Maestro George Cleve returns to OSJ during the 2014-15 season to conduct performances of The Magic Flute. Most recently, Maestro Cleve served as conductor for last season’s Don Giovanni and the company premiere of Mozart’s Idomeneo in 2011, as well as the OSJ productions of Carmen and the doublebill Cavelleria rusticana and Pagliacci.
As a busy guest conductor, he has appeared with most of the North American orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Montreal Symphonies. He has also appeared at New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival and at the Ravinia Festival with the Chicago Symphony. Invited in 2000 by choreographer Twyla Tharp to conduct the world premiere of her The Beethoven Seventh at New York City Ballet, Mr. Cleve subsequently has become a frequent guest conductor there, conducting The Firebird, Concerto in 5 Movements, Symphony in C, Le Tombeau de Couperin, and Midsummer Night’s Dream and other works in ensuing seasons. For the New York City Ballet’s Balanchine Centennial celebration in January 2007, he conducted Mozart/Balanchine’s dazzling Divertimento #15.
In Europe, his conducting credits include the Royal Philharmonic, Philharmonia, English Chamber, Ulster, Swedish Radio, Oslo Philharmonic, Danish Radio, Beethovenhalle in Bonn, Zurich Tonhalle, Suisse Romande, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre National de Lille, Orchestre National de Bordeaux-Aquitaine, Vienna Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin, Russian National Symphony, and the Mozarteum Orchestra at the Salzburg Festival 1993. Mr. Cleve has also conducted the Singapore Symphony three times, and has appeared on many podiums in South America, New Zealand, and Australia.
Opera credits include Don Carlo, Carmen, La bohème, La traviata, Rigoletto, Dido and Aeneas, Le nozze di Figaro, Cosi fan tutte, Abduction from the Seraglio, Bastien und Bastienne, Cavalleria rusticana, I pagliacci, Madama Butterfly and Oedipus Rex with the Opera Company of Philadelphia, San Francisco Spring Opera, Opera San José, Long Beach Opera and the Spoleto USA Festival, as well as a concert version of Gluck’s Orpheus and Euridice with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In 1994 he conducted Don Giovanni with the Mannheim Opera.
In recent seasons, Mr. Cleve made his fourth appearance in Moscow conducting Brahms for the State Academic Orchestra in fall 2006. Directly following Moscow, he made his debut with San Francisco Opera conducting Bizet’s Carmen in November as well as opening the San Francisco Ballet season conducting Divertimento No. 15 by Mozart/Balanchine. Other recent engagements included a fifth return to Moscow for concerts with the National Philharmonic of Russia, performances of The Firebird with the San Francisco Ballet, and concerts with Symphony Silicon Valley.
Mr. Cleve was awarded the rank of Officier of the Order of Arts and Letters of the Republic of France in recognition of his performances of French music. He has also received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the University of Santa Clara, the Gold Medal of Honor of the Republic of Austria, and the Silver Medal of the City of Vienna for his part in founding the Midsummer Mozart Festival, now celebrating its 40th anniversary season.