Douglas Meyer Orchestra/Opera Conductor
Maestro Meyer is Conductor Laureate of the Pennsylvania Centre Orchestra. His guest conducting appearances have included invitations to lead the Bohuslav Martinu Phiharmonie in the Czech Republic, the Kurpfälzisches Kammer-orchestra in Mannheim, the Altoona Symphony, the Spokane Symphony, the Shenandoah Summer Music Festival, the Brevard Summer Festival, the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, and the South Arkansas Symphony. Recently Meyer made his Latin America debut with the Symphony Orchestra of the State of Mexico performing music of Wagner, Saint-Saens and Sibelius and a production of Puccini’s Tosca with Teatrul Național de Operă și Balet Oleg Danovski, Romania.
His repertoire from public performances includes more than 350 orchestral, oratorio and fully-staged operatic works. He has also served as a teacher of conducting at the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati and at The Pennsylvania State University. On tour with the Luther College Symphony Orchestra, Meyer has led concerts in Budapest, Prague, Paris, Stuttgart and Munich, and in Vienna led the Viennese premiere of Howard Hanson’s Second Symphony and William Schuman’s Song of Orpheus in the Konzerthaus.
Meyer conducted the world premiere performance of Paul & Virginie, libretto by Jean Cocteau and music by Charles Kalman, in Washington DC at the invitation of the French Ambassador and under the auspices of the Institute for Arts and Humanistic Studies at the Pennsylvania State University. Deeply committed to the performance of music in a variety of forms he has served as Music Director and Conductor of the Dorian Opera Theatre in Iowa, Conductor of the Rochester Light Opera in Rochester, Minnesota, and Music Director of the Southwest Symphony in Arizona, the Salisbury Symphony in North Carolina, the Old York Road Symphony in Philadelphia, and the Cincinnati Civic and Civic Youth Orchestra in Ohio.
Douglas Meyer has been called a “truly magnificent conductor” by the German newspaper, Die Rheinpfalz. His engaging conducting, fascinating programming and crystalline interpretation are hallmarks of this American conductor. Meyer is the founding conductor of the Pennsylvania Centre Orchestra, organized in 1991, presenting a series of 6 concerts spanning the repertoire from Baroque to world-premiere presentations. Under Meyer’s direction the orchestra has expanded its season from three to six concerts and has helped to build the budget from $3,000 to $125,000. PCO has commissioned new music, presented an award-winning concert of the Music of Mozart and the Words of Da Ponte (Da Ponte was a onetime resident of Sunbury, PA) introduced many works new to Central Pennsylvania audiences, and attracted the finest professional performers to the ensemble. Meyer has provided leadership and advice in the development of the orchestra’s board and the audience.
Maestro Meyer has been honored by the Mayor of the City of Cincinnati who declared “Douglas Meyer Day” recognizing him for his work with the Civic and Civic Youth Orchestra. He has held fellowships in orchestra and opera conducting at the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, at the Tamarack Festival in Spokane, Washington and was a finalist in the ORF Conducting Competition in Salzburg, Austria.
Meyer has studied with such eminent conductors as Pierre Boulez at the Musik Akademie der Stadt Basel in Switzerland and with Otmar Suitner at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. As a member of the conducting class at the Eastern Institute of Orchestral Studies, sponsored by the American Symphony Orchestra League, he studied with Richard Lert. Dr. Meyer’s PhD in orchestra and opera conducting is from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati where he was a student of Erich Kunzel and Robert Whitney. In Cleveland George Szell allowed him to observe numerous rehearsals of the Cleveland Orchestra. Maestro Meyer’s major instrument is the French horn with additional study of viola and piano. His Master’s Degree is from the Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University where his major was Music Theory and Composition.
Among his compositions are A Thanksgiving Cantata, The Policy Cantata: A satiric comment on academe, Die Abdukktion aus dem Lokkerroom (humorous chamber opera), and The Bremen Town Musicians (with narration for family concerts). Among his orchestrations are Brahms: Hungarian Dances, Debussy: The Children’s Corner and music of Ives, Dvorak, Mahler, and Grieg.
Dr. Meyer has initiated community involvement opportunities in his recent orchestral positions including Classical Tailgates, Family Concerts, the Young Artist Concerto Competition, Luncheon’s with the Maestro, Travels with the Maestro (educational, arts explorations of central Europe that are also fund-raisers), and An Evening in Old Vienna at The Tavern Restaurant, with music of the Strauss family.
Dr. Meyer’s guest conducting of select regional youth orchestras has included the Wyoming All-State Orchestra, the Wisconsin Honors Orchestra, the New Jersey All-State Orchestra, the San Diego Youth Symphony, the Huston Youth Orchestra, and other festivals and youth orchestras in North Dakota, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Iowa.