Michael Butterman - Biography
Making his mark as a model for today’s conductors, Michael Butterman is recognized for his commitment to creative artistry, innovative programming, and audience and community engagement. He is in his seventh season as Music Director for both the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra and the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, and is in his 13th season as Principal Conductor for Education and Outreach for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the first position of its kind in the United States. Beginning with the 2009-2010 season, he assumed the additional post of Resident Conductor for the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. This past season was highlighted by his debut with the renowned Cleveland Orchestra.
Mr. Butterman returns to the Cleveland Orchestra in 12-13 for two concerts and makes his debut with the California Symphony. Guest conducting engagements also include appearances with the Detroit Symphony, Houston Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Hartford Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Syracuse Symphony, New Mexico Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, Spokane Symphony, El Paso Symphony, Santa Fe Symphony, Mobile Symphony, Peoria Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony, Pensacola Opera and Asheville Lyric Opera. Summer appearances include Tanglewood, the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival in Colorado 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 1999 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. In 1997, Mr. Butterman was sponsored by UNESCO to lead the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Moldova in a concert of music by great American masters.
From 2000 to 2007, Mr. Butterman held the post of Associate Conductor for the Jacksonville Symphony in Florida. For six seasons, he also served as Music Director of Opera Southwest in Albuquerque, NM. Prior to joining the Jacksonville Symphony, Mr. Butterman was Director of Orchestral Studies at the LSU School of Music for five years, 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 five 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.