Larry Livingston

Larry Livingston is a distinguished conductor, educator, and administrator, and a highly respected motivational speaker. The founding music director of the Illinois Chamber Orchestra, Livingston has appeared with the Houston Symphony and in the Los Angeles Philharmonic Green Umbrella Series. He has conducted at the Festival de Musique in Evian, France, and has led the Stockholm Wind Orchestra, as well as the Leopoldinum Chamber, Chopin Academy, Wroclaw Philharmonic and Academy Orchestras in Poland. He served as music director of the Pan Pacific Festival Orchestras in Sydney, participated as a performer and clinician at the International Jazz Festival in Rome, and conducted an electro-acoustic ensemble in concerts in Tokyo under the auspices of Yamaha International. Livingston has led the American Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Young Musicians Foundation Orchestra, the USC Thornton Chamber and Symphony Orchestras in Los Angeles and the USC Thornton Contemporary Music Ensemble in Berlin, and served on the jury for the renowned Besancon International Conducting Competition in Besancon, France.

Livingston frequently appears with professional, festival, collegiate, and all-state wind ensembles, bands, and orchestras throughout the United States, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. From 1983 to 2002, he served as a conductor in the University of Michigan All-State Program at Interlochen, has been conductor of the Festival Orchestra at Idyllwild Arts since 1989, and is the music director of Music for All’s National Honors Orchestra. He has served as a clinician for the University of Northern Colorado Conducting Symposium, a keynote presenter at the Fine Arts Institute in Tucson, and is an Ambassador for the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.

Since 2004, Livingston has toured with the famed Landes Jugend Orchester, served as clinician and guest conductor at the College Band Directors National Conference in Alice Tully Hall, led All-State Ensembles in Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, and Texas, where he appeared for the sixth time, a record unmatched in Texas All-State history.

Holding baccalaureate and master’s degrees from the University of Michigan, Livingston completed PhD coursework in theoretical studies at the University of California, San Diego. He studied conducting and interpretation with Laurence Livingston, Elizabeth Green, William Revelli, Rafael Druian, and Herbert Zipper. In 1988 he received the Alumnus of the Year Award from the University of Michigan School of Music. Livingston served as vice president and music director of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he was also conductor of the Symphony Orchestra and Contemporary Music Ensemble, and, subsequently, became dean of the Shepherd School of Music and Elma Schneider Professor of Music at Rice University in Houston. From 1986 until 2002, Livingston served as dean of the USC Flora L. Thornton School of Music, where he is currently chair of the conducting department and music director of Thornton School orchestras. The first music administrator accepted into the Harvard University Executive Education Program, he is a recipient of the Life in the Arts Award from Idyllwild Arts and an Outstanding Teacher Award from the student chapter of the USC Center for Religion.

As a motivational speaker, he has established a national reputation for inspiring presentations to corporate and business leaders across the United States. From 2002 to 2007 he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Guitar Center, for which he now serves as director of educational initiatives. Also, at the request of Quincy Jones, Livingston now chairs the Education Committee of the Quincy Jones Musiq Consortium.

Robert Franz

As Music Director of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra and the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival Orchestra, and Associate Conductor of the Houston Symphony, Robert Franz’s appeal as a first-rate conductor and enthusiastic award-winning educator is acclaimed by critics and composers. In increasing demand as a guest conductor, Franz’s recent appearances include The Cleveland Orchestra, the Baltimore, St. Louis and Victoria Symphonies, and the Orchestra da Camera Fiorentina in Italy. His guest conducting appearances for this season include the Winston-Salem Symphony, the Reno Chamber Orchestra and Opera Idaho.

In his sixth season as Windsor Symphony’s Music Director, Franz was recently recognized by The Windsor Endowment for the Arts with its Arts Leadership Award in Performing Arts. The WSO celebrated its 70th season last year and enjoyed its best year to-date, which included a record seven sold-out performances. Recent collaborations include the Windsor International Film Festival, the Art Gallery of Windsor, the Canadian Historical Aviation Association and the University of Windsor. The WSO’s 2018/2019 season will showcase Franz’s versatility with programs such as the Canadian premiere of Heather Schmidt’s Lunar Reflections (full orchestra version), collaboration with the Toronto-based Kamancello, an ensemble dedicated to building bridges between western classical music and middle eastern music, and the world premiere of Scylla, Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra by composer Jordan Pal.

Franz is celebrating his 11th season as Associate Conductor of the Houston Symphony where he was recently honored as the first member of the Symphony conducting staff with the Raphael Fliegel Award for Visionary Leadership. It was presented to Franz in recognition of his immense success in advancing the organization’s educational and community engagement activities. He continues to lead the Symphony in a broad range of creative educational and family concerts, including its summer neighborhood concert series, an outreach program dedicated to bringing music to all of Houston’s communities. During his tenure, attendance at family and educational concerts has almost doubled.

Franz marks his ninth year as Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival Orchestra Music Director by directing the festival orchestra and mentoring aspiring conductors. In past years, he has brought the orchestra to Denali National Park and Preserve in a performance that marked the first time an orchestra had performed there.

As Founder and Music Director of the Idaho Orchestra Institute, now in its second year, Franz oversees an intensive experience designed for college and advanced high school musicians.

ASCAP has recognized Franz on two occasions for his advocacy in arts education. Under his direction, both the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Louisville Orchestra were awarded the Leonard Bernstein Award for Educational Programming.