Acclaimed for his imaginative programming, evocative command of distinctive styles and composers, and vibrant performances, American conductor Lawrence Golan has served as Music Director of the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra since 2013. Lawrence is also Principal Guest Conductor of the Bayerische Philharmonie in Munich, Germany and Music Director of the Yakima Symphony Orchestra in Washington state, the York Symphony Orchestra in Pennsylvania and the Lamont Symphony Orchestra and Opera Theatre at the University of Denver. A dynamic, charismatic communicator and popular collaborator, Golan has conducted throughout the United States and in Bulgaria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, El Salvador, England, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
Maestro Golan’s summer 2022 engagements included serving as a jury member for the María Herrero International Piano Competition in Granada, Spain, returning to Munich to conduct the Bayerische Philharmonie in collaboration with the Denver Philharmonic, and leading the Yakima Symphony Orchestra’s 50th Anniversary Gala Concert featuring violinist Joshua Bell.
Concerts of note this 2022-23 season include Yakima Symphony Orchestra’s season opening concert featuring the World Premiere of Golan’s own Fantasia for Orchestra, and the symphony’s February performance featuring photographer and multimedia artist Nicholas Bardonnay in a concert juxtaposing Mozart’s Divertimento in D (with Golan playing violin and conducting) and Symphony No. 40 with two works by Revueltas and two works by Moncayo. The orchestra also presents an all-Rachmaninov concert and two thrilling pops concerts: one featuring the film Nosferatu and the other “West Side Story Retold” with the Yakima Symphony Chorus and Chorusmaster Justin Raffa. The Denver Philharmonic Orchestra’s 75th Anniversary season features several special performances: the opening night concert offers Tchaikovsky’s fifth symphony as well as the Colorado premiere of Golan’s Fantasia for Orchestra; its May celebratory concert features highlights from the orchestra’s first performance in 1948 including Sibelius’ En Saga. The York Symphony Orchestra marks the opening night of its 90th season with Beethoven’s Consecration of the House. It also presents “Copland & Bartók: American Voices” in November, featuring Henry Fogel as narrator for Copland’s Lincoln Portrait and composer/musician Jill Haley’s National Parks Suite featuring the artist as soloist. York’s season concludes with Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, featuring the York Symphony Chorus and Chorusmaster Kathleen Shannon. Guesting highlights include conducting the November 2022
Finals of the Spanish Composers International Piano Competition in Madrid, Spain, and returning to Arizona in December to lead the Tucson Symphony Orchestra in The Nutcracker with Ballet Tucson. Upcoming summer 2023 engagements include the State Symphony Orchestra of Kazakhstan in Nur-Sultan, the Hotchkiss Music Festival in Madrid, Spain, and a return to the Bayerische Philharmonie in Munich as well as to the María Herrero International Piano Competition’s jury panel in Granada.
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. Debuts include 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 numerous recordings, both as conductor and as a violinist. Recordings include two from the 2021-22 season: the Yakima Symphony Orchestra with the Villalobos Brothers and Centaur Records’ release of Lawrence Golan, Fantasia. His discography includes the 2018 Albany Records world premiere release of the Blu-ray disc and audio CD of composer Jiaojiao Zhou’s theatrical symphonic poem Ode to Nature with the Lamont Symphony Orchestra and producer Dennis Law and three CDs with the Moravian Philharmonic for Albany Records. 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. His latest honor is the 2021 Distinguished Scholar Award from the University of Denver.
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 under Daniel Barenboim, and continues to perform, primarily to benefit orchestras of which he is Music Director.
A respected author/composer/arranger, in 2021 Mr. Golan released a new composition; Fantasia for Orchestra, distributed by Notation Central, and his latest book, Score Study Passes, published by Globe Edit. 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 and Europe. 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 LudwigMasters and won the Global Music Award for composition in 2011. A recording of the piece appears on both the Ablaze Records disc “Millennial Masters Vol. 9” and the Centaur Records CD “Lawrence Golan, Fantasia.”
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, The 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.