The 2019-2020 season marks Maestro David Itkin’s 15th season as Music Director and Conductor of the Abilene Philharmonic, and his 12th year serving as Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Studies at the University of North Texas College of Music, where his recent performances have included Mahler Symphony No. 4, the Verdi Requiem, Beethoven Symphony No. 9, and Puccini’s Turandot with the UNT Grand Chorus, and Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen with the UNT Opera Theatre. During the 2018-2019 season he also joined the Abilene Opera Company for Handel’s Messiah and a fully staged production of West Side Story.
Following a distinguished 17-year tenure, Maestro Itkin was named Conductor Laureate of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra in July 2010. Previously Mr. Itkin served as Music Director & Conductor of the Las Vegas Philharmonic, Artistic Director and Conductor of the McCall Summerfest in McCall, Idaho, and as Music Director & Conductor of the Lake Forest Symphony (Chicago), the Kingsport Symphony, the Birmingham Opera Theatre, and the Lucius Woods Music Festival (Wisconsin).
During past seasons Maestro Itkin’s career has taken him to 45 U.S. states and 15 countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, including concerts and recordings with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Slovenska Filhamonija, the San Diego Symphony, and the Seoul Philharmonic. Other guest conducting appearances include concerts with the Colorado Philharmonic, the Annapolis Symphony, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony, the Illinois Symphony, the Delaware Symphony, the New Hampshire Symphony, the Cheyenne Symphony, and the Indianapolis, Baltimore, and Reno Chamber Orchestras. During the Summer of 2006 Maestro Itkin appeared once again with the Slovenska Filharmonija in Ljubljana, Slovenia, conducting the opening concert of the 14th World Saxophone Congress.
His book, Conducting Concerti, was released in August 2014 to considerable critical acclaim. Leonard Slatkin called Conducting Concerti “a valuable textbook for the aspiring Maestro” and “highly recommended”, and Samuel Adler wrote that it is “an invaluable addition to the world of conducting textbooks.”
Mr. Itkin’s first film score (“Sugar Creek”) was recorded in 2006 by the Arkansas Symphony for the film’s 2007 release. His most recent major work, “Exodus”, an oratorio, was premiered in April 2005 in Little Rock, with William Shatner narrating. “Exodus” was released worldwide on CD in 2007.
In May 2009 Maestro Itkin was awarded both an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by Lyon College and the Above the Barre award by Ballet Arkansas.
In addition to his professional schedule, Maestro Itkin regularly serves as a guest conductor/clinician, including concerts with the Arkansas All-State Orchestra, the Southern California High School Honors Orchestra, the Maine All-State Orchestra, the Las Vegas Senior Honors Orchestra, and several Texas all-region Honors Orchestras.
Also in demand as a speaker and lecturer, Mr. Itkin has been asked to lecture for a wide variety of organizations, including SilverSea cruise lines, two consecutive years as a featured lecturer for the Arkansas Governor’s School, the Texas Association of Symphony Orchestras, and a keynote address at the National Federation of Music Clubs national conference.
Tiffany Lamb, President
Mandy Gollihar, Vice-president
Ryan Gibson, Treasurer
Kristina Davis, Secretary
Board of Governers
Marcia Vanden Eykel
O. Henry "Mike" Young
Jim Pizzorno, Foundation President
Sheila Warren, Guild President
Kevin Smith, Executive Director
Abigail Payne Sanders, Education Coordinator
Richard Riedl, Operations Manager
Brent Philips, Orchestra Personnel Manager
Charles "CJ" Johnson, Orchestra Librarian