Michael Christie began his tenure as the first-ever Music Director of the Minnesota Opera with the 2012-13 season. Highlights of his 2015-2016 season include the world premiere performances of Paul Moravec’s opera The Shining, plus productions of Ariadne auf Naxos, The Magic Flute, and Rusalka. In 2017, he leads the world premiere performances of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs by Mason Bates with Santa Fe Opera. Christie’s nearly 20-year conducting career has included serving as Music Director of the Phoenix Symphony and Brooklyn Philharmonic and as Chief Conductor of the Queensland Orchestra in Australia, and has appeared with leading top orchestras around the world. Christie also served as Music Director of the Colorado Music Festival from 2000-2013. Michael Christie first came to international attention in 1995 when he was awarded a special prize for “Outstanding Potential” at the First International Sibelius Conductors’ Competition in Helsinki. Following the competition, he was also an apprentice conductor with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra where he worked with Daniel Barenboim. For more information, please go to michaelchristieonline.com
Christoph Campestrini is recognized internationally as a conductor of enormous musical variety and deep introspection, he conducted more than 120 orchestras on all 5 continents. Among them are the London Symphony Orchestra, Moscow Radio Symphony, Deutsche Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Cologne Radio Symphony, Prague Philharmonia, Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, Vienna Radio Symphony, Orquestra Metropolitana Lisbon, Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, Orchestre Lamoureux Paris among others. He worked together with soloists such as Lang Lang, Gidon Kremer, Julian Rachlin, Rudolf Buchbinder, Alisa Weilerstein and Julia Fischer.He appears regularly with orchestras such as The Philadelphia Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Detroit Symphony and others. Recordings include the labels ORFEO (Munich), SIGNUM (Heidelberg), as well as for the Austrian (ORF), West German (WDR) and Czech (CR) radio stations. For more information, please go to christophcampestrini.com.
Andrés Cárdenes, Violinist and conductor Andrés Cárdenes received his degree in violin from Indiana University under Josef Gingold. For conducting he continued his education under Bryan Balkwill, former conductor at Covent Garden. After winning top prizes at numerous international violin competitions, Cárdenes accepted concertmaster positions with the San Diego, Utah and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras. Mr. Cárdenes has conducted orchestras across the globe: Munich Radio Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, Sinfonica de Venezuela, National Repertory Orchestra, Brevard Philharmonic, Cleveland Institute Philharmonic, Carnegie Mellon Chamber Orchestra and the Neue Philharmonie Westfalen in Germany. He has collaborated with soloists such as Midori, Sarah Chang, Pinchas Zukerman, Elmar Oliveira, Jon Kimura Parker, Gabriela Montero, Chee-Yun and Lars Vogt. For more information, please go to andrescardenes.com.
Andrew Grams Andrew Grams has led orchestras throughout the United States, including The Philadelphia, National, and Baltimore Symphony Orchestras and The Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Dallas, and Houston symphonies. He served as Assistant Conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra from 2004-2007 under Franz Welser Most. Mr. Grams has worked with orchestras abroad, including the Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver Symphony Orchestras. Orchestre National de France, BBC Symphony Orchestra London, Sydney Symphony, Orchestra dell’Accademia di Santa Cecillia, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, and Oslo Philharmonic. 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. For more information, please go to andrewgrams.com.
Michelle Merrill is currently in her second season as Assistant Conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Merrill was recently named as one of Hour Detroit Magazine’s 3 Cultural Organization Leaders to Watch, and made her debut with the DSO conducting an educational webcast that has reached over 100,000 students to date in classrooms throughout the nation. As the Assistant Conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, she helps plan and conduct over 30 concerts per season, including her classical subscription debut at Orchestra Hall in April 2016. Merrill also gives pre-concert lectures, leads adult music education seminars, engages with students in and around Metro Detroit, speaks on behalf of the DSO throughout the community, and participates in hosting Live from Orchestra Hall, the DSO’s free concert webcast that launched in 2011 and is now watched in more than 100 countries. She was awarded in 2013 the prestigious Ansbacher Conducting Fellowship by members of the Vienna Philharmonic and the American Austrian Foundation, which enabled her to be in residence at the world-renowned Salzburg Festival. A strong advocate of new music, Merrill recently collaborated with composer Gabriela Lena Frank and soprano Jessica Rivera on Frank’s work La Centinela y la Paloma (The Keeper and the Dove), as a part of numerous community programs related to the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts. For more information, please go to michelle-merrill.com
The Venezuelan-born, Spanish conductor José Luis Gomez was catapulted to international attention when he won First Prize at the International Sir Georg Solti Conductor’s Competition in Frankfurt in September 2010, securing a sensational and rare unanimous decision from the jury. Gomez’s electrifying energy, talent and creativity earned him immediate acclaim from the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra where he was appointed to the position of Assistant Conductor, a post created especially for him by Paavo Jarvi and the orchestra directly upon the conclusion of the competition. Gomez started his musical career as a violinist, and by the age of 11 he was Concertmaster of the Youth Orchestra of Zulia State - part of El Sistema de Orquestas Juveniles de Venezuela. He graduated in music and violin from the Manhattan School of Music in New York before embarking on a European orchestral career. Deciding to follow his dream to have more creative input and influence on musical direction he took conducting lessons from Lu Jia, Muhai Tang and John Nelson. After just six months of studying conducting he went on to win the Georg Solti competition. Since then he has worked with the RTVE National Symphony Orchestra of Madrid. For more information, please go to imgartists.com/artist/jose_luis_gomez