Matthew Kasper, Assistant Conductor
Conductor Matthew Kasper is currently the Assistant Conductor of The Phoenix Symphony and Music Director of The Phoenix Youth Symphony. He has also served as Interim Music Director of the Queens Symphony Orchestra and was the founding Music Director of the Chicago Composers Orchestra. From 2010-2014, Matthew served as an adjunct faculty member of conducting at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, where he taught conducting classes and conducted the orchestra in symphonic, musical theater and opera performances, including a recent production of Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmélites, a world premiere production of Bruce Saylor’s The Image Maker and Puccini’s Suor Angelica. Other highlights from previous seasons include performances of Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony, and Brahms’ Second Symphony. In 2013, Matthew made his European debut with the Orchestre Symphonique et Lyrique de Nancy and also served as an assistant conductor for the Opera National de Lorraine where he prepared the internationally acclaimed staged premiere of Gerald Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest. He was immediately re-engaged for productions of Bernstein’s Candide and Britten’s Owen Wingrave, as well as for several concerts with the orchestra including successful performances of Beethoven’s First Symphony. 2013 also marked Matthew’s debut with the Queens Symphony Orchestra conducting Peter and the Wolf, which subsequently led to him being named Interim Music Director for the 2015 season.
The 2014-15 season marked Matthew’s debut with The Phoenix Symphony in performances of their Halloween at Hogwarts and Cirque de la Symphonie concerts. In his second season as Assistant Conductor with The Phoenix Symphony, Matthew will conduct over forty performances including Family Concerts, Symphony for the Schools, Halloween at Hogwarts, Haydn’s Symphony No. 104 on a Chamber Orchestra program, and the Nutcracker as well as various other Special and Pops programs.
Trained as a violinist, Matthew is a former member of the Chicago Civic Orchestra where he performed under illustrious conductors such as Bernard Haitink and Esa-Pekka Salonen. He holds degrees in violin performance from Queens College and the Chicago College of Performing Arts, where his principal teachers were Burton Kaplan and Shmuel Ashkenasi. He also studied chamber music with Daniel Phillips, Marcy Rosen and Robert Chen. An accomplished arts administrator, Matthew served as an artistic intern for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and as Artistic Operations Manager of the Grant Park Music Festival. He received a degree in Orchestral Conducting from Queens College where he was a student of Maurice Peress. For several summers, he attended the prestigious Pierre Monteux School for Conductors as a Quimby Family Foundation Fellow where he studied with Michael Jinbo. Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, Matthew currently resides in Phoenix with his wife, Rebecca and children, Theodore and Fiona.