The Conductors

Music Director & Conductor

Daniel Meyer

 

Daniel Meyer, as Music Director of the Asheville Symphony Orchestra and the Erie Philharmonic, has reinvigorated both orchestras with innovative programs and a dedication to create and sustain enthusiastic audiences for classical music.  In his continuing commitment to the rich arts life of Asheville, Meyer has developed new Young People’s programs for thousands of area school children.  He appears as a regular guest on WCQS radio, and frequently presents to local schools and civic clubs.  His Symphony Talks at UNCA’s Reuter Center are popular community events, where he introduces the orchestra’s guest artists and comments on the coming concert’s music.

 

Among the highlights at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium this season, Meyer invites violinist Tim Fain to perform Philip Glass’ American Four Seasons in a MOOG Tribute concert, conducts an original children’s concert mixing meteorology and music with WLOS Chief Meteorologist Jason Boyer, and leads a special 100th anniversary performance of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.

As a guest conductor, Meyer debuts with the Phoenix and Alabama symphonies this season, leads the Pittsburgh Ballet in Balanchine’s Serenade, and makes a return to the Pittsburgh Symphony in December.  Recent engagements also include the Grand Teton Music Festival and the Rochester Philharmonic, the Knoxville and Hilton Head Symphony orchestras, and the Westmoreland Symphony, where he serves as Artistic Director

 

Meyer made his critically-acclaimed European debut in 2011 with the Staatstheater Stuttgart Orchestra and violinist Thomas Zehetmair.  He also debuted with the Eugene Symphony and Asheville Lyric Opera, where he led a new production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute.

Meyer has conducted the Utah, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Syracuse, Tallahassee, Youngstown, Lexington, Portland, Santa Barbara, Lansing, and Wheeling Symphonies.  Major summer festival appearances have included the Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom, the Aspen Music Festival orchestras, the Chautauqua Festival Orchestra and the Brevard Music Center Orchestra.

 

In 2003, Mariss Jansons invited Meyer to become Resident Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony, where he served until 2009. He worked closely with Maestro Jansons, Manfred Honeck, Sir Andrew Davis, and Charles Dutoit, led the Pittsburgh Symphony on tour, and conducted performances with Pinchas Zukerman, Sarah Chang, and Marvin Hamlisch, among other notable soloists. He also led the Pittsburgh Symphony’s Symphony with a Splash, a series designed for professionals, as well as a Sunday matinee family series called Popular Classics.

A passionate advocate for music education and community engagement, Meyer has developed a series of youth concerts based on popular children’s books to promote music and literacy.  He was awarded the Bank of America Award for Excellence in Orchestra Education for his groundbreaking work with the Pittsburgh Symphony and has also appeared as a guest lecturer at Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business.  In 2007, he led the world premiere of Richard Danielpour’s Pastime, based on the lives of the great American baseball players Jackie Robinson, Josh Gibson, and Henry Aaron.

 

As Music Director of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony, Meyer led the ensemble on their first ever tour to China.  In 2004, he led the Youth Symphony in a special performance at the first National Performing Arts Convention and conducted the orchestra on an international tour to Vienna, Prague, Leipzig and Budapest. He also led the orchestra in the world premiere of David Stock’s Clarinet Concerto with soloist Richard Stoltzman, and conducted the premiere of a new work by John Harbison in May 2009.

 

David Zinman awarded Meyer the prestigious Aspen Conducting Prize in 2002, and invited him to return as Assistant Conductor and to lead a subscription performance at the Aspen Music Festival.  Committed to new music and contemporary composers, Meyer conducted several premieres at Aspen, was featured on the Adventures in Listening new music series, and has appeared on National Public Radio’s Performance "Today".

 

A native of Cleveland, Meyer is a graduate of Denison University and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He composed and conducted works for ensembles at both schools, including a Stabat Mater for soprano, chorus and orchestra.  At Boston University, Meyer received the Orchestral Conducting Honors Award.  He also studied conducting at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar.

 

He is married to the violist Mary Persin.

 

 

 

 

 Conductor/Arranger of "Michelle"

Byron Olson

 

 

Byron Olson is a musical composer, arranger, orchestrator, conductor, and pianist. He has worked extensively in the recording industry collaborating with many producers including; Phil Ramone, Mike Berniker, Quincy Jones, Ettore Stratta, John Vanore and many others. He has written arrangements for internationally renowned artists including; Johnny Mathis, Jack Jones, Gloria Estefan, Bernadette Peters, Cy Coleman, Perry Como, Peggy Lee, Carmen McRae, Joe Lovano, Linda Eder, Ramsey Lewis, Dawn Upshaw, Dionne Warwick, Marlena Shaw, and Jill O’Hara.

 

He’s written for the London Symphony Orchestra, Placido Domingo, The Canadian Brass, choral music for The American Boy Choir, The St. Olaf Choir, The Ambrosian Singers, The Moses Hogan Choral, the Boston Pops, and the Dallas Pops Orchestras. He was commissioned by Andre Kostelanetz to write three orchestral compositions for two of his recordings on Columbia Records. His composition  “A Theme and Variations for Jazz Piano and Orchestra, featuring pianist Mike Lang, premiered with The American Jazz Philharmonic at The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. His chamber arrangement of “Nardis” was premiered at The Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall, and later recorded on his album “Sketches of Miles”. He has written themes and logos for the AMC and Comedy Central networks.

 

 Mr. Olson has received a Grammy Nomination for Best Arrangement Accompanying a Vocalist for his work with Benard Ighner on the song “Everything Must Change” from the album “Little Dreamer”.

 

 As an artist, he has recorded five of his own albums for the Manhattan and Angel/EMI Record labels. His critically acclaimed CDs “Sketches of Miles” and “Sketches of Coltrane” bring together renowned jazz soloists Randy Brecker, Joe Lovano,  Bob Mintzer,  with classical chamber ensemble “Music Amici” in a groundbreaking new way.

His newest 2014 release on CD, “Balance” brings together Adam Unsworth, French horn virtuoso, and John Vanore jazz trumpet, in a mix of jazz and orchestral compositions by Olson, and Unsworth.