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I am incredibly excited to begin a new artistic partnership with the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra, America’s first and oldest GLBTQA symphony orchestra. When I moved to the Twin Cities in 2013, I quickly learned of the Philharmonic and was inspired by its commitments to inclusivity, diverse programming and musical excellence. I’m honored to have been appointed their new Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, and I can hardly wait to work with the musicians, to build relationships with supporters and audience members and to help bring the mission and vision of this wonderful organization to life in our music-making and community-building. Visit www.mphil.org to learn more about the MPO and to save the dates for our 2017-18 concert season!

I am thrilled to announce my new appointment as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra! When I first learned about the SCSO, I was drawn to their dual commitment to musical excellence and educational outreach. This past April I had the opportunity to conduct the orchestra in a Subscription Series concert and two Classics for Kids performances. As I worked with with orchestra and met audience members, teachers and students, I came to know what a vibrant presence SCSO has in the community. I am excited to begin this musical partnership, and I look forward to building relationships with individuals and organizations in the St. Cloud area. Our 2017-18 season will be announced soon. In the meantime, come out to our Lemonade Concert on June 22, 7:30pm at St. Cloud Sate University. More info at www.stcloudsymphony.com.

Lisztomania Reborn: Tasso and Beyond

Franz Liszt was best known during his lifetime has the lean, black-haired virtuoso whose skill and daring at the piano caused audiences to faint, exclaim, and otherwise lust over the music and the man. In 1844, journalist Heinrich Heine called the phenomenon "Lisztomania." In 1848, Liszt gave up his career as a pianist, moved to Weimar and set his sights on the orchestra. Liszt the composer would soon be crowned inventor of the “symphonic poem.” Les Preludes, Liszt’s third of thirteen symphonic poems has become a staple of the symphonic repertory. Yet the other twelve masterworks of musical narrative have gone largely unexplored. One of these twelve is Tasso, Lamento e Trionfo, a continuous narrative in sound that describes the life, suffering and artistic immortality of 16th century Italian poet Torquato Tasso. I was privileged to conduct this little-known masterwork on January 28, in a lecture-recital with the University of Minnesota Symphony Orchestra. I was thrilled to speak with many audience members whose first encounter with Tasso left them wanting to hear more of Liszt’s orchestral works. Having conducted Les Preludes and Tasso, and having since completed my doctoral thesis on Liszt’s symphonic poems, I can’t wait to conduct more of them!


“Fairy Tales and Dances”

St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra

What a joy it is to work with an orchestra for the first time and to get to know a new community of musicians and music lovers! Many thanks to all who came out on April 29 for a program of masterworks by Humperdinck, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven. Thanks also to the hundreds of teachers and students who attended our Classics for Kids performances! I will never forget the boisterous sound of some 500 fourth graders answering the question, “Who did Hansel and Gretel meet in that gingerbread house?”....”THE WITCH!!!!!”

Mississippi Valley Orchestra

2016-17 - Truly a season to remember!

Joyful thanks to the musicians, soloists, artistic partners, audience members and supporters of the Mississippi Valley Orchestra for a diverse season of excellent music-making in the Twin Cities. In October, MVO performed works by Sibelius, Strauss and Borodin, exploring the connections between music and “Homelands.” In December, “A Christmas Fantasy” took us on all kinds of holiday adventures, from a joyous Sleigh Ride to Hansel and Gretel’s unexpected encounters in the fabled woods of Ilsenstein. Our February concert, “Let the Spirit Sing Free” extolled the power of music in the struggle for freedom. Our final concert, “Heroes,” was a miniature “War of the Romantics,” featuring Brahms’s monumental Double Concerto, Borodin’s In the Steppes of Central Asia and Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2.  It was a great privilege and joy to work with soloists Cecilia Belcher, Richard Belcher, Ellen Dinwiddie Smith, Abigail Martin, Yun Kyong Lee, Joshua Diaz, Jeffrey Martin and Daniel Stein; and to partner with Chorus Polaris and John Hoffacker, University of Minnesota Campus Singers Maroon and Amanda Weber, and the St. Paul Piano Teachers Association. You all made 2016-17 a season to remember!

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University of Minnesota Campus Orchestras - A very fond farewell!

Campus Orchestra musicians come from all walks of University life. Behind their instruments sit future chemical engineers, plant scientists, sports medicine practitioners, music therapists and more. From such diverse areas of study, our students come together to perform masterworks of Western classical music, from Mozart to Gershwin.  As I complete my doctoral studies at the University and say farewell to Maroon Festival Orchestra, Gold Chamber Orchestra and the Northstar Philharmonia, I am grateful to have worked with so many talented, brilliant and enthusiastic students. If you’ve never attended a Campus Orchestra concert, be sure to check out dates for the 2017-18 season at music.umn.edu.

Benjamin Britten’s “The Rape of Lucretia”

Thanks to all who came out to the University of Minnesota Ted Mann Concert Hall for Benjamin Britten’s acclaimed and tragic chamber opera, “The Rape of Lucretia.” Congratulations to two fabulous casts, the University Symphony Orchestra, Director David Walsh, Mark Russell Smith, and Ted Mann staff for bringing this powerful, challenging, and timely opera to life. It was a great privilege to conduct this masterwork, to work with all involved, and to perform for such an engaged audience.

Feel free to contact me at briandowdy@briandowdy.com