GLEN CORTESE begins his first season as artistic director of the Schenectady Symphony Orchestra and his fourteenth season as artistic director of the Western New York Chamber. He just completed twelve seasons as music director of the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra and was named music director emeritus of the Oregon Mozart Players after serving as artistic director for nine seasons. His recent guest engagements have included the Eugene Opera, Madison Lyric Stage, The Three Tenors Concert in Tirana Albania to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the independence of Kososvo, RTSH Radio Orchestra (Albania) Emerald City Opera, Opera Fort Collins, Wolftrap Opera, The Charleston Symphony, the Sapporo Festival Orchestra, the Slovak Radio Orchestra the Sofia Philharmonic, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, the Mexico City Philharmonic, Colorado Springs Philharmonic, the Paducah Symphony Orchestra, the Lafayette Symphony, the Billings Symphony, the Lyric Opera of Cleveland, and the Annapolis Symphony. He was resident conductor of the Florida Philharmonic for the 2001–2002 season and completed twelve seasons at the Manhattan School of Music where he was principal conductor from 1988 to 2000. He has appeared as guest conductor both in the United States and abroad with the Symphonies of New Jersey, Florida Philharmonic, Austin, Mexico City Philharmonic, North Carolina, Colorado Springs, Bangor, Meridian, Queens, New Amsterdam, The New Orleans Philharmonic, the International Chamber Orchestra, the Belarus Sate Philharmonic, Sofia Philharmonic National Romanian Radio Orchestra, Noorhollands Philharmonisch, Orquesta Sinfonica Carlos Chavez, San Francisco Conservatory, Cleveland Institute, and the Altenburg Landeskappele Orchestra. Mr. Cortese covered as assistant conductor to the New York Philharmonic in 1990–92 for Zubin Mehta, Leonard Slatkin, Charles Dutoit, Yuri Temirikanov, Erich Leinsdorf, Zdenek Macal and Cristof Perick. In July of 1993, he was invited by Kurt Masur to guest conduct a reading with the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall.
In August of 1994, Mr. Cortese began his tenure as music director of the East-West International Symphony Orchestra in Altenburg, Germany, a position that he held for seven years. He conducted over fifty concerts and two operas in seven seasons with the orchestra, made up of advanced conservatory students from ten different nations. His work at the Manhattan School of Music included the school’s debut performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and City Center as well as the MSM Orchestra’s first performance on “Live from Lincoln Center”. He received the honor of “Recording of the Month” in STEREOPHILE magazine for his release of Mahler’s Sixth Symphony with the Manhattan School on Titanic Records. His recording of Mahler’s Third Symphony with the Manhattan School was called “a remarkable achievement” in the American Record Guide.
This season alone he will conduct five stage works, Beatirce and Benedict, Candide, Little Women, West Side Story and Othello. In 2011 he conducted the world premiere of John Musto’s new opera, “The Inspector” at the Wolftrap Opera, and his other opera credits include guest conductor with the Eugene Opera, Florida Grand Opera, New York City Opera, the Cleveland Lyric Opera, the Maryland Opera Studio, the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival Opera Theater, the Manhattan School Opera Theater, and the East West International Opera Theater. Mr. Cortese’s credits in the world of dance include performances with the Connecticut Ballet, Joffrey II Ballet, the Elisa Monte Dance Company and the SUNY Purchase Dance Corps. He appeared regularly for five years as conductor for the Erick Hawkins Dance Company at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Joyce Theatre and on national tours. He has conducted at numerous summer festivals including Chautauqua, Bowdoin Summer Music Festival, American Dance Festival, The New York Music Institute, Sewanee Music Festival and the Brevard Music Center. He has conducted performances of large collaborative projects including chorus, orchestra and dance at Carnegie Hall, as well as having performed in virtually every major performance venue in New York. His work in education is extensive, conducting community outreach programs, educational concerts and children's videos on classical music. Mr. Cortese has conducted concerti and solo works with many renowned performers, including Ransom Wilson, Sharon Isbin, Ruth Laredo, Nathaniel Rosen, Glenn Dicterow, Silvia McNair, Mignon Dunn and Dawn Upshaw. A strong advocate of new music, he has conducted over 150 premieres and has worked in direct collaboration with composers such as Milton Babbitt, Elliott Carter, John Corigliano, George Crumb, Richard Danielpour, Peter Maxwell Davies, Lukas Foss, Hans Werner Henze, and Ralph Shapey. In June of 1993 through 2000, he was the eight-time recipient of the ASCAP New and Adventuresome Programming Award for his work at the Manhattan School.
Mr. Cortese is also an accomplished composer and winner of numerous awards including the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a two time winner of the Joseph E. Bearns Prize, and a CAPS Grant from the New York Council on the Arts. He is also the recipient of the Arthur Judson Foundation Award for a Young American Conductor and his discography includes recordings on the Bridge, Titanic, Newport Classics, Phoenix, Owl, CMS and Le Crepuscule du Disc labels.