Music Director/ Conductor
Diane Wittry, named nationally as one of the "Top 30 Influencers" in music by Musical America Worldwide for her work leading orchestras, is one of the foremost conductors in the United States 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, Jorge Mester, and Daniel Lewis, among others, and has been profiled in the New York Times.
Under Diane Wittry's artistic leadership, the Allentown Symphony Orchestra has risen to increasing standards of excellence, performing exciting music with passion and dedication, winning the prestigious national “American Prize” for artistic quality in both 2014 and 2017, receiving national NEA Grants, commissioning new pieces of music, and featuring exception soloists like Midori, Emanuel Ax, Angela Meade, and Branford Marsalis.
During her tenure with the ASO, Diane has built a well-earned reputation for her innovative style of multi-media programming that uses other art forms to enhance the concert experience. She has expanded the concert series and developed outreach programs such as the Allentown Symphony Chorus, the
Schadt National String Competition, Young Musicians String Festival, the Fantasy Symphony for amateur musicians, the Conducting Fellows Program, ASO Annual Youth and Family Concerts, yearly Composer Competitions, Meet the Artists brown bag talks, a new Chamber Music Series, and on-going partnerships with arts organizations throughout the Lehigh Valley.
Diane Wittry has also championed the commissioning of new works and the ASO will perform three world premieres during 2018-2019 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 is the newly appointed Music Director and Conductor of the Garden State Philharmonic, NJ, and in the past 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. 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), and the Arts Ovation Award and the Woman of Distinction Award (Allentown, PA).