This fall, the School of Music, Theatre & Dance will welcome Jayce Ogren as Assistant Professor in the Department of Conducting and Associate Director of Orchestras. Ogren has established himself as one of the most innovative and versatile conductors of his generation, a leader in breaking down barriers between audiences and great music.
“I’m thrilled and honored to be joining the conducting faculty at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance,” Ogren shared. “I know that I’ll learn a tremendous amount from this vibrant, diverse artistic community.”
Ogren began his career as Assistant Conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra and Music Director of the Cleveland Youth Orchestra. In the years since, he has conducted many of the world’s most prominent orchestras, including the Boston Symphony, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, the Dallas and San Francisco Symphonies, and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Among the wide-ranging progressive projects Ogren has conducted are Basil Twist’s The Rite of Spring with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Lincoln Center; the world premiere of David Lang’s symphony for a broken orchestra, bringing together 400 amateur and professional musicians in Philadelphia; 30th anniversary performances of Frank Zappa’s The Yellow Shark with Orchestra 2001; and the world premiere of Jack Perla’s Shalimar the Clown at Opera Theatre of St. Louis. For over a decade, Ogren has been closely associated with the Leonard Bernstein Office, conducting numerous premieres worldwide. He is also a longtime collaborator of Rufus Wainwright, appearing together with ensembles such as the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, the Orchestre national d’Île-de-France in Paris and the Toronto Symphony.
“I’m so pleased to welcome Jayce as the Associate Director of Orchestras, and delighted to know that the students in the University Philharmonia Orchestra and Contemporary Directions Ensemble students will be able to benefit from the skills and experience Jayce has garnered while conducting a number of professional orchestras and new music ensembles,” said Kenneth Kiesler, Director of University Orchestras and Professor of Conducting, who served as chair of the search committee.
As an educator, Ogren has worked with students at the Bowdoin International Music Festival, Brevard Music Center, Cleveland Institute of Music, the Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, Music Academy of the West, Verbier Festival, and Princeton University.
“To the musicians of the University Philharmonia Orchestra and Contemporary Directions Ensemble: I can’t wait to meet you. I look forward to sharing the best of what I’ve gained through my work with many of the world’s leading professional orchestras, and together, I’m certain we can present performances filled with joy, insight and expression,” Ogren said.
As a composer, Ogren has received commissions from ensembles throughout the United States. His Symphonies of Gaia for symphonic wind ensemble has been performed extensively throughout the world.
“Mr. Ogren brings a wealth of critically acclaimed professional conducting experience, a well-documented commitment to education, and a dynamic and innovative approach to audience outreach to the Department of Conducting, and we look forward to working with him in the coming years,” shared Ellen Rowe, department chair. “Welcome, Jayce!”
Ogren holds degrees from St. Olaf College, New England Conservatory and the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, where he studied as a Fulbright Scholar with Alan Gilbert and Jorma Panula. His wife, Carly Berger Ogren, is an architect, and together they have an adventurous 3 year old son, Alistair. An avid athlete, he has competed in the Big Sur, Boston and New York City marathons, the JFK 50 Miler trail run, and the Ironman Lake Placid triathlon.