1000 E. University Avenue
Laramie, WY 82071
Fine Arts 258
Boulder Daily Camera
Estes Park Trial Gazette
Ellesworth (Maine) American
Now in his twenty-fourth year as Music Director and Conductor of the University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra, Michael Griffith brings to his concerts a wealth of experience and a wide repertoire, ranging from the early Baroque to twenty-two world premieres. Guest conducting engagements have included Orquestra Petrobras Pro Musica in Rio de Janeiro, orchestras in Chicago and Cleveland, and along the Front Range Denver's Mercury Ensemble, the Ft. Collins Symphony, Cheyenne Symphony, Opera Fort Collins, Colorado Music Festival (Boulder), Longmont Symphony, Powder River Symphony, and Broomfield Symphony. His Canadian concert venues have included Toronto, London, Sudbury, and North Bay, and in 2007 he led the UW Symphony in a week-long concert tour of Bolivia. With younger musicians has conducted All-State and other honors ensembles and clinics from the Atlantic coast to the Rocky Mountains and in Canada as well.
Dr. Griffith is a past president of the Conductors Guild, a winner of a 2005 ASCAP/ League of American Orchestras Award for Adventurous Programming, and was a 2012 finalist for The American Prize in concert programming. He has taught conducting at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland, and was a guest lecturer for a month at China's Shanghai University. His UW teaching has been recognized by his being elected a Top Ten Teacher by the UW graduating classes of 2006 and 2012, his being selected to teach the 2008 UW London Semester and two UW Winter Session cultural tours of New York City, his nomination for an Ellbogen Teaching Award, and his "Thumbs-Up" award from the UW Arts & Sciences student council for his "outstanding positive contributions" to the university.
The soundtrack he conducted for Wyoming Public Television's Wyoming Voices won both a Gold Aurora award and a Videographer Award of Distinction. He conducted the UW Chamber Orchestra at the 2009 All-Northwest convention of the Music Educators National Conference, and has conducted performances with renowned guest artists such as the late harpsichordist Igor Kipnis, pianist Christopher O'Riley, the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, cellist Carter Brey, violinist Benny Kim, soprano Deborah Selig, and many others. Broadcast performances include the Nigerian Broadcasting Company, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Minnesota Public Radio, Nebraska Public Radio, University of Illinois Public Radio, KUSF San Francisco, Wyoming Public Television, and Wyoming Public Radio.
Dr. Griffith inherited his musical talent from his paternal grandmother Rose Brandt, a leading soprano in the Vienna Folksoper early in the 20th century. Born in New York City of Viennese parents, he grew up in Cleveland, where he studied oboe with Harvey McGuire and Robert Zupnic of The Cleveland Orchestra. His conducting teachers were Charles Bruck at the world-renowned Pierre Monteux School near Bar Harbor, Maine, Dennis Burkh and Kenneth Bloomquist at Michigan State University, and Giora Bernstein at the University of Colorado, where he earned his doctorate.
Dr. Griffith is a published composer and ASCAP member, and has contributed to the Conductors' Guild Journal, its Podium Notes Newsletter and New Music Panels, and to conferences of the College Music Society and the Wyoming Music Educators' Association. He has also been a guest conductor at the University of Cincinnati, Michigan State University, the University of Missouri, Iowa State University, the University of Colorado, Pacific Lutheran University, and Millikin University. Equally at home in the orchestra pit as on the concert stage, Dr. Griffith has conducted operas, ballets, operettas, and musical comedies in Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, Colorado, South Dakota, and Wyoming. For ten years he was on the faculty of Michigan Tech University, serving as conductor of their Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra and as Director of Bands.