Sergiu Comissiona, conductor
Sergiu Comissiona is renowned throughout the world as one of the most dynamic, sensitive, and experienced conductors of our time. A familiar podium figure in more than 25 countries, Maestro Comissiona has led virtually all of the world's major symphonic ensembles in performances that have been acclaimed for their interpretative fire, musical insight, and orchestral discipline.
Maestro Comissiona currently holds several musical posts: Music Director Emeritus of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of Israel's Jerusalem Symphony, Principal Guest Conductor of the Georges Enescu Bucharest Philharmonic, Conductor Laureate of the Baltimore Symphony, and Principal Guest Conductor of the University of Southern California's Thornton Symphony in Los Angeles. His recent conducting engagements have included concerts in the U.S., Romania, Spain, Greece, Israel, Brazil, Venezuela, Singapore, Canada, and China. Highlights were appearances with the RTVE Orchestra of Madrid, the Jerusalem Chamber Orchestra, the Sao Paolo Symphony, the Simon Bolivar Orchestra of Caracas, the Singapore Symphony in its new Performing Arts Center, the Shenzen Symphony of China, Beijing's China Philharmonic, the National Symphony of Washington, D.C. and the Hague Residentie Orchestra in the Netherlands, among many others.
Critics around the world are unanimous in praising Maestro Comissiona's orchestra-building talents and his ability to lead players to new artistic heights. He has been hailed by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer as "the man responsible for bringing the Vancouver Symphony back to musical health;" the Baltimore Sun states unequivocally,"The modern Baltimore Symphony was created by Sergiu Comissiona."
In addition to Maestro Comissiona's tenures as Music Director in Baltimore and Vancouver, he served as the Chief Conductor of Madrid's Orquesta Sinfónica RTVE from 1990 to 1998. He was also Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra for the 1993-94 season, and Music Director of the American Symphony Orchestra from 1978 to 1982. Previous music directorships include the Haifa Symphony in Israel; the Houston Symphony; the Gothenberg Orchestra in Sweden; and the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra of Hilversum in the Netherlands. Maestro Comissiona has also led the New York, Berlin, and London Philharmonic orchestras; the Boston Symphony Orchestra; the Philadelphia and Cleveland orchestras; the San Francisco and Pittsburgh symphonies; and l'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande.
Maestro Comissiona appears regularly at the world's most prestigious festivals, including Tanglewood, Saratoga, Aspen, and Wolf Trap, He has led performances at the New York City Opera, both as Music Director and guest conductor. During the summer of 1995 Maestro Comissiona toured East Asia and North America with the Asian Youth Orchestra (AYO) as part of the world celebrations commemorating the 50th anniversary of the United Nations.
A prolific recording artist, Maestro Comissiona has conducted many acclaimed projects on the CBC, Deutsche Grammophon, Philips, London, and Pro Arte labels with the London Symphony, l'Orchestre de Ia Suisse Romande, the Houston and Vancouver symphonies, and the Israel Chamber Orchestra, which he founded
Born in Bucharest, Maestro Comissiona hails from a musical family. While still in his twenties, Maestro Comissiona was named Principal Conductor of the Romanian State Opera. In 2003, more than 44 years after he was forced to leave Romania by its Communist regime, he received an Honorary Doctorate from Bucharest University, and was named to the National Order of the Romanian Star, Rank of Commander. The award honors the conductor for his illustrious national and international career, and for promoting Romanian music and culture. Maestro Comissiona was also recently honored as a Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture and Communication. He has been awarded an honorary doctorate at Boston's New England Conservatory, and honorary degrees from Baltimore's Peabody Conservatory, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Maryland.