Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Announces New BSO-Peabody Conducting Fellow: Lee Mills
Lee Mills to conduct FREE BSO concert as part of Artscape festivities, July 16
Baltimore, Md. (June 22, 2011) - The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra announced today that Lee Mills, 24, a talented American conductor will be the third recipient of the BSO-Peabody Conducting Fellowship. This one-year program is designed to support the musical and leadership development of today's young conductors. Beginning in September 2011, Mr. Mills will begin a one-year artist diploma program, receiving a full tuition scholarship to the Peabody Institute at the Johns Hopkins University. Mr. Mills will also receive personal instruction from BSO Music Director Marin Alsop, who actively shapes the program.
A native of Montana, "promising young conductor" (The Baltimore Sun) Lee Mills recently completed a graduate performance diploma from the Peabody Institute. During that time, he served as the assistant conductor of the Peabody Concert Orchestra, the Peabody Singers and the Peabody-Hopkins Chorus. A new music enthusiast, he has premiered several works by today's rising composers, including Sketch for Orchestra by Fang Man in 2008 at the Cabrillo Festival, of which Marin Alsop is Music Director. Mr. Mills will have his first opportunity to conduct a public concert of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at the Orchestra's annual free Artscape concert on Saturday, July 16, 2011 at 2 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Please see below for complete program information.
"I am honored and delighted to have the opportunity to work with Marin Alsop and the musicians of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra," says Lee Mills of the appointment. "Marin is an incredibly inspiring mentor and the BSO is known as one of the world's most innovative and musically exceptional orchestras. The opportunity to learn from Marin and study at the Peabody Institute is an unparalleled experience."
Music Director Marin Alsop remarked, "Lee is already well known in Baltimore for his excellent leadership of several instrumental and vocal ensembles at the Peabody [Institute]. This intensive fellowship opportunity will add to his experience and enable him to continue to refine his skills. I am proud to lead an orchestra that is devoted to mentoring the next generation of young artists."
"I am delighted that Lee is carrying on the innovative conducting fellowship program set up by Peabody and the BSO," said Jeffrey Sharkey, Director of the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University. "Lee's passion, enthusiasm and organizational skills make him a wonderful candidate for this position. I am looking forward to watching his progress over the coming year."
About Lee Mills, conductor
Winner of the 2011 International Conducting Workshop and Competition, young American conductor Lee Mills is rapidly becoming recognized for his energy and passion for conducting. For the past two years, he has served as the assistant conductor of the Peabody Concert Orchestra, the Peabody Singers and the Peabody-Hopkins Chorus in Baltimore, MD.
He was the founder and Music Director of the Divertimento Chamber Orchestra in Walla Walla, WA. During his two-year tenure as Music Director, Mills mentored more than forty musicians from the Walla Walla community and premiered multiple new works. Proficient in both symphonic and vocal genres, Mills has served as a guest conductor for Peabody Opera Theatre, Assistant Conductor for the Whitman College Opera, and has conducted the Whitman College Chorale and Chamber Singers in concerts in Walla Walla and internationally on tour.
As an avid performer of new music, Mills has commissioned and premiered several new pieces with the Divertimento Chamber Orchestra. In 2008, Mills premiered Sketch for Orchestra by Fang Man at the Cabrillo Festival, in Santa Cruz, California and in the past two years he has conducted for recording sessions of several brand-new works at the Peabody Institute. Mills recently conducted a series of performances of Lee Hoiby's 1991 opera This is the Rill Speaking with the Peabody Opera Theater.
Mills has participated in the Cabrillo Festival, Rose City International Conductors Workshop and Buffalo Philharmonic Conductors Guild Workshop and worked with Marin Alsop, JoAnn Faletta, Jorge Mester, David Hoose, and Christopher Zimmerman. In Europe, Mills has conducted the Sinfonia Buchuresti in Romania. He also conducted the Whitman College Chorale on their European Tour in Finland and Estonia.
In May 2009, Mills graduated cum laude from Whitman College, where he studied conducting with Dr. Robert Bode. Under the tutelage of Gustav Meier and Markand Thakar, he completed his Graduate Performance Diploma at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in May 2011.
About the BSO-Peabody Conducting Fellowship Program
Beginning in the 2007-2008 season, the BSO with Music Director Marin Alsop and the Peabody Institute with Gustav Meier, in partnership with the League of American Orchestras, launched its Conducting Fellows Program, a collaborative endeavor modeled after the League's American Conducting Fellows Program, established in 2002. This marked the first partnership of its kind in the country between a conservatory and a symphony orchestra. The Baltimore partnership is a unique one-year program designed to provide exceptionally talented conductors in the early stages of their careers an opportunity to hone their skills before assuming a role with a professional orchestra. In conjunction with the initial partnership team, the BSO and the Peabody Institute, the League played an important guiding role in helping the two institutions develop a comprehensive program agenda and curriculum, and also assisted with evaluations of the program during the pilot period. Benefits of the conducting fellowship include continuous on-site training with the BSO and academic studies at Peabody and Johns Hopkins Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. Gustav Meier, head of the conducting faculty at Peabody, serves as the fellowship's primary academic instructor. At the end of the one-year program, which begins in September 2011 and concludes in August 2012, Mr. Mills will receive a post-graduate Artist's Diploma in Conducting from the Peabody Institute.
About the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
The Grammy Award-winning Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) is internationally recognized as having achieved a preeminent place among the world's most important orchestras. Acclaimed for its enduring pursuit of artistic excellence, the BSO has attracted a devoted national and international following while maintaining deep bonds throughout Maryland with innovative education and community outreach initiatives.
The BSO made musical history in September 2007, when Maestra Marin Alsop led her inaugural concerts as the Orchestra's 12th music director, making her the first woman to head a major American orchestra. With her highly praised artistic vision, her dynamic musicianship and her commitment to accessibility in classical music, Maestra Alsop's leadership has ushered in a new era for the BSO and its audiences.
Under Music Director Marin Alsop's leadership, the BSO has rapidly added several critically acclaimed albums to its already impressive discography. The BSO recently released Dvořák's Symphonies Nos. 6, 7 and 8, the final two discs in its three-disc Dvořák cycle. In August 2009, the BSO and Marin Alsop released Bernstein's Mass featuring baritone Jubilant Sykes, the Morgan State University Choir and the Peabody Children's Chorus. The album rose to number six on the Classical Billboard Charts and received a 2009 Grammy nomination for Best Classical Album. The Orchestra made its foray into online distribution in April 2007 with the release of a live-concert recording of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring on iTunes, which quickly became the site's number one classical music download.
In addition to the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, where the orchestra has performed for 28 years, the BSO is a founding partner and the resident orchestra at the new state-of-the-art Music Center at Strathmore, just outside Washington, D.C. With the opening of Strathmore in February 2005, the BSO became the nation's only major orchestra with year-round venues in two metropolitan areas.
About the Peabody Institute
Located in the heart of Baltimore's Mount Vernon Cultural District, the Peabody Institute was founded in 1857 as America's first academy of music by philanthropist George Peabody. Today, Peabody boasts a preeminent faculty, a nurturing, collaborative learning environment and the academic resources of one of the nation's leading universities, Johns Hopkins. Through its degree-granting Conservatory and its community-based Preparatory music and dance school, Peabody trains musicians and dancers of every age and at every level, from small children to seasoned professionals, from dedicated amateurs to winners of international competitions. Each year, Peabody stages nearly 100 major concerts and performances, ranging from classical to contemporary to jazz, many of them free - a testament to the vision of George Peabody.
COMPLETE EVENT DETAILS
BSO at Artscape
July 16, 2011 at 2:00 p.m.-Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Jonathan Carney, violin/leader
Lee Mills, BSO-Peabody Conducting Fellow
Mozart: Overture to Don Giovanni*
Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending*
Haydn: Symphony No. 96 in D Major, "The Miracle"**
* conducted by Lee Mills
** led by Jonathan Carney