UB music majors take a cue from five of the world’s best conductors

Five of the world’s most talented young conductors will appear at the University of Bridgeport over the coming year in an innovative series of workshops developed by the University’s music department and the Greater Bridgeport Symphony Orchestra (GBSO), which is searching for new orchestra leader who can connect to new audiences.

The five conductors— Constantine Kitsopoulos, Jonathan Govias, Eric Jacobsen, Lawrence Loh, and Jacamo Bairos—are finalists in the search to succeed Gustav Meier, who retired as GBSO’s conductor at the end of the 2012-2013 season.

One will be tapped for the job in the spring of 2014.

As part of their audition, the five must conduct a GBSO concert  (all featuring a concerto by Beethoven) and will spend time with the University’s  music majors, said Jeffrey Johnson, who is director of UB’s music program and a GBSO board member.

“Symphonies need young people,” said Johnson. “We want to see how these conductors interact with musicians and music lovers in their 20s. Can they communicate to this age bracket?”

To find out, the conductors will each visit a music history class at the Arnold Bernhard Center, home to the music department, where they will discuss the repertoire for their upcoming GBSO appearances.

UB students are preparing for the workshops, which will be held September through April 2014, by studying the repertoire that the conductors will perform with the orchestra. They will discuss the pieces and ask questions.

“We started last week,” said Johnson. “They can’t wait.”

About the conductors:

Constatine Kitsopoulos will be at UB on September 26. He has conducted in Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Royal Albert Hall, among other venues. He is currently in his sixth year as Music Director of the Queens (NY) Symphony Orchestra and Arts BOCA, a multiday cultural arts event in South Florida. He was recnetly appointed Artistic Director of Oklahoma’s OK Mozart Festival.

Jonathan Govias will visit UB on October 24. A distinguished scholar, author, and public speaker, Govias was appointed music director of a professional orchestra at the age of 22. He has since performed with orchestras on four continents, including a June 2009 debut with Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra.

Eric Jacobsen will visit UB on December 12. A conductor and cellist, Jacobsen was hailed by the New York Times as “an interpretive dynamo” and credited by the Los Angeles Times for helping to ensure “the future of classical music in America.” He serves on the faculty of New York University, where he teaches and conducts its orchestras. HE is a founding member of string quartet Brooklyn Rider.

Lawrence Loh will come to UB on March 13, 2014. He is resident Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, and Music Director of Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra.  He is the recipient of the Carvallo Prize, given to the most outstanding conductor in the Yale graduating class. Loh previously served with Colorado Symphony and Dallas Symphony.

Jacomo Bairos will appear at UB on April 10, 2014. A student of Kurt Masur, he furthered his studies at the American Academy of Conducting in Aspen, CO. He was previously Music Director of National Youth Orchestra Festival of Portugal, Director of Orchestras with the Baltimore School for the Arts, Artistic Director for the Singapore Symphony’s Chamber Music Series, and Associate Conductor for Charlotte (NC) Symphony Orchestra.


Media contact: Leslie Geary, (203) 576-4625, lgeary@bridgeport.edu