Next Retreat:

June 30- July 18, 2021

Retreat 2020

 Virtual Retreat 2020

June 24 - July 12

The Conductors Retreat at Medomak invites you to participate in a unique new online program designed especially for these times.  Join together with us in creating a new community of conductors to learn from one another, our distinguished faculty members, and a few of the many accomplished alumni of the Conductors Retreat at Medomak. If you conduct or are becoming a conductor, this is an opportunity not to be missed.  Everyone is welcome! 

Zero Tuition - Free for Everyone!

The Conductors Retreat at Medomak has always been committed to advancing conducting, conductors, and the communities they serve.  To continue fulfilling our mission and to meet our participants’ needs at this particular moment, we are offering this year’s online edition of the Retreat without any fee.  It is free of charge to all participants. Those who join us for the first three days will be welcome to attend any or all of the other sessions.

Please Join Us!

Though we can only be at Medomak in spirit, we will come together as a community of passionate and committed musicians from around the world. Energize the continued development of your artistic sensibilities, musical understanding, technical skills, and leadership capacity. Register today!



Kenneth Kiesler  
International conductor, Grammy nominee, renowned teacher and mentor

William Marvin
Professor of theory and aural skills at the Eastman School of Music

Steven Whiting
Professor of Musicology, University of Michigan, and commentator for the Detroit Symphony

Adrian Slywotzky
Conductor and conducting technique coach


Alumni Guest Speakers

Daniel Bartholomew-Poysner
Education Conductor and Community Ambassador, Toronto Symphony 

Kalena Bovell
Assistant Conductor, Memphis Symphony

Justin Bischof
Founder, Modus (New York City)

Elim Chan 
Music Director, Antwerp Symphony, International Guest Conductor

Angelica Durrell
Founder and Executive Director, INTEMPO

Akiko Fujimoto
Associate Conductor, Minnesota Orchestra

George Mathew
Founder and Artistic Director, Music for Life International

Wendy Moy
Founder and Co-Artistic Director, Chorosynthesis Singers

Alondra de la Parra
Internationally renowned conductor
former music director, Queensland symphony Orchestra

Alan Pierson
Artistic Director and Conductor, Alarm Will Sound

Chris Rountree
Founder and Director, Wild Up!

Ben Rous
Music Director, Charlottesville Symphony

Chris Whittaker 
Co-founder and Music Director, Washington Heights Chamber Orchestra


Musicians of Medomak

Isaac Trapkus, bass
New York Philharmonic

Jeremy Crosmer, cello 
Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Eva Gruesser, concertmaster
American Composers Orchestra

Yuki Numata, violin
Alarm Will Sound
Buffalo String Works Executive Director




Chamber Symphony

Symphony No. 7

Symphony No. 4

Symphony in g minor, K.550, No. 40


Chamber Symphony, Op. 110a
(arrangement by Barshai preferred)


Retreat Events

Join us at the beginning, and stay with us for the rest of the retreat!

Please note: Only those who attend the first three days may join in later sessions. We welcome everyone who is with us on June 24, 25, and 26 to attend and/or participate in as few or as many later sessions as they wish.


All times are Eastern Daylight Time (Maine)

Wednesday, June 24
2:00 - 4:30 PM
Opening Session: Welcome to the Conductors Retreat!
Introductions to the who, what, how, and why of the 2020 Virtual Retreat.


Thursday, June 25
2:00 - 3:00 PM
Score Study: Asking the Right Questions 
Kenneth Kiesler leads a session on score study:
How to study a score, absorb it, and make the decisions that impact rehearsing and performing

3:15 - 4:00 PM
Principles of Technique
Kenneth Kiesler leads a session on technique:
What works, what doesn’t, and why.


Friday, June 26
2:00 - 3:30 PM
Steven Whiting on Beethoven 7
Beethoven scholar and University of Michigan musicologist Steven Whiting speaks
about the history, context, and structure of Beethoven’s magnificent Seventh Symphony.

3:45 - 5:00 PM
Kenneth Kiesler on Beethoven 7

Kenneth Kiesler leads a tour of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 from the conductor's perspective.


Saturday, June 27
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM;
2:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Conducting Masterclass
Kenneth Kiesler and colleagues offer constructive coaching and feedback to individual conductors;
informative for those who choose to conduct, and those who observe.
Repertoire: Beethoven Symphony No. 7


Sunday, June 28
1:00 - 3:30 PM
Score Study Collaborative
The Exciting and Informative Culmination of Our Participants’ Collaborations 

3:45 - 4:15 PM
String Playing: What You Need to Know
Kenneth Kiesler and Adrian Slywotsky on the string section: 
fundamental and advanced techniques, and the language of rehearsing 

4:15 - 5:15 PM
From Their Perspective: Orchestral Musicians on Working with Conductors
Former Conductors Retreat musicians-in-residence return to share their unique 
perspectives and valuable observations on their work with conductors.
Guest speakers:
Isaac Trapkus, bass, New York Philharmonic
Jeremy Crosmer, cello, Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Eva Gruesser, concertmaster, American Composers Orchestra
Yuki Numata, violin, Alarm Will Sound; Executive Director, Buffalo String Works 


Monday, June 29
2:00 - 3:15 PM
Presentation: Analysis as an Aid to Score Reading
William Marvin leads this multifaceted discussion to help you take your skills to the next level. 
Repertoire: Mozart Symphony No. 40 in g minor, K. 550 

3:30 - 4:00 PM
Technique Tune-Up 
In these sessions, Adrian Slywotsky leads succinct and specific work on foundational skills.


Tuesday, June 30
2:00 - 3:00 PM
Kenneth Kiesler on Shostakovich Chamber Symphony
Drawing on his long relationship with the music of Shostakovich,
dialogues with Maxim Shostakovich and Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Kenneth Kiesler shares
his insights on the orchestral version of the Shostakovich Eighth String Quartet.

3:00 - 5:00 PM
Conducting Masterclass
Repertoire: Shostakovich Chamber Symphony, Op. 110a
Kenneth Kiesler offers constructive coaching for  individual participants;
informative for those who choose to conduct, and those who observe.


Wednesday, July 1
2:00 - 3:15 PM
Making Art with Friends: Creating New Pieces for Physical and Virtual Space
Alumnus Guest Speaker
Chris Rountree, Founder and Director of the Los Angeles-based ensemble wild Up

3:30 - 4:15 PM
Kenneth Kiesler on Shostakovich Chamber Symphony (continued)


Thursday, July 2
2:00 - 5:00 PM
Conducting Masterclass
Individual coaching and feedback from Kenneth Kiesler
Repertoire: Shostakovich Chamber Symphony, Op. 110a


Friday, July 3
2:00 - 3:15 PM
Alumna Guest Speaker: Alondra de la Parra on Sensemayá
Internationally renowned conductor and former Retreat participant Alondra de la Parra
presents a guide to conducting “Sensemayá” by Silvestre Revueltas, one of her signature pieces.  

3:30 - 4:00 PM
Technique Tune-Up
Adrian Slywotsky and Kenneth Kiesler lead work on foundational skills.

4:00 - 5:00 PM
String Playing: What You Need to Know (Rescheduled from June 28)
Kenneth Kiesler and Adrian Slywotsky on the string section:  
fundamental and advanced techniques, and the language of rehearsing 


Saturday, July 4
2:00 - 3:00 PM
Panel Discussion: Being No. 2:
Current or former assistant and associate conductors share their experiences and offer guidance.
Alumni Guest Speakers 
Ben Rous, Daniel Bartholomew-Poysner, Kalena Bovell, and Akiko Fujimoto 

3:15 - 4:15 PM
Starting Up! Launching Music Organizations from the Ground Up
A conversation and guide for launching your own independent projects and
making an impact on the communities you serve.
Alumni Guest Speakers and Entrepreneurs 
Angelica Durrell, Wendy Moy, Justin Bischof, and Chris Whittaker 


Sunday, July 5
Free Day


Monday, July 6
2:00 - 3:00 PM
Presentation: Ear Training for Conductors: Identifying Your Needs
In his second lecture, William Marvin offers guidance for conductors on practicing aural skills and
building an independent action plan based on your own needs.

3:15 - 4:00 PM
Open Forum with Kenneth Kiesler
Kenneth Kiesler hosts this conversation about whatever topics have come up. 
These wide-ranging discussions, frequently about aspects of a conductor’s life
and work are always some of the most informative and beneficial
moments of the Conductors Retreat at Medomak.


Tuesday, July 7
2:00 - 3:00 PM
Kenneth Kiesler on Brahms Symphony No. 4
Kenneth Kiesler discusses Brahms’ tragic Fourth Symphony,
including both structural analysis and practical approaches for the conductor.

3:00 - 5:00 PM
Conducting Masterclass
Individual coaching and feedback from Kenneth Kiesler
Repertoire: Brahms Symphony No. 4.


Wednesday, July 8
2:00 - 3:15 PM

From Competition to Corona:
An Interview with Alumna Guest Speaker Elim Chan
Music Director of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor
of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Elim Chan took the world by storm when she won the
2014 Donatella Flick Conducting Competition leading to her appointment as Assistant Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra.
In this session, she talks about her journey through the ranks of the profession and the work that got her there.

3:30 - 4:00 PM
Technique Tune-Up
Adrian Slywotsky and Kenneth Kiesler lead this succinct follow-up
session on issues of technique.


Thursday, July 9
2:00 - 5:00 PM
Conducting Masterclass
Kenneth Kiesler offers constructive individual feedback;
informative for those who choose to conduct, and those who observe.
Repertoire: Brahms Symphony No. 4


Friday, July 10
2:00- 2:40 PM
Open Forum with Kenneth Kiesler
Kenneth Kiesler leads a second open forum session, an anything-goes Q&A session on all things conducting.

2:45 - 4:00 PM
Alumnus Guest Speaker: Alan Pierson on John Adams’ Chamber Symphony
Alan Pierson, Artistic Director and Conductor of Alarm Will Sound,
leads this session on John Adams’ Chamber Symphony.


Saturday, July 11
2:00 - 3:15 PM
Alumnus Guest Speaker George Mathew:
Music as an Engine for Transformative Social Impact
George Mathew, Founder of Music for Life International, leads an inspirational conversation about using
music as a tool for social change in communities around the world.

3:30 - 4:30 PM
Kenneth Kiesler and TUTTI 


Sunday, July 12
2:00 - 4:30 PM
Closing Session: Going Forward!
This year’s online edition of the Conductors Retreat at Medomak concludes with a group conversation and
retrospective as well as a look at what’s ahead for us as individuals and as leaders in an ever-changing environment.




Kenneth Kiesler
International conductor, Grammy nominee, renowned teacher and mentor

Kenneth Kiesler, GRAMMY nominee, recipient of the American Prize in Conducting, and Conductor Laureate of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, is one of the most prominent conductors of his generation, and one of the world’s most sought-after mentors to conductors.  He has conducted many of the world’s leading ensembles and led many world premiere performances. Kiesler’s performances are heard on a dozen recordings on the Naxos, Dorian Sono Luminus, and Equilibrium labels with the BBC in London, Third Angle, University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra, and University Opera Theatre. The landmark three-CD world premiere recording of Milhaud’s L’Orestie d’Eschyle received a GRAMMY nomination for “Best Opera” in 2014.  Kiesler has conducted the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center, the Chicago Symphony, the orchestras of Utah, Detroit, New Jersey, Florida, Indianapolis, Memphis, San Diego, Albany, Virginia, New Hampshire, Omaha, Fresno, Richmond, Long Beach, Long Island, Portland, Jerusalem, Haifa, Osaka, Puerto Rico, Queensland (Australia) Daejeon and Pusan in Korea, the New Symphony Orchestra in Bulgaria, Hang Zhou in China, the Jalisco Philharmonic in Mexico, the Symphony Orchestra of the USP in São Paulo, Brazil, and at the festivals of Music in the Alps (Austria), Meadowbrook, Skaneateles, Sewanee, Breckenridge, and Aspen. 

Kiesler’s conducting students have won top prizes in many of the world's major international competitions such as the Maazel/Vilar, Eduardo Mata, Donatella Flick, and Nicolai Malko Competitions, and hold positions with major orchestras, opera companies, and music schools worldwide. From 2006 until 2014, at the invitation of Music Director Pinchas Zukerman, Kenneth Kiesler was the Director of the Conductors Programme of Canada’s National Arts Centre. For eight years, he was also Director of the Vendome Academy of Orchestral Conducting, in France.  He has led many master classes for the Royal Academy of Music in London, Philharmonisches Kammer Orchester Berlin with several German orchestras, the Moscow Symphony, the Deutsches Musikrat, and Oxford University, as well as the League of American Orchestras and Conductors Guild. He has been Director of Orchestras and head of the renowned orchestral conducting program at the University of Michigan since 1995.  

Kiesler’s teachers include Carlo Maria Giulini, Fiora Contino, Julius Herford, Erich Leinsdorf, John Nelson, and James Wimer. He is included in Steven Sherman’s Leonard Bernstein at Work: The Final Years, Jeannine Wagar’s Conductors in Conversation: Fifteen Contemporary Conductors Discuss Their Lives and Profession, Allan Ho’s Shostakovich Reconsidered, and David Saler’s Serving Genius, the biography of the great Italian conductor, Carlo Maria Giulini.


William Marvin
Professor of theory and aural skills at the Eastman School of Music

William Marvin has presented pedagogical workshops throughout North America, and supervises the pedagogical training of graduate teaching assistants at Eastman. His analytic and pedagogical research can be found in The Journal of Musicology, Theory and Practice, Intégral, Nineteenth-Century Music Review, Music Theory Online, The Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy, and in numerous book chapters. Bill presents regularly at regional, national, and international conferences. Marvin oversees the undergraduate aural musicianship curriculum at Eastman, and he previously designed and implemented the aural skills curriculum at Oberlin. In both programs, aural musicianship is intimately connected with coursework in written music theory, and his curriculum emphasizes immediate recognition, comprehension, and expressive performance of musical material as heard and seen. Bill Marvin has been a member of the Conductors Retreat at Medomak Faculty since the summer of 2016.

Steven Whiting
Professor of Musicology, University of Michigan, and commentator for the Detroit Symphony

Steven M. Whiting is a professor of musicology at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, where he has taught courses in the history of European art music and the history of Broadway musical theater since 1991.  Prior to joining the University of Michigan faculty, Whiting taught at the University of Illinois, where he earned his MM and PhD. As our “resident musicologist"  our 10th summer, he has inspired, enlightened and engaged our participants with his presentations on the historical and cultural contexts of our repertoire as well as analytical strategies and their expressive consequences.



Adrian Slywotzky
Conductor and conducting technique coach

A recent prize winner of the Atlantic Coast International Conducting Competition (Portugal, 2016) and the Audite International Conducting Competition (Poland, 2017), Adrian Slywotzky current serves as Lecturer of Conducting at the University of Michigan, where he conducts the University Philharmonia Orchestra and the Contemporary Directions Ensemble. A sought-after educator, he has served as Associate Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras and as a teaching fellow for the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra. He was conductor of the Greater New Haven Youth Orchestra for 2008-2010, and was invited to direct the Rhode Island All-State Orchestra in 2013.  He was the founding conductor of the Yale Medical Symphony Orchestra, and from 2007–2010 the music director of the New Haven Chamber Orchestra. For five years Adrian was Director of Instrumental Music at Hopkins School in New Haven, CT, and he has taught at Neighborhood Music School, Elm City ChamberFest, and the Southern Maine String Camp. 

Adrian holds degrees in orchestral conducting from the University of Michigan, where he studied with Kenneth Kiesler, and the Yale School of Music, where he studied with Shinik Hahm.  As a violinist, Adrian has participated in festivals including Tanglewood Music Center, California Summer Music, and the Norfolk Contemporary Music Festival.  He holds a BA in architecture from Yale College, where he studied violin with Kyung Yu, and an MM in violin performance from the Yale School of Music, where he studied with Wendy Sharp.  An alumnus of the  Conductors Retreat at Medomak, he joined the faculty in 2017.

 Alumni Guest Speakers

Daniel Bartholomew-Poysner 

A passionate communicator, Daniel brings clarity and meaning to the concert hall, fostering deep connections between audiences and performers. Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser is concurrently the Principal Education Conductor and Community Ambassador of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and Artist in Residence and Community Ambassador of Symphony Nova Scotia. He served as Assistant Conductor of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and Associate Conductor of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra. Daniel has performed with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic, and has been re-invited to the San Francisco Symphony for six consecutive years and was Cover Conductor with the  Washington National Opera in 2020.

In the 2020 Season Daniel will debut with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Regina Symphony Orchestra, Prince Edward Island Symphony Orchestra and the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra. Daniel was recently the subject of a feature length Canadian Broadcasting Company documentary. This documentary focussed on Daniel’s efforts to extend the boundaries of the orchestral music world through concerts for Neurodiverse, Prison, African Diaspora and LGBTQ2S+ populations.

Daniel earned his Bachelors in Music Performance and Education from the University of Calgary, and his Master of Philosophy in Performance from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England. Daniel was a participant in the Conductors Retreat at Medomak in 2014 and 2015.


Kalena Bovell 

Kalena Bovell is Assistant Conductor of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. This season she conducted numerous Pops, Education, and Run-out concerts as well covered Maestro Robert Moody and guest conductors on Masterworks and Classic Accent concerts. She is also conductor of the Memphis Youth Symphony. Considered “one of the brightest stars in the world of classical music,” (Channel 3 News) Ms. Bovell was Music Director of the Civic Orchestra of New Haven for the 2018-2019 season. During her tenure, she committed to deepening the artistic level of the orchestra while expanding its reach into the community.

In 2018, Ms. Bovell conducted two short operas for Hartford Opera Theater’s New in November, and in 2019 Ms. Bovell guest conducted the New Britain Symphony in a program of Dance Music. Holding conducting fellowships with the Allentown Symphony and the Chicago Sinfonietta, Ms. Bovell became assistant conductor of the Chicago Sinfonietta for the 2016-2017 season. She made her professional debut during the MLK Tribute concerts in Chicago’s Symphony Center. That same year, Ms. Bovell was a finalist for Marin Alsop’s Taki Concordia Fellowship. 

Ms. Bovell was the Orchestra Director at the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, CT. She holds a Master’s Degree and Graduate Professional Diploma in instrumental conducting from The Hartt School, where she studied with Edward Cumming.  She participated in the Conductors Retreat at Medomak in 2010 and 2015.


Justin Bischof

New York City resident Justin Bischof is one of the most eclectic artists of his generation.  He is an internationally acclaimed orchestral & opera conductor as well as concert organist, pianist and improviser. He has performed in some of the world’s great venues including New York’s Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully at Lincoln Center, Rose Theatre of Lincoln Center, Tonhalle of Zurich, Eli Broad Theatre of Los Angeles, St. Paul’s Cathedral London, Notre Dame Paris, Cologne Cathedral, to name a few. He has collaborated with some of the world’s most prominent artists including Joshua Bell, Bright Sheng, Tan Dun and Roberta Peters. As an orchestral conductor, he was worked with numerous ensembles including National Arts Center Orchestra, The Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Vancouver Symphony, the Royal Symphony of Oman, the State Philharmonic Kavkazskiye of Russia, the Arkansas Symphony, the WAAPA orchestra in Perth Australia, and the National Orchestra of Haiti. 

He is the Founder & Artistic Director of The Modus Orchestra & Opera of New York City which has presented an Annual Children’s Benefit to help at-risk children that has raised over $1,000,000. This past season, their gala 10thAnniversary Concert featured soloists from the Metropolitan Opera in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Professor Bischof taught for many years at the esteemed Manhattan School of Music as well as Barnard College Columbia University. He is sought after as a guest professor for master classes around the world. He maintains a private conducting studio for gifted conductors.  He serves on numerous boards including as Vice-Chairman of the Alumni Council of MSM.  Justin  Bischof participated in the Conductors Retreat at Medomak in 2003, 2005, and 2006.


Elim Chan 

Elim Chan became the first female winner of Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in 2014 and is now Chief Conductor of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra. In addition, she also holds the position as Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra since 2018/19. The 2019/20 season features many highlights, starting off with an appearance at the BBC Proms where Elim conducts the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, followed by her debuts with the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, Gothenburg Symphony, Toronto Symphony and Netherlands Philharmonic orchestras. She returns to the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra for their season opening concerts at Amsterdam Concertgebouw and Dortmund Konzerthaus as well as to the London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra amongst many others.

Celebrated by the press for her debuts with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin earlier in 2019, other highlights last season included engagements with Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and Sydney Symphony orchestras alongside return to the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra. Elim became Assistant Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra in 2015/16 and was appointed to the Dudamel Fellowship programme with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2016/17. Elim Chan holds degrees from Smith College and the University of Michigan, and was a participant at the Conductors Retreat at Medomak in 2007, 2008, and 2009.

Angelica Durrell

Angelica Durrell, an Ecuadorian-born violinist, educator, and social entrepreneur, is the founder and executive director of INTEMPO, an organization dedicated to making music education relevant, accessible, and inclusive. Under her leadership, INTEMPO was a 2016 and 2017 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award finalist, won the 2019 Adolf Busch Award, and will receive Music for All’s 2020 Advocacy in Action Award. She trained at the American Express Leadership Academy and the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures Advocacy Leadership Institute. She was a National Arts Strategies Creative Communities fellow and is an artist ambassador for SpreadMusicNow. She is a Sphinx LEAD inaugural fellow and a Sphinx Performance Academy alumna, where she served as the academy’s Assistant Dean. She has given talks on social entrepreneurship at Princeton University and University of Michigan. In 2017 she became the first Latina commissioner of the City of Stamford’s Arts and Culture Commission.

Akiko Fujimoto

Akiko Fujimoto is the Associate Conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra where she conducts education, community and summer concerts and will make her subscription debut in March 2020 in a program featuring organist Cameron Carpenter. Beginning with the 2019-20 season, she also serves as the Music Director of the Mid-Texas Symphony. As a guest conductor, Fujimoto has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra, Florida Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, Houston Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Lexington Philharmonic, Corpus Christi Symphony and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.

Prior to arriving in Minnesota, Fujimoto served as the Associate Conductor of the San Antonio Symphony for five seasons, where highlights included conducting a gala featuring Gil Shaham in Brahms’ Violin Concerto and fully staged ballet productions of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. Previously, she also served as the conducting associate for the Virginia Symphony. A strong advocate for young musicians, Fujimoto held positions both at Harvard University where she directed the Mozart Society Orchestra and at Stanford University where she served as the interim music director of the Stanford Symphony Orchestra. While in Virginia, she also served as Director of Orchestras at the College of William and Mary and music director of the Williamsburg Youth Orchestras.

Born in Japan, Fujimoto moved to the United States at age 14. She attended Stanford University where she studied music and psychology and holds master’s degrees in conducting from the Eastman School of Music and Boston University. Additionally, Fujimoto has served as guest cover/assistant conductor for Esa- Pekka Salonen, Zubin Mehta and Susanna Mälkki at the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

George Mathew

Singapore-born, Indian-American conductor George Mathew is the founder and Artistic Director of Music For Life International, a New York-based social enterprise, creating social impact and innovation through music throughout the world in the humanitarian, education, business, diplomacy, and leadership training sectors for more than 12 years. 

George Mathew has appeared in recent seasons in the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and Africa as conductor and ambassador for transformative action through music. Mr. Mathew and Music for Life International returned to Carnegie Hall in January 2019 for their eighth global humanitarian concert, a benefit performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony focused on the plight of the Rohingya refugees fleeing genocide in Myanmar. These global humanitarian concerts, presented at Carnegie Hall and all over the world, have brought together hundreds of musicians from over 120 of the world’s most distinguished ensembles and music academies. Mathew has also served as the Artistic Director of the New Year’s Eve Concert for Peace at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York. Mathew and MFLI have been profiled by the global media, including BBC World Service, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and many others. He has lectured on music and social impact around the world at conferences, academic institutions, and governmental, corporate and social sector settings. He has been honored by Tufts University and the Wall Street Journal for services through music to public diplomacy and the social sector. 

George Mathew is a Conductors Retreat alumnus. He was profoundly inspired by the Retreat and counts the Medomak experience and Founder Kenneth Kiesler among the catalytic influences leading to the creation and mission of Music For Life International.


Wendy Moy

Wendy Moy currently serves as the Director of Choral Activities at Connecticut College, Co-Artistic Director of Chorosynthesis Singers, Director of the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Chorus, and Artistic Director of the Hartford Gay Men’s Chorus. (She will start a new teaching position at Syracuse University in Fall 2020.) Wendy is frequently sought as a guest conductor and clinician and recently made her conducting debuts in Brazil and China. Recent honors include placing 3rd in The American Prize in Choral Conducting (professional division). A strong advocate for collaboration and new music, Wendy has commissioned/premiered numerous new works on themes of social consciousness. She was recently interviewed for articles in both The Choral Journal and The Voice for her entrepreneurship in and vision for professional choral music. Wendy has also presented her research on the culture of singing communities and fostering equity and inclusion in the rehearsal and performance at conferences sponsored by Chorus America, National Association for Music Education, American Choral Directors Association, and Society for Music, Education and Psychology Research. Her work will appear in an upcoming book published by Oxford University Press. Wendy serves on the ACDA Standing Committee on International Activities and evaluates grants for the National Endowment for the Arts. She holds a DMA in Choral Conducting from the University of Washington.


Alonda de la Parra

Alondra de la Parra has gained widespread attention for her spellbinding and vibrant performances and her commitment to Latin American composers. She has conducted over 100 of the world’s most prestigious orchestras including Orchestre de Paris, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Bamberg Symphony, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.

From January 2017 until November 2019, she was Music Director of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, making her the first ever Music Director of an Australian orchestra. She is an official Cultural Ambassador of Mexico, where she saw platinum-level sales of her first album “Mi Alma Mexicana” and, in March 2017, was named international brand ambassador for Mercedes-Benz. Since July 2017, Deutsche Welle broadcasts ‘Musica Maestra’, a new classical format featuring Alondra de la Parra as both protagonist and reporter in a series of several web videos and television shows.

In the 2019/20 season, she celebrates debuts with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra at Musikverein, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg with Rolando Villazón, Frankfurt Radio Symphony and Staatskapelle Dresden for the 2019 Christmas Concert at Frauenkirche, broadcast by the German TV channel ZDF. She conducts Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet with Queensland Ballet in Brisbane, a concert at Komische Oper Berlin with cellist Jan Vogler and returns to the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, which she has been working closely with for several years. Alondra de la Parra also returns to Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, to Staatsoper Berlin for the resumption of Yuval Sharon’s production of Mozart’s Zauberflöte and to Royal Opera House in June 2020.

Engagements of the last seasons include her subscription debut with the NHK Symphony, her debut at Beethovenfest Bonn, her celebrated return to Orchestre de Paris which was broadcasted live by German-French TV channel Arte, appearances with the Verbier Festival Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and a live orchestral performance of the film West Side Story at Mexico’s Auditorio Nacional as well as the world premiere of the new production T.H.A.M.O.S at Mozartwoche Salzburg, together with Camerata Salzburg and the theatre collective La Fura dels Baus around Carlus Padrissa, and her debut at the Festival de Pâques in Aix-en-Provence. 

Alondra de la Parra was a two-time participant at the Conductors Retreat.


Alan Pierson 

Alan Pierson has been praised as "a dynamic conductor and musical visionary" by the New York Times, "a young conductor of monstrous skill" by Newsday, "gifted and electrifying" by the Boston Globe, and "one of the most exciting figures in new music today" by Fanfare. He is the Artistic Director and conductor of the acclaimed ensemble Alarm Will Sound which has been called "the future of classical music" by the New York Times and "a sensational force" with "powerful ideas about how to renovate the concert experience" by the New Yorker.  

Mr. Pierson served for three years as the Artistic Director and conductor of the Brooklyn Philharmonic. The New York Times called Pierson’s leadership at the Philharmonic "truly inspiring," and The New Yorker's Alex Ross described it as “remarkably innovative, perhaps even revolutionary.” Pierson has also appeared as a guest conductor with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, L.A. Opera, the London Sinfonietta, the Steve Reich Ensemble, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, Carnegie Hall's Ensemble ACJW, the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, the New World Symphony, and the Silk Road Project, among other ensembles. He is Principal Conductor of the Dublin-based Crash Ensemble, co-director of the Northwestern University Contemporary Music Ensemble, and has been a visiting faculty conductor at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and the Eastman School of Music. 

Mr. Pierson received bachelor degrees in physics and music from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a doctorate in conducting from the Eastman School of Music. He has recorded for Nonesuch Records, Cantaloupe Music, Sony Classical, and Sweetspot DVD.  Alan was a participant in the Conductors Retreat at Medomak in 2006 and 2007. 

Chris Rountree

Conductor, composer, and curator Christopher Rountree has distinguished himself as one of classical music’s most forward-thinking innovators in programming, conducting, and community building. Whether presenting his beloved chamber group wild Up in a museum bathroom or leading the country’s most renowned ensembles through new music’s most exciting works at the world’s greatest concert halls, Rountree is the linchpin between orchestral music and the future of performance. Rountree founded the renegade twenty-four-piece ensemble wild Up in 2010. The group’s eccentric mix of new music, pop, and performance art quickly jumped from raucous DIY bar shows to being lauded as the vanguard for classical music by critics for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal and public radio’s Performance Today. Now an institution in its own right, the success of wild Up has led Rountree to collaborations with Björk, John Adams, David Lang, Scott Walker, and many of the planet’s greatest orchestras and ensembles.

Rountree’s inimitable style has taken him to revered concert halls the world over. In September 2018, Rountree debuted with Martha Graham Dance Company and Opéra national de Paris conducting The Rite of Spring, Samuel Barber’s Medea, and the Paris premiere of the Graham-Copland Appalachian Spring at Palais Garnier. Recently, Rountree made his Lincoln Center debut premiering Ashley Fure’s Pulitzer Prize finalist piece Bound to the Bow on the New York Philharmonic’s Biennial; conducted Ted Hearne’s twenty-first century masterwork Law of Mosaics with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; gave the world premiere of Missy Mazzoli’s opera about the death of the American Dream, Proving Up at Washington National Opera and Opera Omaha; made multiple returns to the San Francisco Symphony’s SoundBox series; conducted the world premiere of David Lang’s opera anatomy theater at Los Angeles Opera; and premiered Annie Gosfield and Yuval Sharon’s War of the Worlds with Sigourney Weaver and Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, simultaneously performed across downtown Los Angeles and at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

A seventh-generation California native descended from Santa Cruz County sheriffs, Rountree lives in Los Angeles.  Chris Rountree  was a participant in the Conductors Retreat at Medomak in 2007 and 2008.

Ben Rous 

Admired for his dynamism on the podium, Benjamin Rous was named Music Director of the Charlottesville Symphony in the fall of 2017, and simultaneously joined the UVA music faculty.  In 2018 he concluded an eight-year tenure as Resident Conductor of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, where he conducted a broad range of Classics, Pops, and ballet performances, and created the new multimedia [email protected] series.  Notable guest appearances include debuts with the National Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Long Beach Symphony, and the Charleston Symphony.  In the summers he serves as faculty conductor of Greenwood Music Camp in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts.

An accomplished instrumentalist, Rous has concertized extensively on violin, viola, and keyboard instruments.  He has served as guest principal 2nd violin with Mahler Chamber Orchestra, was a regular member of the Boston-area Arcturus Chamber Ensemble for a decade, and has led the Virginia Symphony Orchestra from the harpsichord in baroque repertoire. Benjamin Rous studied music at Harvard with an emphasis on composition, and earned an M.M. and D.M.A. in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Michigan, studying with Kenneth Kiesler.

Chris Whittaker

Chris Whittaker’s musical language of classical, jazz, and gospel music melds genres and brings people together. Chris is the co-founder and Music Director of the Washington Heights Chamber Orchestra, a non-profit performing arts organization committed to engaging the community through free concerts and educational programming. He serves as Music Director for Fort Washington Collegiate Church in Upper Manhattan and leads Marble Collegiate Church’s Jazz Vespers service. Chris studied orchestral conducting with Kenneth Kiesler and Stuart Malina. His composition teachers include Philip Lasser, Christopher Theofanidis, and Nicholas Maw. Chris lives in New York City. Chris attended the Conductors Retreat at Medomak in 2009.


Musicians of Medomak

Jeremy Crosmer

Jeremy Crosmer is a remarkable young artist—both as a cellist and a composer. He completed multiple graduate degrees from the University of Michigan in cello, composition and theory pedagogy, and received his D.M.A. in 2012 at age 24. From 2012 to 2017 he served as the Assistant Principal cellist in the Grand Rapids Symphony, and joined the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in May of 2017.​ 

Crosmer is the sole composer and arranger for the Grand Rapids Symphony Music for Health Initiative, which pairs symphonic musicians with music therapists to bring classical music to hospitals. In March of 2017 the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital launched a music channel that runs continuously, using four hours of meditative music composed by Crosmer and performed by musicians of the GRS. Crosmer is a founding member of the modern music ensemble Latitude 49. He is also a current member of the band ESME—a duo that brings crossovers and mashups of pop and classical music to schools throughout Michigan. ESME released its first CD in December of 2016.

Crosmer has taught music theory, pre-calculus and cello at universities across Michigan. He draws mazes, writes science fiction and plays good old country fiddle in his spare time.

Eva Gruesser

Eva Gruesser has enjoyed an international career as violin soloist, chamber musician and concertmaster, performing throughout North America, Europe and Australia. A native of Germany, Eva Gruesser grew up in the Black Forest surrounded by music and began studying the violin at the age of six. At the age of twelve she played Brahms Second Symphony under the baton of Herbert von Karajan, a formative experience that moulded her as a violinist and musician. Ms. Gruesser won many prizes as a violinist in Germany and England, and in 1975 moved to Israel to study with Ilona Feher and Ramy Shevelov. While in Israel she was privileged to play in the Israel Philharmonic under the batons of Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Mehtra and Daniel Barenboim. After further study in Germany she moved to the United States to study at the Juilliard School with Ramy Shevelov and Szymon Goldberg. In 1988 Ms. Gruesser was invited to join the Lark Quartet as first violinist, winning the Naumburg Chamber Music Award and Gold Medal at the Shostakovich International String Quartet Competition in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1991. With the Lark Quartet Ms. Gruesser performed to acclaim throughout the United States and Europe, performing in many concerts at Lincoln Center and Weill Hall in New York, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. She has collaborated on

commissions with composers including Aaron Jay Kernis, Libby Larsen, Penka Kouneva, Jon Deak, Joan Tower and many others. Gruesser currently holds the Roger Sessions Chair of Concertmaster of the American Composers Orchestra and regularly performs with the orchestra at Carnegie Hall. Recent solo appearances by Ms. Gruesser include the Bach Concerto for Two Violins with Elmar Oliviera and Arco Chamber Orchestra, and Evan Chamber’s Concerto for Violin and Irish Fiddle with the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. With ACO she collaborated with Wynton Marsalis as composer, and works with many of America's most exciting young composers. In 2007 she performed with Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in a special collaboration with American Composers Orchestra. Ms. Gruesser has been a frequent juror for the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. She can be heard on recordings with Decca/Argo, Arabesque and New World Records.

Yuki Numata

What qualities does a 21st-century performer need? To flourish in an era without conventions but full of possibilities, an artist needs flexibility, creativity, and courage. Described by the New York Times as a player of “virtuosic flair and dexterous bravery,” contemporary violinist Yuki Numata Resnick has what it takes. Once an exclusive preserve, new music now recognizes few boundaries between genres, styles, or formats. Yuki’s artistic life tells its own story: her playing can be heard on labels from Deutsche Grammophon (Max Richter: Sleep; Richard Reed Parry: Music for Heart and Breath) and edition rz (Clara Iannotta: A Failed Entertainment) to 4AD (Beirut: No No No; The National: Trouble Will Find Me) and Warp (!!!: Strange Weather, Isn’t It?). Groups she has played with range from indie bands Beirut and Blonde Redhead to new music specialists ACME (American Contemporary Music Ensemble) and Talea Ensemble. She has also performed as soloist with the Knoxville Symphony, Tanglewood Orchestra and Wordless Music Orchestra.

On her 2016 debut solo album, For Ko., Yuki interweaves the movements of J.S. Bach’s Partita No.1 in B minor with newly commissioned responses from Caleb Burhans, Clara Iannotta, Matt Marks, and Andrew Greenwald. These are all composers with whom she has developed a close musical relationship. Others include Jóhann Jóhannsson and Max Richter, for whom she has performed the eight-hour Sleep and been soloist in his Vivaldi Recomposed, both at Sydney Opera House.

Isaac Trapkus

Bassist Isaac Trapkus has been a member of the New York Philharmonic since 2016. Before joining the Philharmonic he was a member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and, before that, principal double bass of the New Haven Symphony while studying with Leigh Mesh, associate principal bass of The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Mr. Trapkus is a product of Iowa’s public school music program and began his bass studies with Linda Gannett of Davenport, Iowa. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, where he studied with Diana Gannett, and a master’s degree from The Juilliard School, where he studied with Eugene Levinson. At Michigan, Isaac Trapkus became the first bassist in 30 years to win the school’s concerto competition, for which he performed Tubin’s Bass Concerto. He also won Juilliard’s bass concerto competition, performing Vanhal’s Bass Concerto. During his study he performed with the New York String Orchestra Seminar and the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in Germany. Mr. Trapkus was an early designer and administrator with IMSLP, the online sheet music library, and takes part in various digitizing projects to improve free access to public domain sheet music. Mr. Trapkus was in residence at the Conductors Retreat for eight summers, and is delighted to return for this year’s virtual edition.