Jonathan Wentworth Associates
Jonathan Wentworth Associates

  Michael Butterman

    Making his mark as a model for todayís conductors, Michael Butterman is recognized for his commitment to creative artistry, innovative programming, and to audience and community engagement. He serves as Music Director for the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, with which he will appear at the Kennedy Centerís inaugural SHIFT Festival in 2017. He is also the Music Director of the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra and the Pennsylvania Philharmonic, as well as the Resident Conductor of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he is in his 16th season as Principal Conductor for Education and Community Engagement for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the first position of its kind in the United States.

    As a guest conductor, Mr. Butterman makes his debut with both the Philadelphia Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra in the 15-16 season. His recent appearance with the Cleveland Orchestra resulted in an immediate return engagement for the following season. Other recent appearances include performances with the Detroit Symphony, Houston Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, Charleston Symphony, Hartford Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Syracuse Symphony, New Mexico Symphony, Santa Fe Symphony, California Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, Spokane Symphony, El Paso Symphony, Mobile Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony, Pensacola Opera, Asheville Lyric Opera and Canadaís Victoria Symphony. Summer appearances include Tanglewood, the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival 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 BesanÁon International Conducting Competition. As the 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 seasonís opening concert. Earlier, Mr. Butterman was sponsored by UNESCO to lead the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Moldova in a concert of music by great American masters.

    For six seasons, Mr. Butterman served as Music Director of Opera Southwest in Albuquerque, NM. During much of that time, he was also Director of Orchestral Studies at the LSU School of Music 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 Bernsteinís 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 Buttermanís 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.

    Conductor's Bio

    "The musical direction, by Michael Butterman, is loving - an embrace of Bernstein's neglected score."
    Washington Post

    "Michael Butterman conducted with vitality and affection."
    Cleveland Plain Dealer

    "In the prelude to Wagner's "Meistersinger," the orchestra's brass section began the evening auspiciously with a robust but not overpowering sound. It would be the first of many great moments for the brass...(of Brahms' Hungarian Dances) Butterman found ways to make them feel fresh and exciting, with crisp and precise playing from the whole ensemble...(of Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet) Butterman's choices and ordering reflected the dramatic structure of the ballet and was highly effective. The orchestra retained its fine form throughout this expressive and colorful music."
    Boulder Daily Camera

    "Maestro Butterman understands how this Mahler Symphony [No. 1] should be performed. The tempos were perfect, and the entire orchestra performed with enthusiasm and sincerity under his direction."

    "...the amiable young maestro and two stars - clarinetist Richard Stoltzman and composer Bill Douglas - packed the 2,000-seat house. The philharmonic's subscription rate is at a five-year high, and one secret to the uptick might be that, while Butterman's baton evokes quality musicianship from the orchestra, they don't take themselves too seriously. There is a lightness of being and joy of performing among the players that make the whole concert experience what it should be: engaging and entertaining."
    The Denver Post

    "Butterman gave an energetic account of the score, conducting the RPO with a hyper-emotional intensity that brought out all the glory and grandeur of Tchaikovsky"
    Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

    "...he has made significant improvements in the Boulder Philharmonic orchestra, and he has implemented some very creative programming... he is a superior musician.

    "Butterman... is an elegant figure, the master of gestures as graceful as they are meaningful. His instructions are precise. He evokes, rather than giving commands, and in all sections of the ensemble, Phil members played their hearts out for him."
    Boulder Daily Camera

    "Butterman made Prokofiev's playful reflection of the age of Haydn the high point of the evening. The score has such effervescent energy that a conductor easily can let himself run away with the work - or allow it to run away with him. But Butterman showed himself a classicist in his careful control of the performance and his respect for the transparent clarity of the work, and he made the lusty melody of the larghetto a meltdown so hot that it suggested Prokofiev, and not auto emissions, is responsible for global warming."
    Boulder Daily Camera