Internationally acclaimed conductor, DIANE WITTRY, maintains a dual career as an esteemed music director and guest conductor throughout the world. She specializes in conducting American music abroad, and is known in the United States for her innovative and creative programming. Recently named as one of the "Top 30 Professional Musicians" by Musical America (Dec 2015) and the "Outstanding Alumnus of the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California (2013), Diane Wittry brings a proven track record regarding her ability to inspire musicians and to build an orchestra artistically and organizationally.
A frequent guest conductor of professional orchestras across the country, Diane Wittry has conducted orchestras throughout Europe and Asia, including China, Poland, Canada, Bosnia, Russia, Slovakia, Japan, Italy, as well as her regularly scheduled concerts with orchestras in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
In the United States, Diane Wittry has led performances by, among others, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Buffalo Philharmonic, Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, and the symphony orchestras of Milwaukee, San Diego, Houston, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Springfield, Topeka, Augusta, Stockton, Pottstown, Wichita, York, and Wichita Falls; while her international engagements include concerts with the Sarajevo Philharmonic in Bosnia, the Zabrze Philharmonic in Poland, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, Russia's Maikop and Sochi symphony orchestras, Slovakia's State Orchestra-Kosice, Italy's Sinfonia Dell'Arte di Firenze, Canada's Niagara Symphony, and Japan's Osaka Symphony Orchestra. She has also conducted at the music festivals of Ojai (CA), Penn's Woods (PA), and I-Park (CT).
As the Music Director of the Allentown Symphony, PA ( www.AllentownSymphony.org ) a professional orchestra with a 3 million budget that performs about 24 concerts a year, Diane Wittry has established a reputation for her creative programming and innovative approach to concert formats. She has a proven ability to develop an orchestra musically and an extensive knowledge and experience with orchestral repertoire. The Stamford Advocate, CT, described Diane Wittry as "a conductor who specializes in finding creative ways to make the music fresh, accessible, and exciting." She has been a tireless advocate for the development of extensive educational programs and is very involved with the Allentown Symphony's new El Sistema Program for underprivileged children.
Reviews and Comments
"Norwalk has one of the best Symphonies in the state, and its own secret weapon in Music Director/Conductor Diane Wittry, who specializes in finding creative ways to make the music fresh, accessible and exciting."
THE ADVOCATE (CT)
"The Allentown Symphony goes beyond.... Wittry's performance of the Brahms Symphony No. 2 carried itself with a distinctively airy, transparent sonority."
THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER (PA)
"Under the baton of Diane Wittry, the Mozart Serenade No. 10 in B-flat was played with very impressive wind ensemble sound and phrasing that nearly made this Mozart fan think he had died and gone to heaven."
THE WASHINGTON POST (D.C.)
"First and foremost, Diane Wittry is an outstanding musician and conductor ... she clearly articulates her ideas, achieves immediate musical results, and possesses impeccable baton technique."
THE GRIFFIN (NY)
Diane Wittry continues as the Artistic Director (USA) for the International Cultural Exchange Program for Classical Musicians through the Sarajevo Philharmonic (Bosnia), and the Bosnian-Herzegovinian American Academy for Arts and Sciences. She also serves as the Artistic Director for Pizazz Music, and the Ridgewood Symphony, NJ.
Other orchestras that Diane Wittry has been the Music Director and Conductor of include the Norwalk Symphony (CT), the Southern California Sinfonia (CA), the Lamar Chamber Orchestra, and the Symphony of Southeast Texas, (Beaumont, TX), where her work garnered the League of American Orchestra's Helen M Thompson Award. She also was the Music Director and Conductor of the Greater Miami Youth Symphony (FL), a program with 200 students, three orchestras, and 12 chamber music ensembles, and the Meremblum Junior Symphony (CA).
Diane Wittry began her conducting studies with Daniel Lewis at the University of Southern California, from which she graduated with honors. While still a student, she was the recipient of a conducting fellowship from the Aspen Music Festival. Her other teachers and mentors include Michael Tilson Thomas, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Gustav Meier and Jorge Mester; most recently, she worked with the renowned Russian conductor Leonid Korchmar of the Kirov Opera, and Jorma Panula from Finland.
As a teacher, Diane Wittry, is a frequent guest lecturer at the Juilliard School, the Manhattan School of Music, and the Curtis Institute of Music, as well as other Universities and Colleges. She has been a faculty member at Lamar University (Beaumont, TX) where she successfully recruited a large class of string students from Europe and Asia for the Lamar Chamber Orchestra, and a lecturer at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music where she taught conducting courses. Diane Wittry has the ability to organize and build a nationally recognized orchestral program, and is sought after as a clinician, adjudicator, and conductor for All-State Orchestras. More recently, she conducted the Oregon All-State Orchestra, and she was the featured Masterclass Conducting Teacher at the national College Orchestra Directors Association.
Diane Wittry has taught national and international conducting courses and workshops through the International Conductors Institute, the South Carolina Conductor's Institute, and the Beyond the Baton Conducting Seminars and Workshops. She has served as a National Conducting Mentor for regional music directors in their first or second year through the League of American Orchestras, as well as being a frequent faculty member for the League's National Leadership Academy. She is also a part of the National Conducting Mentoring Committee through the Conductors Guild and a frequent guest speaker at national conferences and for civic organizations.
An award winning author and scholar, her book, "Beyond the Baton", (Oxford University Press, 2007) www.BeyondtheBaton.com was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and has become a standard, both nationally and internationally, in the field. Her most recent book "Baton Basics - Communicating Music Through Gestures" (Oxford University Press, Dec.2014) is being utilized by conducting classes across the country.
Over the years, Diane Wittry has received many honors and awards, including the American Symphony Orchestra League's Helen M. Thompson Award for outstanding artistic leadership of a regional orchestra. She has been the subject of profiles in The New York Times and Newsweek. Ms. Wittry received an Outstand Achievement Award, Allentown, PA, the Women of Excellence Award in Beaumont, Texas, the Arts Ovation Award and the Woman of Distinction Award from Allentown, PA. And she is only the third American to be named - in recognition of her leadership in the arts and humanities - the recipient of the prestigious Fiorino Doro Award from the City of Vinci, Italy.
Recently, Diane Wittry has also established a reputation as a composer. Her orchestral piece, "Mist" was premiered by the Allentown Symphony Orchestra and has had many performances and radio broadcasts nationally and internationally. It is available for streaming at Amazon.com in a recording by the Slovak State Philharmonic. Her other compositions, Lamentoso, after the rain, Concerto for Home-made Instruments, and the Ode to Joy Fanfare, have all received premieres and multiple performances. Her music is published by the Theodore Presser Company.
Diane Wittry has been a juror for the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers' (ASCAP) Annual Rudolf Nissim Composer's Competition in New York, an adjudicator for new compositions for the artist residency program at I-Park in Connecticut, and she has also served as a music panelist for National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, DC.