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The Conductors

The Coeur d’Alene Symphony Orchestra, Inc. is currently conducting a search for a dynamic and talented Artistic Director/Conductor. Click here for more details.

Dr. Philip Baldwin

baldwintrans1Dr. Philip Baldwin will conduct our January 20 & 21 and our March 10 & 11, 2017 concerts. Dr. Philip Baldwin is the Director of String Studies and Assistant Professor of violin at Whitworth University. His career has spanned the gamut of string teaching and conducting. He earned a DMA at Ohio State University where he received the distinguished Dissertation Award for his work on the violin sonatas of William Bolcom. His violin teachers include Rafael Druian, Raphael Hillyer, Yuri Mazurkevich, Andrew Jennings, Alan Bodman, and Michael Davis. Prior to his appointment at Whitworth College, Dr. Baldwin taught violin and viola at Eastern Washington University and the Peabody Preparatory Division of John’s Hopkins University, and was the Director of Orchestras at the University of Puget Sound, Southern Utah University.

He is a member of the Spokane Symphony and the former Concertmaster of the Southwest Symphony, former Principal Viola of the LaCrosse Symphony, and a performer with the Tacoma, Akron, Canton, and Columbus Symphonies. He has appeared as recitalist, soloist, and has recorded a CD of trios by Khachaturian, Ives, and Bolcom with clarinetist Michael Dean and pianist Carol Stivers.

A dedicated artist-teacher, his students have won concerto competitions and have received scholarships to prestigious graduate schools and summer programs such as the Meadowmount School. Several of his students are currently playing with the Spokane Symphony as Symphony Scholars or substitutes.

Verne Windham

verne-windhamVerne Windham will conduct our October 7 & 8, 2016 concerts

Verne Windham, well known voice as KPBX Public Radio’s Program Director, is also an acclaimed musician. Windham was Principal Horn with the Spokane Symphony Orchestra from 1971-1985. Active as a performer, he was a founder of the Spokane Falls Brass Band, Oatmeal Opera Players, Solstice Wind Quintet, RSVP, and other ensembles from early music on period instruments to avant garde music.

Windham is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester and obtained his Masters of Arts in Music at Washington State University. He has taught at Washington State University as visiting lecturer in Horn. Windham has become known for his lectures for the Spokane Symphony Orchestra, the Washington Commission on the Humanities, Allegro Baroque and Beyond and Connoisseur Concerts’ Northwest Bach Festival. He has served as Music Director of Westminster Congregational Church. Windham has been a guest on public radio’s A Prairie Home Companion and has recorded with the Spokane Falls Brass Band. In 2001, Windham served as interim Conductor for the Coeur d’Alene Symphony Orchestra (CSO) for their Season Finale concert, and has guest conducted the CSO twice since.

Windham recently retired from a 15-year tenure as Music Director and Conductor of the Spokane Youth Orchestra. From his longtime relationship with Connoisseur Concerts’ Northwest he co- founded Mozart On A Summer’s Eve.

Kevin Hekmatpanah

kevin-hekmatpanah-19Kevin Hekmatpanah will conduct our December 2 & 3, 2016 concerts

As a conductor Kevin Hekmatpanah begins his twenty-third year as Music Director of the Gonzaga Symphony Orchestra. He has collaborated with such world-renowned artists as violinists Cho-Liang Lin, Kurt Nikkanen, Kyung-Sun Lee, Giora Schmidt, Tim Fain, Jin-Joo Cho and Elmira Darvarova; pianists Awadagin Pratt, Navah Perlman, Natasha Paremski and Simone Dinnerstein; violist Paul Coletti; cellists Matt Haimovitz, Daniel Gaisford, Amit Peled and Sung-Won Yang; double bassist Gary Karr; soprano Arianna Zukerman; and clarinetist Richard Stoltzman,. He has also organized and presided over the Young Artists’ Concerto/Aria Competition, which gives the opportunity for young musicians to present a concerto with the ensemble. Mr. Hekmatpanah was also the Music Director of the Okanogan Valley Orchestra and Chorus in Omak, Washington for five seasons. He has also appeared as guest conductor of the Coeur d’Alene Symphony, the Oregon East Symphony, the Festival of the Arts; and he is actively sought after to direct workshops and adjudications for various ensembles. This is his seventeenth season as the Music Director for the Project Joy Orchestra in Spokane. He studied conducting with David Itkin while a Masters Student at Indiana University, and he attended the Conductors Institute of South Carolina, where he received coaching from Kirk Muspratt, Gisele Ben-Dor and Paul Vermel among others. Deeply committed to teaching, Mr. Hekmatpanah is a Professor and chair of the music department at Gonzaga University, where he has taught since 1994. He is currently a member of the Spokane Symphony Orchestra. In addition to being the first cellist to earn a DMA from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, he also holds a MM from Indiana University and a BM from the University of Southern California. His teachers have included such nationally renowned pedagogues as Stephen Kates, Fritz Magg, and Gabor Rejto, and he has received coachings from such internationally celebrated artists as Yo-Yo Ma, Lynn Harrell, and Janos Starker.

Jorge LuisUzcátegui

jorge-uzcateguiJorge Luis Uzcátegui will conduct our May 5 & 6, 2017 concerts

After his debuts as a pianist with the Simón Bolívar Orchestra and the Venezuelan National Philharmonic at age 13, Jorge Luis Uzcátegui has performed concerts in North, Central, South America, and Europe with orchestras such as the Valencia Symphony, where his concerts at the “Palau de la Música” have been transmitted live in the National Television and Radio of Spain. He has performed in festivals alongside artists such as Paul Badura-Skoda and Chick Corea. His interpretation of Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition can be heard as soundtrack in El Cerrito, an award-winning documentary for the History Channel.
Uzcátegui conducted members from distinguished orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, Frankfurt Opera Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and New York Philharmonic. Uzcátegui won First Prize at the International Conducting Competition organized by the Paraná Symphony Orchestra in Brazil, obtaining the unanimous vote from the jury and all orchestra members. He also won First Prize at the Wise Conducting Competition in Los Angeles.

Uzcátegui’s engagements during the 2015-2016 season included performances in Poland, Czech Republic, Taiwan, Brazil, Belarus, Germany, Austria, and Venezuela, where he was invited to conduct the Simón Bolívar Symphony, the Caracas Youth Symphony, and the Teresa Carreño Youth Symphony.

Among Uzcátegui’s teachers and mentors we can find conductors Neal Stulberg, Gustavo Dudamel, Kurt Masur, Donald Neuen, Gianluigi Gelmetti, Isaac Karabtchevsky, Daisuke Soga, Osvaldo Ferreira, Manuel Galduf, and Donald Portnoy, also the pianists Alejandro Slobodianik, Marina Lomazov, György Sándor, Angela Hewitt, Georges Pludermacher, Gabriela Montero, Ralph Votapek, Benedetto Lupo, Jekaterina Kargina, and Adriana Moraga. Currently, he is in the last year of a doctorate in orchestral conducting at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), where he served as conductor of the UCLA Symphony Orchestra.

Uzcátegui is assistant conductor of the Spokane Symphony, chief conductor of the Seraphim Symphony, and music director of the Buddha’s Light Youth Symphony Orchestras (BLYSO). He led the Seraphim Symphony during their 2014 France concert tour, performing the last concert at Le Madeleine in Paris. He will also lead them during their 2016 concert tour in Austria and Germany. Jorge will also lead BLYSO’s 2015 concert tour in Asia. Uzcátegui is the founder of the Backyard Academy Symphony Orchestra, an organization dedicated to teach music to children from low-income families in Los Ángeles. He is also director of the Music Innovates program, a unique collaboration between the Spokane Symphony and the Spokane Public Schools, designed to change kids’ lives through music.

Among the compliments that the Venezuelan conductor has received, we can hear the words of Maestro José Antonio Abreu: “Jorge Luis Uzcátegui is one of the most outstanding figures of the new musical generation in our country.” Maestro Gustavo Dudamel has also said of him: “Maestro Uzcátegui is a young Venezuelan conductor with the highest academic education and artistic ability.” For his merits as an artist, Uzcátegui was bestowed with the José Felix Ribas Order and the General Juan Manuel Valdez Order.