Acclaimed for his vibrant, inspired performances, imaginative programming and evocative command of different styles and composers, American conductor Lawrence Golan has developed a reputation as a dynamic, charismatic communicator. He has conducted throughout the United States and in Bulgaria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, El Salvador, England, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan and continues to develop relationships with orchestras nationally and abroad.
Golan has served as Music Director of Denver Philharmonic Orchestra since 2013, the Yakima Symphony Orchestra in Washington state since 2010 and Pennsylvania’s York Symphony Orchestra since 2014. He is also Music Director of Colorado’s Lamont Symphony Orchestra and Opera Theatre at the University of Denver.
In addition to concerts with the orchestras of which he is Music Director, Lawrence Golan is in demand as a guest conductor. 2019-20 season guesting includes engagements at Spain’s Collegium Musicum La Rioja in Logroño and giving the world premiere (for string orchestra) of Pau Casals’ String Quartet in E minor for the Reus Concert Association; Bulgaria’s Varna Summer International Music Festival; conducting the final round of the 14th UNISA International Piano Competition in Pretoria, South Africa; leading the American Festival Orchestra on a tour of China and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra in performances of A Southwest Nutcracker with Tucson Regional Ballet Company (his eleventh consecutive return). A trained violinist who can be heard playing every so often, Golan gives a special performance with the Yakima Symphony Chorus and makes a four-city duo-recital tour with pianist Steven Mayer, including a concert in New York City. Also of note is a return collaborative performance between the Denver Philharmonic and the Bayerische Philharmonie in Munich, Germany.
Highlights from recent seasons include return engagements with Italy’s Orchestra Sinfonica Città di Grosseto, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, the Portland Ballet Company and the Colorado Music Festival as well as debuts with Italy’s Orchestra Sinfonica di Sanremo, Mexico’s Orquesta de Cámara de Bellas Artes, China’s Wuhan Philharmonic, the Maui Pops Orchestra, the Batumi Music Festival in Georgia, Eastern Europe and a 14-city tour of China with the Denver Philharmonic.
As a recording artist, Mr. Golan has made several recordings, both as conductor and as a violinist. In 2018, Albany Records released the world premiere Blu-ray disc and audio CD of composer Jiaojiao Zhou’s theatrical symphonic poem Ode to Nature with the Lamont Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Golan and producer Dennis Law. Mr. Golan has recorded three CDs with the Moravian Philharmonic for Albany Records. The most recent, “Tchaikovsky 6 & Tchaikovsky 6.1” featuring the composer’s Symphony No. 6 and the recording premiere of Tchaikovsky 6.1 by Peter Boyer (a work commissioned by Golan), won two Prestige Music Awards. “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. Golan’s recording of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 & William Hill’s Beethoven 7.1 garnered two Global Music Awards. As a violinist, Golan recorded “Fantasia” a collection of works for solo violin and “Indian Summer: The Music of George Perlman,” which won two Global Music Awards.
A staunch advocate for music education, Lawrence Golan has been Director of Orchestral Studies and head of the graduate conducting program at the University of Denver since 2001. There he has won eight ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music, three Downbeat Magazine Awards for “Best College Symphony Orchestra” and The American Prize for Orchestral Performance – Collegiate Division.
An accomplished violinist, Golan served as Principal Second violinist of the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra (1989-1990) and then Concertmaster of the Portland Symphony Orchestra for eleven years (1990-2001), before focusing his career on the podium. He has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony and continues to perform, primarily to benefit orchestras of which he is Music Director.
As a composer/arranger, Golan’s edition and reduced orchestration of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker is published by Spurwink River Publishing. It is used by orchestras and ballet companies across North America. His scholarly-performing edition of the solo violin works of J. S. Bach, which includes a handbook on Baroque Performance Practice and The Lawrence Golan Violin Scale System are both published by Mel Bay Publications. Golan’s Fantasia for Solo Violin is published by Ludwig Music and won the Global Music Award for composition in 2011. A recording of the piece appears on the new CD Millennial Masters Vol. 9.
A native of Chicago, Lawrence Golan comes from a musical family – his father, the late Joseph Golan, was a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for forty-nine years and Principal Second Violinist for thirty-five of those years. Lawrence Golan received his Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance and Master of Music in Violin Performance and Orchestral Conducting from the Indiana University School of Music and his D.M.A. in Violin Performance and Orchestral Conducting from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. In 1999 he was awarded Tanglewood Music Center’s Leonard Bernstein Conducting Fellowship and in 2002, Aspen Music Festival’s Conducting Fellowship.
Mr. Golan’s previous positions include Resident Conductor, Phoenix Symphony (2006-2010), Music Director, Phoenix Youth Symphony (2006-2009), Music Director, Colorado Youth Symphony Orchestras (2002-2006), founder and Artistic Director, Atlantic Chamber Orchestra (1998-2003), Music Director, Portland Ballet Company (1997-2013) and Music Director, Southern Maine Symphony Orchestra (1990-2001). Lawrence and his wife Cecilia, who is from Buenos Aires, Argentina, have two young children.
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