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Composers: Todd Goodman | Alan Yamamoto | Kevin Babuder Authors: Justin Cober-Lake
Staff: Katie Goodman

Wrong Note Media

Alan Yamamoto began his tenure as Resident Conductor of the Charlotte Symphony in the 2003-2004 season, appointed to the post by Christof Perick following a season-long national search. Yamamoto appears as Conductor on the Classics and Baroque & Beyond Concert series, leads the Symphony’s Lollipops series and Education Concerts for children, and conducts for the Symphony’s collaborations with North Carolina Dance Theatre. He also leads the Classics series Pre-Concert Talks and other education initiatives.

Yamamoto served most recently as Resident Conductor of the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder for nine seasons. He also founded and was Music Director of the Modern Music Festival, which he led for five successful seasons. Devoted to the works of living composers, the Modern Music Festival encompassed art, music, multimedia, music technology, film premières, opera, and world music. Many of today’s most celebrated composers participated in residencies at the festival including William Albright, Evan Chambers, Charles Eakin, Andrew Imbrie, Joan Tower, Ives Living Prize recipient Chen Yi, and Pulitzer Prize-winner John Corigliano. Festival highlights also featured appearances of artists known widely to world music enthusiasts, including alto saxophonist Chico Freeman and Kora (African harp) player Foday Musa Suso. Under Yamamoto’s direction, the Modern Music Festival received support from every major arts funding agency in Colorado and was commended by the state legislature.

Prior to his posts in Colorado, Yamamoto was Assistant Conductor of the Boston Philharmonic and Assistant to Gunther Schuller at the Festival at Sandpoint, Idaho. In Boston, he also held conducting positions at the New England Conservatory and the Symphony Orchestra at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His studies in composition with Earl Kim and Donald Sur were funded by a full scholarship from the University of California at Berkeley.

Yamamoto’s guest conducting engagements have included the Colorado Symphony, Boulder Philharmonic, Spokane Symphony, and Taylor Ballet Americana. Because of his commitment to music of our time, he has collaborated with numerous contemporary ensembles and organizations, including the Composers Forum in Ann Arbor; the Berkeley Contemporary Chamber Players; the Nuclassix, Griffin, and Dinosaur Annex Ensembles; and the Graduate Composers Seminar at Harvard. His upcoming projects include the Schoenberg/Stein transcription of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony for chamber ensemble in San Francisco, an undertaking he has previously performed to enthusiastic audiences in both Boulder and New Orleans. Yamamoto also collaborates with the filmmaker Hobart Bell in a series of experimental art films that employ original libretti and commissioned music.

Yamamoto holds degrees from the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and most recently completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Colorado at Boulder. In addition to posts at the aforementioned universities, Yamamoto held teaching appointments at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Wellesley College. He completed summer fellowships at the Aspen Music Festival; the Conductors Guild Institute in Morgantown, West Virginia; and the Accademia di Chigiana in Siena, Italy. His conducting teachers include Franco Ferrara, Herbert Blomstedt, Sergiu Celibidache, Michael Senturia, Gunther Schuller, Gustav Meier, and Giora Bernstein.