Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra
The extraordinarily varied career of Steven Byess takes him not only to the stages of symphony orchestras and opera companies, but also to the stages and genres of Broadway, jazz and television. He is a dynamic conductor and has been hailed by critics as “masterful and brilliant,” “creating the epitome of instrumental elegance” and “a talented interpreter, able to capture the sweep of a piece without neglecting detail.”
He is the Music Director of the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tupelo Symphony Orchestra, the Associate Music Director of the Ohio Light Opera, Principal Guest Conductor of the Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra of Krakow, Poland, and formerly held the posts of Cover Conductor for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Conductor for the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, Israel, and Music Director of the Colorado Youth Symphony Orchestras. With the Ohio Light Opera, he has conducted, to critical acclaim, over 400 performances of 50 diverse operas, operettas, and musical theater works, and is featured on fifteen recordings by Newport Classics, Albany Records, and Operetta Archives.
Mr. Byess was chosen by Walt Disney World Entertainment to conduct the 2000 NFL E*TRADE Superbowl Halftime show. The production had over 400 performers, including the Walt Disney World Millennium Orchestra, and international artists Phil Collins, Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias, Toni Braxton, and Edward James Olmos, and was broadcast to over 900 million viewers worldwide. Mr. Byess is a passionate advocate for the arts, much sought after for his speeches on the arts, music, music education and general education. An important community leader, he has created and organized frequent and annual collaborations with numerous choruses, chamber music ensembles, and festivals of the arts. He also wrote, co-directed and is featured in a PBS presentation entitled Count On It! which is designed for children grades K-3, and shows the correlation of music to mathematics.
Guest engagements for 2012-2013 include The Florida Orchestra, the Albany Symphony Orchestra, the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra, the Lamont Symphony Orchestra, the Eastman Opera Theatre (Eastman School of Music), the Alabama and Tennessee All-State Orchestras, an eighth U.S. tour with the Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra from Krakow, Poland, and opera productions of Gianni Schicchi and Suor Angelica (Puccini), Candide (Bernstein), Falstaff (Verdi), Street Scene (Weill), Lady Be Good (Gershwin), The Gypsy Baron (Strauss), and La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein (Offenbach).