Guest Conductors

 

Daniel Hege, Principal Guest Conductor

hegeDrawing on years of professional experience and choosing from nine seasons of superb TSO guest conductors, Tulsa Symphony musicians proposed the creation of a Principal Guest Conductor position and selected Maestro Daniel Hege, Music Director of the Wichita Symphony, to fill this prestigious appointment.

“Since the first time we worked together, there was a positive atmosphere and a wonderful sense of music‐making. The Tulsa Symphony is going into its 10‐year anniversary with a great deal of momentum, and I am very happy to be part of this family.”

Daniel Hege is widely recognized as one of America’s finest young conductors, earning critical acclaim for his fresh interpretations of the standard repertoire and for his commitment to creative programming. He served for eleven seasons as the Music Director of the Syracuse Symphony and in June 2009, was appointed Music Director of the Wichita Symphony, beginning his tenure with that orchestra in September 2010.

Following a nationwide search, Mr. Hege was named Music Director of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra in April, 1999. In June 2001, he completed a five year tenure with the Baltimore Symphony where he held the titles of Assistant, Associate and Resident Conductor and led the orchestra in subscription, family and run‐out concerts. Mr. Hege has also served as Associate Conductor of the Kansas City Symphony, Assistant Conductor of the Pacific Symphony, Music Director of the Encore Chamber Orchestra in Chicago and Music Director of the Chicago Youth Symphony where he was twice honored by the American Symphony Orchestra League for innovative programming.

Daniel Hege has guest conducted the Houston, Detroit, Seattle, Indianapolis, Oregon, Colorado, San Diego, Columbus and Phoenix symphonies; the Rochester, Buffalo and Calgary Philharmonics; and at the Grand Teton and Aspen Music Festivals. International engagements include leading the Singapore Symphony and the St. Petersburg Symphony at the Winter Nights Festival. In addition, Mr. Hege has also worked with the Syracuse Opera with which he conducted productions of Madame Butterfly, La Traviata, Tosca and Don Pasquale.

In April 2003, Mr. Hege led the Syracuse Symphony in a critically acclaimed concert at a sold‐out Carnegie Hall. He has also made two recordings ‐ a disc with the Baltimore Symphony and the Morgan State University Choir featuring works by Adolphus Hailstork and a CD with the Syracuse Symphony with works by Verdi, Barber, Debussy, Respighi and James Johnson.

Recent and upcoming guest conducting engagements include appearances with the Louisiana, Rochester and Orlando Philharmonics; Louisville Orchestra; the Pacific, Puerto Rico, Grand Rapids, Tulsa and Memphis symphonies; and at the Music Academy of the West.

Daniel Hege received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1987 from Bethel College, Kansas where he majored in music and history. He continued his studies at the University of Utah, receiving a Master of Music degree in orchestra conducting and also founding the University Chamber Orchestra and serving as Assistant Conductor of the University Orchestra and Music Director of the Utah Singers. He subsequently studied with Paul Vermel at the Aspen Music Festival and in Los Angeles with noted conductor and pedagogue Daniel Lewis.

In May 2004, Mr. Hege was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Le Moyne College in Syracuse for his contributions to the cultural life in central New York State. Born in Colorado, Mr. Hege currently resides in Syracuse with his wife, Katarina Oladottir Hege, a violinist, and their three daughters.

 

Ron Spigelman, Pops Conductor

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The exciting and innovative Australian conductor, Ron Spigelman, is an honors graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, London.  In 1996 he was awarded an Associate of the Royal Academy (ARAM) for distinguishing himself in his field. He has been the Associate Conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.  Before this he was the Associate Conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Fort Worth Dallas Ballet and Music Director of the San Angelo Symphony and the Texas Chamber Orchestra.  Amongst many career highlights, his debut with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra garnering critical acclaim for his world premier performance of Lowell Liebermann’s Pegasus, and his critically acclaimed Carnegie Hall conducting debut with the Buffalo Philharmonic in 2004. He recently completed 8 seasons as Music Director of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (MO), and 5 seasons as Principal Pops Conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.  Currently he is Music Director of the Lake Placid Sinfonietta (NY) and Pops Conductor of the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra.  His co – authored blog Sticks and Drones was widely read and is archived (www.insidethearts.com/sticksanddrones).

Ron was appointed as the Associate Conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony after his American debut with that orchestra in 1994.  He has since made numerous guest appearances with symphony orchestras across the country, including the Virginia Symphony, the Tulsa Symphony, the Columbus Symphony, the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, the Boise Philharmonic, the North Carolina Symphony and many others. In Texas he has made appearances with the Dallas Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, the Dallas Opera Orchestra and the Austin Symphony Orchestra. He has returned to Australia for performances with the Adelaide, Queensland and Sydney Symphony orchestras.

Ron has accompanied a wide range of internationally renowned artists including: Horacio Gutierrez, Richard Stoltzman, Pamela Frank, Sharon Isbin, Jubilant Sykes, Jon Kimura Parker, Edith Chen, Navah Perlman, Elissa Lee Kokkonen, Orli Shaham and many others.  Pops artists he has performed with include: Marvin Hamlisch, Canadian Brass, Ben Folds, Kenny G, Jason Alexander, Tanya Tucker, Kathy Mattea, Mark O’Connor, King’s Singers, Arturo Sandoval, Audra McDonald, Dianne Reeves, Cherish the Ladies, and legends James Taylor, Art Garfunkel and Peter Paul and Mary. He was the executive producer of the Marvin Hamlisch BPO Christmas Pops recording, and was the co-editor for all of the BPO NPR broadcasts between 2001 – 2005.

Previous to his appointments in Texas, Ron was the Assistant to the Chief Conductor of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.  A position created especially for him, after he was the first to be awarded the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Conductor-in-Training position for two years, first with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, and then with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.  During this time, he also conducted the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, the West Australian Opera and the Australian Youth Orchestra.

Since his first appointment in 1992, Ron has conducted well over 1,000 performances and has a repertoire of over 500 works including several full-length ballets and feature films. Equally at home with symphonic pops, he is known for his creative programming and audience involvement.  He has made several recordings for radio broadcast as well as two compact discs.  “Dream Angels” is a collection of orchestral lullabies recorded with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.  It was nominated for the Australian Record Industry Award (ARIA) for best children’s release in 1995.  The education program Ron helped implement for the Fort Worth Symphony, has been the recipient of numerous NEA and local grants, and gained a state wide and nationwide reputation for its groundbreaking ideas and educational value.  Two of his audience development programs were once featured on the League of American Orchestras Innovations Forum.

Ron’s principal instrument study was the Trumpet, and as a soloist he performed with several British orchestras and at music festivals in the United Kingdom, Belgium, and Italy, including the Florence Maggio Musicale, at the invitation of the composer Luciano Berio. He still performs on the Trumpet and sings in Pops performances.

A champion of new music, he has conducted over 30 world premieres. His performance of the Lukas Foss Opera The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, was broadcast here and internationally on the National Public Radio show Symphonycast. He also has served as a faculty member for a Donald Thulean ASOL Conductors Workshop. Additionally in 1997, 2001, 2005 and 2009 he was James Conlon’s assistant conductor at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

Last season he lead the Tulsa Symphony’s new Pops Series and debuted with the Louisiana Philharmonic. Ron lives with his wife Laura who is a member of the Tulsa Symphony (Viola) and with 2 of their combined 6 children.

Andrew Grams, Guest Conductor

With a unique combination of intensity, enthusiasm and technical clarity, American conductor Andrew Grams has steadily built a reputation for his dynamic concerts and long-term orchestra building.  Mr. Grams has led orchestras throughout the United States including The Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Detroit Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, The Dallas Symphony, and the Houston Symphony.  He served as Assistant Conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra from 2004-2007 where he worked under the guidance of Franz Welser-Möst, and has since returned for several engagements.

A frequent traveler, Mr. Grams has worked extensively with orchestras abroad, including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra Ottawa, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre National de Lyon, Orchester der Beethovenhalle Bonn, BBC Symphony Orchestra London, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Sydney Symphony, Melbourne and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra dell’Accademia di Santa Cecillia, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Residentie Orchestra, Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Malmö Symphony Orchestra.

2015-2016 marks Mr. Grams’ third season as Music Director of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra.  He returns to the Dallas, Detroit, Toronto, North Carolina, Phoenix, Tucson, and Charlotte Symphonies, and makes debuts with the Seattle Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, and Boise Philharmonic. He will also lead a Gershwin festival with the Orquestra Simfoica de Barcelona before returning to Australia to work with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Western Australia Symphony Orchestra.

Born in Severn, Maryland, Mr. Grams began studying the violin when he was eight years old. In 1999 he received a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from The Juilliard School, and in 2003 he received a conducting degree from the Curtis Institute of Music where he studied with Otto-Werner Mueller. He was selected to spend the summer of 2003 studying with David Zinman, Murry Sidlin and Michael Stern at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen and returned to that program again in 2004.

As an accomplished violinist, Mr. Grams was a member of the New York City Ballet Orchestra from 1998-2004, serving as acting associate principal second violin in 2002 and 2004.  Additionally, he has performed with ensembles including the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Brooklyn Philharmonic, and the New Jersey Symphony.

Eric Whitacre, Guest Conductor

Grammy-winning composer and conductor Eric Whitacre is one of the most popular musicians of our time. His concert music has been performed throughout the world by millions of amateur and professional musicians alike, while his ground-breaking Virtual Choirs have united singers from over 110 different countries. A graduate of the prestigious Juilliard School of Music, Eric was recently appointed Artist in Residence with the Los Angeles Master Chorale having completed a five-year term as Composer in Residence at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University, UK.

As conductor of the Eric Whitacre Singers he has released several chart-topping albums including 2011’s bestselling Light and Gold. A sought after guest conductor, Eric has conducted choral and instrumental concerts around the globe, including sold-out concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra. In addition to several collaborations with legendary Hollywood composer Hans Zimmer, he has worked with British pop icons Laura Mvula, Imogen Heap and Annie Lennox.

A charismatic speaker, Eric has given keynote addresses for many Fortune 500 companies and global institutions including Apple, Google, the World Economic Forum in Davos, the United Nations Speaker’s Programme and two main stage TED talks.