Music Director/ Conductor
Diane Wittry is considered one of the foremost conductors in the United States today. In December 2015, she was named as one of the "Top 30 Influencers" in music by Musical America for her work leading orchestras and teaching hundreds of young conductors throughout the world. Frequently engaged as a guest conductor, she has led symphonic performances in more than 10 countries and throughout the U.S. She has worked with conductors Michael Tilson Thomas, Pierre Boulez, and Daniel Lewis, among others, and has been profiled in the New York Times.
The Allentown Symphony Association appointed Diane Wittry as its third Music Director and Conductor in 1995. Under her artistic leadership, the Orchestra has risen to increasing standards of excellence, performing exciting music with passion and dedication, and winning the prestigious national “American Prize” for artistic quality in 2014.
During her tenure with the ASO, she has built a well-earned reputation for her innovative style of multi-media programming that uses other art forms to enhance the concert experience. Diane has expanded the concert series and developed outreach programs such as the Schadt National String Competition, Young Musicians String Festival, the Phantasy Symphony for amateur musicians, the Conducting Fellows Program, ASO Annual Youth and Family Concerts, Meet the Artists brown bag talks, and the Allentown Symphony Chorus.
Diane Wittry has also championed the commissioning of new works and the ASO will perform two world premieres during 2016-2017 season. A composer herself, Diane's compositions have been performed and recorded by orchestras in the United States and Europe and are published by the Theodore Presser Company. Her piece "Mist," premiered by the Allentown Symphony and recorded by the Slovak State Orchestra, is available for download on Spotify and amazon.
In addition to her work with the ASO, Diane Wittry has served as the Associate Conductor of the renowned Ojai Music Festival (CA); the Artistic Director of the International Music Program with the Sarajevo Philharmonic, Bosnia; and Music Director and Conductor of the Symphony of Southeast Texas, the Norwalk Symphony (CT), and the Ridgewood Symphony (NJ).
Wittry is an award-winning author, composer, and teacher. Her two books, Beyond the Baton, and Baton Basics-Communicating Music through Gestures, have become standards in the field. Hundreds of conductors from all over the world have studied conducting with her, and she regularly gives presentations at the Juilliard School of Music, the Curtis Institute, the Manhattan School of Music, and for the League of American Orchestras and the Conductors Guild National Conferences.
Wittry has received the national Helen M. Thompson Award from the League of American Orchestras, the USC Thornton School of Music Outstanding Alumnus Award, the Gold Crown Award (Pasadena, CA), the Women of Excellence Award (Beaumont, TX), the Arts Ovation Award and the Woman of Distinction Award (Allentown, PA). Last November, the mayor of Allentown declared Oct 1st Diane Wittry appreciation day in recognition of her 20 years of service to the Allentown Symphony and the Lehigh Valley.