Delta David Gier, music director of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra

Dr. Wael Farouk, piano, Faculty at Manhattan School of Music

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Robert Duerr

American Conductor Robert Duerr made his debut with the Metropolitan Opera with Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess in 1989. He has returned to the company in subsequent seasons to conduct Bellini’s I puritani and Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore. Mr. Duerr was invited back to Lincoln Center to make his New York City Opera debut conducting Donizetti’sLucia di Lammermoor. He also led the NYCO in Verdi’s La traviata, as well as in new productions of Puccini’s La bohème, Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler, Britten’s Turn of the Screw and Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann, and the American premiere of Jost Meier’s The Dreyfus Affair.

In 1992, Mr. Duerr made his debut with the Buffalo Philharmonic at Artpark. In 2012, he made his Kleinhans Music Hall debut conducting both the BPO and Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus. He has conducted the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, San Francisco Symphony, Juilliard Orchestra, Juilliard Symphony, Spoleto Festival Orchestra, Long Island Philharmonic, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, and the Los Angles Master Chorale; and opera companies of the Wolf Trap Festival (Die Zauberflöte), Freiburg-im-Breisgau, Germany (Carmen, La bohème, Cosi fan tutte), Spoleto Festival USA (Le Comte Ory), Bergen, Norway, (Turandot), Basel, Switzerland (Il viaggio a Reims), Caracas, Venezuela (Lohengrin), and the Greater Buffalo Opera (La bohème). For Los Angeles Opera, he has led A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Mikado, and La Cenerentola.

A native of North Tonawanda, New York, Robert Duerr graduated from the University of Southern California, where he received a Bachelor of Music degree in organ performance (studying with Cherry Rhodes and Ladd Thomas) and a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting (studying with Daniel Lewis). Further orchestral conducting studies were at the Tanglewood Festival (with Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa), the Curtis Institute of Music (with Sergiu Celibidache), and the American Conservatory in Fontainbleau. Further choral conducting study included work with Robert Shaw, Howard Swan, and Helmut Rhilling. Robert Duerr is the first conductor to become a member of the Young Artist Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera.

Mr. Duerr founded the Pasadena Chamber Orchestra, serving as its Music Director for nine years. He also established the Pasadena Chamber Orchestra Chorus. The orchestra and chorus presented innovated programs specializing in Baroque and Classical repertoire and first performances of over 35 compositions, most which were commissioned. He was also Artistic Director of the Pasadena Festival of Composers. Mr. Duerr received seven national awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) for his adventuresome programming of contemporary music.

In 1976, Robert Duerr won first place in the American Guild of Organists national organ playing competition. The winner of numerous other organ competitions and honors, Mr. Duerr is active as an organist and church musician, including serving as organist and choirmaster of All Saint’s Church, Pasadena, CA, Great St. Mary’s—The University Church, Cambridge, England, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, Buffalo, NY.

Mr. Duerr is also a theology graduate from Ridley Hall, Cambridge University and a priest ordained in the Church of England. An advocate for the creative combination of music and theology, Mr. Duerr has preached and lectured in churches and colleges in the York Diocese, Cambridge, Oxford, and London, as well as within the United States.