ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AND CONDUCTOR
A native of Richmond VA, Brian Dowdy is the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Mississippi Valley Orchestra. He is also a James Sample Fellow, co-director of Campus Orchestras, and Summer Orchestra conductor at the University of Minnesota and Principal Conductor of Twin Cities Fringe Opera.
From the pit, Dowdy has recently led productions of Don Giovanni, Hänsel und Gretel, Susannah, Le tragédie de Carmen, and The Rape of Lucretia. Also passionate about choral music, Dowdy recently directed and sang in “Pesher Compline” at the Walker Art Center with members of Cantus, and in 2012 he joined the Sanctuary choir of Richmond, VA in recording “Music for Compline,” an album of plainchant and renaissance motets. As an advocate for new music, Dowdy has led premier performances for the Switchboard Music Festival and Hot Air Music Festival in San Francisco, and in 2013 he conducted the Atlantic Chamber Ensemble in “Project Beck,” a night of 20 premiers inspired by Beck Hansen’s “Song Reader.”
Dowdy is a diversely-experienced educator and community advocate both on and off the podium. Since 2001 he has been giving private lessons, coaching chamber music, teaching early childhood music, and leading regional orchestra clinics. His educational activities have taken him beyond the private studio, reaching out to students from the San Francisco Unified School District, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra, and secondary schools in greater Minnesota. Dowdy has also moderated panel discussions, given pre-concert lectures, and performed educational recitals for national conventions, community centers, nursing homes, and underserved school systems. As a partner with Delphi Initiatives, his family’s leadership consultancy, he has facilitated leadership-training programs, team-building interventions, and strategic planning sessions for small non-profits, regional health care systems, and international relief organizations.
Dowdy studied at Oberlin and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and he is now completing his doctoral studies at the University of Minnesota. His principal mentors have included Erin Freeman, Daniel Myssyk, Kathy Salztman Romey, and Mark Russell Smith. Dowdy currently resides in Minneapolis with his wife Susan and their son Luca. Outside of his musical activities, he enjoys practicing Aikido, cycling, singing karaoke, and rooting for the Twins.
Additional information about Brian is located at www.briandowdy.com.