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Ward Stare

Ward Stare
Credit: Halski Studio

Music Director

Joined the RPO in 2014

Appointed the 12th music director of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in July 2014, Rochester native Ward Stare has been described as “inspiring musicians to impressive heights” by The New York Times, and “a dynamic music director” by Rochester CITY Newspaper. This December, Stare will make his debut at the Metropolitan Opera for nine performances of Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow, with Grammy-winning mezzo-soprano Susan Graham in the title role.

This season at the RPO, Stare will collaborate with Itzhak Perlman and returning favorite pianists Olga Kern and Misha Dichter. Stare will also lead a Beethoven Festival, Bizet’s Carmen in Concert, and two world premieres by celebrated composers Allen Shawn and Jennifer Higdon. 2016–17 season highlights included collaborations with Yo-Yo Ma and Grammy-winning violinist James Ehnes. Stare also led a three-weekend salute to the music of American composers, as well
as Puccini’s La Bohème in Concert, and a world-concert premiere by Academy-Award winning composer Eliot Goldenthal.

Stare’s recent seasons have seen a number of highly anticipated debuts with orchestras around the world, including performances with the Baltimore Symphony, Sydney Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Toronto Symphony, and the Calgary Philharmonic. Last season he made his debut with the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra followed by his return to the St. Louis Symphony in December.
Stare’s frequent collaboration with the Lyric Opera of Chicago began with his debut in 2012 conducting performances of Hansel and Gretel; he returned in 2013 to lead Die Fledermaus, and again in November 2014 to lead Porgy and Bess to rave reviews. He made his debut with the Washington National Opera conducting Donizetti’s comic opera L’Elisir d’amore in 2014.

Stare served as resident conductor of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra from 2008 to 2012. In 2009, he made his highly successful Carnegie Hall debut with the orchestra, stepping in at the last minute to lead H. K. Gruber’s Frankenstein!

The 2013–14 season saw his return to the Atlanta and Detroit symphony orchestras, as well as his debuts with the Syracuse Symphoria, the Jacksonville Symphony, and the Naples Philharmonic with Lang Lang as soloist.

Stare was trained as a trombonist at The Juilliard School in Manhattan. At 18, he was appointed principal trombonist of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and has performed as an orchestral musician with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic, among others. As a soloist, he has concertized in both the U.S. and Europe. wardstare.com

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