A renowned conductor in both the operatic and symphonic worlds, Asher Fisch is especially celebrated for his interpretative command of core German and Italian repertoire of the Romantic and post-Romantic era, in particular Wagner, Brahms, Strauss, and Verdi. Mr. Fisch conducts a wide variety of repertoire from Gluck to contemporary works, and serves as an advocate of living composers such as Avner Dorman and others. In 2014, Mr. Fisch took up the position of Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra (WASO). His former posts include Principal Guest Conductor of the Seattle Opera (2007-2013), where he concluded his tenure conducting the Opera's quadrennial Wagner Ring Cycle in summer 2013, Music Director of the New Israeli Opera (1998-2008), and Music Director of the Wiener Volksoper (1995-2000).
Chris Gekker is Professor of Trumpet at the University of Maryland School of Music. He has been featured as soloist at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. After performances of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and Brandenburg Concerto no. 2 at Carnegie Hall, the New York Times praised his “bright virtuosity” and described his playing as “clear toned and pitch perfect.” Chris appears as soloist on more than thirty recordings and on more than one hundred chamber music, orchestral, and jazz recordings.
Conductor Manuel López-Gómez is taking the musical world by storm as one of the most exciting talents to emerge from Venezuela’s internationally renowned music program, “El Sistema”. Maestro José Antonio Abreu, Founder of El Sistema, wrote: “thanks to his exceptional human spirit, high sense of professional responsibility, and authentic artistic vision, Manuel is one of the principal and most brilliant leaders of the musical process in Venezuela.” In the past seasons, Manuel has made a highly successful debut with Washington’s National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Centre, in a program of North and South American music. Following hugely successful debuts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and Gothenburg Symphony, Manuel is increasingly recognized as a guest conductor of visionary and inspiring capabilities.
David Alan Miller
Grammy Award-winning conductor David Alan Miller has established a reputation as one of the leading American conductors of his generation. Music Director of the Albany Symphony since 1992, Mr. Miller has proven himself a creative and compelling orchestra builder. Through exploration of unusual repertoire, educational programming, community outreach and recording initiatives, he has reaffirmed the Albany Symphony’s reputation as the nation’s leading champion of American symphonic music and one of its most innovative orchestras. He and the orchestra appeared twice at "Spring For Music," the festival of America's most creative orchestras at New York City's Carnegie Hall. Other accolades include Columbia University’s 2003 Ditson Conductor’s Award, the oldest award honoring conductors for their commitment to American music, the 2001 ASCAP Morton Gould Award for Innovative Programming and, in 1999, ASCAP’s first-ever Leonard Bernstein Award for Outstanding Educational Programming.
John Morris Russell
The 2016/2017 season marks John Morris Russell’s sixth as Conductor of the Cincinnati Pops, one of Cincinnati’s most treasured assets and one of the world’s most respected pops orchestras. Consistently winning international praise for his extraordinary music-making and visionary leadership, he is also Music Director of the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, in South Carolina, where he leads the classical subscription series as well as the prestigious Hilton Head International Piano Competition. Mr. Russell also serves as Principal Pops Conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, in New York, following in the footsteps of Marvin Hamlisch and Doc Severinsen. John Morris Russell completed his eleven-year tenure as Music Director of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra in Ontario, Canada in 2012, whereupon he was named that orchestra’s first Conductor Laureate.
James Stern is a multi-faceted musician whose violin playing has been heard worldwide and cited by the Washington Post for “virtuosity and penetrating intelligence.” He is a member of two critically acclaimed ensembles, the Stern/Andrist Duo with his wife, Canadian pianist Audrey Andrist, and Strata, a trio in which the two of them are joined by clarinetist Nathan Williams. He has performed at theMarlboro, Ravinia, Banff and Bowdoin festivals as well as at New York’s Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall. Stern has served on the faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music and is now Associate Professor and Chair of the String Division at the University of Maryland School of Music.