You have a opportunity for $5,000. The BSO has an Opportunity Drawing on May 15th at the annual BSO Gala held at the CSUB Amphitheater. Tickets for this drawing are $100 each. Contact the office at 661-323-7928 for more information.
You have a opportunity for $5,000. The BSO has an Opportunity Drawing on May 15th at the annual BSO Gala held at the CSUB Amphitheater. Tickets for this drawing are $100 each. Contact the office at 661-323-7928 for more information.
Hailed by Washington Post as “among the most gifted guitarists on the planet” Polish guitarist, Marcin Dylla is a rare phenomenon in recent history of Classical Guitar. Many music critics, connoisseurs and music lovers certify that he is among the world’s elite of classical guitar players. He has earned this position, among others, to unparalleled number of awards including 19 First Prizes from 1996-2007 at the most prestigious international music competitions around the world culminating with the Gold Medal of the ‘2007 Guitar Foundation of America International Competition’ in Los Angeles, also known as the most prestigious guitar contest which earned him tour of over 50 cities in North America, Mexico and Canada during 2008-2009 season, live recital video recording for Mel Bay Publications and CD recording for Naxos that reached the Naxos ‘Top 10 Bestselling Albums’ in September 2008. His live recital DVD “Wawel Royal Castle at Dusk” was nominated for 2010 Fryderyk Award (equal to American Grammy) in the category of Solo Classical Music Album of the Year.
Mr. Dylla’s recent tour highlights included his Carnegie Hall debut during a two-month tour of North America with recitals covering both coasts and opening concert of the 2013 Guitar Foundation of America Festival. Apart from his guest performances at virtually every major North American guitar festival, in Europe, he returned to Konzerthaus in Vienna and he has been regularly invited to appear at the Koblenz International Guitar Festival and Competition where he’s a beloved regular.
Mr. Dylla’s orchestral engagements included subscription concerts with the Warsaw Philharmonic conducted by Christian Arming performing two concerti (Ponce’s Concierto del Sur and Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez) on two consecutive nights, in addition to recitals throughout Europe every year. This season he will perform as soloist with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra during their new music director search.
Furthermore, he has appeared as soloist with Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (USA), Orquesta Sinfónica de Radio Television Espanola (RTVE Madrid, Spain), St. Petersburg Philharmonia Orchestra (Russian Federation), Orchestra Filharmonica di Torino (Italy) and the Essen Chamber Orchestra (Germany) under the baton of JoAnn Falletta, Alexander Rahbari and Mariusz Smolij.
In 2006, Cecilia Rodrigo, daughter of the legendary Spanish composer, Joaquin Rodrigo, chose Mr. Dylla to perform the world premiere of a lately discovered new guitar work by her father entitled ‘Toccata’ (1933) at Reina Sofia Museum of Modern Art in Madrid. In 2002, at the 7th International Guitar Convent in Alessandria, he was granted a “gold guitar” musical critics’ award for the best coming young guitar player.
Marcin Dylla was born in Chorzow, Poland in 1976 and received his first guitar lessons at the Ruda Slaska Music Conservatory in his native Poland. From 1995 to 2000 he studied at the Music Academy of Katowice with Adi Wanda Palacz and later completed his studies with Oscar Ghiglia, Sonja Prunnbauer and Carlo Marchione at the Music Academies of Basel (Switzerland), Freiburg (Germany) and Maastricht (The Netherlands), respectively. He is currently a Professor at the Music Academy in Kraków and Katowice.
Winner of the 2013 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award, Roger Kalia has been hailed as a conductor who conducts with “vigor” and “commitment” (Charlotte Observer) and for bringing a“fresh vi ew to classical music” (The Republic). He began his tenure as Assistant Conductor of the
Charlotte Symphony in September 2013 and he is in his third and final season as Music Director of the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra of Los Angeles. During the 2014-2015 season, Mr. Kalia will guest conduct the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra as well as serving as guest cover
conductor for the Indianapolis Symphony.
As Assistant Conductor of the Charlotte Symphony, Mr. Kalia conducts a variety of performances
including Family, Education, Outreach and Parks concerts. Covering almost every subscription
concert, he has assisted Music Director Christopher Warren-Green and many visiting artists
including Itzhak Perlman and Stephen Hough. In February 2015 he will make his debut on the
innovative Knight Sounds series as well as his Pops series debut with the Noel Friedline Trio. Mr.
Kalia frequently collaborates with the Charlotte Ballet, including more than a dozen performances of
The Nutcracker every December, and is an ardent proponent of collaborations with dancers, visual
artists, and the use of technology to enhance the concert experience. He regularly leads pre-concert
conversations and has been featured on Charlotte’s WBTV.
As a recipient of the BMI/Lionel Newman Conducting Scholarship and YMF Conducting Grant,
Mr. Kalia has led the Debut Orchestra in a variety of repertoire from Mozart through music by
leading video game composers. Winner of YMF’s 2012 National Conductor Search, he follows in
the footsteps of such illustrious conductors as Michael Tilson-Thomas, Andre Previn, and Myung
Whun Chung. Highlights from his first two seasons include three world premieres, collaborations
with violinist Glenn Dicterow and pianist Misha Dichter at UCLA’s Royce Hall, a production of
Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale with actors Jack Black and Michael Lerner at the Los Angeles County
Museum of Art, a unique concert titled “Gamer Jams: Music Behind the Screen” featuring music by
leading video game composers at the Ford Theater, and the orchestra’s debut performance at the
Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels “Virgin of Guadalupe” Celebration, which was televised and
As co-founder and Music Director of the Lake George Music Festival, Mr. Kalia conducts the Lake
George Festival Orchestra and chamber ensembles every summer in upstate New York. The first
classical music festival of its kind in Lake George, the orchestra brings together young professionals
and current students from many prestigious institutions including the Czech Philharmonic
Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the symphonies of Atlanta, Charlotte, Richmond, Kansas
City, New World, Dallas, Boise, Detroit, San Antonio, and the premier conservatories in the nation
including the Curtis Institute of Music, the Juilliard School, and the Eastman School of Music. The
orchestra has been featured on a variety of radio programs including NPR’s Performance Today with
Fred Child. For the upcoming season, Mr. Kalia has designed a Family Concert series as well as a
Late Night Concert series for young professionals.
Mr. Kalia has been invited to some of the most distinguished music festivals and competitions
around the world including fellowships to the Aspen Music Festival’s American Academy of Conducting, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, and the St. Magnus Festival in Scotland. In 2011 he won Second Prize at the Memphis Symphony International Conducting Competition, which
led to his debut with the orchestra the following season. That same year David Zinman invited him to work with the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich in his international conducting masterclass at the Zurich Festspiele. In 2013, Mr. Kalia participated in the Kurt Masur Conducting Seminar at
the Manhattan School of Music and was also invited to serve as a guest cover conductor with the St. Louis Symphony.
Mr. Kalia has worked with orchestras across North America and Europe including the Fort Worth
Symphony Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Royal
Scottish National Orchestra, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Festival Orchestra of Sofia, Chelsea
Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra de Cadaques, and the Bohuslav Martinu Philarhmonic Orchestra,
among others. He has also served on jury panels for prestigious competitions including the 2013
Spotlight Awards at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and the 2014 Rosen-Schaffel Competition at
Appalachian State University.
An enthusiastic advocate of contemporary music, Mr. Kalia has commissioned and programmed
more than 100 works by some of America’s brightest and innovative composers including Mason
Bates, Michael Daugherty, David Lang, Aaron Jay Kernis, and Paul Chihara, among others. With
the Debut Orchestra, he has worked closely with acclaimed film and television composers such as
John Williams, Ed Shearmur, Michael Levine, Alex Wurman, Greg Edmonson, and Austin Wintory.
He recently commissioned a work by composer Paul Dooley with the Debut Orchestra, which was
aided by a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts. At the 2013 Lake George Music
Festival, he led the world premiere of Brenden Faegre’s The Brightness of Light, in honor of Georgia
O’Keefe’s legacy in Lake George. He also helped create and conducted on the “Double Exposure”
series at Indiana University, which was a unique collaboration between composers and film students
where live music is performed to silent films. Of his conducting at the 2009 St. Magnus Festival with the Psappha New Music Ensemble, “Lewis used complex groupings and cross rhythms that propelled the players through the piece—fortunately Kalia was masterful in allowing it freedom but
keeping it under control” (St. Magnus Festival Blog).
A native of New York, Mr. Kalia completed his work as a Doctoral Conducting Fellow at Indiana University, where he was an Associate Instructor and Assistant Conductor of the IU Opera Theater and New Music Ensemble. His primary mentors include David Effron, Arthur Fagen, and Franz
Anton Krager, and he has undertaken additional studies with Franz Welser-Moest, David Zinman, Kurt Masur, Robert Spano, Marin Alsop, Hugh Wolff, Gustav Meier, and Larry Rachleff.
Come and watch the master class with Marcin Dylla, who is a highly accomplished soloist having performed around the world. We welcome Mr. Dylla to Bakersfield for our May 9th concert. While in Bakersfield, we are fortunate to have his expertise shared with three students. The master class date is May 8th from 4pm to 5:30pm and is open to the public free of charge. This will be held at Bakersfield College small theater. Direct your questions to the BSO office at 323-7928.
Joining the Bakersfield Symphony for the April concert is the Bakersfield Master Chorale. There is a long standing relationship between these two groups with a variety of opportunities to share the stage. The BSO is pleased to have BMC once again participate in this wonderful concert showcasing Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms.
The Bakersfield Master Chorale is a choral society of adult voices directed by Dr. Robert Provencio and affiliated with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra. During its concert season, the Chorale seeks to enrich community musical awareness by presenting performances of major choral literature, secular and sacred, from all musical eras.
Bakersfield Masterworks ChoraleThe Chorale is a non-profit educational organization, and is Bakersfield’s only mixed adult choral group governed locally by a board of directors operating under a constitution and by-laws.
The Chorale performs Handel’s Messiah each Christmas. It has also recorded several albums, audio tapes and CD’s. The Chorale has completed five European tours. The most recent tour was this past June, when the Chorale toured Italy. They performed in a Mass at St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice and at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. In addition, they performed a concert in Florence and in Rome and were granted permission to sing in the Pantheon in Rome. No donor contributions were used to underwrite the tour. It was entirely self-supported by Chorale members.
Chorale singers and board members represent a broad cross-section of the community, ranging in age from college students to retired adults. Membership ranges from 75 to 100 or more singers. Chorale members’ occupations include such diverse fields as education, medicine, agriculture, service industries, legal, oil and homemaking.
Acclaimed and increasingly in demand. Rebecca Miller, a guest conductor candidate, is set to lead the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra concert on Saturday, April 11, at 7:30 p.m. at the Rabobank Theater located at 1001 Truxtun Avenue in Bakersfield. Orchestral works to be featured include Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and Brahms Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68. The evening will include a choral performance by Bakersfield Master Chorale.
First prize winner in the Fourth Eduardo Mata International Conducting Competition, Miller is currently music director of the Royal Tunbridge Wells Choral Society and Orchestra and director of orchestras at the Royal Holloway University of London.
Miller is acclaimed by press and audiences alike. “The performance of Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 was the best of the lot,” reported Steve Crowther with the York Press (UK). “For example, the pacing of the first movement was near perfection, so intelligent and dramatically fulfilling. This is a superb orchestra with an exceptional director, Rebecca Miller.”
Her music making and command of varied composers and styles, coupled with her ability to communicate with audiences of all ages, have resulted in her increasing demand as a guest conductor throughout the United States and abroad.
Miller’s 2014 guest engagements included debuts with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the BBC Concert Orchestra and the Royal Northern Sinfonia. In March 2014 she made her Royal Festival Hall debut in a world premiere of Neil Hannon’s new work for organ, choir and orchestra, “To our Fathers, in Distress,” with the BBC Concert Orchestra and VoiceLab. In July 2014 she made her debuts with the Royal Northern Sinfonia at the Ryedale Festival and at the BBC Proms.
Miller has guest conducted throughout Mexico including several performances with the Orquesta Filarmonica de la UNAM, the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional in the Palacio Bellas Artes and the Orquesta Sinfonica de Aguascalientes. She also has appeared with the Santa Cruz Symphony in California and is one of the few regular guest conductors of the Southbank Sinfonia in London. In 2012, she made her debut with the Teresa Carreno Youth Orchestra of Venezuela. It is Venezuela’s premier youth orchestra and younger sibling of the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra.
She has served as resident conductor of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in New Orleans, where she was artistic director of her own series, “Casual Classics.” She was also a conducting fellow of The Houston Symphony, leading more than 70 concerts in two years, including her debut of the symphony’s classical subscription series, sharing the podium with Hans Graf.
Miller has multiple recordings coming out this year including a recently released CD with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. She has released two commercial CDs. Her 2011 work for Signum Records features the world premiere recording of Aaron Jay Kernis’ dramatic work, “Goblin Market.” The recording was critically acclaimed by Gramophone Magazine and Fanfare Magazine. It received several awards including an IRR Outstanding Recording by International Record Review and was chosen as one of Musicweb International’s Recordings of the Year for 2011.
The conductor’s TV credits include being a guest on BBC Two’s “Proms Extra” and conducting the Southbank Sinfonia on Channel 4’s “Don’t Stop the Music.” She has appeared on TV and radio throughout the United States, Mexico and Israel.
In 1999, Miller founded London-based The New Professionals Orchestra, an orchestra comprised of some of London’s foremost classical musicians. As artistic director, she led The New Professionals in guest performances at London’s South Bank Centre, the BAC Battersea Opera Festival and at various music societies and festivals around the U.K. The orchestra’s debut CD, “Lou Harrison: For Strings,” was released by Mode Records in 2004. It featured the world premiere recording of Harrison’s Pipa Concerto played by Wu Man, and the first complete recording on CD of Harrison’s “Suite for Symphonic Strings.” The recording was featured on the soundtrack of Martin Scorsese’s film “Shutter Island.”
Born in California, Miller completed her studies in piano at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. She studied conducting at Northwestern University and at the Aspen Music Festival and was the Paul Woodhouse Junior Fellow in Conducting for two years at London’s Royal College of Music.
Tickets from $20. To purchase tickets, log onto Ticketmaster.com or call (661) 323-7928. For additional information on Miller, log onto www.rebeccamiller.net
Violinist Elena Urioste and Violist Juan Miguel Hernandez will join the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra for the March 14th concert. The duet have performed several times together including an appearance with the Stockton Symphony Orchestra. Stockton patrons raved about their wonderful performance. While in Bakersfield, they will conduct a master class for three local musicians who have auditioned for this opportunity. The community is welcomed to audit the class free of charge as an audience member Friday the 13th at 4pm. This will be held at the CSUB Music Building. For more information, please call the BSO office at 323-7928.
Elena’s debut performances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra were praised by three separate critics for their “hypnotic delicacy,” “expressive poise,” and “lyrical sensitivity.” Since first appearing with the Philadelphia Orchestra at age thirteen, she has made acclaimed debuts with major orchestras throughout the United States, including the Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Boston Pops, Buffalo Philharmonic, and the National, Atlanta, Baltimore, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Richmond, and San Antonio Symphony Orchestras. In Europe, Elena has appeared with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Würzburg Philharmonic, and Hungary’s Orchestra Dohnányi Budafok and MAV Orchestra. She has performed recitals in such distinguished venues as Wigmore Hall in London, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, and the Mondavi Center at the University of California-Davis.
An artist defined by the critics as “…tender, lyrical, loaded with personality” (Atlanta Journal Constitution, Pierre Ruhe), violist Juan-Miguel Hernandez is also recognized for drawing “…the sweetest, most sonorous tone…” (Washington Post, Charles T. Downey). In September 2009, Juan-Miguel won the first Prize at the 16th International Johannes Brahms Competition in Austria, adding to other top prizes won at the National Canadian Music Competition, and the 9th National Sphinx Competition in 2006, presented by JPMorgan Chase. As a featured guest soloist, Juan-Miguel has appeared with the Atlanta, Seattle, Colorado Symphonies, as well as the Rochester Philharmonic and the Chicago Sinfonietta. Performances in recent seasons have brought Juan-Miguel on tour throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, South America, Canada and the United States. In 2010, he was honored with the medal of the National Assembly of Quebec.
Equally at home with both orchestral and vocal genres, Teresa Cheung is in frequent demand for symphonic, choral, and operatic productions in the US and Canada. Guest conducting appearances have led her to the American Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, the Mobile Symphony, the Nashville Symphony, the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra, the Phoenix Symphony, and the Stamford Symphony. Aside from maintaining an active schedule with professional orchestras, Cheung often appears as conductor for All State/County Orchestra Festivals, and has been a clinician for Lincoln Center’s “Meet The Artist” program since 2007.
The 2010-2011 season marks Cheung’s third season as the Music Director and Conductor of the Altoona Symphony Orchestra in Pennsylvania, as well as the Resident Conductor for the American Symphony Orchestra in New York City. Since 2004 she has been the Assistant Conductor for the Bard Music Festival and SummerScape, serving as Rehearsal Conductor for their opera and concert productions. Some of the most outstanding examples of her work include the 2010’s highly acclaimed US premiere of Franz Schreker’s Der ferne Klang, the first US fully-staged production of Robert Schumann’s Genoveva in 2006, and the 2004 production of Mark Blitzstein’s Regina. Cheung was recently appointed conductor for the Bard College Orchestra in New York.
Cheung is a strong advocate of music education for all ages. Her passion for community outreach is evident with her lectures, collaborative projects, and creative concert programming. Since the beginning of her tenure with the Altoona Symphony, Cheung has created numerous programs that engaged area children and high school musicians and choristers. In April 2010, the Altoona Symphony Orchestra performed its first Side-by-Side concert in its 82 year history with Gustav Holst’s The Planets, partnering with the Juniata College Orchestra. The Altoona Symphony Orchestra will be presenting its closing concert this season featuring the Penn State University Percussion Ensemble in Silvestre Revueltas’ La Noche de los Mayas.
Cheung began her career as Resident Conductor for the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, where she was also conductor of the Evansville Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and Evansville Philharmonic Chorus. Amongst her many initiatives, she led the Evansville Philharmonic Youth Orchestra on its first international concert tour to Japan in 2002. A native of Hong Kong, Cheung earned her MM in Conducting from the Eastman School of Music. She is a recipient of the JoAnn Falletta Conducting Award for the most promising female conductors.
This is one concert you will not want to miss. First time to an opera? This is a perfect opportunity to hear incredible singing blending with a superb orchestra. You may recognize parts of this program since it was used in popular cartoons such as Bugs Bunny. Do you know the story behind the music? Read on…
By Jerome Kleinsasser
Gioachino Rossini (1815)
When Rossini’s Barber of Seville premiered in Rome in February of 1816 it bore the clumsy title Almaviva, or the Useless Precaution. This was necessitated by the fact that composer Giovanni Paisiello had already in 1782 claimed the more familiar title in his immensely popular version of the Beaumarchais Figaro story. Such was the celebrity of Paisiello’s Barber that Rossini was compelled to assure prospective producers and listeners that his setting was entirely new. It was only a few months later, in June, following the demise of Signor Paisiello that Rossini was free to use the title we know today.
The 24-year old composer’s notoriety was widespread as he already had a catalog of no less than 15 operas and a slew of sacred music to his credit, thus his demands to cast some of the finest singers of the day in his new opera were met. The celebrated Spanish tenor, Manuel Garcia, appeared as the titular Almaviva, while the part of Figaro was fashioned for Luigi Zamboni, a family friend of the composer.
Success came quickly and the opera took flight becoming instantly admired wherever it went. Its enthusiasts were legion, including none other than Beethoven, who, in their solitary meeting, allegedly instructed the composer to “Be sure to write more Barbers.” Within two years major productions appeared in London, Paris, Berlin and St. Petersburg. A few years later it became the first opera to be sung in Italian in New York City. Still later, in 1883, the Metropolitan Opera mounted it in the company’s very first season. The Met has since performed it nearly 500 times, as its popularity has never waned.
The immense popularity of Rossini’s Barber signaled the rise of “Bel Canto” style Italian opera, espoused shortly and carried forward by the likes of Vincenzo Bellini and Gaetano Donizetti, leading eventually to the Italian master, Giuseppe Verdi. This style of opera is melodically centered and calculated to display the beauty of a well-produced human voice. It demands complete control in all ranges and in long phrases, often including a melodic flourish for emphasis or effect.
Rossini had composed the opera’s famous overture three years earlier, intending it for his largely forgotten opera Aureliano in Palmira. Operatic overtures at that time were frequently substituted indiscriminately from one opera to another, but when presented with the Barber, this one stuck. The overture has since become subjected to many uses in popular culture, most famously in Looney Tunes Bugs Bunny cartoons.
The plot’s origins lie in Pierre Beaumarchais’ popular Figaro stories, one of which, set by Mozart, had entered the canon thirty years earlier. Rossini used a text by the poet Cesare Sterbini, who lived in his home while fashioning the libretto.
The young Count Almaviva, new to the town of Seville, has become beguiled by Rosina, the prettiest and richest girl in town. Disguised as an impoverished student (a character type found in numerous operas) and known to Rosina as her beloved “Lindoro,” we hear him singing an ardent serenade in her honor outside her window. Figaro, a barber and jack of all social trades, happens by and introduces himself. In a duet with Almaviva, Figaro offers his services as a go-between.
Rosina lives in a house as a ward of the aging and decrepit Doctor Bartolo, who plans to marry her. With an eye toward her considerable fortune, Bartolo holds Rosina virtually captive, disallowing any personal relationships.
We meet Don Basilio, a cleric who is also Rosina’s music teacher, but seems more interested in generating gossip and rumors than music. Figaro’s first ploy is to have Almaviva acquire entry to the house in the guise of a military officer, but that idea flops. His next ruse is to have the Count disguise himself as a substitute for the allegedly ill Basilio. This too fails when the real Basilio appears.
The Doctor, hoping to move matters forward with Rosina, shows her a fabricated letter purportedly as evidence of Almaviva’s duplicity. Dejected, Rosina consents to marry Bartolo, and the action is momentarily suspended due to an orchestral storm (another common feature of operas of the time).
Figaro and Almaviva finally gain entry into the house where the Count confesses his love for Rosina and proposes marriage. Misunderstandings are happily resolved and she accepts his proposal. Even Bartolo is convinced to go along with the solution on the condition that he will share her fortune. All concludes with great joy and goodwill.
The BSO has invited Tomasz Golka to conduct the February 14th concert at Rabobank Theater. Mr. Golka is the third of six candidates vying to become Bakersfield’s next conductor. The February concert is our opera style concert utilizing very talented artists from the Los Angeles area. This high-powered concert will invigorate the community as it unfolds highlights from “The Barber of Seville”. You can listen to clips of the music by clicking here.
More on Tomasz Golka…
Since winning 1st Prize at the 2003 Eduardo Mata International Conducting Competition, conductor and composer Tomasz Golka has appeared with orchestras in North and South America and Europe to great critical acclaim.
Since May 2014 Golka is Chief Conductor of Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Colombia (Colombian National Symphony) in Bogotá.
Additionally, after serving as Music Director from 2010 to 2014, he currently holds the title of Principal Conductor of Riverside County Philharmonic, an extraordinary, virtuoso orchestra made up of the best freelance musicians from the Los Angeles area.
In the 2014-15 Season Golka returns to the California Symphony and will also guest conduct the Reno Chamber Orchestra, Bakersfield Symphony, and the Orquesta Filarmónica de Boca del Río. He also returns in the 2015-16 season to the Suffolk County Festival Orchestra.
Recent guest conducting appearances include Warsaw Philharmonic, Baden-Baden Philharmonic, and Fort Worth Symphony.
He has toured Mexico several times, appearing with virtually all of the country’s top orchestras, including those of UNAM, Xalapa, Queretaro, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Aguascalientes, and Yucatán. In the United States, Golka has appeared with the symphony orchestras of Seattle, Louisville, Buffalo, Charleston, Florida West Coast, and Spoleto Festival USA. He made his European debut conducting Sinfonia Varsovia in Warsaw’s National Symphony Hall in 2004.
Golka has appeared with a number of world-class soloists, including Susan Graham, Alisa Weilerstein, Gary Hoffman, Inon Barnatan, Miriam Fried, Yuval Yaron, and his pianist-brother Adam Golka, with whom he most recently performed all five Piano Concerti of Beethoven in two sold-out evenings.
In addition to his career as a conductor, Golka is himself an accomplished composer. His most recent composition for violin and orchestra, entitled “The Transit of Venus”, received its world premiere in October 2014 by the El Paso Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Bohuslav Rattay with Richard Biaggini as soloist. Additionally, he has himself conducted some of his own orchestral works with California Symphony, Lubbock Symphony, Williamsport Symphony, and the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute Orchestra.
Formerly Music Director of the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra from 2007 to 2012, Golka presided over a period in that orchestra’s history acknowledged as one consisting of the highest musical standards, fiscal prosperity, and great ticket sales. During his tenure with the Lubbock Symphony, the orchestra added an additional sixth weekend of concerts to their previous five-concert Classical subscription series and a new chamber music series, on which he appeared as conductor and violinist. He also created the position of Composer-in-residence, which saw two world-class composers, Shafer Mahoney and Jude Vaclavik, spend a year each collaborating with the Lubbock Symphony, giving lectures, teaching Texas Tech University students, spending time in the community talking about what it means to be a composer, and presiding over the world premieres of several of each of their works that were commissioned by the Lubbock Symphony.
Golka has been hailed for his creative programming and his unique and bold juxtapositions of the familiar with the unfamiliar. During his time in Lubbock, the orchestra gave seven world premieres, the American premiere of Mieczysław Karłowicz’s 1909 tone poem A Sorrowful Tale, and performed numerous less familiar masterpieces by Lutosławski, Dutilleux, Ligeti, and even Prokofiev (his Second Symphony) as well as several symphonies of Bruckner (performances of Bruckner’s Sixth Symphony yielded the highest ticket sales in the orchestra’s history!). As Chief Conductor in Bogotá, he gave the Colombian Premiere of Thomas Adès’s “Asyla”.
Golka has a particular affinity for the works of Bohuslav Martinu, and he frequently programs music by this unjustly neglected composer. The 2014-15 season included Golka conducting Martinu’s 2nd, 4th, and 6th Symphonies, his Overture for orchestra, and his orchestral scherzo Thunderbolt P-47.
Passionate about building new audiences, Golka designed and conducted all of the Lubbock Symphony’s highly-acclaimed Educational Concerts, exposing thousands of youngsters, from fifth to twelfth grade, to orchestral music. Golka is an eloquent speaker and is frequently invited to speak to various community groups about music. His pre-concert lectures are very well attended, and Golka additionally makes a point to always speak from the stage during concerts about the works which are being performed. “I never liked the atmosphere in concerts, where performers just assume that the audience knows everything about a piece simply because it’s famous. Having spent my whole life making music and reading and researching about it, I find new information and new perspectives all the time about works I’ve known my entire life, and I love sharing those with listeners. To me, it’s what brings the music to life and what makes it possible to connect with the audience, and, most importantly, for them to connect with the music”, says Golka.
Born in Warsaw, Poland in 1975, Golka’s family emigrated to Mexico in 1980 and to the United States in 1982. He currently lives in Los Angeles and is fluent in Polish, English, and Spanish. Golka studied conducting with David Effron at Indiana University and Gustav Meier and Markand Thakar at the Peabody Conservatory. He also holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in violin from Rice University. His violin teachers were Sergiu Luca, Kenneth Goldsmith, Marina Yashvili, and Tadeusz Wroński.
As a conducting fellow at the 2006 Tanglewood Music Festival, he worked with James Levine, shared the podium with Bernard Haitink, and conducted a historic performance of Stravinsky’s Soldier’s Tale with legendary composers Milton Babbitt, Elliott Carter, and John Harbison as narrators.
As an operatic conductor, his recent credits include La Traviata, Die Fledermaus, as well as Madama Butterfly, which he conducted on tour throughout Chile.
Other past positions held by Golka include Music Director of the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra (2008-10), Music Director of the Ball State University Symphony Orchestra (2003-04), and, as violinist, Concertmaster of Spoleto USA Festival Orchestra and the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra (1999-2000).
He was a conducting fellow at the Aspen Music Festival in 2002 and has conducted in Master Classes for such distinguished conductors as Yuri Temirkanov and David Zinman.