Dr. leslie b. Dunner

Dr. leslie b. Dunner

Conductor

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2015Nielson Symphony # 4Music Director
2014Mozart: Cosi fan tutteMusic Director
2014Verdi: La TraviataMusic Director
2014The Wizard of OzMusic Director

Bio

Rated #1 by the Chicago Sun-Times for &ldquoChicago’s best classical music/opera moments of 2013,” Leslie B. Dunner’s 2014-15 season includes another performances with the South Shore Opera Company’s fall production of Verdi’s opera, “La Traviata.”  Their 2013 performance of Still’s opera “Troubled Island” was described as “The most history-making event of the year.” This season,  Dunner returned to conduct South Africa’s annual “Starlight Pop Opera” concert with the KWa-Zulu Natal Philharmonic. He returns to conduct Opera Ebony’s fall production of Mozart’s “Cosi Fan Tutte” in New York City, and debuts with Milwaukee’s Starlight Music Theatre for 43 performances of The Royal Shakespeare Company’s version of Frank Baum’s “The Wizard of OZ.” Notable recent seasons included the Opera /Ballet Gala performance of “Carmen” in Guadalajara, Mexico during the Opening Ceremonies for the 2011 International Pan American Games, and Opera Africa’s 2007 production of Mziliazi Khumalo’s opera “Princess Magogo kaDinuzulu” at Den Norske Opera in Oslo, Norway.  Early in 2014, Dunner conducted the American Opera Projects’ world premiere of Nkeiru Okoye’s opera, “Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line To Freedom” in New York City.  He also returned to the Orlando Philharmonic, conducting their spring 2014 Super Series Program, “Music of the Ballet.” In 2015, Dunner returns to the Orlando Philharmonic to close their Subscription Season. Dr. Dunner’s guest conducting has included appearances with virtually every major U.S. orchestra. He has worked with orchestras in Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Russia, Estonia, South Africa, Italy, and Spain. Ballet engagements have included The American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, the Washington, Orlando and Madison Ballets, London's Royal Ballet at Covent Garden and The Birmingham Royal Ballet (in London and on tour throughout England), Michigan Opera Theatre, and The South African Ballet Theatre. He worked with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for 11 seasons as Resident, Associate and Assistant Conductor respectively. He was Music Director of Canada’s Symphony Nova Scotia From 1996-1999, and Music Director of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra until 2003. He helped reinvigorate that institution, bringing national recognition for high artistic achievement, broad programming, a composer-in-residence initiative, and innovative educational experiences. From 2003-2009, Maestro Dunner was Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago, conducting nationally and internationally to critical acclaim. From 1994 through 2001, Dr. Dunner was an assistant conductor to Kurt Masur with the New York Philharmonic. He accompanied them on their 1995 10-city European tour as Assistant Conductor. As Principal Conductor for The Dance Theatre of Harlem, he conducted numerous international performances, including a gala performance for Diana, Princess of Wales during their 1988 UK tour, Austria's Salzburg Festival, Denmark's Tivoli Festival, the former Soviet Union, and on the troupe’s historic 1992 tour to South Africa, performing for Nelson Mandela. With DTH he was also music advisor for several European television productions. Maestro Dunner has served on the Advisory Boards of World Artist Experience in Annapolis and Opera Vista in Houston. He judged for The International Jordania Conducting Competition where in the Ukraine in 2003 he was the first and to date only multiple prizewinner claiming all: the orchestra favorite, audience favorite, and founder’s favorite prizes. He has received awards, honors, commendations and proclamations including the "Distinguished Achievement" and "James Weldon Johnson" awards from the NAACP, the "Distinguished Young Alumnus Award” from Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, and the “Charles Stone Award” from the National Association of Negro Musicians. In Detroit, he received the "Man of the Year" and "Spirit of Detroit" awards from Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. Dr. Dunner was the first co-winner of the Colorado Philharmonic National Conducting Competition and the first American prize-winner of the prestigious Arturo Toscanini International Conducting Competition. He was also chosen for the American Symphony Orchestra League's "Leonard Bernstein American Conductors' Program." His Proclamations are from New York, Michigan and Maryland. Leslie B. Dunner is a clarinetist and composer, having played in the USA and Canada. His compositions have been successfully performed throughout the USA and abroad. His large scale work, The Whirligigs of Time: Twelfth Night Suite for mezzo-soprano, chorus and orchestra, was premiered by the Prince George’s Philharmonic in March 2006. His “Motherless Child Songs,” recorded by the Minnesota Composers Forum, is available on the Innova label. His recording “Magical, Mystical Mouse” with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra (music from animated films), is available on the Pro Arte label. His live-recording performance of Alvin Singleton's “BluesKonzert” with pianist Ursula Oppens and the DSO is available on the Chandos label, released to critical acclaim on the album “Ellington and the Great Masters.” His two most recent recordings with the Center For Black Music Research, ‘The African Diaspora:’ “Five Movements in Color” by Mary Watkins and the groundbreaking “Symphony in E minor” and “Piano Concerto in One Movement” by Florence Price are available from Albany records.
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CV & Repertoire

Musical Work Jump-in ready? Company Year
Nielson Symphony # 4 Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra (Orlando) 2015
Mozart: Cosi fan tutte Opera Ebony 2014
Verdi: La Traviata South Shore Opera Company of Chicago 2014
The Wizard of Oz Starlight Music Theatre 2014