Vibrant, inspired performances, imaginative programming and evocative command of different styles and composers are the hallmarks of American conductor Lawrence Golan. He has served as Music Director of the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra since 2013 and was newly appointed Principal Guest Conductor of Germany’s Bayerische Philharmonie in April 2021. Lawrence’s Music Directorship with the Yakima Symphony Orchestra in Washington state has been renewed for seven more years (through the 2028-29 season) and with Pennsylvania’s York Symphony Orchestra for five more years (through the 2024-25 season).
A dynamic, charismatic communicator, he also continues as Music Director of the Lamont Symphony Orchestra and Opera Theatre at the University of Denver. Having 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, Lawrence continues to develop relationships with orchestras nationally and abroad.
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.
A staunch advocate for music education, Lawrence 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.
A native of Chicago, Lawrence 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.
His 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.