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UW Professor Conducts, Offers Master Class in Brazil

June 10, 2019
conductor with orchestra
Michael Griffith, right, UW director of orchestral activities, conducts the Orquestra Sinfônica de Goiânia (the Goiânia Symphony Orchestra) in Brazil. (Orquestra Sinfônica de Goiânia Photo)

University of Wyoming Department of Music Professor Michael Griffith recently was a guest conductor and taught a master class for young conductors in Brazil.

Griffith, director of orchestral activities who also just completed his 30th year as UW Symphony Orchestra conductor, left after UW spring semester final exams to spend two weeks in Goiânia, Brazil, where he was guest conductor for Orquestra Sinfônica de Goiânia (the Goiânia Symphony Orchestra). This was his second trip to Brazil.

Griffith led a program of Bernstein’s “Overture to Candide,” Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto and Elgar’s “Enigma Variations.” Griffith also taught a three-day master class for six young conductors -- all from Brazil -- through the Federal University of Goiás.

Next on his agenda is a two-week teaching opportunity at China’s Shanghai University June 17-28. This will be Griffith’s fourth trip to Shanghai.

Griffith has conducted in other cities around the world, such as Rio de Janeiro, with the Orquestra Petrobras Pro Musica; plus various venues around the United States.

“I also have taught conducting at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland, and taught UW’s London Semester at the University of London,” Griffith adds.

He is a past president of the Conductors Guild; a winner of an American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Adventurous Programming Award; was twice elected a UW “Top 10” teacher; and studied at the world-renowned Pierre Monteux School in Maine, at Michigan State University and at the University of Colorado, where he earned his doctorate.

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