Bio

 

Biography

Hailed by the Washington Post as an “up-and-coming conductor” and
a
“true star” of the podium, Kenneth Woods has built a reputation as a
multifaceted musician whose credits range from the Mahler symphonies to
collaborations with members of James Brown’s classic band. He is currently
conductor of the
Oregon East Symphony, Surrey Mozart Players and the Rose
City Chamber Orchestra.

Already known in America as one of the most exciting conductors of
the new generation, Kenneth Woods is quickly becoming recognized as major
talent on the international scene. He has worked with many orchestras of
international distinction including the
National Symphony Orchestra, the
Cincinnati Symphony, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Budapest
Festival Orchestra
and the State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra. He has also
appeared on the stages of some of the world’s leading music festivals,
including
Aspen, Lucerne, Round Top and Scotia. His work on the concert
platform and in the recording studio has led to numerous broadcasts on
BBC
Radio 3, National Public Radio
, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

During the 2006-7 season, Kenneth Woods made his first appearances at the
Bridgewater Hall, Menuhin Hall, Albert Hall, Royal Concert Hall of Nottingham
and
Bute Hall, and was the subject of extensive press coverage in the
Gramophone, The Herald and a received a major, multi-page feature in The
Sunday Oregonian
. His new blog, A View from the Podium, became a hit with
music lovers in the UK, Canada and the US and received wide
acknowledgement from the music critics of the
New Yorker, Wall Street Journal,
Independent
and Gramophone. 2007-8 sees him making more important UK
debuts, doing extensive studio and concert work for the BBC and making his
debut recording in London for
Avie Records.

In the spring of 2001, Kenneth Woods was selected by Leonard Slatkin as one
of four participants in the
National Conducting Institute. At the completion of the
Institute, he led the National Symphony Orchestra in a debut concert, drawing
great critical acclaim and a return invitation from the NSO. In the spring of 2000,
David Zinman selected Kenneth Woods from a pool of over 200 applicants to be
a fellow in the inaugural class of the
American Academy of Conducting at
Aspen.
Toronto Symphony Music Director Peter Oundjian has praised Woods as
“a conductor with true vision and purpose. He has a most fluid and clear style
and an excellent command on the podium… a most complete musician.”

Kenneth Woods has conducted critically praised productions of operas from
Britten to Puccini, and ballet scores as diverse as Giselle, the Nutcracker and
Firebird. Woods’ work as an active proponent of contemporary music includes
collaborations with composers including
John Corigliano, Krystopf Penderecki,
Peter Lieberson and Oliver Knussen.

As music director of the Oregon East Symphony since 2000, he has transformed
a tiny orchestra in a remote, rural area into possibly the most talked-about
orchestra in the Pacific Northwest, who have won universal praise for their
ongoing
Mahler cycle and their innovative youth programs. In the spring of 2007,
the OES made national news when their offices and music library were burned to
the ground in a devastating fire. Despite the catastrophic losses, Woods initiated
a fire recovery campaign on the web that mean the orchestra was able to
complete its season in the black.

In 2005 he was invited by the Rose City Chamber Orchestra to start a new
international workshop for young conductors, which now attracts top emerging
conducting talents from Korea, Japan, Germany, Spain, Argentina, Canada and
the UK as well as the USA.

As a cellist he has been recipient of the Aspen Fellowship (Mr. Woods has
received the Aspen Fellowship as both a cellist and conductor), the
Dale Gilbert
Award
(the only musician to win this award in consecutive years), the Strelow
Quartet Fellowship
, the National Endowment for the Arts Rural Residency
Grant
and has recorded and toured extensively as soloist and chamber
musician. He has played chamber music with members of the
Chamber Music
Society of Lincoln Center, the Smithsonian Chamber Players, the Cincinnati,
Chicago and Toronto symphonies, and the Minnesota, Gewandhaus and
Concertgebow
orchestras. He was founding cellist of the National Endowment
for the Arts recognized Taliesin Trio, and of the Masala Quartet, who have
recorded for Vienna Modern Masters and appeared at festivals and concert
series’ in the US and Europe

Mr. Woods pursued his advanced conducting studies at the University of
Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music
, and also studied at leading summer
institutes and workshops around the world. He has studied conducting with
Leonard Slatkin, David Zinman, Jorma Panula, and Gerhard Samuel. In his
capacity as an assistant, he has collaborated with J
ames Conlon, Jesus Lopez-
Cobos, Paavo Jarvi, Richard Hickox, Robert Spano, Tadaaki Otaka, Jiri
Belohlavek and Peter Oundjian.

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About the author

American conductor, composer and cellist Kenneth Woods is Principal Conductor of the English Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Colorado MahlerFest and cellist of the string trio Ensemble Epomeo. He records for the Avie, Somm, Nimbus, Signum, MSR and Toccata labels.

Learn about Kenneth at www.kennethwoods.net

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