DIANE WITTRY — MUSIC DIRECTOR/CONDUCTOR | ALLENTOWN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Diane Wittry is one of the foremost woman conductors in the US today. 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 in the last 20 years, 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, Phantasy Symphony for amateur musicians, Conducting Fellows Program, ASO Annual Youth and Family Concerts, Meet the Artists brown bag talks, and the Allentown Symphony Chorus.
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. Next January, Wittry will be the featured conducting teacher for the CODA National Conference (College Orchestra Director’s Association).
As a composer, Diane Wittry's compositions are published by Theodore Presser Company. Her pieces have been performed and recorded by orchestras in the United States and Europe. Wittry's composition "Mist, " premiered by the Allentown Symphony in 2008, will have its New York premiere in October 2015.
Awards Diane Wittry has received include 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), and the Arts Ovation Award and the Woman of Distinction Award (Allentown, PA.)
Previous Schadt String Competition Judges
Finals Judges: Jesús Castro-Balbi’, Richard Weiss
Prelim Judges: Susannah Chapman, Sarah Kim
Finals Judges: Janet Sung, Joel Smirnoff, Inna Nedorezov
Prelim Judges: Carmit Zori, Francesca DePasquale
2014 - Guitar
2004 - Cello
Prelim Judges: Orlando Cole, Paul Tobias