Dear Search Committee,
I write to you today to express my great interest in being considered for the Music Director position with the Richmond Symphony. Now more than ever, orchestras are looking for visionaries and newer ways to reach people. Though my resume is as not as extensive as those of older conductors, my youthful and innovative approach has enabled passionate artistry and overwhelming community support for orchestras I was privileged to serve. Upon reading of the position, and after both studying the website/press releases/news articles, strategic plan and the 20x20 campaign, and watching the available published audio and video, I am excited and motivated by both the past history and more importantly, Richmond Symphony's core values to community engagement and education. I’m confident that my experience as Music Director and Conductor of Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra, guest conducting experience, Heartland Symphony, Mesabi Symphony Orchestra, Willmar Symphonic Area Orchestra, my extensive experience as assistant conductor and teaching assistant at the University of Minnesota, my successful 6-years as the Music Director of the First Slavic Youth Orchestra (Portland, OR), my training and education and my passion for music and music education have prepared me to serve as Music Director for Richmond Symphony. I hope that I can convince you that my experience with nonprofit organizations, fundraising, outreach, media appearances, ability to work with people, and my musical qualifications are substantial and qualitative for sustained growth of the orchestra.
Currently, I am the Music Director and Conductor Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra. I program all repertoire, audition/hire players and guest artists, engage in interviews with local papers and radio stations, conduct and lead education and community outreach programs, host fundraising events, and work with each respective committee to further the vision of each organization. I have extensive knowledge and experience working in/with non-profit organizations and the acquired knowledge enables me to take a pragmatic approach finding solutions and effectively work with people. I understand the importance of fundraising and promotion and have extensive experience with TV and preconcert talks. There is no substitute for personal interactions and I’ve learned that taking the time to speak with donors, community members, and long time orchestra supporters is key in establishing continued support for an organization.
I was awarded a Doctoral of Musical Arts in Orchestral Conducting from University of Minnesota. During my time at UMN, I prepared and lead major works with both Gold and Maroon Campus Orchestra and Campus String Orchestra, collaborated with St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s educational staff to present Young People’s Concerts at Ted Mann Concert Hall with University Symphony Orchestra, and held the position of an assistant conductor. In addition, I served as a cover conductor for all fully staged opera productions and conducted all staging rehearsals. In spring of 2012, I collaborated with Grammy winning composers Robert Aldridge and Hershel Garfein in the workshop world premiere of their two operas titled Sister Carrie and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Most recently, I conducted a production of Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Bedřich Smetana’s The Bartered Bride. I worked cooperatively with the university staff, guest clinicians and operational staff to promote a professional and nurturing environment.
I’m an advocate for collaborations and consistently seek projects that benefit and expand audience. In the last 18 months, I’ve collaborated with guest artists from Russia, Poland, Brazil, and the US. In November 2017, I initiated a project that brought Moscow Ballet’s 40 professional dancers, 120 community dancers, a 40-member children’s choir, and conducted a symphony orchestra in a production of The Russian Great Nutcracker. In September 2012, I started my work as the Artistic Director of Hyperion Singers, a professional vocal ensemble in Minneapolis, MN. In collaboration with the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra, we presented benefit concerts for local organizations and schools, featuring masterworks of J.S. Bach and G.F. Handel. My entire musical career has been spent pursuing the very highest artistic standards, while educating, informing and inviting audiences and students to engage in the unique world of orchestral music. I have extensive experience initiating collaborations that which bring communities together.
I have applied and have been accepted into leading conducting festivals. From 2009-2011, I was one of the conductors at the Oregon Bach Festival Masterclass, conducting works such as The B-Minor Mass, Christmas Oratorio and Magnificat under the tutelage of Helmuth Rilling. In 2010, I was one of the four conductors to receive invitation from Leonid Korchmar (Mariinsky Theater) to conduct at the International Academy of Advanced Conducting in NY. In the summer of 2011, I was invited by Music In World Cultures to travel to Ukraine and present concerts of Russian choral masterworks and teach masterclasses in conducting and composition. Also, I have been one of the conducting participants in the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and worked with Gustav Meier and Mark Gibson.
Throughout my career, I have demonstrated my ability as a conductor, artistic leader, administrator, fundraiser, and advocate for classical music and education. I have high expectation for myself and take pride in the success of the people with whom I work. Perhaps most important, I am passionate about music and conducting and strongly believe in the power of music to reach people in a very special way. As this letter is already quite lengthy, and there is much more to tell, I would certainly welcome the opportunity to further speak with the committee. Having carefully read the job description and expectations, I was heartened to note that I have been fortunate to have an established successful track record in each and every avenue outlined. It is indeed a complicated and multi-faceted position, and for me, success comes through the passionate pursuit of excellence in our art. I have dedicated my life and my energies to the pursuit of artistic excellence, and to the important administration necessary to keep that art thriving.
Thank you for the opportunity to apply for the Music Director position for Richmond Symphony. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.