Hailed as one of the world's leading conductors for her artistic vision and commitment to accessibility in classical music, Marin Alsop made history with her appointment as the 12th music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, mirroring her ongoing success as principal conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony since 2002. She continues her association with the Colorado Symphony as conductor laureate following her highly successful 12-year tenure as music director. She also continues in her 17th season as music director of the acclaimed Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in California. In addition, Alsop has held the position of principal guest conductor with both the City of London Sinfonia and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, with whom she made numerous critically acclaimed recordings. In 2005, Alsop was named a MacArthur Fellow, the first and only conductor ever to receive this prestigious American award. In the same year, Alsop won the Classical Brit Award for Best Female Artist, and she is the first artist to win Gramophone's 'Artist of the Year' award and the Royal Philharmonic Society';s Conductor's Award in the same season (2003). Most recently, she was honored with a 2007 European Women of Achievement Award, presented to individuals whose vision, courage and determination have made a major impact on increasing the influence of women on European affairs.
Alsop is a regular guest conductor with the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic. She is also one of the few conductors to appear every season with both the London Symphony and the London Philharmonic orchestras and has appeared as a guest conductor with many other distinguished orchestras worldwide, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Zurich Tonhalle, Orchestre de Paris, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Boston Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony and Tokyo Philharmonic. She made her debut with the Opera Theater of St. Louis conducting John Adams's Nixon and in 2004 she conducted a fully staged production of Bernstein's Candide with the New York Philharmonic, a production that was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2005. Highlights of Alsop's acclaimed recording collaboration with Naxos include a Brahms symphony cycle with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and an ongoing series of Bournemouth Symphony recordings, which include Bartók's Miraculous Mandarin, Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, and the symphonies of Kurt Weill.
Recently awarded two Grammys® for Best Choral Performance and Best Classical Recording (Verdi Requiem), Duain Wolfe is founder and director of the Colorado Symphony Chorus and music director of the Chicago Symphony Chorus. Duain Wolfe was elected chairman of Chorus America in 2003. Chorus America serves professional, volunteer, children/youth and symphony/opera choruses throughout North America, and Wolfe is the first chair to have the distinction of directing choruses in each of these categories.
This year marks Wolfe's 34th season heading the Colorado Symphony Chorus. The Chorus provides vital support for numerous performances and radio broadcasts with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra each season, and has been featured at the Aspen Music Festival for over two decades. Wolfe, who is in his 24th season with the Chicago Symphony Chorus America's largest professional chorus, has collaborated with Daniel Barenboim, Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Muti, and the late Pierre Boulez and Sir George Solti on numerous recordings including Wagner's Die Meistersinger, which won the 1998 Grammy® for Best Opera Recording. Wolfe's extensive musical accomplishments have resulted in numerous awards, including an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the University of Denver, the Bonfils Stanton Award in the Arts and Humanities, the Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Mayor's Award for Excellence in an Artistic Discipline and the Michael Korn Award for the Development of the Professional Choral Art. Wolfe is also founder of the Colorado Children's Chorale, from which he retired in 1999 after 25 years; the Chorale is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. For 20 years, Wolfe also worked with the Central City Opera Festival as chorus director and conductor, founding and directing the company's young artist residence program, as well as its education and outreach programs. Wolfe's additional accomplishments include directing and preparing choruses for Chicago's Ravinia Festival, the Bravo! Vail Festival, the Berkshire Choral Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Grand Teton Music Festival. He has worked with Pinchas Zuckerman as Chorus Director for the Canadian National Arts Centre Orchestra for the past 15 years.
Australian conductor Christopher Dragon is currently Resident Conductor for your Colorado Symphony. He joined the orchestra in the 2015/16 Season as Associate Conductor — a position he held for four seasons. For three years prior, Dragon held the position of Assistant Conductor with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, which gave him the opportunity to work closely with Principal Conductor Asher Fisch.
Christopher works regularly in Australia and has guest conducted the Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and West Australian Symphony Orchestras. His 2015 debut performance at the Sydney Opera House with Josh Pyke and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra was released on album by ABC Music and won an ARIA the following year. Christopher’s international guest conducting includes the Orquestra Sinfônica de Porto Alegre, the San Diego Symphony Orchestra and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
He has also conducted at numerous festivals including the Breckenridge and Bangalow Music Festivals, with both resulting in immediate re-invitations. At the beginning of 2016 Mr. Dragon conducted Wynton Marsalis' Swing Symphony as part of the Perth International Arts Festival alongside Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at the Lincoln Center Orchestra.
Christopher Dragon began his conducting studies in 2011 and was a member of the prestigious Symphony Services International Conductor Development Program in Australia under the guidance of course director Christopher Seaman. He has also studied with numerous distinguished conductors including Leonid Grin, Paavo and Neeme Järvi at the Järvi Summer Festival, Fabio Luisi at the Pacific Music Festival and conducting pedagogue Jorma Panula.
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