Brian Onderdonk, Opera Conductor
Maestro Brian Onderdonk has become well known for his unique versatility on the podium and has amassed a repertoire of over 45 opera productions, including three operatic world premieres and a wide range of symphonic guest conducting appearances. For the past nine seasons Maestro Onderdonk has served as Music Director and Principal Conductor for Center Stage Opera, leading the company in numerous highly acclaimed staged productions. He was also recently appointed to the conducting staff with the Evansville Philharmonic as Youth Orchestra Music Director, conducting regular symphonic performances with the orchestra at the historic Victory Theatre in downtown Evansville. Maestro Onderdonk was honored to conduct performances of Eugene Onegin and Die Zauberflöte with the Burgas Opera and Philharmonic in Bulgaria. Other notable operatic endeavors have included productions of Carmen, La Traviata, Rigoletto,Faust, Cosí fan tutte, Don Giovanni, La bohéme, Madama Butterfly, Tosca,Barber of Seville, and Albert Herring.
Maestro Onderdonk’s symphonic repertoire has included Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3; Dvorak’s Symphonies Nos. 6, 7 and 8; Mozart’s Requiem and Symphonies Nos. 1, 25, 30, and 38; and Schubert’s Symphonies Nos. 5 and 6. Other favorites have included Bizet’s Carmen Suites; Copland’s Rodeo, Holst’s The Planets, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, and Grieg’s Holberg Suite. In addition to these performances, he has been a guest conductor with the Rio Hondo Symphony Orchestra and served as guest Music Director of the UC Santa Barbara Symphony. Maestro Onderdonk also held the Conducting Fellowship with the nationally renowned American Youth Symphony in Los Angeles for five consecutive years.
Maestro Onderdonk received his DM degree at Indiana University, where he served as Assistant Conductor for the IU Opera Theatre, assisting world-renowned conductors David Effron and Arthur Fagen among others. In 2013, Mr. Onderdonk joined The Atlanta Opera as Associate Conductor for their production of Tosca, for which he conducted the student outreach performances at the Cobb Energy Center. He also had the privilege of performing with the internationally acclaimed Italian tenor trio Il Volo during their 2013 North American Tour, conducting symphony orchestras on such stages as the Gibson Amphitheater, the Detroit Fox Theatre, and Radio City Music Hall.
Over the course of his career, Mr. Onderdonk has shown particular interest in the field of modern opera, and in 2011 conducted the immensely successful World Premiere of Philip Westin's Marie's Orchard, commissioned and produced by Center Stage Opera. In addition, he conducted the workshop premiere of PQ Phan's new opera The Tale of Lady Thi Kinh with the 2011 Bloomington Summer Music Festival and has collaborated with the IU Opera Theater on the 2011 World Premiere of Bernard Rands' Vincent, as well as their recent production of Philip Glass' Ahknaten. In 2014, Mr. Onderdonk was invited to conduct David Chesky’s contemporary opera The Mice War in a joint production with Orchestra Miami and the Florida Grand Opera Resident Artist program.