SILAS NATHANIEL HUFF
SILAS NATHANIEL HUFF is a conductor, composer, and U.S. Army Music Officer, currently acting as Music Director of the Astoria Symphony Orchestra (NYC), Music Director of the Boulder Concert Band (CO), Music Director of Colorado Pops Orchestra, Director of the University of Colorado Boulder Campus Orchestra, Assistant/Cover Conductor of the Boulder Philharmonic, and Co-Director of the International Conducting Institute (ICI), an organization dedicated to training the world's next generation of conductors. Maestro Huff has conducted outstanding orchestral, band, choral, opera, ballet, and new music performances for 15+ years across the United States and Europe. He has conducted youth, university, and professional ensembles in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia, and across Europe.
As a U.S. Army Music Officer, he has conducted concerts at the White House, the U.S. Capitol, Arlington National Cemetery, the Pentagon, and at other important monuments and landmarks in Washington, D.C., for diplomats, heads of state, royalty, and audiences numbering in the thousands. His recordings of important works and broadcasts of live performances have been seen by millions of listeners and viewers. Abroad, he has conducted the L’Orchestre de L’Institut Musical de Provence-Aubagne (Aix-en-Provence, France), the Republic of Adegya National Philharmonic Orchestra (Maikop, Russia), the New Symphony Orchestra (Sofia, Bulgaria), and the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra (Zlin, Czech Republic).
Maestro Huff's past positions include Music Director of Round Rock Symphony Orchestra (TX), Conductor of Moscow Ballet's USA east coast tours, Assistant Conductor of the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra (VA), and Associate Producer of Opera at the Manhattan School of Music. An avid dance conductor, Maestro Huff has conducted performances with the Fullerton College Ballet Theater (CA), Long Island City Ballet (NYC), Octavia Cup Dance Theatre (NYC), Moscow Ballet, and the Martha Graham Ensemble, with which he conducted Aaron Copland's completeAppalachian Spring with the original choreography, costumes, and set.
Reviews and Comments
"Guided by Mr. Huff, the orchestra played superbly well with a strong sense of ensemble."
"The playing of the orchestra was exhilarating and Mr. Huff made the brass section sound majestic."
“It was such a pleasure to work with you, and to be a part of such an exciting and well-thought out program! You created an evening that encouraged accessibility to classical music, and to kids of all ages, which is so so important!"
“It was a great show - my first Symphony Concert ever! It was amazing! The conductor was dynamic!...very entertaining and crowd-friendly."
"Thank you, thank you, thank you for getting the kids involved in music!”
"The event was superbly conducted and emceed by Huff..."
"Be forewarned - this is not your grandma's orchestra - and this progressive approach has been a given since Huff formed the organization..."
In 1999, Maestro Huff won First Prize in the Los Angeles Valley Composition Competition for his homage to Charles Ives, Begging the Question. In 2001, he was named Conductor of the Year by the California State University system, and the Texas House of Representatives signed House Resolution No. 113 recognizing Maestro Huff's distinguished musical service in 2011, and in 2015, the U.S. Army conferred upon him a Meritorious Service Medal for his outstanding and exceptionally meritorious leadership of the U.S. Army Orchestra in Washington, D.C. In 2017, the U.S. Army recognized his leadership of the U.S. Army School of Music with an Army Commendation Medal.
As a composer and advocate of new music, Maestro Huff has organized and presented concerts of contemporary music in California, Texas, New York, Virginia, Washington D.C., Spain, France, Germany, and Italy, and continues to compose, commission, conduct, and present new music. He has conducted dozens of world premieres, including his own. In 2007, he conducted the premiere of his Five Episodes for Cello and Orchestra, and 2009 saw the premiere of his first ballet, Chun Zhi Ge (“Spring Song Festival”), which was performed again in November 2011 in China before a live audience of 50,000 and a television audience of 100 million. In the fall of 2010, Maestro Huff conducted the orchestral premiere of his Four Cowboy Songs, and 2014 he directed the premiere of his Texas Ranger Fantasy for euphonium and symphonic band on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. In 2015, Maestro Huff conducted the premiere of his Big Brass Swingin' Christmas (for orchestra) in Williamsburg, VA. He will conduct the premiere of the symphonic band version in Boulder, CO, this December.
In 2011, Maestro Huff won a coveted conducting job with the U.S. Army Music Program. He enlisted in the U.S. Army, attended Basic Combat Training, Officer Candidate School, and the Basic Officer Leadership Course before taking his first post as Associate Conductor of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Band (Fort Eustis, VA). Since then, Captain Huff has also served as Associate Conductor of The U.S. Army Band “Pershing's Own” Concert Band (Washington, D.C.), Director of The U.S. Army Orchestra (D.C.), U.S. Army Central Music Liaison Officer in the Middle East, where he provided musical support to American, NATO, and Coalition troops, and State Department personnel in six countries, and Company Commander of the U.S. Army School of Music in Virginia Beach. In October 2017, CPT Huff took command of the 44th Army Band (the New Mexico Army National Guard Band in Albuquerque, NM).
A native Texan, Maestro Huff studied classical guitar, music theory, and composition at Texas State University before moving to Los Angeles where he earned a Master of Music degree in music theory and composition from UCLA. While there, he studied conducting with Maestro Donald Neuen, and upon graduation became a full-time student of orchestral conducting under Dr. Richard Rintoul at California State University Long Beach. Maestro Huff also spent one year in residence at the Trossingen Hochschule für Musik (Germany), six months studying privately in Berlin, two summers at L’Institut Musical Provence-Aubagne (France), and at the University of Colorado Boulder under the tutelage of Maestro Gary Lewis. He has attended dozens of workshops led by the world’s finest maestros, including Maestros Kirk Trevor, Neil Varon, Mark Gibson, Donald Schleicher, Markand Thakar, Gustav Meier, Joann Falletta, Jorge Mester, Michael Tilson Thomas, Carl St. Clair, Harold Farberman, and others.
Maestro/Captain Huff loves espresso, bicycling, and his novelist wife Taylor Morris.