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2017-18 Guest Conductors

MIRIAM BURNS was on staff with the New York Philharmonic as one of their Cover Conductors from 1999-2007, having been appointed by Kurt Masur as a result of a competitive audition by-invitation-only. In this capacity, she accompanied the orchestra on tour to the Far East as the tour Assistant Conductor to then new Music Director, Lorin Maazel, and for eight years was entrusted as an assistant conductor on call for countless specific, fully prepared programs under many guest conductors of international repute.

Ms. Burns is in her fifth season and second contract term as Music Director and Conductor of The McLean Orchestra (VA), continuing as the Music Director of The Orchestra of the Redeemer in New York City since 1995. Recent prior Music Directorships include the Tallahassee Symphony, where she was designated a Paul Harris Fellow for six years of outstanding contribution to the cultural life of Tallahassee, the Kenosha Symphony and the Lawton Philharmonic. Additionally, she has been appointed to the role of Principal Conductor and Music Advisor for the popular multimedia orchestral show Heroes: A Video Game Symphony, based on the symphonic music of videogames. As such, she recently conducted the world premiere with the Sydney Symphony at the Sydney Opera House in Australia, followed by performances with the Houston Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, members of the Toronto Symphony at the Sony Centre, and will conduct ensuing performances with other major orchestras as the show is booked.

Versatile in all genres, she is active on operatic stages as well, having conducted opera at the MasterWorks Festival and having been Associate Music Director of the Bronx Opera Company – conducting opening nights – for nine years. Ms. Burns has performed with two-time Grammy winner Sylvia McNair, and is on the conducting roster of Broadway Pops International, Inc. through which she guest conducted two performances of an Elvis Tribute with the Memphis Symphony. Equally fluent in choral/orchestral repertoire, Ms. Burns has conducted major oratorio with prominent Metropolitan Opera soloists such as Ben Heppner, Heidi Grant Murphy, Angela Brown, Mark Delavan, Mark Oswald and others. Committed to the furthering of musical education of all generations, she recently guest conducted the NAfME All-National Youth Orchestra, is sought-after as an All-State conductor, has guest conducted at CelloSpeak and has twice served as a private coach / specialist on the faculty of Chorus America's Choral/Orchestral Masterclasses for the orchestral conducting training of choral conductors.

 

 

Recognized for his “musical sensitivity” and “energized sense of interpretation”, MATTHEW KRAEMER is quickly making his mark among young American conductors for his inspired performances and versatility.  Following an extensive international search, Mr. Kraemer was appointed Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra in July 2015. He additionally serves as Music Director of the Butler County Symphony and recently completed his fifth and final season as Music Director of the Erie Chamber Orchestra.  His active guest conducting schedule has included appearances with many of the nation’s finest orchestras, including the Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Columbus, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Nashville, North Carolina, Saint Louis, Spokane, Syracuse, and Toledo symphony orchestras, as well as Canada’s Mississauga Symphony and Hamilton Philharmonic and in Europe with the Vidin Philharmonic and the Orquesta de Cadaqués. 

Mr. Kraemer served as associate conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic from 2009 to 2014, where he regularly led the orchestra on each of its concert series.  A passionate advocate for new music, he has performed the works of many living composers during his career.  He has led composer readings and workshops with several orchestras in the United States, in addition to leading BPO and ICO EarShot readings with the American Composers Orchestra on several occasions.  Increasingly recognized for his committed advocacy of music education and his devotion to young audiences, he has created numerous arts education programs and has taught at several music festivals both in the United States and abroad. Prior to his appointment in Buffalo, he served for three seasons as associate conductor of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, where he led the orchestra in over 200 performances statewide.  His performances have been broadcast regularly on NPR’s Performance Today.

Recipient of the distinguished Herbert von Karajan Conducting Fellowship and the Bruno Walter Career Development Grant, Mr. Kraemer served a residency with the Vienna Philharmonic at the 2006 Salzburg Music Festival.  Equally at home in the opera and ballet pit, his operatic credits include fully-staged productions of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, Verdi’s La Traviata, Michael Nyman’s The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Richard Auldon Clark’s Happy Birthday Wanda June (world premiere), Edwin Penhorwood’s Too Many Sopranos, and Jonathan Dove’s Mansfield Park (American professional premiere), as well as ballet productions with Virginia Ballet Theatre, Ohio Ballet, First Coast Nutcracker, Neglia Ballet Artists, and Todd Rosenlieb Dance.  He has collaborated with many leading artists, including Lang Lang, Philippe Quint, Jennifer Koh, Elmar Oliveira, Rachel Barton Pine, David Kim, Gary Karr, Awadagin Pratt, Richard Stolzman, Wu Man, Bela Fleck, Mark O’Connor, Ben Folds, Chris Botti, Jim Brickman, the Indigo Girls, Il Volo, Wynona Judd, and Natalie Merchant, among others.  As a frequent collaborator with Broadway superstar Idina Menzel, he has served as conductor for many of her numerous symphony engagements nationwide.

 

 

MICHAEL CHRISTIE is a thoughtfully innovative conductor, equally at home in the symphonic and opera worlds, who is focused on making the audience experience at his performances entertaining, enlightening, and enriching. The New York Times reports, “Michael Christie is a director open to adventure and challenge,” and the Cincinnati Enquirer declares, “If Michael Christie represents the future of music in this country, the future looks promising indeed.”

Christie began his tenure as the first-ever Music Director of the Minnesota Opera with the 2012-13 season. Highlights of Christie’s 2016-2017 season include the world premiere performances of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs by Mason Bates with Santa Fe Opera, a production of Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking with the Washington National Opera, Madame Butterfly with the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and engagements with the Sacramento Philharmonic, Charlotte Symphony, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, and Grand Rapids Symphony. At the Minnesota Opera he will lead productions of Vicente Martín y Soler’s Diana's Garden, Charles Gonoud's Romeo & Juliet, Puccini’s La Bohème, and Wagner's Das Rheingold.

Christie’s nearly 20-year symphonic conducting career has included serving as Music Director of the Phoenix Symphony (2005-2013) and Brooklyn Philharmonic (2005-2010), and as Chief Conductor of the Queensland Orchestra (2001-2004) in Australia, as well as guest appearances leading top orchestras such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, the Symphonies of Dallas, Atlanta, Houston, and more. Christie also enjoys many international engagements as well as a strong profile in Australia. Christie’s New York Philharmonic debut came in 2007 when he stepped in on short notice for an ailing Riccardo Muti, and he made his Carnegie Hall debut in the 2014 Spring for Music festival. Christie also served as the Music Director of the Colorado Music Festival from 2000-2013.

Michael Christie first came to international attention in 1995 when he was awarded a special prize for “Outstanding Potential” at the First International Sibelius Conductors’ Competition in Helsinki. Following the competition, he was invited to become an apprentice conductor with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra where he subsequently worked with Daniel Barenboim as well as at the Berlin State Opera during the 1996-1997 season. Christie graduated from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music with a bachelor's degree in trumpet performance.

 

 

Brazilian-born MARCELO LEHNINGER is the newly-appointed Music Director of the Grand Rapids Symphony. He previously served as Music Director of the New West Symphony in Los Angeles, for which the League of American Orchestras awarded him the Helen H. Thompson Award for Emerging Music Conductors. Marcelo was appointed Assistant Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra by James Levine, and, after a very successful two year tenure that included stepping in for Maestro Levine on short notice in Boston and on tour at Carnegie Hall, was later promoted to Associate Conductor.

As a guest conductor in the United States, Mr. Lehninger has led the Chicago, Houston, Detroit, Baltimore, Seattle, Milwaukee, National, Jacksonville, New Jersey, Indianapolis, Omaha, Chautauqua, Hartford, and Fairfax Symphonies; the Florida and Louisville Orchestras; and the Rochester and Orlando Philharmonics. In Canada, he has appeared with the Toronto, Winnipeg, and Kitchener-Waterloo Symphonies, and the Calgary and Hamilton Philharmonics. European highlights include engagements with the Lucerne Symphony, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, and a tour with the Concertgebouw Orchestra assisting Mariss Jansons.

 

 

Known for his wide range of repertoire and creative programming, the distinguished Austrian conductor HANS GRAF is one of today's most highly respected musicians.

Appointed Music Director of the Houston Symphony in 2001, Mr. Graf concluded his tenure in May 2013 and is the longest serving Music Director in the orchestra’s history. Prior to his appointment in Houston, he was the Music Director of the Calgary Philharmonic for eight seasons and held the same post with the Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine for six years. He also led the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra from 1984 to 1994.

Hans Graf is a frequent guest with all of the major North American orchestras. His recent and upcoming guest engagements include appearances with the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, the Boston, San Francisco, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Detroit, Dallas, Baltimore, Indianapolis, New Jersey, Milwaukee, Colorado, Utah and National symphonies and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra among others. Mr. Graf made his Carnegie Hall debut with the Houston Symphony in January 2006 and returned to Carnegie leading the Orchestra of St. Luke's in March 2007. He and the Houston Symphony were re-invited to appear at Carnegie Hall in January 2010, at which time they presented the New York premiere of The Planets – An HD Odyssey, featuring the orchestra playing Holst’s famous work, The Planets, accompanied by exclusive high definition images from NASA’s exploration of the solar system. Mr. Graf and the Houston Symphony returned to Carnegie Hall again in May 2012 to participate in Carnegie’s Spring for Music festival with an all-Shostakovich program.

In Europe, Mr. Graf has conducted the Vienna and London Philharmonics, Vienna Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra as well as the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Deutsches Symphony Orchestra Berlin, Bavarian Radio Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic, Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic among others. He is also a regular guest with the Sydney Symphony and the Hong Kong, Malaysia and Seoul Philharmonics.

 

 

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