure at Chapman he served as Director of Orchestras and Instrumental Music and was responsible for building Chapman’s nationally prominent orchestra program and one of the nation’s leading undergraduate conductor training programs in orchestral conducting. To honor his achievements and contributions, Chapman University recognized him as Conductor and Professor Emeritus and established the John Koshak Visiting Professorship. The university also established the John Koshak Practice Studio in Oliphant Hall, on the Chapman University campus.
Maestro Koshak is also Music Director and Conductor Emeritus and recipient of the Ambassador and Mrs. George L. Argyros Music Director’s Chair of the Orange County Youth Symphony Orchestra. His leadership of the OCYSO established the orchestra as one of the prominent youth orchestras in the United States and brought national attention to the arts in Orange County.
Critics both at home and abroad have enthusiastically reviewed Maestro Koshak. A Los Angeles Times reviewer wrote: “Carefully regulating each crescendo, Koshak made every climax powerful, dramatic and exhilarating without exhausting his resources at the first fortissimo.” In Germany, the Rhein Zeitung reviewer wrote: “…both the overall harmonic picture and the artistic discipline can be attributed to the conductor, John Koshak.” Of the Brahms Symphony No. 1, the critic described Koshak as a “true Salzburgian.” While in Australia, the Sydney Herald music critic wrote: “John Koshak presided over first rate string sounds in the Barber Adagio, and in a Gabrielli Canzona made the brass ring out triumphantly, while Bernstein’s Candide Overture hustled along with irresistible panache.” About Maestro Koshak’s Celebration/Finale Concert with the OCYSO, Timothy Mangan, from the Orange County Register, wrote, “A medley from West Side Story, followed, the orchestra showing a fine sense of its brash and sentimental style, and judging the instrumental balances well, Koshak led them in precise but expressive motions, giving them just what they needed for accuracy’s sake without fuss, but also gently shaping the musical flow.”
Koshak has conducted orchestras in Australia, China and Europe, and conducted honor, festival and all-state orchestras in California, Nevada, Montana, Washington, and New York. He has served as artist-in-residence and guest conductor at the Sydney (Australia) Conservatorium of Music and was twice invited as guest conductor of the Pan Pacific Music Festival in Australia.
Maestro Koshak has toured extensively with his orchestras, including performances in Europe, China, Hong Kong, Japan, and New York. He has conducted in some of the world’s greatest concert halls, including the Mozarteum, Salzburg, Austria, the Konzerthaus, Vienna, Austria, the Sydney Opera House, Australia, and New York’s prestigious Carnegie Hall.
Prior to his appointment to the faculty of Chapman University, he was a public school music educator and conductor in New York, Germany, New Jersey, and California. In Orange County, California, Professor Koshak was recognized for his work in music education when he received the Irene Schoepfle Award for distinguished contributions to Orange County music and by the Philharmonic Society of Orange County which presented him with their Golden Lyre Award for his work with their music education programs and for his artistic leadership of the Orange County Youth Symphony Orchestra. Arts Orange County recognized him and the OCYSO with the Arts Educator of the Year Award. With the OCYSO Maestro Koshak has conducted youth concerts in Orange County for over a half million Orange County students.
While conducting and teaching in Europe, Professor Koshak received recognition by the United States Government, which granted him the Superior Performance Award for his work in Germany. He and his orchestras have twice received the ASCAP Award from the American Symphony Orchestra League for the performance of American music. At Chapman University, Professor Koshak received the Faculty of the Year Award from the Chapman Alumni Association for his outstanding teaching and conducting. Arts Orange County recognized his music and arts leadership by giving him their prestigious Artistic Visionary Award for lifetime achievement in the arts. He is the author of the conducting book, The Conductor’s Role: Preparation for Individual Study, Rehearsal and Performance that is now in its 5th edition.
Professor Koshak received his Bachelor of Music degree from The Pennsylvania State University, his Master’s degree from Columbia University, and his Conducting Diploma from the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. He serves as Chair of the Mentoring Committee of the Conductors Guild.
- Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra
- Music Director and Conductor, Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra
- Music Director and Conductor, Reno Chamber Orchestra
Theodore Kuchar, one of the most prolifically recorded conductors of the past decade, appears on over 100 compact discs for the Naxos, Brilliant Classics, Ondine and Marco Polo labels. For the past 17 years, he has served as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of two of Europe’s pre-eminent orchestras, the Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra (formerly the Czech Radio Orchestra) (2005- ) and the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine (1994-2004). With the 2011-12 he commenced his tenure as the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Orquesta Sinfonica de Venezuela (National Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela). He presently also serves as Music Director and Conductor of the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra and the Reno Chamber Orchestra in the United States. An avid chamber musician, he served as the Artistic Director of The Australian Festival of Chamber Music (1990-2006), and has served as the Artistic Director of the Nevada Chamber Music Festival since 2005. Since 2004, he has served as Resident Conductor at the Kent/Blossom Music Festival, the educational institution established by the late George Szell, in cooperation with The Cleveland Orchestra.
Highlights of the 2012-13 season have included international tours with the Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra to China, Korea and Italy and, with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Venezuela, to China and the United States. Further engagements include the English Chamber Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Israel Symphony Orchestra in addition to the leading orchestras of Europe, South Africa and South America.
Highlights of the 2011-12 season included a four-week, 20 concert tour of the USA with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Guest conducting engagements included the BBC Symphony, BBC National Symphony Orchestra of Wales, the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, the Israel Symphony Orchestra, the Prague Symphony Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic and the National Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela. During the past several seasons, guest conducting engagements have taken him to major musical centers including Amsterdam, Berlin, Chicago, Helsinki, Hong Kong, London, Madrid, Prague, Seoul and Sydney. He has collaborated with major artists including James Galway, Jessye Norman, Lynn Harrell, Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Sarah Chang, Mstislav Rostropovich, Joshua Bell and Frederica von Stade, among others.
With the Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra, Kuchar has recorded 12 compact discs devoted to the complete symphonies of Carl Nielsen, the complete overtures and tone poems of Dvorak, and the complete orchestral works of Czech composer Bedrich Smetana for the Brilliant Classics label. Also completed for Brilliant Classics was a world premiere recording of Rachmaninov’s Fifth Piano Concerto, a reconstruction of that composer’s Second Symphony based on the composer’s earliest manuscripts, and the Piano Concertos of Ravel and Bartók. With the Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra, Kuchar has conducted tours of Australia, Germany, Italy, Korea, The Netherlands and Switzerland, and in January and the USA.
During his tenure with the National Symphony Orchestra of the Ukraine, Kuchar conducted complete symphony cycles by Beethoven, Bruckner, Mahler, Prokofiev, Schubert and Shostakovich, and led eleven international tours to Asia, Australia, Central Europe and the United Kingdom. Under Mr. Kuchar’s direction, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine became the most frequently recorded orchestra of the former Soviet Union. Between 1994 and 2004 the orchestra recorded over 80 compact discs for the Naxos and Marco Polo labels, including the complete symphonies of Kalinnikov, Lyatoshynsky, Martinu and Prokofiev, as well as major works of Dvorak, Glazunov, Mozart, Shchedrin, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky. They also recorded the symphonies and orchestral works of Ukraine’s leading contemporary symphonist, Yevhen Stankovych. The recording of Lyatoshynsky’s Symphonies Nos. 2 and 3 was awarded ABC’s “Best International Recording of the Year” in 1994. Their recording of the complete works for violin and orchestra by Walter Piston for the Naxos label was hailed by Gramophone (January, 2000) as a “Record of the Year” for 1999 and, in 2000, his recording of Schnittke Chamber Music for the Naxos lablel was awarded the BBC “CD of the Year” award. The complete symphonies of Prokofiev are regarded by many critics as the most accomplished cycle available on compact disc.
During the 1996-97 season, Kuchar and the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine undertook a project devoted to the performance of the cycle of complete symphonies of Anton Bruckner, in their original versions. This historic project, commemorating the centenary of Bruckner’s death, was sponsored by the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During the 1997-98 season, they undertook a cycle of the complete symphonies of Franz Schubert, commemorating the 200th anniversary of the composer’s birth.
Kuchar remains as strong an advocate of composers of the present day as he does of the great composers of the past. In addition to his recordings of contemporary works with the NSO of Ukraine, he has also conducted world premieres of works by Lukas Foss (the Capriccio for Cello and Orchestra, with Yo-Yo Ma as soloist), Giya Kancheli, Joseph Schwantner, Alfred Schnittke and Rodion Shchedrin, among others.
Theodore Kuchar graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Music in 1982, as a student of Robert Vernon, Principal Violist of The Cleveland Orchestra. In 1981, he was awarded the Paul Fromm Fellowship from the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, subsequently reinvited for the following summer. He continues to devote several periods annually to one of his most serious passions, the performance of chamber music and has been a participant at major international festivals, including Kuhmo, Lockenhaus, the Australian Festival of Chamber Music and the Nevada Chamber Music Festival. His colleagues have included James Buswell, Martin Chalifour, Sarah Chang, Lynn Harrell, Alexander Ivashkin, Leila Josefowicz, Truls Mork, Paul Neubauer, Irina Schnittke, and Thomas Zehetmair. In 1994, he participated with colleagues Oleh Krysa and Alexander Ivashkin in the world premiere of Penderecki’s String Trio in New York City. He has appeared as violist in recordings for the Naxos label of works by Alfred Schnittke (with Irina Schnittke and Mark Lubotsky – this recording was awarded the BBC’s “CD of the Year” award for 2002), Bohuslav Martinu and Walter Piston. The latter recording was awarded the Chamber Music America/WQXR “Record of the Year” for 2001.
Critical acclaim has included the following:
“Theodore Kuchar, as anyone will know from his Naxos recordings, is an extremely exciting and talented conductor, and his take-no-prisoners approach works very well in this colorful music. He blasts through the Carnival and Hussite Overtures with uninhibited abandon. His performance of the Symphonic Variations is thrilling, as cogently flowing as any, and it concludes with the best, most powerfully roof-raising final fugue that I ever hope to hear.
“The other works, especially the big tone poems, also benefit from Kuchar’s enthusiasm and drive. Othello has passion and atmosphere aplenty. The Water Goblin, The Noonday Witch, and the Wood Dove are all extremely graphic and richly evocative. Kuchar holds The Golden Spinning Wheel together as well as anyone, while A Hero’s Song makes an aptly triumphant, indeed hair-raising conclusion to the whole set. The playing of the Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra is very committed and gutsy … For me, though, and I suspect for many listeners, the sheer gusto of the playing carries the day and trumps all minor qualms. Besides, at the Brilliant Classics price you really can’t lose – but I would love to hear what Kuchar could do at the helm of a truly world-class ensemble.” – www.classicstoday.com
“Kuchar’s account is as infectiously spirited an account as you could wish for … To sum it up, this is a quite remarkable CD on all counts – outstandingly fine orchestral playing, vividly exciting and very Russian music-making, and a very tangible sound picture, consistently in the demonstration bracket.” – Gramophone
“Theodore Kuchar leads what is without question the most exciting complete Nielsen symphony cycle available, making this the set to get for Nielsen newcomers. He doesn’t put a foot wrong in any of these symphonies, and it’s rather amazing to hear how well he handles passages where so many conductors come to grief. For example, the finale of the Second Symphony has tremendous physicality at an aptly swift tempo. So often it’s taken way too slowly. Kuchar gets all the tempo relationships right in the tricky finale of the Fourth as well, and he drives the Fifth home with such exultant power that for once that second movement doesn’t sound like an anticlimax, coming as it does after perhaps the most inspired 20 minutes of music that Nielsen ever penned. Kuchar also isn’t at all fazed by the weirdness of the Sixth, its concluding Theme and Variations in particular. Here’s a case where simply playing what’s written as characterfully as possible really does produce the desired wacky effect far better than any sort of poking and prodding. You simply won’t hear a finer performance anywhere. Kuchar is equally sensitive to Nielsen’s ear for color – those special moments of startling sonic innovation. I’m thinking of the trumpet tremolos before the grand waltz in the Espansiva’s opening movement, or the timpani roll with brushes in the slow movement of the Second … Kuchar’s conducting really does sweep the board. Given a choice of who I would likely listen to in this music on any given day, Kuchar is the man, and I suspect that you’ll agree. He’s that good.” – www.classicstoday.com
“This is the best Roy Harris symphony recording since Bernstein’s first Third. Why? Because it gives us Harris’s ‘sound’ in a way I rarely hear it – deep, broad sonorities played at tempos slow and steady enough to create sweep, breadth and intensity without being logy … I always suspected there was a great symphony in the Seventh, but Kuchar is the first to bring it out. Eugene Ormandy’s 1955 Columbia recording is competent but the sound is too bright and raw. None of the broadcasts I’ve heard does it Kuchar’s kind of justice. The Ninth is not a great work, but it’s a good one, and Kuchar’s is the best performance I’ve heard.” – American Record Guide.
- Artistic Director, St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic (Russia)
- Director of Orchestras, Ithaca College (NY)
Born in Chicago, Jeffery Meyer began his musical studies as a pianist, and shortly thereafter continued on to study composition and conducting. Since 2002 he has been the Artistic Director of the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic in St. Petersburg, Russia one of St. Petersburg’s most innovative and progressive ensembles as well as the Director of Orchestras at Ithaca College. He has appeared with orchestras in the United States and abroad, including ensembles such as the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, Sichuan Symphony, and the Orchestra Sinfonico “Haydn” di Bolzano e Trento. In recent concert seasons, he has been seen conducting, performing as piano soloist and chamber musician, as well as conducting from the keyboard in the United States, Canada, Russia, Italy, Spain, Germany and throughout Eastern and Southeastern Asia.
Called “one of the most interesting and creatively productive conductors working in St. Petersburg” by Sergei Slonimsky, he is an active participant in the music of our time, has collaborated with dozens of composers, and commissioned and premiered numerous new works. The New York Times described his performances with the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic in its United States debut at Symphony Space’s 2010 “Wall-to-Wall, Behind the Wall” Festival in New York City as “impressive”, “powerful”, “splendid”, and “blazing.” His programming has been recognized with two ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming (with the Ithaca College Symphony Orchestra), as well as the Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award for Programming. In 2007, he made his Glinka Hall conducting debut in the final concert of the 43rd St. Petersburg “Musical Spring” International Festival, featuring works by three of St. Petersburg’s most prominent composers, and in 2009, he conducted the opening concert of the 14th International Musical Olympus Festival at the Hermitage Theatre and was recently invited back to perform in the 2011 festival. He has also been featured numerous times as both a conductor and pianist as part of the “Sound Ways” International New Music Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia. He has been distinguished in several international competitions (2008 Cadaqués Orchestra Conducting Competition, 2003 Vakhtang Jordania International Conducting Competition, 2003 Beethoven Sonata International Piano Competition, Memphis, Tennessee) and was a prizewinner in the 2008 X. International Conducting Competition “Antonio Pedrotti” and the 2011 American Prize in Conducting.
- Professor of Music, University of Massachusetts Boston
- Conductor, Chamber Orchestra at University of Massachusetts Boston
- Conductor, Boston Neo-politan Chamber Orchestra
Chicago native Jon Ceander Mitchell conducts the Chamber Orchestra at University of Massachusetts Boston, where he is Professor of Music. He also conducts the Boston Neo-politan Chamber Orchestra. Prior to his 1992 arrival in Boston, he held full-time music faculty positions at University of Georgia, Carnegie Mellon University, and Hanover College. He also served as music director of the North Pittsburgh Civic Symphony. In recent years he has done a significant amount of guest conducting with professional and college orchestras throughout Europe and the United States.
His research covers many areas, but is centered mostly on Holst and Beethoven. He has over seventy publications, with five published books including The Braunschweig Scores: Felix Weingartner and Erich Leinsdorf on Beethoven’s First Four Symphonies, A Comprehensive Biography of Composer Gustav Holst, Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Wind Works, and From Kneller Hall to Hammersmith: The Band Works of Gustav Holst. His latest “book” is a scholarly edition and realization of the orchestration of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto in E Flat, WoO4. He is also editor of the CODA (College orchestra Directors Association) Journal.
He has conducted six CDs with professional orchestras for Centaur Records and Vienna Music Masters and is in the latter stages of recording the cycle of Anton Rubinstein’s piano concertos with pianist Grigorios Zamparas for Centaur.
- Head of Music Staff, Lyric Opera of Chicago and The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center
Philip Morehead, pianist and conductor, is Head of Music Staff for Lyric Opera of Chicago and The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center. Previous positions at Lyric Opera have included Music Administrator from 1991 to 1996 and Chorus Master from 1986 to 1991. Mr. Morehead made his Lyric Opera of Chicago conducting debut during the 1997-98 season in performances of Anthony Davis’s Amistad. He has conducted student matinee performances of Verdi’s La traviata, Janácek’s The Cunning Little Vixen, Bizet’s Carmen, and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci and stepped in to conduct a regular season performance of Die Fledermaus. During the 2010-11 season at Lyric Opera Mr. Morehead conducted performances of Verdi’s Il ballo in maschera, Sullivan’s Mikado and Bizet’s Carmen. The summer of 2008 he conducted performances of Il barbiere di Siviglia for the Lyrique-en-Mer Festival on Belle Ile, France. Last summer he conducted the chamber opera The Leader by Gustavo Leone at the Latino Theatre Festival at the Goodman Theatre, Chicago. He will return this summer (2011) to Belle Ile, France, to conduct L’elisir d’amore.
In addition to his Lyric Opera duties, Mr. Morehead is a freelance conductor whose work has included performances of Boulez’s Improvisations sur Mallarmé for The University of Chicago Contemporary Chamber Players. As pianist and accompanist, he has performed in the US, Canada, and Italy, specializing in contemporary repertoire. He is a cofounder of the CUBE Contemporary Music Ensemble, for which he is conductor and keyboardist. He has written a music dictionary, The New International Dictionary of Music, and is editor of The New American Handy College Dictionary and The New American Roget’s College Thesaurus, among other works.
Mr. Morehead was educated at Swarthmore College, Harvard University, and the New England Conservatory of Music, and studied privately with Nadia Boulanger. He studied piano with Victor Rosenbaum, Theodore Lettvin and Edith Oppens and vocal accompaniment with Allen Rogers and John Moriarty. He has served on the faculties of Holy Cross College, Worcester, MA, the New England Conservatory, and the Berkshire Music Festival at Tanglewood. He has been musical director of the Bach-Elgar Choir in Hamilton, Ontario, the New England Chamber Opera Group, the Brookline Symphony, and Boston Lyric Opera, and was for almost a decade accompanist and assistant conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and vocal accompanist for the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
- Director of the Arts at the CEC: A Charter College and Career Academy
- Founder and Conductor, Centre Strings (GA)
Lyn Schenbeck has her Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education and Master of Science degree in Music Education and Voice Performance from SUNY Potsdam, Crane School of Music, and her doctorate in Choral and Instrumental conducting from the University of Colorado-Boulder. She has performed extensively as a singer and conductor throughout the United States and Europe.
Dr. Schenbeck is the published author of a number of articles in the Choral Journal (American Choral Directors Association), the Journal of the Conductors Guild, the Journal of Experiential Education, and the Journal of American Drama and Theatre. She is Editor of Choral Music Reviews for the Choral Journal, where she also serves on the Editorial Board.
Dr. Schenbeck has written liner notes for the past twenty years for companies such as ProArte, ProJazz, Quintessence, Intersound, Platinum Entertainment, and most recently, CC’nC Records in Germany. She has just completed CD liner notes for the recently released Dead Symphony, a piece written by Lee Johnson based on the music of the Grateful Dead.
Throughout her 40-year career, Dr. Schenbeck has taught music at every level from Kindergarten through college and adults. Prior to moving to Newnan, she was Director of Choral and Orchestral Activities at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA, where she taught 2 choirs, the orchestra, and classes in musical theatre history and performance.
She is currently in the process of completing a major project for the National Endowment for the Humanities to reconstruct Shuffle Along, an African-American musical from 1921. She holds a contract with the American Musicological Society’s series Music of the United States of America, published by A-R Editions, for a critical edition of Shuffle Along, lyrics by Noble Sissle, music by Eubie Blake. The volume is due to be published in academic year 2013-14.
Dr. Schenbeck has conducted and/or performed in more than forty musicals with a variety of professional companies and educational institutions. She is the founder and conductor of the Centre Strings, a student/community orchestra that rehearses at the Centre for Performing and Visual Arts during the academic year. Dr. Schenbeck is Director of the Arts for the Central Educational Center, a Charter College and Career Academy.
- Film Score Conductor
Conductor Jeffrey Schindler enjoys a dynamic international career that takes him from concert podiums around the world to the scoring stages of Hollywood, to the recording studios of London. Whether leading symphonic works of the Masters, multi-million dollar film scores, or cutting edge contemporary and commercial music, Mr. Schindler’s infectious energy and visionary musical storytelling are hallmarks of every performance. Mr. Schindler’s artistry melds imaginative and illuminating performances with expressive technique, impeccable scholarship, and vibrant energy.
Known as a versatile conductor, Mr. Schindler’s activities include such diverse projects as symphonic recordings, world-premier operas, and contemporary world-music concerts. Engagements include his most recent concert recording, leading the London Symphony Orchestra through the evocative music of celebrated Spanish composer Alfonso Romero, the world premiere of Red Azalea by American composer William Kraft, and a triumphant performance extravaganza Damian Live in Concert from Bucharest before a live audience of 70,000 on the largest outdoor stage ever constructed in Europe. This concert was featured as a PBS television special presentation, and has been nationally broadcast hundreds of times. Mr. Schindler has conducted orchestras and ensembles in the United States, Europe and Australia, including the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Session Orchestra, the AISOI Symphony Orchestra in Australia, the Czech Philharmonic, the Metro Voices of London, The Choristers of Reigate St. Mary’s (London), and the Bach Choir of London.
Mr. Schindler’s extensive podium experience, efficient rehearsals, and expressive baton technique place him in high demand among film composers who seek the passion and refined artistry he elicits from an orchestra. He leads one of the finest orchestral ensembles in the world: the recording musicians of the Los Angeles studios. International feature film and television projects include X-men: Days of Future Past, Jack the Giant Slayer, The Wolfman, Astroboy, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Temple Grandin, Four Christmases, Bernard and Doris, Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Hollywood Homicide, and the most successful documentary of all time: the Academy-Award winning March of the Penguins.
Mr. Schindler is a sought-after orchestrator and arranger, highly regarded for his orchestral knowledge, expert musicianship, and impeccable taste. His more than 250 production credits include 22 Jump Street, Cloudy 2: Revenge of the Leftovers, Gnomeo and Juliet, Superman Returns, The Invasion, Firewall, Next, as well as orchestrations for Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz. Orchestras and ensembles around the world have played Mr. Schindler’s orchestrations and arrangements, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Czech Philharmonic.
Mr. Schindler’s musical interests and expertise are both substantive and expansive. His extensive background in early music has imbued his approach to music and performance philosophy with a particular sensitivity to style: style of period, nationality, even to the level of the individual composer, as he seeks to feature what is unique in every creative voice. This philosophy has made him invaluable not just to contemporary film, commercial and concert composers, but also guides his insight into the music of previous epochs.
A virtuoso harpsichordist and organist, Mr. Schindler has performed concerts with ensembles nationally, in addition to extensive recitals throughout New England. An early music scholar, he is a consummate accompanist and has performed with the major symphonies of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, improvising from the basso continuo. He has also performed with such early music luminaries as Jaap Schroder, Stanley Ritchie, and Fortunato Arico, as well as with members of Tafelmusik and Aston Magna.
Maestro Schindler approaches teaching and outreach with the same energy and passion that he brings to the podium. He has taught conducting at the world renowned Conductors’ Institutes in Hartford, Connecticut and Varna, Bulgaria, as well as at the Hartt School of Music, the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of California, Santa Barbara and the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. Not only is he in demand as a gifted conducting teacher and coach among established and emerging composers in Hollywood, but also many of his other students have gone on to significant careers throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.
In every aspect of his diverse career, Mr. Schindler demonstrates his commitment to profound musical communication, technical excellence, versatility, breadth of knowledge and his quest for imaginative and creative musical interaction.
- Musical Director Emeritus, Bach Festival of Philadelphia (PA)
- Music Director Emeritus, Royal Flemish Opera (Belgium) & Harkness Ballet (NY)
- Professor Emeritus, Temple University (PA)
Jonathan Sternberg (b New York, 27 July 1919). American conductor. After studying the violin as a child at the Institute of Musical Art (now the Juilliard School) in New York, Sternberg took an academic degree at New York University (1939), followed by studies in musicology at NYU Graduate School and Harvard. During his undergraduate years, he was active as a New York critic for the Musical Leader of Chicago; he also attended rehearsals of the National Orchestral Association conducted by Leon Barzin, from whom he acquired his conducting technique. Apart from two later private sessions with Barzin (1946) and two summers with Pierre Monteux (1946 1947), he was self taught.
Sternberg began his professional career on Pearl Harbor Day, December 7, 1941, conducting the National Youth Administration Orchestra of New York in Copland’s An Outdoor Overture, before entering military service. At the end of the war he found himself in Shanghai where he took over the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra for a season. After returning briefly to the USA, Sternberg moved to Vienna, making his debut with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra In 1947. He worked closely with the Haydn scholar H.C. Robbins Landon, scouring the libraries, monasteries and churches of Austria for lost manuscripts, until Robbins Landon set up the Haydn Society, for which Sternberg made a series of pioneering recordings, initially of Haydn and Mozart, not least the ‘Nelson Mass’, ‘Posthorn’ Serenade and some dozen Haydn symphonies. Other recording premieres under Sternberg included Schubert’s Second Symphony, Rossini’s Stabat mater, Prokofiev’s Fifth Piano Concerto, Milhaud’s Fantaisie Pastorale and Charles Ives’s Set of Pieces.
He also began to present modem American music to European audiences that had heard little of such repertory. With the RIAS orchestra in Berlin he conducted the first European performances of a large number of American scores, including Bernstein’s Serenade, Menotti’s Violin Concerto and the Second Symphony of Charles Ives. With other orchestras, Sternberg conducted the first European performances of works by Barber, Copland, Diamond and Benjamin Lees. He was also responsible for a number of world premieres, including Rorem’s First Symphony (1951) and Laszlo Lajtha’s Sixth (1961).
After a year at the helm of the Halifax Symphony Orchestra (1957 1958) and five as music director of the Royal Flemish Opera in Belgium (1961 1966), he returned to the USA to take the position of music director and conductor of the Harkness Ballet of New York (1966 1968). Sternberg was then appointed musical director of the Atlanta Opera and Ballet, opening the new Atlanta Memorial Arts Center with the American stage premiere of Purcell’s King Arthur. After Atlanta he took up a visiting professorship of conducting at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. On leaving he took up a similar position at Temple University, Philadelphia, where he taught and conducted for 20 years. Here, too, he conducted a number of world premieres, including Music for Chamber Orchestra by David Diamond (1976), A Lincoln Address and Night Dances by Vincent Persichetti (1977) and Stanislaw Skrowaczewski’s Ricercari notturni for three saxophones and orchestra (1978). In his 80s, Sternberg is still active on the podium and as a lecturer.
- Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Music, Department of Instrumental Studies, Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University
Emily Threinen serves as Director of Bands, Associate Professor of Music, and Artistic Director of Winds and Brass in the Department of Instrumental Studies, Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University. She conducts the acclaimed Wind Symphony, guides the instrumental conducting program, and provides administrative leadership for all aspects of Temple University Bands.
Prior to her appointment at Temple University, Threinen served as Director of Bands, Assistant Professor of Music, and Instrumental Division Chair at Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia; Director of the Duke University Wind Symphony in Durham, North Carolina; Director of the Concordia University Wind Ensemble in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Conductor of the Dodworth Saxhorn Band in Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Director of Bands and Instrumental Music at Harding High School in St. Paul, Minnesota, receiving the Outstanding Teacher Award.
Threinen works closely with composers, arrangers, and performing artists of varied disciplines and she is published in multiple volumes of the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band book series. She is an active guest conductor, clinician, conference presenter, adjudicator, and performer.
Threinen received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting from the University of Michigan under Michael Haithcock; a Master of Music degree in Conducting from Northwestern University under Mallory Thompson; and a Bachelor of Music dual degree in Clarinet Performance and K-12 Instrumental Music Education from the University of Minnesota. While teaching at Harding High School in St. Paul, Minnesota, Threinen performed as a clarinetist in the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and semi-professionally in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.
Threinen currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Conductors Guild and she is an active member of these organizations: College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), World Association for Symphonic Band and Ensembles (WASBE), National Association for Music Education (NAfME), Pi Kappa Lambda, and Kappa Kappa Psi as an honorary member.
- Conductor, Longar Ebony Symphony Orchestra
- Music Director, Trilogy Opera Company
- Professor of Composition and Conducting, Berklee College of Music
Julius P. Williams is an award-winning conductor, composer, recording artist, educator, author and pianist. His career has taken him from his native New York to musical venues around the globe, and has involved virtually every musical genre.
Maestro Williams Carnegie Hall conducting debut was with Symphony Saint Paulia inaugural concerts in 1987 in New York. He has conducted American Orchestras in Dallas, New Haven, Savannah, Hartford, Sacramento, Tulsa, Knoxville, Oklahoma, The Vermont Symphony, Akron, Paducah, The Norwalk Symphony, The Vermont Philharmonic, and The Wooster Symphony in Ohio, the Armor Artist Chamber Orchestra and the Connecticut Opera Association and the Trilogy Opera company, and the Washington Symphony where he served as the Music director (1998-2003) formally the official Orchestra of Washington, DC. Other appearances include The Tri-C Jazz Festival in 1999 concert series in Cleveland Ohio the season was opened, by Maestro Williams conducting a powerful performance of Duke Ellington’s “Sacred Service”. He has served as Assistant Conductor to Maestro Lucas Foss with The Brooklyn Philharmonic and with The American Symphony in New York. He was also The artistic director of the Music Festival of Costa del Sol, Spain, and the School of Choral Studies of New York State Summer School of the Arts for eight seasons. He is presently conductor of the Longar Ebony Symphony Orchestra in New York and Music director of the Trilogy Opera Company in New Jersey.
In Europe, Maestro Williams has performed and recorded with The Prague Radio Symphony, The Moscow Conservatory Symphony Orchestra,The Dvorak Symphony Orchestra, The Volvodanksa Symphony of Serbia, The Dubrovnik Symphony of Croatia, The Brno State Philharmonic, The Bohuslav-Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra, and The Music Festival of Costa del Sol, Spain. Julius Williams’ discography includes the critically-acclaimed “Symphonic Brotherhood” a collection of African-American symphonic music, “Shades of Blue”, “The New American Romanticism”, Somewhere Far Away, Places in Time, The American Soloist and Midnight Tolls, all available on the Albany Records label. this season two new recordings Orchestral Equilibrium on Centaur Records and Heart on the Wall for soprano and orchestra on Albany will be released in 2011 and 2012.
Maestro Williams is presently Professor of Composition and Conducting at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.
- Executive Director, Conductors Guild
Amanda Burton Winger is the Executive Director of the Conductors Guild, the only international organization devoted exclusively to the advancement of the art of conducting with 1600 members representing fifty states and more than thirty countries.
Amanda received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from James Madison University and Master of Music in Horn Performance from Virginia Commonwealth University. She won the Masterworks Festival Concerto Competition and performed Gordon Jacob’s Horn Concerto with the Masterworks Festival Orchestra. She also performed with the Christian Performing Arts Fellowship at the Kennedy Center and was a member of Kappa Kappa Psi, a national honorary band fraternity. She performed as soloist for the premiere of Emory Waters’ Horn Concerto with the Richmond Symphonic Winds. She regularly performs with the Richmond Symphony, Williamsburg Symphonia, Shenandoah Symphony, Waynesboro Symphony, Richmond Philharmonic, Richmond Brass & Percussion Consort, Richmond Symphonic Winds, Landmark Brass Quintet and Commonwealth Winds.
Amanda serves on the Executive Board of the American Federation of Musicians Local 123 as well as Treasurer and Board Member of the National Music Council. She also participates in several other organizations including the National Performing Arts Conference, Cultural Advocacy Group and Virginia Association for Fund Raising Executives.
Burton A. Zipser, Editor, Conductor Opportunities Bulletin, Ex Officio
- Music Director, Oakland Performing Arts (MI)
- Director, International Archive of Jewish Music (MI)
Burton A. Zipser is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Conductors Guild and also of the Guild of Temple Musicians, and has served as editor of the Conductor Opportunities Bulletin since 1990. During his undergraduate years, Burton studied at Western Reserve University in Cleveland and completed a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Southern California, where he was an opera coach and offstage conductor. He then went on to pursue graduate work at the University of California-Los Angeles and completed a Master of Arts at California State University in Los Angeles, plus additional graduate work at Ball State University. Burton led summer stock performances at Moorhead State University in Kentucky and Morehead State University in Minnesota and participated in the Mitropoulos (U.S.) and Villa Lobos (Brazil) Orchestral Conducting Competitions.
Burton spent many years as a successful high school music educator (choral, band, orchestra and humanities), in Philadelphia (PA), Pomona (CA), and in schools in Detroit, Bloomfield Hills, and Mt. Clemens, all in Michigan. Over the course of his career, he has served as conductor for a variety of musical organizations, including a summer community band (Monrovia, CA), community music theater groups such as the Hollywood (CA) Opera, Philadelphia (PA) Civic Theater; and the Detroit Jewish Community Center. Religious music activities are also an important part of his resume, as he has served as a choir director and organist in Lynwood and Covina, CA, churches, as well with synagogue choirs in Los Angeles and the Detroit suburbs. Performances with Jewish choirs also included television appearances in Los Angeles.
Burton has served as the Michigan State Music Chairman for the National Band Association and the National Association of Jazz Educators, and as an arts council president in Covina, CA and Warren, MI. His articles have appeared in many publications, including the Music Journal, Choral Journal, Instrumentalist, International Musician, Crain’s Detroit Business, and Podium Notes.
Since 1998, Burton has served as Director for Oakland Performing Arts in Southfield, MI, which promotes cooperative concert activities in Oakland County, and has donated stage and sound equipment to the Oak Park, MI Library and the Detroit Zoo.
Advisory Council Members are also Honorary Lifetime Members of the Guild.
James Allen Anderson, President: 2011-2013
- Director of Orchestral Activities and Music Director, University of Delaware’s Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, and Opera Theatre
James Allen Anderson is the Director of Orchestral Activities and Music Director of the University of Delaware’s Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, and Opera Theatre. He received his formal training as conductor and pianist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. His principal conducting mentors include David Effron, Mark Gibson, Tonu Kalam, Pierre Hetu and Otto Werner-Mueller, with studies in piano under Michael Zenge and Francis Whang.
His commitment to new music developed early in his career and led to collaborations with composers such as Joseph Schwantner, Augusta Read Thomas, Michael Daugherty, Libby Larsen, David Liptak and Robert Moore. In 1997, as part of Eastman’s 75th anniversary, Mr. Anderson was selected to conduct the world premiere performance of the newly revised Overture in Praise of Folly by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer George Walker. This commitment to new music endures, with recent world premiere performances of works by William Harbinson (Of Fire and Ice), David Maslanka (11:11 A Dance at the Edge of the World, Symphony No. 6 “Living Earth”; A Child’s Garden of Dreams: Book 2) and Daniel Bukvich (The Glittering Hill). Recordings are available under the Albany Records label.
James Allen Anderson has held positions with the Eastman Opera Theatre, Triangle Opera (NC), Theater on the Ridge (NY), Pauper Players (NC), Appalachian State University’s Hayes School of Music, and the University of Montana’s Music Department.
Dr. Anderson is in demand as a guest conductor, having worked with a variety of ensembles in North and South America, Europe and Asia. He has served as Music Director of the Butte Symphony Association and Director of Orchestral Activities at Appalachian State University and the University of Montana. He remains committed to a variety of outreach projects and is a frequent adjudicator and clinician on both the state and national levels.
Dr. Anderson and the Appalachian Symphony Orchestra were both finalist in the 2010 American Prize in Orchestral Conducting and Performance. Maestro Anderson received the 2005 Miriam Cannon Hayes School of Music Outstanding Teaching Award. In 2003, he was selected by the American Symphony Orchestra League to participate in the National Conductor Preview with the Jacksonville Symphony (FL). This program showcased eight conductors that had been “carefully chosen for their talent, accomplishments, and qualifications, who are ready to assume important professional conducting responsibilities with American orchestras.” In 2001, he competed in the first Vakhtang Jordania/New Millennium International Conducting Competition in Kharkov, Ukraine and “was a Third-Round diploma laureate and major prize winner.”
- Principal Guest Conductor, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Emily Freeman Brown, President: 2003-2004
- Director of Orchestral Activities, Bowling Green State University (OH)
Emily Freeman Brown is Music Director and Conductor of the Bowling Green Philharmonia and Opera Theater at Bowling Green University in Ohio. The first woman to receive a doctorate in orchestral conducting at the Eastman School of Music she was the Music Director of the Perrysburg Symphony Orchestra from 1977 to 2000. She is also a frequent guest conductor for the Toledo Symphony Orchestra.
Ms. Brown has appeared as conductor with orchestras in the United States, Europe and South America including the Rochester Philharmonic, the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, the Syracuse and Toledo Symphonies, the Dayton Philharmonic, the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, the Eastman Virtuosi, the Skaneateles Music Festival, the Chicago Civic Orchestra, the National Symphony of Chile and the Bartok Ensemble, both in Santiago, and at the American Festival of the Arts (Houston), Interlochen and Chatauqua summer music institutes and the all state orchestras in Ohio, Missouri and Minnesota. Ms. Brown has recorded for Albany Records (with the Bowling Green Philharmonia) and Opus One Records. From 1987 to 1989 she served as Associate Conductor of the Eastman Philharmonia and Conductor for the Eastman Opera Theater. In 1988 she was a winner of the internationally known Affiliate Artists’ Conductor’s Program.
A published author, articles have appeared in the BACH journal and the Journal of the Conductors Guild. She also serves as a member of the executive committee of the board of directors of the Conductors Guild in the position of President elect.
Ms. Brown studied conducting and cello at the Royal College of Music in London, England where she was twice winner of the Sir Adrian Boult Conducting Prize. Her major teachers have included Leonard Slatkin, Herbert Blomstedt, Franco Ferrara, and David Effron.
EXCERPTS FROM CONCERT REVIEWS
“Brown extracted from her orchestra a white heat intensity” (Mozart Symphony No. 38 in D major, the “Prague”) “and gave a finely conceived performance of Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin” (Syracuse, NY).
[The performance]…”was led with unobtrusive and constantly attentive expertise…it would be hard to imagine [a performance of The Soldier’s Tale] more impressive in the perfection of every detail, musical, theatrical and otherwise” (Syracuse, NY).
“…a dazzling young conductor…” (Rochester, NY)
“In Ravel’s La Valse the masestra, with clear concept of her objectives, looked for the key passages of the complex orchestral organism, bringing out individually and collectively the themes and instrumental falies. She recreated in this way the dark or glowing atmosphere of the piece, always within the pulse of the waltz, root of all colorful “Raveliana”. An excellent result, one that the audience rewarded both the orchestra and the conductor enthusiastically …not less deserving of the ovation was the outstanding work of the conductor Freeman obtaining a great number of nuances and exact synchronization…” [Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto]. (EL MERCURIO, Santiago, Chile)
“Beginning the program with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 we noticed in Ms. Freeman Brown a great number of virtues and talents. From the detail and moderation we got a reading as neat as it was clean, careful in all its details … The climax, without a doubt, was the performance of Ravel’s La Valse, closing the program. This great symphonic poem … so appropriate to measure orchestras and conductors, was confronted by Ms. Freeman Brown with the same detailed work … a magnificent result. In all, the great orchestral mass responded in magnificent shape to a fine baton, flawless and without any histrionics”. (LA EPOCA, Santiago, Chile)
Michael Charry, President: 1991-1992
- Former Head of Orchestral Conducting (ret.), Mannes College of Music (NY)
- Former Music Director (ret.), The Mannes Orchestra (NY)
Born in New York City, Mr. Charry studied piano and oboe at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and received Bachelor and Master of Science Degrees in orchestral conducting from the Juilliard School of Music in the class of Jean Morel. His other conducting teachers were Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt in Hamburg, Germany, and Pierre Monteux at his school for conductors in Maine. For nine years Mr. Charry was assistant conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra under George Szell, whose biography he has written and will be published by the University of Illinois Press in the summer of 2011.
Other past positions include Music Director of the Nashville (Tennessee) and Canton (Ohio) Symphonies, and the Peninsula Music Festival (Wisconsin). He has been a guest conductor of the orchestras of Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Dallas, Syracuse, Louisville, San Antonio, and Kansas City; the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Belgian BRT, Vancouver CBC and Swiss Radio Orchestras, the Singapore Symphony, the Oslo Philharmonic, and the Orchestra of the State of Mexico.
Opera credits include the New York City, Santa Fe, and San Francisco Spring Operas, Kansas City Lyric Theater, Lake Erie Opera Theater (with the Cleveland Orchestra), Lake George Opera Festival, Netherlands Opera, Holland Festival, and the Boston Lyric Opera. He has conducted for the José Limón Dance Company in the United States, South and Central America, Europe, and the Far East and, in the US, for the Martha Graham Dance Company.
Mr. Charry was Music Director of the Mannes Orchestra and head of Orchestral Conducting at the Mannes College of Music in New York City from 1989 to 1999. In October 1990 he conducted the Mannes Orchestra at the Kennedy Center and in June 1995, led the Mannes Chamber Orchestra in eight concerts in France. Mr. Charry and the Mannes Orchestra were recipients of an ASCAP award for adventuresome programming of contemporary music. Mr. Charry remains on the Mannes part-time faculty, teaching courses in conducting, preparation for orchestra auditions for graduate instrumentalists, and seminars on 20th Century orchestra and opera repertoire.
In addition to Mannes, Mr. Charry has also held faculty positions at Boston University and its Tanglewood Institute, Syracuse University, and The Juilliard School. A past president of the Conductors’ Guild, other honors include a Fulbright Scholarship, grants from the Martha Baird Rockefeller Foundation, the Elizabeth Ring Mather and William Gwinn Mather Fund, and the Alice M. Ditson Conductors Award of Columbia University for service to American Music.
Mr. Charry lives in New York City and Maine.
Sandra Dackow, President: 2007-2008
- Music Director, Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra (NJ)
- Music Director, Hershey Symphony Orchestra (PA)
Sandra Dackow holds a Bachelor and a Master of Music, as well as the Doctor of Philosophy from the Eastman School of Music. An Aspen Conducting fellow in 2001, she was also awarded the Silver Medal in the 2001 Vakhtang Jordania/New Millennium International Conducting Competition in Kharkov, Ukraine. She is currently serving as Music Director of the Hershey Symphony Orchestra in Pennsylvania and is a former Music Director of the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra in New Jersey. Recent guest conducting has included appearances with the Berkshire Symphony, Massachusetts, Missouri Symphony Chamber Orchestra, Butler Symphony, Pennsylvania and Kharkov Philharmonic, Ukraine. This season will see, among others, performances with the Helena Symphony, Montana, Kharkov Philharmonic and the All-Queensland Honors Orchestra in Brisbane, Australia.
A Native of East Paterson (Elmwood Park), New Jersey, Dr. Dackow has conducted bands and orchestras in the schools of Glen Rock and East Brunswick, New Jersey, and served as Supervisor of Music for the Ridgewood NJ public schools. She was a member of the faculty of Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania and has been a visiting faculty member during the summer sessions of the Eastman School of Music, Temple University, Montclair State College NJ, Wichita State University, the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and the Cork School of Music, Ireland. She most recently served on the faculty of Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, as director of the University Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble.
An annual ASCAP award winning arranger, Dr. Dackow has generated over seventy works for young orchestras and is active as a guest conductor, adjudicator and clinician across the nation and Canada, in England, Hong Kong, South Africa and throughout Australia and Ireland. Articles of hers have appeared in major professional journals and she has contributed to or co authored reference books and texts.
Harold Farberman, President: 1975-1979
- Founder/Director, Conductors’ Institute at Bard (NY)
- Professor of Orchestral Conducting, Bard College (NY)
Harold Farberman, Maestro Farberman has conducted many of the world’s leading orchestras, among them: the London Symphony, Royal Plhilharmonic, the Philharmonia, the BBC, English Chamber Orchestra, Bournemouth Philharmonic, Bournemouth Sinfonietta, American Symphony Orchestra, Puerto Rico Philharmonic, Stockholm Philharmonic, Malmo Symphony, Danish Radio, Swedish Radio, Aarhus Philharmonic, Hessischer Rundfunk, RAI in Rome, Mozarteum Orchestra, Tonkunstler Orchestra (Vienna), Linzer Philharmonie, Hong Kong Philharmonic, KBS (Korea), Soeul Philharmonic, Normal Conservatory Philharmonic(Taiwan), Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide Orchestras in Australia.
Upon graduating from the Juilliard School of Music in 1951, Mr. Farberman was invited to join the Boston Symphony Orchestra as a percussionist/timpanist. At the time he was the youngest player ever to become a full-time member of the orchestra. He resigned in 1963 to devote his energy to conducting and composing.
In 1966 he was appointed the principal guest conductor of the Denver Symphony, subsequently becoming the Music Director of the Colorado Springs Symphony from 1967 to 1970, and then the Oakland Symphony Orchestsra from 1971 to 1979.
As a recording artist Mr Farberman has recorded more of Charles Ives’ music than any conductor and is the only conductor to have recorded all 4 of his symphonies (with the New Philharmonic in London), in the 1970’s when Ives was not yet fully appreciated. He has been honored with the Ives Award from the Charles Ives Society. In the 1980’s he began a project to record the Mahler Symphonies with the London Philharmonic, and the complete symphonies of Michael Haydn with the Bournemouth Sinfonietta. His recording of Gliere’s “Ilya Murometz” with the Royal Philharmonic received Belgiums highest recording honor, the Saint Cecelia Award. The December 1993 ARG listed Farberman’s recording of Mahler’s 2,5, and 6 as among the best ever recorded. In 1995 he added the Mahler 10th, Clinton Carpenter version, recorded with the Hungarica Philharmonie, the first such recording. He has been an active proponent of the music of Irwin Bazelon, recording many of his works for a variety of labels as well as his own music.
A prolific composer, Maestro Farberman counts orchestral and chamber music, concertos, ballet music, film music, song cycles, and 3 operas among his compositions. His second opera “The Losers” was commissioned by the Juilliard School and premiered in Lincoln Center in 1971. He has recently completed a “Double Concerto for Violin and Percussion” premiered in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Harold Farberman conductor.The New York premiere was performed by the American Symphony Orchestra in Lincoln Center, Leon Botstein conductor. His newest work, a chamber opera “Diamond Street” commissioned for the city of Hudson’s (NY) quadra-centenniel, will be premiered in October 2009.
Maestro Farberman has been a tireless advocate on behalf of all conductors. He founded the Conductors Guild in 1976 and served for 2 terms as the Guild’s first president. He established countrywide workshops for young conductors when he served on the Board of the American Symphony Orchestra. He is the director of the Conductors Institute and the the Graduate Program in Conducting at the Bard College Conservatory of Music. He has mentored hundreds of conductors.
Michael Grifftih, President: 2009-2010
- Director of Orchestral Activities, University of Wyoming (WY)
Dr. Griffith is a past president of the Conductors Guild, a winner of a 2005 ASCAP/American Symphony Orchestra League Award for Adventurous Programming, and was a finalist for the 2011 American Prize in concert programming. Given that, it is no surprise that the UW Symphony was chosen as one of only three collegiate orchestras to participate in the 2010 Ford Made in Americaprogram. His teaching has been recognized by his twice being elected a Top Ten Teacher (by the UW A&S graduating classes of 2006 and 2012), his being selected to teach the 2008 UW London Semester, a 2012 exchange professorship with Shanghai University, two UW Winter Session cultural tours of New York City, his nomination for an Ellbogen Teaching Award, and his “Thumbs-Up” award from the UW Arts & Sciences student council for his “outstanding positive contributions” to the university. In 2012 he also taught a week-long conducting workshop at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland. The soundtrack he conducted for Wyoming Public Television’s Wyoming Voices won both a Gold Aurora award and a Videographer Award of Distinction. He conducted the UW Chamber Orchestra at the 2009 All-Northwest convention of the Music Educators National Conference, and has conducted performances with renowned guest artists such as the late harpsichordist Igor Kipnis, pianist Christopher O’Riley, the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, cellist Carter Brey, and Benny Kim, violin. Broadcast performances include the Nigerian Broadcasting Company, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Minnesota Public Radio, Nebraska Public Radio, University of Illinois Public Radio, KUSF San Francisco, Wyoming Public Television, and Wyoming Public Radio.
Dr. Griffith inherited his musical talent from his paternal grandmother Rose Brandt, a leading soprano in the Vienna Folksoperearly in the 20th century. He grew up in Cleveland, where he studied oboe with Harvey McGuire and Robert Zupnic of The Cleveland Orchestra. His conducting teachers were Charles Bruck at the world-renowned Pierre Monteux School near Bar Harbor, Maine, Kenneth Bloomquist and Dennis Burkh at Michigan State University, and Giora Bernstein at the University of Colorado, where he earned his doctorate.
Dr. Griffith is a published composer and ASCAP member, and has contributed to the Conductors Guild Journal, its Podium Notes Newsletter and New Music Panels, and to conferences of the College Music Society and the Wyoming Music Educators’ Association. He has also been a guest conductor at the University of Cincinnati, University of Missouri, Michigan State University, Iowa State University, the University of Colorado, Pacific Lutheran University, and Millikin University. Equally at home in the orchestra pit as on the concert stage, Dr. Griffith has conducted operas, ballets, operettas, and musical comedies in Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, Colorado, South Dakota, and Wyoming. For ten years he served on the faculty of Michigan Tech University, serving as conductor of their Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra and as Director of Bands.
“Conducted brilliantly and sensitively” – Cleveland News
“A conductor of grace and precision” – Boulder Daily Camera
“Led the orchestra with great sureness and clarity” – Estes Park Trial Gazette
“Audience rose for a prolonged standing ovation” – Ellesworth (Maine) American
Adrian Gnam, President: 1995-1996
- Music Director/Conductor, Macon Symphony Orchestra (GA)
- Music Director/Conductor, Macon Sinfonia (GA)
Samuel Jones, President: 1987-1988
- Composer in Residence, Seattle Symphony Orchestra (WA)
Tonu Kalam, President: 2005-2006
- Music Director/Conductor, University of North Carolina Symphony Orchestra (NC)
- Music Director/Conductor, Longview Symphony Orchestra (TX)
Tonu Kalam, born of Estonian parents, has lived in the United States since the age of two. He was trained as a conductor, pianist and composer at Harvard University, the University of California at Berkeley, and the Curtis Institute of Music, his major teachers having been conductor Max Rudolf and composers Leon Kirchner and Andrew Imbrie. His summer credits include fellowships at Tanglewood and Aspen, as well as many years at Marlboro, where he conducted the Beethoven Choral Fantasy on five occasions at the invitation of legendary pianist Rudolf Serkin.
He has appeared as guest conductor with the North Carolina Symphony, the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra of Columbus, the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra and the East Texas Symphony Orchestra, among others, and has served as Music Director of the New England Chamber Orchestra in Boston. He was a prizewinner in the first Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Young Conductor’s Competition, and was also a finalist in the prestigious Exxon/Arts Endowment Conductors Program.
In 1994 Mr. Kalam made his European debut conducting the Estonian State Symphony Orchestra in Tallinn, and was immediately reengaged for appearances in the June 1995 Tubin Music Festival in Tallinn and Tartu. He returned to Europe in 1997 to guest conduct the Oulu Symphony Orchestra in Finland and for his third engagement in Estonia.
Tonu Kalam has conducted over 130 opera performances, for companies such as the Shreveport Opera, the Lake George Opera Festival and the Nevada Opera Company. For seven years he was Music Director of the Illinois Opera Theatre at the University of Illinois, and he has also filled short term appointments as Visiting Associate Professor and director of the orchestra programs at the University of Miami in Florida and St. Olaf College in Minnesota.
In 1984 Mr. Kalam began a long term association with the renowned Kneisel Hall summer chamber music festival in Blue Hill, Maine, where he spent thirteen years in various administrative and musical capacities, as Executive Director, Summer Program Director, Artist Faculty pianist and chamber music coach. He continues to perform regularly as a pianist and chamber musician in addition to his conducting activities.
Presently he is a Professor of Music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, serving as Music Director and Conductor of the UNC Symphony Orchestra. Since 1988 Mr. Kalam has concurrently held the position of Music Director and Conductor of the Longview Symphony Orchestra in Texas, where he commutes for five concerts each year, and in 1999 he founded the Chapel Hill Chamber Orchestra, a 12 member professional string ensemble.
Wes Kenney, President: 1999-2000
- Music Director, Fort Collins Symphony
- Music Director, Opera Fort Collins
Now in his ninth season as Music Director of the Fort Collins Symphony, Wes Kenney has become a musical fixture in Northern Colorado, conducting orchestra concerts, opera and dance productions. Opera Fort Collins named him to the additional post as their Music Director in 2004, and he immediately helped the now 32 year old company establish a full season of three productions a season. Last fall, Mr. Kenney was named educator of the year by the Colorado Chapter of the American String Teachers Association. Previously he was awarded the Grand Prize in the Summer 2007 Varna (Bulgaria) International Conducting Competition. He traveled back to Bulgaria in March 2008 for concerts in Vidin and to conduct La Traviata in Stara Zagora.
Mr. Kenney is a frequent guest conductor of professional and educational ensembles. He has appeared recently with the Alabama All-State Orchestra, the Virginia Symphony, the Symphony of Southeast Texas, the Vallejo (CA) Symphony and the New Mexico All-State Orchestra. Over the past five seasons Maestro Kenney has guest conducted at the Edinburgh Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, the Buffalo Philharmonic, returned to the New Mexico Symphony for tours and performances of The Nutcracker. Other recent appearances include the Richmond Symphony, the Long Beach Symphony, the Alabama Symphony, the San Juan Symphony, and the Virginia All-State Honor Orchestra. He has also appeared with the Dubuque Symphony, Savannah Symphony, Sewanee Music Festival, Spokane Symphony, Virginia Ballet Theater, Norfolk Chamber Consort, Coastal Valleys Symphony, Universal Ballet Korea, Virginia Waterfront International Arts Festival, the Williamsburg Symphonia (VA), the Acadiana Symphony (LA).the Virginia Chorale.
In six seasons as the Virginia Symphony’s Associate Conductor, Mr. Kenney appeared more than 350 times with that orchestra. He was responsible for the programming and conducting of Subscription, Pops, Family and Young People’s Concerts.
Mr. Kenney was Co-principal Conductor of the Oakland Lyric Opera for four seasons and Music Director of the Virginia Ballet Theater. Awarded the prestigious Carmen Dragon Conducting Prize in 1992, Wes Kenney served as Music Director of the Oakland Youth Orchestra for five seasons.
Mr. Kenney has also enjoyed success directing from the orchestra pit for opera, ballet, and musical theater. In the last nine years he has conducted productions of Aida, Barber of Seville, La Boheme, Cavalleria Rusticana, Carmen, Don Giovanni, Falstaff, Fledermaus, Madama Butterfly, Marriage of Figaro, The Merry Widow, I Pagliacci, Rigoletto, Street Scene, Tenderland, Tosca, La Traviata, Il Trovatore, Turandot, Die Zauberflote,. He has appeared as conductor for Gianni Schicchi and Die Kluge for Oakland Lyric Opera. In addition he has conducted numerous performances of The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, The Firebird, and many other dance works.
Mr. Kenney is a past president of the Conductors Guild, a 2000 member service organization to the conducting profession. He currently is on the Guild’s advisory board. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California and San Francisco State University. Additional studies include three years as a fellow at the Conductors Institute, several American Symphony Orchestra League and Conductors Guild Workshops, and the Sandpoint Festival. His teachers include Harold Farberman, Hans Beer, Gunther Schuller, Hans Swarovsky and Miltiardes Carides.
- Professor of Orchestral Conducting (Emeritus), University of Southern California
- Former Music Director, Pasadena Symphony Orchestra
Daniel Lewis, Professor of Orchestral Conducting (Emeritus), University of Southern California; former Music Director, Pasadena Symphony Orchestra. Active both in the professional and academic musical worlds, Daniel Lewis is one of Southern California’s pre-eminent musical figures. He spent a quarter of a century, from 1970 to 1995, developing the Orchestral Studies Department at the University of Southern California, which has become a model for many universities throughout the nation. From 1971 to 1982 Mr. Lewis was the Music Director of the Pasadena Symphony where he succeeded Dr. Hans Lert. In his eleven years with the orchestra it became a first-rate ensemble second only to the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Mr. Lewis’ former academic appointments include the New England Conservatory, the University of California at San Diego, California State University Fullerton and the Colburn School for the Performing Arts in Los Angeles. His professional activities include serving as Musical Advisor to the Glendale Symphony; conducting at the Aspen and Alaskan Music Festivals; twice serving as Music Director of the Ojai Festival and the Cabrillo Festival; conductor of both the Orange County Symphony and the La Jolla Chamber Orchestra; associate conductor of the San Diego Symphony under Robert Shaw; and appearances with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the orchestras of Minnesota, Atlanta, Louisville, Seattle, Oakland, Phoenix, Spokane and the Colorado Springs Symphony.
Larry Newland, President: 1993-1994
- Music Director, Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra (NY)
Harlan D. Parker, President: 2001-2002
- Conductor, Peabody Wind Ensemble, Peabody Conservatory of Music (MD)
- Music Director & Conductor, Peabody Youth Orchestra
Harlan D. Parker is the conductor of The Peabody Wind Ensemble and Coordinator of the Music Education Division at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, and the Music Director/Conductor of the Peabody Youth Orchestra in the Peabody Preparatory Division. Under his direction, the Peabody Wind Ensemble has given over 30 world premieres, and has performed at state, regional and national conventions and is considered “among the very top wind bands in the US” (Fanfare Magazine).
The Peabody Wind Ensemble appears on the Naxos label with three CDs; the first, Orff, Bird and Reed, appeared in August 2006. Of the performance of La Fiesta Mexicana on the recording, composer H. Owen Reed writes, “I have just listened, twice, to your brilliant recording of my La Fiesta Mexicana, and I must tell you that it was a thrill to hear my music performed exactly as I always hoped for. Your total understanding of the work showed up on all parameters. Your tempos were on the mark, and the overall conception of the work was superb.” The Orff, Bird and Reed CD was also listed as one of the “Best of the Year Discs for 2006” by Audiophile Audition. The second CD, Collage: A Celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Peabody Institute: 1857 – 2007, was the top classical music download (out of more than 12,000 CDs) on eMusic.com for the first half of April 2007. Their third CD for Naxos, Trendsetters, was released in the summer of 2009, and the Peabody Wind Ensemble is currently recording The Symphonies of Johan de Meij for the Naxos label.
Dr. Parker is a Past-President of The Conductors Guild, and is also a member The American Bandmasters Association, an organization whose membership is by invitation and recognizes “outstanding achievement in the field of the concert band and its music.” He is active regionally, nationally and internationally as a guest conductor, conducting pedagogue, clinician and adjudicator, having worked with professional musicians and students from all 50 states and over 40 countries.
In his first year as a faculty member at Peabody, Dr. Parker reorganized the Peabody Wind Ensemble in its present format after several years of non-existence and was awarded the Peabody Student Council Faculty/Administration Award for outstanding contributions to the Peabody Community. In the fall of 2000, Dr. Parker accepted the first graduate class of Wind Conducting students. Graduates and students of the program are teachers and conductors in high schools and colleges and military bands, with two recent Masters students accepting positions as conductors with the United States Air Force. Dr. Parker received his Bachelor of Music from Emporia State University and his Master of Music and Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education with an emphasis in Conducting from the University of Kansas and has completed post-doctoral work at the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in New York.
Donald Portnoy, President: 1983-1986
- Music Director/Conductor, University of SC Symphony & Chamber Orchs. (SC)
- Music Director/Conductor, Augusta Symphony (GA)
Barbara Schubert, President: 1997-1998
- Music Director/Conductor, University of Chicago Symphony Orchestra (IL)
- Music Director/Conductor, DuPage Symphony Orchestra (IL)
- Music Director, Detroit Symphony Orchestra
- Music Director, Orchestre National de Lyon (France)
- Principal Guest Conductor, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Internationally acclaimed American conductor Leonard Slatkin began his tenure as Music Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in September of 2008. In addition to his post at the DSO, he serves as Music Director of the Orchestre National de Lyon (ONL), France, an appointment which began in August of 2011. He is also Principal Guest Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, a post that began in the fall of 2008, and is the author of a new book entitled Conducting Business.
Following a 17-year appointment as Music Director of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Slatkin became Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. in 1996. Other positions in the United States have included Principal Guest Conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra, where he founded their Sommerfest; first Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra’s summer series at the Blossom Music Festival, an appointment he held for nine years; Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl for three seasons; and additional positions with the New Orleans Philharmonic and the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. In Great Britain he served as Principal Guest Conductor of both the Philharmonia Orchestra of London and the Royal Philharmonic, and was also Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Since his debut with the New York Philharmonic in 1974, Mr. Slatkin has led virtually all of the world’s leading orchestras including those of Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Cleveland, Minnesota and Philadelphia. European orchestras include the Berlin Philharmonic, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Vienna Philharmonic, the Czech Philharmonic, Bayerische Rundfunk and all the prominent ensembles in Paris and London. He has also appeared on podiums throughout the Far East and is a regular guest at major summer festivals such as Aspen, Tanglewood, Ravinia, and Saratoga.
Opera performances have taken him to many of the leading stages in the U.S. and abroad, including the Metropolitan Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, the Santa Fe Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Opera Bastille, the Vienna Staatsoper, the Stuttgart Opera, and the Washington National Opera.
Recently he has enjoyed return appearances with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Seoul Philharmonic, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and the Orquesta Nacional de Madrid. His engagements for the 2012-2013 season include the NHK Symphony, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Czech Philharmonic, the St. Louis Symphony, the Nashville Symphony and the State Symphony Orchestra of Russia.
Leonard Slatkin’s more than 100 recordings have been recognized with seven Grammy awards and 64 nominations. He has recorded with the symphony orchestras of Detroit, Saint Louis, Nashville and Chicago, as well as the New York Philharmonic, the Minnesota Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, and all of the major London orchestras as well as those in Munich, Paris, Lyon, Prague, Stockholm and Berlin.
Throughout his career, Mr. Slatkin has demonstrated a continuing commitment to arts education and to reaching diverse audiences. He was the founder, and for nine seasons director, of the National Conducting Institute, an advanced career development program for rising conductors. Mr. Slatkin also founded the Saint Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, and he continues to work with student orchestras throughout the world.
Mr. Slatkin has received many honors and awards, including the 2003 National Medal of Arts (the highest award given to artists by the United States Government), the Chevalierof the Legion of Honor, the American Symphony Orchestra League’s Gold Baton for service to American music, ASCAP awards with both the National and Saint Louis Symphonies, the Lifetime Achievement Award at the DC Mayor’s Arts Awards, and the prestigious Declaration of Honor in Silver from the Austrian ambassador to the United States for outstanding contributions to cultural relations. Mr. Slatkin is the Arthur R. Metz Foundation Conductor at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, and beginning with the 2007-2008 season, the Distinguished Artist in Residence at the American University. He has received honorary doctorates from many institutions including his alma mater, the Julliard School, Indiana University, Michigan State University, Washington University in St. Louis, and Bowling Green State University in Ohio.
Born in Los Angeles to a distinguished musical family, his parents were the conductor-violinist Felix Slatkin and cellist Eleanor Aller, founding members of the famed Hollywood String Quartet. Mr. Slatkin began his musical studies on the violin and studied conducting with his father, followed by Walter Susskind at Aspen and Jean Morel at The Juilliard School. He is the proud parent of a son, Daniel, who attends the University of Southern California. He is married to composer, Cindy McTee, and they reside in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
The Theodore Thomas Award is presented biennially to a conductor in recognition of outstanding achievement as a conductor and extraordinary service to one’s colleagues in advancing the art and science of conducting, reflecting honor upon our profession. Past recipients have included:
1988 – Max Rudolf
1989 – Leonard Bernstein
1990 – Leon Barzin
1991 – Sir Georg Solti
1992 – Maurice Abravanel
1993 – Robert Shaw
1994 – Frederick Fennell
1995 – Margaret Hillis
1996 – Pierre Boulez
1997 – Leonard Slatkin
1998 – Kurt Masur
2000 – Claudio Abbado
2002 – James Levine
2004 – Michael Tilson Thomas
2006 – David Zinman
2008 – Marin Alsop
2010 – Esa-Pekka Salonen
2012 – Sir Colin Davis
2014 – Bernard Haitink
The Max Rudolf Award is presented biennially in recognition of outstanding achievement as a conductor and pedagogue, and significant service to the profession in the realms of scholarship, advocacy and/or ensemble building. This award was established by the Conductors Guild in 1997 in memory of Max Rudolf – a longtime supporter of the Guild, conducting pedagogue and scholar. Past recipients have included:
1997 – Gunther Schuller
1999 – Gustav Meier
2001 – Otto-Werner Mueller
2003 – David M. Epstein
2005 – Daniel Lewis
2007 – Herbert Blomstedt
2009 – Paul Vermel
2011 – Jonathan Sternberg
2013 – Donald Hunsberger
2015 – Helmuth Rilling
The Thelma A. Robinson Award is a scholarship/award sponsored by the National Federation of Music Clubs and presented biennially to an outstanding participant from the preceding two seasons of Conductors Guild conductor training workshops for career-related expenses or advanced conducting study. Past Recipients have included:
1990 – Miriam Burns
1992 – Steven Martyn Zike
1994 – Laura Rexroth
1996 – Beatrice Jona Affron
1998 – Annunziata Tomaro
2000 – Eric Bell
2002 – Kevin Geraldi
2004 – Carolyn Kuan
2006 – Octavio Mas-Arocas
2008 – Katherine Kilburn
2011 – Matilda Hofman
2013 – Jamie Reeves
1974 – Memphis
1975 – San Diego
1976 – Boston
1977 – New Orleans
1978 – Chicago
1979 – San Francisco
1980 – New York
1981 – Dallas
1982 – New York
1983 – Chicago
1984 – Toronto
1985 – New York
1986 – New York
1987 – New York
1988 – New York
1989 – New York
1990 – New York
1991 – Chicago
1992 – New York
1993 – New York
1994 – San Francisco
1995 – New York
1996 – Philadelphia
1997 – Chicago
1998 – Washington, DC
1999 – Los Angeles
2000 – New York
2001 – Houston
2002 – Chicago
2003 – New York
2004 – Seattle
2005 – Boston
2006 – New York
2007 – Toronto
2008 – Baltimore
2009 – New York
2010 – Copenhagen
2011 – San Francisco
2012 – Chicago
2013 – St. Louis
Note: Conferences before 1985 were hosted by the American Symphony Orchestra League.
The 2001 Conductors Guild
Annual Conference for Conductors
Dates: January 4-7, 2001
Location: DoubleTree Allen Center, Houston, Texas
Retrospective: Sir John Barbirolli
The 2002 Conductors Guild
Annual Conference for Conductors
Dates: January 3-6, 2002
Location: DoubleTree Guest Suites, Chicago, Illinois
Retrospective: Sir Georg Solti
Special Tribute: Margaret Hillis
Schedule of Events
The 2003 Conductors Guild
Annual Conference for Conductors
Dates: January 2-5, 2003
Location: Hilton, New York, NY
Retrospective: Conductors of the Metropolitan Opera
Program Book (PDF – 428k)
Schedule of Events
The 2005 Conductors Guild
Annual Conference for Conductors
Dates: January 6-9, 2005
Location: Boston, MA
Retrospective: “Charles Munch”
Program Book (PDF – 959k)
The 2006 Conductors Guild
Annual Conference for Conductors
Dates: January 5-8, 2006
Location: Roosevelt, New York, NY
Retrospective: “Frederick Fennell ”
Program Book (PDF – 959k)
The 2007 Conductors Guild
Annual Conference for Conductors
Dates: January 17-20, 2007
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Retrospective: “Karl Ančerl”
Program Book (PDF – 2.16Mb)
The 2008 Conductors Guild
Annual Conference for Conductors
Dates: January 10-13, 2008
Location: Baltimore, MD
Retrospective: “Sergiu Comissiona”
Program Book (PDF – 1.84Mb)
The 2009 Conductors Guild
Annual Conference for Conductors
Dates: January 8-11, 2009
Location: New York, NY
Program Book (PDF – 1Mb)
The 2010 Conductors Guild
Annual Conference for Conductors
Dates: January 5-9, 2010
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Program Book (PDF – 1.44Mb)
The 2011 Conductors Guild
Annual Conference for Conductors
Dates: January 6-9, 2011
Location: San Francisco, CA
Program Book (PDF – 1.74Mb)
The 2012 Conductors Guild
Annual Conference for Conductors
Dates: January 5-8, 2012
Location: Chicago, IL
Program Book (PDF – 4.08Mb)
The 2013 Conductors Guild
Annual Conference for Conductors
Dates: June 15-18, 2013
Location: St. Louis, MO