Dr. Blake RichardsonMusic Director, Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra
Dr. Blake Richardson joined the University of Alabama School of Music faculty as Director of Orchestral Studies in the fall of 2013.
Dr. Richardson has held assistant conductor positions with the Barcelona Symphony and the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, and has recently conducted the San Diego Symphony, the Brandenburger Symphoniker, and Cincinnati’s innovative chamber orchestra, concert:nova. Recent opera credits includeLa Cenerentola at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and La Bohème at the Royal Opera House Muscat in Oman as assistant conductor.
A Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Richardson worked extensively with acclaimed conductor Lorin Maazel as associate conductor of Maazel’s Castleton Festival from 2010-2012. He has prepared productions of La Bohème, Albert Herring, and The Rape of Lucretia, among others, for Maazel and shared the podium with Maazel in concert with the Castleton Festival Orchestra on numerous occasions.
As assistant conductor for the inaugural international tour of Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra of the USA (summer 2013), he spent three weeks touring Russia and the United Kingdom with conductor Valery Gergiev and violinist Joshua Bell.
As winner of the 2010 Ansbacher Fellowship, he attended the Salzburg Festival on invitation of the Vienna Philharmonic. Additional studies have taken him to the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival, the Kurt Masur Conducting Masterclass at the Manhattan School of Music and to the Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca (Italy). His conducting teachers have included Lorin Maazel, David Zinman, Paavo Järvi, Mark Gibson, David Effron, Marin Alsop, and Jorma Panula.
Originally trained on violin, piano and percussion, Dr. Richardson was a scholarship violin student at the University of Texas and holds graduate degrees in conducting from Indiana University and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He was the Cincinnati Symphony conducting fellow from 2008-2009 and was awarded the David Effron Conducting Fellowship at the Chautauqua Institution during summer 2006.