Michael Neumann – Music Director Emeritus
With the close of our 2013-14 season, we also ended an era for the Folsom Lake Symphony as we wished farewell to our founding conductor and music director, Maestro Michael Neumann. Neumann led our orchestra for one decade. We are pleased he will continue his affiliation with us as music director emeritus.
The Folsom Lake Symphony was fortunate Maestro Neumann agreed to advise and help guide us from the start. He conducted our inaugural performance in 2004 and led every concert for our first nine seasons. His high stature and unexcelled reputation in the region have enabled us to attract top talent and consistently bring beautiful and challenging music to our audiences.
During the first ten years of Neumann’s tenure, numerous concerts stood out in the minds of our audiences and musicians, including the performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Mahler’s Symphony No.1, Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4. Practically every concert, since our inception, was sold out.
Maestro Neumann came to Sacramento in 1978 to be the assistant conductor for the then Sacramento Symphony. In 1979 he assumed the duties of Artistic Director for the Sacramento Youth Symphony and Academy of Music, a position he retains to this day. In that role, he has mentored many young musicians and frequently invited talented youngsters to play with the Folsom Symphony. Currently, there are several Folsom Symphony musicians who were at one time members of Neumann’s youth symphony. Numerous of his students have achieved stellar music careers and some have charmed our Folsom audiences as soloists with the Folsom Symphony.
During his career, Maestro Neumann has won several awards and acclimation, including a fellowship from the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission for his outstanding contribution to regional arts and education, the Arts Educator of the Year award from the Arts and Business Council of Sacramento, and recognition from the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts.
Michael Neumann is also is an accomplished violinist. His first teacher was Maria Neuss, the great-great granddaughter of Czech composer Antonin Dvorak. He holds both a bachelor’s degree in violin performance and master’s degree in conducting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.