The Solti Foundation U.S. Announces an Unprecedented 10 Awards to Young American Conductors; Vladimir Kulenovic, Music Director of Lake Forest Symphony, Associate Conductor of Utah Symphony | Utah Opera and Resident Conductor of Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra Recipient of 2015 $25,000 The Solti Conducting Fellow; Conductors Kazem Abdullah, Joseph Young, Ankush Kumar Bahl, Karina Canellakis, Joshua Gersen, Yuga Cohler, Daniel Black, Keitaro Harada, and Nicholas Hersh Recipients of 2015 The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Awards

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March 18, 2015

 

The Solti Foundation U.S.

Announces an Unprecedented 10 Awards

to Young American Conductors

 

Vladimir Kulenovic, Music Director of Lake Forest Symphony, Associate Conductor of Utah Symphony | Utah Opera and Resident Conductor of Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra

Recipient of 2015 $25,000 The Solti Conducting Fellow

 

Conductors Kazem Abdullah, Joseph Young, Ankush Kumar Bahl, Karina Canellakis,

Joshua Gersen, Yuga Cohler, Daniel Black, Keitaro Harada, and Nicholas Hersh

Recipients of

2015 The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Awards

 

Evanston, IL – Now in its eleventh year of assisting exceptional young U.S. conductors to further develop their talent and careers, The Solti Foundation U.S. is pleased to announce that it is awarding its sixth $25,000 grant, The Solti Conducting Fellow, and a groundbreaking nine Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Awards, resulting in over $90,200  in grants (including funding for the organization’s new Opera Residency program this 2014-15 season, which awarded two residencies). Since 2004, the Foundation has awarded 45 grants to promising musicians at the start of their professional careers.

 

An organization dedicated to identifying and assisting young conductors early on, the Foundation is also concerned with the long-term development of its award recipients, continuing to offer support and maintaining a constant interest in their growth and achievements. The 2015 awards recognize not only conductors new to The Solti Foundation U.S. family, but also several conductors previously acknowledged.

 

“This is a very exciting time in the classical music world,” stated Penny Van Horn, Solti Foundation U.S. Board Chair. “There is an amazing number of talented young artists in the United States who have demonstrated their passion, dedication and desire to forge careers on orchestral and operatic stages.

 

“It is with great pleasure that we announce Vladimir Kulenovic, whom we first recognized in 2012 with a Career Assistance Award as the recipient of this year’s The Solti Conducting Fellow. In 2014 Vladimir was the recipient of the first Solti Opera Residency with the Milwaukee-based Florentine Opera Company. Since 2012, when he was Associate Conductor of Utah Symphony | Utah Opera, and had served as Principal Conductor of the Kyoto International Music Festival in Japan, Vladimir’s talent on the podium has been further recognized. He has recently added two posts: that of Resident Conductor of Serbia’s Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, and Music Director of Illinois’s Lake Forest Symphony. His guest conducting career also continues to grow.

 

“We are equally pleased to announce the nine recipients of The Solti Foundation US Career Assistance Awards: Kazem Abdullah, Generalmusikdirektor of the City of Aachen, Germany; Joseph Young, Assistant Conductor

of the Atlanta Symphony and Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra ; Ankush Kumar Bahl, Assistant Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra; Karina Canellakis, Assistant Conductor of the

 

Dallas Symphony Orchestra; Joshua Gersen, Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic and Music Director of the New York Youth Symphony; Yuga Cohler, Music Director of the Weill Cornell Medical College Orchestra, and New York City Director of the Asia America New Music Initiative; Daniel Black, Assistant Conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra; Keitaro Harada, Associate Conductor of Richmond Symphony; and Nicholas Hersh, Assistant Conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. We look forward to their continued success.”

 

(Biographical information on the 2015 award recipients is attached).

 

Artistic and Awards Committee Chair Elizabeth Buccheri said, “The Artistic and Awards Committee is thrilled that the Board of Directors of the Solti Foundation U.S. shares our enthusiasm for this mission as shown by yearly increases in funding. Assisting young musicians was dear to the heart of Sir Georg Solti throughout his long and illustrious career, and we are happy to be able to carry his legacy forward.”

 

About The Solti Foundation U.S.

The Solti Foundation U.S. was established to honor the memory of the legendary conductor Sir Georg Solti and his dedication to helping young artists. Since changing its focus in 2004 to helping exceptional young U.S. conductors, the Foundation has awarded over $357,500 in grants to American conductors (its original mission was of a more general arts nature). The Foundation endeavors to seek out those musicians who have chosen to follow a path similar to that followed by Sir Georg himself. In keeping with the spirit of Sir Georg’s active approach to his career, young conductors must apply to be considered for the awards.

 

The Foundation currently awards the following grants annually:

 

The Solti Conducting Fellow (formerly known as the Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award or The Solti Fellow). Among the largest grants currently given to American conductors in the formative years of their careers, the prestigious $25,000 Solti Conducting Fellow is given each year to a single promising American conductor 38 years of age or younger, and includes door-opening introductions, ongoing professional mentoring, and introductions to two of Chicago’s most prestigious performing organizations: Lyric Opera of Chicago and Chicago Symphony Orchestra;

 

The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award. The amount of the Career Assistance Awards varies.

 

The Foundation is currently the only American Foundation to grant these kinds of awards each year to young American conductors. Citizens or permanent residents of the United States who are career-ready artists in the field of conducting are eligible to apply.

 

Applicants for all Solti Foundation U.S. awards must be able to demonstrate that he/she is developing a career as a symphonic/operatic conductor. All applications from The Solti Fellow are considered for a Solti U.S. Career Assistance Award. Applications are reviewed by an awards committee comprised of a panel of professionals with broad musical and conducting experience. The Foundation reserves the right to withhold a grant in any given year if the Awards Committee does not find suitable applicants in one or more of the various award categories.

 

In 2014, The Solti Foundation U.S. initiated a pilot program in collaboration with Florentine Opera Company of Milwaukee.  This collaboration has placed two young American conductors (Vladimir Kulenovic and Sean Newhouse) at the Florentine as musical assistants, providing much needed opportunity for their experience in opera.  The Board of the Foundation is committed to this initial project, and is planning for future residencies in other companies, both in the U.S. and abroad. Details of the 2015-16 residency will be announced at a later date.

 

For further details on The Solti Foundation U.S., its past awardees, their biographical information, the Foundation’s newsletter, as well as guidelines for the upcoming 2016 Awards, and a downloadable application form, please visit the Foundation’s newly redesigned website at: www.soltifoundation.us.

 

Press contact: Laura Grant, Grant Communications T: 917.359.7319; [email protected]

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2015 Solti Foundation U.S. Award Recipients
Vladimir Kulenovic
2015 $25,000 The Solti Conducting Fellow
Recently appointed Music Director of the Lake Forest Symphony, Mr. Kulenovic also serves as Associate Conductor of Utah Symphony | Utah Opera and the Resident Conductor of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra in Serbia. Vladimir Kulenovic formerly served as the Principal Conductor of the Kyoto International Music Festival in Japan and remains in high demand as a guest conductor of leading orchestras in the U.S. Europe in Asia.
Current engagements in the U.S. include debuts with Chicago Symphony, Houston Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Columbus Symphony, Knoxville Symphony, Lubbock Symphony and the return to Jacksonville Symphony, where Mr. Kulenovic was a featured conductor in the biannual League of American Orchestras Bruno Walter National Conducting Preview in March of 2013. In Asia, Mr. Kulenovic appeared with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Bilkent Symphony Orchestra in Ankara, and returned to the National Concert Hall in Taiwan, with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra, following critically acclaimed performances there for the past two seasons. Highlights of European engagements include three concerts with the Belgrade Philharmonic, two with the Macedonian Philharmonic and a production of Aida with the Macedonian National Opera.
Recent engagements include performances with the Beethoven-Orchester Bonn at the Beethovenhalle, Deutsche Kammerakademie/Neuss am Rhein, Slovenian Philharmonic, Zagreb Philharmonic, Lake Forest Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, Evergreen Symphony, the Juilliard Orchestra at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa. Festival appearances include Aspen, Cabrillo, Salzburg Mozarteum, Verbier and Round Top. As conducting fellow at the Verbier Festival in 2009, Mr. Kulenovic conducted two internationally televised performances and was subsequently invited to serve as the conducting assistant to Kurt Masur at the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. He also had the honor of preparing the Belgrade Philharmonic at the Dubrovnik Festival for Zubin Mehta. In the past seasons, he has collaborated with celebrated soloists such as Leon Fleisher, Joaquin Achucarro, Mischa Maisky, Augustin Hadelich, Akiko Suwanai, Philippe Quint, Ralph Votapek, Joseph Silverstein and Elena Bashkirova, to name a few.
As a pianist, Vladimir Kulenovic has been a Second Prize winner of the Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Paris.
In addition to studying with Kurt Masur from 2008-2012, Vladimir Kulenovic is an alumnus of the Juilliard School and was awarded the Charles Schiff Conducting Prize for Excellence upon the completion of his post-graduate studies with James DePreist and Alan Gilbert. He also earned graduate degrees from the Peabody Institute, where he studied with Gustav Meier, and the Boston Conservatory where he graduated summa cum laude as valedictorian and was awarded Alfred B. Whitney Award for the highest scholastic achievement. He is also winner of the Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship, 2012 Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Fellowship, as well as 2012, 2013 and 2014 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Awards and the $25,000 2015 Solti Conducting Fellow.
Kazem Abdullah
The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award
A vibrant, versatile and compelling presence on the podium, American conductor Kazem Abdullah is one of the most watched up-and-coming talents on the international stage today. Since 2012 he has been Generalmusikdirektor of the City of Aachen, Germany, where he leads both the orchestral and operatic seasons. His predecessors in this tradition-rich post include Fritz Busch, Herbert von Karajan, and Wolfgang Sawallisch.
In his third season in Aachen, Kazem Abdullah conducts four opera productions: Luisa Miller, Brokeback Mountain, Jenufa and West Side Story. In addition to this he will also lead several subscription concerts with guest soloist such as Midori, Ute Lemper, Martina Filjak and Valentina Lisitsa. As GMD in Aachen, Kazem Abdullah will also serve as the artistic director of the 4th International Aachen Chor Bienalle where he will lead several concerts with choirs from Germany, the Netherlands, Israel, Iceland and France.
A passionate advocate of new music as well as established repertoire, Maestro Abdullah continues to develop relationships with national and international orchestras and opera houses. Among his orchestral credits are the Berliner Kammerphilharmonie, Philharmonisches Orchester der Stadt Nürnburg, Staatskapelle Weimar, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquesta Filarmónica de la Ciudad de México, Oregon Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburg Symphony, Pasadena Symphony, Huntsville Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, Napa Valley Symphony, Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Sinfonietta, and the National Arts Center Orchestra of Ottawa. During the 2013-14 season, Mr. Abdullah’s guest conducting included performances with the Pasadena Symphony, Augsburg Philharmoniker, Orkest Zuidnederland, and Orchestre Symphonique et Lyrique de Nancy, and Opera national de Lorraine.
Past highlights include leading the Orquestra de São Paulo, one of Brazil’s most celebrated classical music ensembles, on its third United States coast-to-coast tour during the 2009-2010 season; conducting the New World Symphony’s 2009 Ives Festival by special invitation from Michael Tilson Thomas; substituting on very short notice to conduct the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra in performances of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas in collaboration with the Mark Morris Dance Group; and his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2009, where he conducted Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice.
Born in Indiana, Kazem Abdullah began his music studies at the age of ten. After graduating from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor of Music in Clarinet, he then studied at the University of Southern California before joining The New World Symphony as a clarinetist under Michael Tilson Thomas for two seasons. He then continued his musical studies at The Peabody Institute of the John Hopkins University. Mr. Abdullah served as Assistant Conductor at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, a three-year post to which he was appointed by Music Director James Levine. In addition to Levine, while at the Met he worked with conductors such as Louis Langree, Kirill Petrenko, Lorin Maazel, and Fabio Luisi.
Joseph Young
The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award
American conductor Joseph Young was recently appointed as Assistant Conductor of the Atlanta Symphony and Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra.
Recent highlights include debuts with Orquesta Sinfonica y Coro de RTVE, Chicago Sinfonietta, Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra and numerous reengagements with the Colorado Symphony, as well as performances with the Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música, Tucson Symphony, Charleston Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Erie Chamber Orchestra, Amarillo Symphony, and Sante Fe Symphony.
Former posts include serving as Resident Conductor of The Phoenix Symphony and as an Assistant Conductor and League of American Orchestras Conducting Fellow with the Buffalo Philharmonic. In 2007-2009, by the invitation of Music Director Marin Alsop, Joseph made his professional debut as the first recipient of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra-Peabody Institute Conducting Fellowship. Mr. Young also acted as cover conductor for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and assistant conductor for the production of Janacek’s Kat’a Kabanova at the Spoleto Festival USA.
Joseph Young completed graduate studies with Gustav Meier and Markand Thakar at the Peabody Conservatory in 2009, earning an artist’s diploma in conducting. From 2007-2010, he was one of five recipients of the League of American Orchestras’ prestigious American Conducting Fellowship. In 2011, he was one of six conductors featured in the League of American Orchestras’ prestigious Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview, hosted by the Louisiana Philharmonic. In 2013, Joseph was a Semi-finalist in the Gustav Mahler International Conducting Competition (Bamberg, Germany). Joseph is also the recipient of 2008, 2014 and 2015 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Awards.
Ankush Kumar Bahl
The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award Now in his fourth season as Assistant Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra, Ankush Kumar Bahl has appeared with such distinguished orchestras as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, National Opera Orchestre de Nancy, and Copenhagen Philharmonic, This upcoming season, Maestro Bahl will debut with orchestras in Canada and South America as well.
Highlights of Maestro Bahl’s NSO engagements include his NSO debut in 2011, leading the Season Preview Concert, his subscription concert debut in 2012, his Wolf Trap debut in 2013 and his Young Peoples Concerts, which educate over 24,000 students each year. Mr. Bahl leads the NSO in performances at Columbia Heights Educational Campus, Lincoln Theatre, the National Institutes of Health, and more, as part of the community engagements programs NSO In Your Neighborhood and NSO Sound Health. In his first three seasons he has appeared in more than 70 performances with the NSO with another 26 scheduled for the current season. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Ankush Bahl received a double degree in music and rhetoric from the University of California at Berkeley. He was appointed a conducting fellow at the Aspen Music Festival and completed his master’s degree in orchestral conducting at the Manhattan School of Music with teachers Zdenek Macal and George Manahan. Following his participation in the 2009 Kurt Masur Conducting Seminar, Mr. Bahl was personally invited by Maestro Masur to study and work with him as an assistant at the Orchestre National de France, at the Royal Concertgebouw, and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. Mr. Bahl has participated in master classes with Sir Colin Davis, Michael Tilson Thomas, David Zinman, David Robertson, James Conlon, Sergiu Comissiona, Gunther Schuller, Gustav Meier, Larry Rachleff, David Effron, Michael Stern, and Jorma Panula. His mentors and primary conducting teachers have included Kurt Masur, Christoph Eschenbach, Kenneth Kiesler, Alasdair Neale, and David Milnes. Mr. Bahl is the recipient of a 2009 Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Scholarship, and 2011, 2013 and 2015 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Awards.
Karina Canellakis
The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award
Currently in her first season as Assistant Conductor of the Dallas Symphony, Karina Canellakis is rapidly gaining recognition as one of the most promising and dynamic young American conductors. She recently made headlines as a last-minute replacement for Jaap van Zweden in two subscription concerts with the Dallas Symphony, conducting Shostakovich 8th Symphony and Mozart Piano Concerto K.449 with soloist Emanuel Ax.
She made her Carnegie Hall conducting debut in Zankel Hall, and frequently appears as guest conductor of New York’s groundbreaking International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). She has also led performances with the Juilliard Orchestra at Lincoln Center. This season, she makes debuts with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Colorado and Toledo Symphonies, and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. She will also make her debuts this summer with the Grand Park Festival Orchestra in Chicago and the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, and conducts Beethoven’s 7th Symphony at the Music in the Mountains Festival in Durango, Colorado.
As a violinist, Ms. Canellakis appears as soloist with orchestras across the United States. For several years she played regularly in both the Berlin Philharmonic and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She has also been guest concertmaster of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in Norway on several occasions. An avid chamber musician, she spent many summers at the Marlboro Music Festival. She plays a 1782 Mantegazza violin, generously loaned to her by a private patron.
Born and raised in New York City, Karina Canellakis speaks French, German and Italian. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in violin from the Curtis Institute of Music, and a Master’s degree in orchestral conducting from The Juilliard School. Ms. Canellakis won the 2013 Charles Schiff Conducting Award for outstanding achievement in orchestral conducting, as well as the American Conductors Award, Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship, and the Isidore Komanoff Award. Among her most prominent mentors are Alan Gilbert, Fabio Luisi, and Sir Simon Rattle. She was a selected conductor in a Lucerne Festival master class with Bernard Haitink, and conducted the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra in Japan, as well as the Tonhalle Orchestra in Switzerland, as part of international master classes. Ms. Canellakis is the winner of the 2013 Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship, founded by Marin Alsop. She served as one of only two 2014 Conducting Fellows at the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Tanglewood Music Center. She is a recipient of a 2015 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award.
Joshua David Gersen
The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award
Recently named Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic, Joshua David Gersen is also Music Director of the New York Youth Symphony, a post he began in September 2012. Highlights of the current 2014-15 season guesting engagements include a return to the San Francisco Symphony.
Mr. Gersen recently finished his tenure as the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Conducting Fellow of the New World Symphony, where he served as the assistant conductor to the symphony’s Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas, and led the orchestra in various subscription, education, and family concerts, including the orchestra’s renowned PULSE concert series. He served as the principal conductor of the renowned Ojai Music Festival in 2013.
Maestro Gersen’s conducting credits include the San Francisco Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, and Jacksonville Symphony.
Beyond his conducting interests, Mr. Gersen is also an avid composer. Both his String Quartet #1 and Fantasy for Chamber Orchestra have been premiered in New England Conservatory’s celebrated Jordan Hall. His works have been performed by the New Mexico Symphony, Greater Bridgeport Symphony, and the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestra. His work as a composer has also led to an interest in conducting contemporary music. He has conducted several world premieres of new works with the both the New World Symphony and New York Youth Symphony, and has collaborated with many prominent contemporary composers, including John Adams, Christopher Rouse, Steven Mackey, Mason Bates, and his teacher, Michael Gandolfi.
Joshua David Gersen holds a Bachelor of Music degree in composition (2006) from the New England Conservatory, where he studied with Michael Gandolfi. He is also a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music¸ where he studied conducting under Otto Werner Mueller. Early in his music education, Mr. Gersen studied theory, composition, and conducting with conductor Robert Genualdi, Music Director of the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestra (GBYO) in Bridgeport, Connecticut. At age 11, he made his conducting debut with the GBYO, and made his professional conducting debut 5 years later, leading the Greater Bridgeport Symphony in a performance of his own composition, A Symphonic Movement. In 1999, at the age of 15, Gersen was invited to study with internationally renowned conductor and teacher Gustav Meier, with whom he studied for the next 6 years. Mr. Gersen has also attended numerous conducting workshops and summer festivals, most recently the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival in the summers of 2010 and 2011, where he worked such distinguished conductors as Larry Rachleff, Hugh Wolff, and Robert Spano. As a result of winning the 2011 Aspen Conducting Prize, he served as the festival’s assistant conductor for the 2012 summer season. Mr. Gersen is the recipient of a 2015 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award.
Yuga Cohler
The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award
At 25 years of age, conductor Yuga Cohler has already accumulated several years of experience on the podium. He currently serves as music director of the Weill Cornell Medical College Orchestra, and as New York City Director of the Asia America New Music Institute. Former posts include serving as conductor of the Norwalk Youth Symphony Chamber Orchestra, and Assistant Conductor of the World Civic Orchestra. As Music Director for the Harvard Bach Society Orchestra (Harvard College), he conducted the group in several sold-out performances, including those with frequent collaborator and renowned violinist Ryu Goto. As Music Director of Harvard’s Dunster House Opera, he led the 2009 production of The Rake’s Progress, which marked the first Boston performance of the work in over twenty years.
This 2014-2015 season, his engagements include serving as cover conductor for the symphony orchestras of Indianapolis and New Jersey, as well as participating in the Malko Competiton for Young Conductors. Recent engagements include leading the Juilliard Orchestra and New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra.
Yuga Cohler is the youngest graduate of the Juilliard School’s Master of Music program in orchestral conducting. As a recipient of the Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship, he studied with New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert and worked extensively with the Juilliard Orchestra, with whom he made his professional debut in 2013. He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College, where he studied computer science, and was a recipient of the David McCord Prize for Artistic Excellence, the Detur Book Prize, and the John Harvard Scholarship. Mr. Cohler has been awarded fellowships to American Academy of Conducting at Aspen, Aspen Music Festival, under Robert Spano (2013), the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music Conductor/Composer Workshop (2012), the National Arts Centre Summer Music Institute Conducting Program (2012), and was selected by members of the Vienna Philharmonic as an Ansbacher Fellow at the 2012 Salzburg Festival. He has participated in a conducting seminar at the Tanglewood Music Center, and a Carnegie Hall Workshop with John Adams and David Robertson, where he was selected to perform a program of modern American orchestral works, and in in masterclasses given by Bernard Haitink, Michael Tilson-Thomas, and Christoph von Dohnányi. Mr. Cohler is the recipient of a 2015 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award.
Daniel Black
The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award
Daniel Black began his new post as Assistant Conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra this 2014-2015 season, and received critical acclaim for his performance of Handel’s Messiah- a concert in which he was a last-minute step-in. Previous posts include serving a five-year tenure as Music Director of the Rockford Symphony Youth Orchestra, Assistant Conductor of the 2014 Spoleto Festival USA, Assistant Conductor of the Peninsula Music Festival (Wisconsin), and Conductor-in-Residence of the 2012-2013 Beethoven Festival in Chicago, Illinois.
Upcoming guest-conducting engagements in 2015 include Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and the Alabama All-State Festival Orchestra. Also in 2015, Mr. Black makes his debut as Music Director of the Wisconsin’s Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra. This summer, he will serve as Director of Instrumental Music at the 2015 Wildwood Arts and Music Academy (WAMA) in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Among Mr. Black’s previous guest engagements with orchestras and opera companies are the Rockford Symphony, Champaign-Urbana Symphony, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, South Shore Opera Company, St. Petersburg Symphony “Classica” and the St. Petersburg State Academic Symphony Orchestra.
An accomplished composer, cultivating a neo-Romantic style that incorporates both tonal and atonal techniques, Daniel Black has received commissions from the Eastman Wind Ensemble, Rockford Symphony, and UIC Theater Department, among others. He was the composer-in-residence for the International Horn Society’s 2014 Southeast Horn Workshop, and was a finalist and diploma winner of the International Prokofiev Composition Contest in April 2008.
Mr. Black has a strong connection to the Russian tradition of conducting, having studied conducting at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, Eastman School of Music, and Northwestern University. He counts among his mentors Leonid Korchmar, Neil Varon and Victor Yampolsky. In addition, Mr. Black has studied composition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and privately with internationally-renown composer Richard Danielpour. He has served as a conducting fellow at the Aspen Music Festival, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, and the Brevard Music Festival, where he studied with widely acclaimed conductors Robert Spano, Hugh Wolff, Larry Rachleff, Marin Alsop, Daniel Lewis, David Effron, and Gunther Schuller. Mr. Black has also participated in high-profile conducting master classes with Kurt Masur at the Manhattan School of Music, and Edo de Waart with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic in Belgium. He is the recipient of a 2015 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award.
Keitaro Harada
The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award
Conductor Keitaro Harada began his appointment as Associate Conductor of Richmond Symphony this past fall 2014. He also continues in his current posts as Associate Conductor for Arizona Opera, Principal Guest Conductor for Sierra Vista Symphony Orchestra, and conductor of the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra. Early in his career, Mr. Harada served as Music Director of the Phoenix Youth Symphony. During his tenure, he elevated the organization profile, expanded their season, added more challenging repertoire and took the symphony on a European performance and education tour that culminated with a master class on the main stage of the Berlin Philharmonic. Engagements this 2014-2015 season include Mr. Harada’s December 2014 Japan debut with the New Japan Philharmonic, the Virginia Symphony, and leading Arizona Opera’s spring 2015 production of La Fille du Regiment. Orchestral guesting credits include the Portland Symphony, Orquesta Filarmónica de Sonora in Mexico, North Carolina Opera, Tucson Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, and St. Cloud Symphony. Very early in his career, he was selected as a guest artist for National Public Radio’s From the Top and is featured as a favorite guest alumnus on their PBS television documentary. Arizona Public Broadcasting produced a documentary on the Mr. Harada’s career entitled: “Music…Language Without Words” for the television series AZ Illustrated in 2013. Born in Tokyo, Japan, Keitaro Harada holds BM and MM degrees from Mercer University and completed his formal training at University of Arizona with Thomas Cockrell and Charles Bontrager. Conducting studies have been under Robert Spano, Michael Tilson Thomas, Oliver Knussen, Herbert Blomstedt, Adrian Gnam and Stefan Asbury. Harada is also a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy. Mr. Harada was a student of Fabio Luisi at the 2011 Conducting Academy, Pacific Music Festival, a recipient of the 2010 Seiji Ozawa Conducting Fellowship at Tanglewood Music Festival, and a student of Lorin Maazel at the 2009 Castleton Festival Conducting Workshop. Further honors and awards include being one of only six conductors selected by the League of American Orchestras for the 2013 Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview, being a semi-finalist at Poland’s 9th Grzegorz Fitelberg International Competition for Conductors in 2012, and one of ten semi-finalists invited by Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony to participate in the First Chicago Symphony Orchestra Solti International Conducting Competition in 2010. A three-time winner of the International Conductors Workshop and Competition in Georgia, Mr. Harada received an Honorable Mention in the International Academy of Advanced Conducting in St. Petersburg, Russia, and was a semi-finalist for the 2009 Eduardo Mata International Conducting Competition in Mexico City, Mexico. Most recently, Mr. Harada was the recipient of 2014 and 2015 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Awards.
Nicholas Hersh
The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award
Currently Assistant Conductor with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, conductor Nicholas Hersh has served as Music Director of the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra in Indiana and as Assistant Conductor with the National Repertory Orchestra in Colorado.
Mr. Hersh has appeared in concert with the New World Symphony in Miami and the Southern Great Lakes Symphony in Detroit, and he has served as cover conductor with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and the Aspen Music Festival.
His performance credits span a diverse range of genres beyond the traditional concert canon, including opera, Broadway, pops, choral, Viennese dance, ballet, and film music. An avid performer of new music, he has conducted world premieres of two silent film scores, both with the Indiana University Cinema (Metropolis (1928), with a new adaptation of Huppertz score for salon orchestra, and David Copperfield (1922), with a newly-composed original score by Ari Fisher), live with pit orchestra and projection, as well as an opera, a symphony and numerous concert pieces. In February, Mr. Hersh made his subscription debut with the Baltimore Symphony when he stepped in for an indisposed Yan Pascal Tortelier, leading the week’s rehearsals and two sold-out performances that were met with immediate ovation and critical acclaim.
An accomplished arranger and orchestrator, Mr. Hersh’s arrangements include commissions from the Cleveland Pops, the National Repertory Orchestra and the Jackson Symphony. In 2013 his orchestral arrangement of Queen’s famous Bohemian Rhapsody saw worldwide success after the video of its premiere went viral on the Internet.
Nicholas Hersh grew up in Evanston, Illinois and started his musical training with the cello studies. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from Stanford University and a Master’s Degree in Conducting from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, studying with David Effron and Arthur Fagen. He counts Robert Spano, Hugh Wolff and Larry Rachleff among his conducting mentors, and has participated in master classes with Bernard Haitink and Michael Tilson Thomas. In 2011 and 2012 Mr. Hersh was a Conducting Fellow at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen. Mr. Hersh is a recipient of 2012 and 2015 Solti Foundation US Career Assistance Awards.
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