Bruce Hangen is Director of Orchestral Activities at the Boston Conservatory. In this position he serves as the Conservatory's principal orchestral conductor as well as director of both the orchestra and conducting programs. The 2008/2009 season marked Bruce Hangen's 11th season as the Music Director of the Indian Hill Symphony, having been appointed in 1997. Associated with the Indian Hill Music Center of Littleton, Mass., this orchestra is the only professional orchestra serving central Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire, and complements the Center's parallel purpose of providing the finest in music education through its community music school. Comprised of greater Boston area professional musicians, the Indian Hill Symphony performs a series of symphony and other concerts featuring renowned soloists. Of particular note was the success of the Center's Paul Whiteman Lives! first annual concert conceived and conducted by Mr. Hangen in the Spring of 2003.
Recently, Bruce Hangen completed his tenure as the Principal Pops Guest Conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra. This position was created in May 2002 especially for Hangen, reflecting the strong musical relationship built between him and the Boston Pops over two decades of regular guest conducting. He has also had the title of the Boston Symphony's Germeshausen Family Youth Concerts Conductor's Chair to Bruce Hangen as well. Other past positions include the Artistic and General Director of the Portland Opera Repertory Theatre (P.O.R.T.) of Portland, Maine in the summer. Having founded the company in July 1995, Hangen was the chief visionary force behind this opera company and its activity. P.O.R.T. presented an annual July festival of main-stage and other performances consisting of singing, directing and producing talent from the world's greatest opera stages. Its productions received wide critical and public acclaim, and the company continues to grow in fulfilling its vision of becoming a major summer opera festival. Mr. Hangen also conducted P.O.R.T.'s performances.
For twelve years – 1984-1996 – Mr. Hangen was Music Director of the Omaha (Nebraska) Symphony. Hangen's development of that orchestra included the expansion of its subscription classical, pops and chamber orchestra series. He initiated full-orchestra touring activity, major collaborations with other area institutions, and the instigation of an entirely new array of educational programs. Under his direction, the Omaha Symphony achieved recognition for its significantly expanded program offerings, including the nationally-acclaimed "West Meets West", the 1992 celebration of the Native American conceived and conducted by Hangen. His influence extended far beyond the Midwest, too, in establishing a sister-orchestra relationship between Omaha and Shizuoka, Japan.
During the two seasons 1998-2000, Bruce Hangen was Acting Resident Conductor of both the Utah and Kansas City Symphony Orchestras. Both positions included a wide variety of concert programs, ranging from subscription concerts to family, youth, pops, tour, and outdoor summer series concerts.
Before taking the Omaha Symphony Music Directorship, Hangen was for ten seasons (1976-86) Music Director and Conductor of the Portland (Maine) Symphony; six years (1973-79) Associate Conductor of the Denver Symphony; four years (1975-79) Music Director of the Arapahoe Chamber Orchestra in Denver; six summer seasons (1966-72) Assistant Conductor of the Colorado Philharmonic (now the National Repertory Orchestra). In the 1972-73 season alone, Hangen held three positions as Assistant Conductor of the Syracuse Symphony, Conducting Assistant of the Buffalo Philharmonic, and Faculty Conductor at the Eastman School of Music.
A graduate of the Eastman School of Music with a major in conducting, Hangen was also a conducting fellow at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood for two summers, 1972 and 1973, where his conducting teachers included Gunther Schuller, Seiji Ozawa, Leonard Bernstein, Michael Tilson Thomas, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Bruno Maderna and Joseph Silverstein. During his student days at the Eastman School, Hangen formed the Baroque Chamber Orchestra and co-founded Zeitgeist in Musik, a contemporary chamber ensemble.
Bruce Hangen maintains an active schedule of guest conducting. Recent appearances have included concerts with the Florida Philharmonic and Boston Symphony as well as the orchestras of St. Louis, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Naples (FL), Edmonton and Houston. In earlier seasons, Mr. Hangen also has conducted the orchestras of New York, Minnesota, Syracuse, Houston, Birmingham, New Orleans, San Antonio, New Jersey, Santa Barbara, New Mexico, Hartford and New Haven. His repeat engagements with the Boston Pops and Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestras alone totaled well over two hundred performances since 1979. Mr. Hangen also has guest-conducted orchestras in Japan, Canada, Taiwan and New Zealand as well as opera companies in Chicago, Fargo, and Tacoma.
Bruce Hangen remains strongly committed to education, both as an involved overseer of his own orchestra's programs as well as by appearing as guest conductor. At the collegiate level, Hangen has conducted the orchestras of The Boston Conservatory, the New England Conservatory of Music, the Hartt School of Music, the Eastman School of Music, the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, the Yale School of Music, the Shepherd School of Music as well as ensembles at the California Institute of the Arts. His successes have also included appearances as conductor of high school all-state orchestras in New York, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Virginia, Nebraska, Minnesota and Massachusetts.
Mr. Hangen is the recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the University of New England, and in Omaha he received the ICAN Foundation's 1990 Browning Award for Career Excellence and Vision.
Bruce Hangen was born in Pottstown, Pennsylvania and was raised in Great Falls, Montana.