Roger Kalia - Music Director PSYO
Hailed as a conductor who leads with “vigor” and “commitment” by the Charlotte Observer and for bringing a “fresh view to classical music” by The Republic, Roger Kalia is currently the assistant conductor of Pacific Symphony as well as music director of Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra.
But there's a lot more to him than that...just try and keep up with him!
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Hailed as a conductor who leads with “passionate intensity” and recognized as “one to watch,” Roger Kalia is one of America’s most exciting young conductors. A recipient of a 2013 and 2017 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award, Kalia is currently the assistant conductor of Pacific Symphony and the music director of Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra.
He began his tenure in 2015, and was recently awarded a two-year contract extension, becoming only the second assistant conductor in Pacific Symphony’s history to receive this honor.
Kalia also serves as co-founder and music director of the Lake George Music Festival in upstate New York, the premier musical arts festival in the region. Previously, he served for two seasons as assistant conductor of the Charlotte Symphony, where he conducted the orchestra in a variety of performances and invigorated the orchestra’s engagement with the community.
Kalia has also held music director positions with both the Young Musicians Foundation (YMF) Debut Orchestra and Columbus (IN) Symphony Orchestra, the oldest orchestra in the state and only its fourth music director. In June 2016, Kalia led the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra on a highly successful tour of China, which marked the orchestra’s second international tour and its first to Asia.
The orchestra performed sold-out concerts in Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Hall and Shanghai’s Oriental Arts Centre as well as a cultural exchange concert with the Shanghai Nanyang Model School Orchestra, which was broadcasted worldwide on International Channel Shanghai (ICS).
In addition to his current positions, Kalia is in consistent demand as a guest conductor. In the 2017-18 season, he makes his European subscription debut with the Szczecin Philharmonic in Poland, and will conduct the Bakersfield Symphony on their annual Gala concert
Further recent and upcoming guest conducting engagements include appearances with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, Chicago Sinfonietta at Symphony Hall, Long Beach Symphony, Great Falls Symphony, Owensboro Symphony, Boise Philharmonic, Adrian Symphony and the 2018 Missouri All-State Orchestra.
Sounds of our Time
Kalia has collaborated with a variety of artists such as Glenn Dicterow, David Kim, Randy Newman, the B-52s, Dan Dunn, Fei-Fei Dong, and Misha Dichter, and has served as cover conductor for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, St. Louis Symphony and Indianapolis Symphony.
Kalia has worked in various capacities with the New York Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Utah Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony, Danish National Symphony and Royal Scottish National Orchestra, among others. Kalia conducted the Memphis Symphony in 2011 after winning Second Prize in their International Conducting Competition, which led to his debut the following season and launched his professional career.
As co-founder and music director of the Lake George Music Festival, Kalia conducts the Lake George Festival Orchestra and chamber ensembles every August, whose distinguished musicians come from many of North America’s finest orchestras and conservatories.
Through its unique and innovative artistic collaborations and outreach, the festival recently received its first- ever grant from the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA). In 2017, Kalia created a new and innovative concert series called Sounds of Our Time, which highlights the connections between the popular music of our time and orchestral music.
For its debut concert, the series focused on electronic music, specifically electronic dance music (EDM), with the Festival Symphony Orchestra collaborating with the EDM-indie group and Billboard artist, MAKO, in a performance of original compositions, one of the first collaborations of its kind.
The collaboration gained national publicity by being featured in the League of American Orchestras’ The Hub, Broadway World, EDMjoy, the Albany Times Union and Saratoga Living. The Festival Orchestra has also been featured on a variety of recognized classical radio programs including American Public Media’s Performance Today with Fred Child and WQXR-NY.
Passionate about teaching the next generation of musicians, Kalia maintains a regular teaching relationship with the Colburn School and Cal State Fullerton, and has been invited as a guest speaker at the Irvine Music Festival, Mt. San Antonio College and Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.
A native of New York, Kalia received his doctorate from Indiana University, where he served as an associate instructor and assistant conductor of the IU Opera Theater and New Music Ensemble. He also holds degrees from the University of Houston and SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music. His primary mentors include David Effron, Arthur Fagen and Franz Anton Krager.