Lawrence Golan, Music Director
Conductor Lawrence Golan is in high demand across the United States and internationally. In addition to his position as Music Director of the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra, Golan is currently Music Director of the Yakima Symphony Orchestra in Washington state, the York Symphony Orchestra in Pennsylvania and the Lamont Symphony Orchestra & Opera Theatre at the University of Denver.
Highlights of Golan’s 2016-17 season include a 14-city tour of China with the Denver Philharmonic, an appearance on National Public Radio’s “From the Top” with the York Symphony Orchestra, and the world premiere production, recording and subsequent CD/DVD release on Albany Records of Ode to Nature by Jiaojiao Zhou: A 3D Dance Oratorio based on the Chinese concept of the five forces of nature, with the Lamont Symphony Orchestra and producer Dennis Law.
Golan has garnered considerable international recognition for his work as a conductor. He has won ten ASCAP Awards, five Global Music Awards, three American Prize awards, three Downbeat Magazine Awards, and two Prestige Music Awards. With each of the orchestras of which he is the Music Director, Golan has helped to dramatically raise the artistic level of the orchestra. In addition, season ticket sales, single ticket sales, and donations have reached all-time highs. Golan’s current appointments came on the heels of an equally successful four-year term as Resident Conductor of The Phoenix Symphony. That orchestra’s President and CEO Maryellen Gleason stated that Lawrence Golan was “unequivocally the best Resident Conductor The Phoenix Symphony ever had.” Music Director Michael Christie said that Golan “is a programmer of virtually unprecedented creativity and scope.” That sentiment was confirmed when Golan was named the Grand Prize Winner of The American Prize for Orchestral Programming. Several of the concerts that Golan programmed, conducted, and narrated with The Phoenix Symphony turned out to be the most financially successful and well-attended performances in the history of the orchestra, completely selling out triple concert sets in a 2200-seat hall. Golan continues to guest conduct professional orchestras, opera, and ballet companies in the United States and around the world. Having conducted in 26 U.S. states and 17 countries, recent engagements include performances in Boulder, Macon, Memphis, and Tucson as well as the Czech Republic, Italy, Georgia, Korea, Taiwan, and China.
A staunch supporter of music education, Golan is a tenured full professor at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music where he conducts the Lamont Symphony Orchestra & Opera Theatre and leads one of the most distinguished and highly sought after graduate conducting programs in the United States. During his time in Denver, Golan has won nine Outstanding Merit Awards, eight ASCAP awards for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music, three Downbeat Magazine Awards for “Best College Symphony Orchestra”, and an award from The American Prize in Orchestral Performance—Collegiate Division.
Lawrence Golan is known for his inspired performances, imaginative programming, passion for developing new audiences, and excellent public speaking skills—entertaining and/or educating the audience from both on and off the podium. He is also recognized for his expertise in the complete spectrum of musical styles and periods. He has worked with artists ranging from Leonard Bernstein, Marilyn Horne, Daniel Barenboim and Joshua Bell to Frank Sinatra, Kenny G and ShaNaNa.
Golan’s deep commitment to community outreach and audience development goes back several years. Earlier in his career, he founded the Atlantic Chamber Orchestra with the sole purpose of developing new audiences for classical music by making it more relevant and exciting. He created concert events specifically designed to bring in new listeners, and the successes he had in that endeavor led the Conductors Guild to invite him to speak at their national conference on the subject of developing 21st century audiences.
A native of Chicago, Lawrence Golan holds degrees in both conducting and violin performance from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music (B.M. and M.M.) and the New England Conservatory of Music (D.M.A.). In addition, he studied at all of the major conducting festivals including Aspen and Tanglewood, where in 1999 he was awarded the Leonard Bernstein Conducting Fellowship. The long list of distinguished conductors with whom Mr. Golan studied includes Robert Spano, Jorma Panula, David Zinman, Seiji Ozawa, Gustav Meier, Leonard Slatkin, Marin Alsop, Murry Sidlin, and Harold Farberman.
Mr. Golan has made several recordings with the Moravian Philharmonic on the Albany Records label. His recording of Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6, which won two Prestige Music Awards, has been highly praised by critics: “This is a world-class recording. It is refreshing to hear a recording of a well-known work of concert repertoire done so honestly and so beautifully.” (Robin McNeil, In Denver Times). “It stands up to many more-familiar recordings.” (Richard Nilsen, The Arizona Republic). That CD also features Tchaikovsky 6.1 by Peter Boyer, a work that Golan commissioned and premiered. Funky Little Crustaceans features orchestral music by Colorado composer William Hill, and Visions, Dreams & Memories is a collection of works for Native American flute and orchestra with James Pellerite, former Principal Flutist of the Philadelphia Orchestra and now one of the world’s premiere Native American flutists. Golan’s most recent recording, and his first with the Lamont Symphony Orchestra, Beethoven Symphony No. 7 & Beethoven 7.1 by William Hill, garnered two Global Music Awards.
Following in the footsteps of his father Joseph Golan, longtime Principal Second Violinist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lawrence Golan is also an accomplished violinist. He was Concertmaster of the Portland Symphony Orchestra for eleven years, has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony, and has made several commercially available recordings as a violinist. His recording entitled Indian Summer: The Music of George Perlman won two Global Music Awards in 2011. It is treasured by young violin students and their teachers and is regarded as a very helpful and inspiring pedagogical aide.
Lawrence Golan’s edition and reduced orchestration of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker is published by Spurwink River Publishing and is used by orchestras and ballet companies across North America. His scholarly-performing edition of the solo violin works of J. S. Bach that includes a handbook on Baroque Performance Practice, and The Lawrence Golan Violin Scale System are both published by Mel Bay Publications. His Fantasia for Solo Violin is published by Ludwig Music and won the Global Music Award for composition in 2011.
Lawrence and his wife Cecilia, who is from Buenos Aires, Argentina, have been married since 2003. They have two wonderful children: Giovanna and Joseph.
Hisham Bravo Groover, Associate Conductor
Hisham Bravo Groover serves as the Assistant Conductor and Orchestra Manager of the Lamont Symphony Orchestra while pursuing an Artist Diploma at the Lamont School of Music under the direction and tutelage of Dr. Lawrence Golan.
Hisham graduated from The University of Iowa with a Masters in Orchestral Conducting studying under Dr. William LaRue Jones. In Iowa, he conducted various university ensembles, including the UI Chamber Orchestra, All-University String Orchestra, Opera Scenes, and the Center for New Music.
Other previous professional engagements include Adjunct Instructor of Music at Ripon College, Wisconsin, where he served as the conductor of the Ripon College Orchestra.
Besides conducting, Hisham’s violin studies have also taken him to the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, as well as the New Zealand School of Music. He received his Bachelor Degree in Violin Performance from Loyola University in New Orleans. He also holds a Master’s in Violin Pedagogy from Western Kentucky University where he studied with Dr. Ching-Yi Lin.
As the newly appointed Associate Conductor of the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra, Hisham is eager to work with the musicians to bring performances of the highest quality to the Colorado community.