Richard Rosenberg, Artistic Director and Conductor of the National Music Festival and the Union Symphony Orchestra, is one of a handful of American conductors whose experience ranges from contemporary music to historical performance practice. Under his baton, Richard’s editions of music by the 19th-century Louisiana composers Edmond Dédé, Louis Moreau Gottschalk and Lucién Lambert, as well as music by Jerome Moross, are available on five compact discs on the Naxos/Marco Polo label as well as his best-selling recording of jazz-inspired concerti including music by George Gershwin, James Price Johnson, Harry Reser and Dana Suesse.
Earlier in his career, Richard was for fifteen years the Artistic Director of the Hot Springs Music Festival, Music Director of the Chamber Orchestra of California in San Francisco, the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra, the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra, the Pennsylvania Ballet and RESONANCE, a New York contemporary music ensemble. He also served on the conducting staffs of the Baltimore Symphony, the Oakland Symphony, the London Classical Players, the Michigan MozartFest and the Aspen Music Festival and as Acting Director of Orchestras at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Richard has performed as guest conductor throughout the Americas and Europe. With the violist Yizhak Schotten, Richard recorded a disc of works for viola and chamber orchestra for Crystal Records, and he directed American contemporary music for the Opus One label. Richard conducted the groundbreaking collaborative concert of an American orchestral ensemble and an ensemble of traditional Japanese instruments, Pro Musica Nipponia, in Detroit’s Orchestra Hall. The concert included music written for this cooperative experiment by Minoru Miki, one of Japan’s preeminent composers.
On two weeks’ notice, Richard led the critically-acclaimed European tour of Arleen Auger and The Classical Band, a New York-based early instrument orchestra. Richard conducted two performances of Gustav Mahler’s monumental Symphony No. 3 with the Orchestra Sinfonica della Fondazione “Tito Schipa” di Lecce in Italy, and was invited to return for additional concerts to lead the premiere of Nicola Scardicchio’s “Mosé” and music of Dave Brubeck. He has led residencies at Oberlin College, the University of Kansas at Lawrence and Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge. His recent engagements include concerts with the Acadiana Symphony, Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, Prince George’s Philharmonic, Orquesta Sinfónica de Bahía Blanca, Orkestra Academic Başkent, Orquestra de Câmara de Cascais e Oeiras and the Orquestra de Camara Eleazar de Carvalho.
Richard’s experience includes study with composers Mario Davidovsky, Krzysztof Penderecki and Carlos Surinach; clarinet with Gervase De Peyer and Georg Hirner; theory with Charles Burkhardt, George Perle, and Carl Schacter; opera staging with Roger Brunyate and Boris Goldovsky; choral conducting with Margaret Hillis, Robert Page, Robert Shaw and Elmer Thomas, and conducting apprenticeships with Eugen Jochum, Friedrich Cerha, Gunther Herbig, Julius Herford, Carlos Kleiber, Giuseppe Patané, Wolfgang Sawallisch (Bavarian State Opera), Jerzy Semkow and Leonard Bernstein (New York Philharmonic). He was an active participant in master classes with Pierre Boulez, Aaron Copland, Jussi Jalas, Lorin Maazel, Julius Rudel, Sir Georg Solti and Walter Weller.
In 1988, he was awarded a Rackham Fellowship to work in Europe with Sir Roger Norrington and Nikolaus Harnoncourt. His training also includes studies at Yale University with Otto-Werner Muller, the Peabody Institute-Johns Hopkins University with Frederik Prausnitz, the Mozarteum in Salzburg with Herbert von Karajan, the Aspen Music Festival with Paul Vermel, at the City University of New York with Fritz Jahoda, Cincinnati College-Conservatory with Gerhard Samuel and the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena with Franco Ferrara.
He is an honorary Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary International Foundation, an honorary National Arts Associate of Sigma Alpha Iota, a member of the National Advisory Board of the Henry Mancini Institute and a member of the Alice Rich Northrop Memorial Foundation. On a Yale AluminiVentures Grant, he traveled to Cuba in 2010 to research lost works of Louis Moreau Gottschalk, returning with over 1100 pages of music. Also in 2010, he rediscovered the lost opera by New Orleans composer Edmond Dédé, “Le Sultan d’Ispahan,” which was written in 1887 and never performed. Rosenberg conducted the world premiere of the overture in 2011 and is transcribing and editing the entire work for future performance. Several years ago he rediscovered Cole Porter’s last musical, “Aladdin,” which he premiered in 2006.
In addition to his work as a conductor and teacher, Richard is also a recording producer, chansonnier, editor and arranger. He has given several performances of H. K. Gruber’s pandemonium, “Frankenstein!!” as both conductor and chanssonier to critical acclaim.
Richard’s numerous orchestrations and his corrected editions of J.S. Bach’s “Saint Matthew Passion,” George Gershwin’s “A Rhapsody in Blue,” Arnold Schonberg’s “Verklarte Nacht” and the complete orchestral music of Gottschalk (which he has just prepared for publication) have received numerous performances. In addition to his work as a conductor, Richard has produced two compact discs of music with jazz legend Dave Brubeck, and two discs of Mozart piano concerti, all for the Naxos Records label.
His students presently hold positions as assistant conductors to the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Orchestre Radio France and Nashville Symphony, cover conductor to the Saint Louis Symphony and music director of the Arkansas Symphony.
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A Small Step Towards Correcting the Overwhelming Whiteness of Opera
From the New Yorker: May 18, 2017, by Lucy Caplan
Listen to the the world premiere performance of Edmond Dédé’s 1887 overture to his opera,
“Le Sultan d’Ispahan” by Richard Rosenberg and the National Music Festival