Making his mark as a model for today’s conductors, Michael Butterman is recognized for his commitment to creative artistry, innovative programming, and to audience and community engagement. In addition to his artistic leadership of the Shreveport Symphony, he serves as Music Director for the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, whom he has led to national prominence, resulting in an invitation to open the Kennedy Center’s inaugural SHIFT Festival of American Orchestras in 2017. He is also the Music Director of the Pennsylvania Philharmonic, an orchestra uniquely focused on music education, and just completed his 18th season as Principal Conductor for Education and Community Engagement for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the first position of its kind in the United States. He also recently completed a 15-year tenure with the Jacksonville Symphony, first as Associate, and then as Resident Conductor.
As a guest conductor, Mr. Butterman has led many of the country’s preeminent ensembles, including the Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony, Detroit Symphony and Houston Symphony. This season, he will return to the National Symphony for three weeks of concerts at the Kennedy Center, in addition to five guest weeks with the Rochester Philharmonic. Other recent appearances include performances with the Colorado Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, Charleston Symphony, Hartford Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Syracuse Symphony, New Mexico Symphony, Santa Fe Symphony, California Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, Spokane Symphony, El Paso Symphony, Mobile Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony, Pensacola Opera, Asheville Lyric Opera and Victoria Symphony (British Columbia). Summer appearances include Tanglewood, the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival and the Wintergreen Music Festival in Virginia.
Mr. Butterman gained international attention as a diploma laureate in the Prokofiev International Conducting Competition and as a finalist in the prestigious Besançon International Conducting Competition. As the recipient of the Seiji Ozawa Fellowship, he studied at Tanglewood with Robert Spano, Jorma Panula, and Maestro Ozawa, and shared the podium with Ozawa to lead the season’s opening concert. Earlier, Mr. Butterman was sponsored by UNESCO to lead the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Moldova in a concert of music by great American masters.
For six seasons, Mr. Butterman served as Music Director of Opera Southwest in Albuquerque, NM. During much of that time, he was also Director of Orchestral Studies at the LSU School of Music and was Principal Conductor of the LSU Opera Theater. Previously, he held the post of Associate Conductor of the Columbus Pro Musica Orchestra, and served as Music Director of the Chamber Opera, Studio Opera, and Opera Workshop at the Indiana University School of Music. For two seasons, he was also the Associate Music Director of the Ohio Light Opera, conducting over 35 performances each summer.
At Indiana University, Mr. Butterman conducted a highly acclaimed production of Leonard Bernstein’s little-known 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in a series of performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, receiving unanimous praise from such publications as The New York Times, Washington Post, Variety, and USA Today. He was subsequently invited to New York at the request of the Bernstein estate to prepare a performance of a revised version of the work.
Michael Butterman’s work has been featured in six nationwide broadcasts on public radio’s Performance Today, and can be heard on two CDs recorded for the Newport Classics label and on a new disc in which he conducts the Rochester Philharmonic and collaborates with actor John Lithgow.