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Conductor GEORGE DAUGHERTY is one of the classical music world's most diverse artists. In addition to his 25-year conducting career which has included appearances with the world's leading orchestras, ballet companies, opera houses, and concert artists, Daugherty is also an Emmy Award-winning / five-time Emmy nominated creator whose professional profile includes major credits as a director, writer, and producer for television, film, innovative and unique concerts, and the live theater.
His current and recent conducting schedule includes multiple performances with The Cleveland Orchestra at both Severance Hall and the Blossom Festival, his fifteenth return engagement with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, his seventh engagement with The Philadelphia Orchestra, his tenth return to the National Symphony and Wolf Trap, and his fifteenth engagement with the San Francisco Symphony, as well as return appearances with dozens of other major orchestras in the U.S. and abroad, including The Orquesta del Teatro de Bellas Artes, The St. Louis Symphony, The Houston Symphony, The Seattle Symphony, The Vancouver Symphony, The Calgary Philharmonic, The Fort Worth Symphony, and many others. He has been a frequent guest conductor at the Sydney Opera House since 1996, and in 2002, 2005, and in 2010 he returned to guest conduct the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House, as well as performances with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra at the Adelaide Festival Theatre. During the 2010-11 seasons, he has also made his debuts with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra during the inaugural season of their brand new DR Concert Hall in Copenhagen, as well as with Baltimore Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Edmonton Symphony, West Australia Symphony Orchestra, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra at the National Concert Hall in Dublin, Ireland, as well as in the brand new Grand Canal Theatre Dublin, and The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra at the Petronas Concert Hall in Kuala Lumpur. In 2012-13, he makes his debut with the Minnesota Orchestra and the Brussels Philharmonic, returns to The Dallas Symphony, and is a principal guest conductor at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City.
He has been a frequent conductor of London’s Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, with whom he first made his debut in Royal Festival Hall, and most recently conducted a 15-city U.S. and Canadian concert tour with the orchestra and guest artists Dame Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Charlotte Church, dancers of the Royal Ballet, and the Westminster Choir and Bell Ringers.
Daugherty has also conducted for scores of major American and international symphony orchestras, ballet companies, and opera houses, including numerous performances with the Houston Symphony, Seattle Symphony, American Ballet Theatre, Munich State Opera Orchestra, Munich State Opera Ballet, Pittsburgh Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Louisville Orchestra, Moscow Symphony, Kremlin Palace Orchestra of the Russian Federation, Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, Columbus Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, the Auckland Philharmonia, the RCA Symphony Orchestra, Sadlers Wells Royal Ballet, Mexico City's Bellas Artes Opera House, Montreal Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Syracuse Symphony, Memphis Symphony, Long Beach Symphony, Pacific Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, Delaware Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Tucson Symphony, New Orleans Symphony, Venezuela Symphony, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, and major Italian opera houses in Rome, Florence, Turin, and Regio Emilia.
During the course of his career, he has also conducted for an extensive and eclectic list of international concert artists, including violinists Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Cho-Liang Lin, Kyung-wha Chung, Eugene Fodor; international opera artists Roberta Peters, Rosalind Eias, Julia Migenes, Jennifer Holloway, Rhys Meirion, Kristin Clayton, Bojan Knezevic, and Grace Bumbry; singers Julie Andrews, Etta James, Rosemary Clooney, Charlotte Church; and ensembles ranging from The Harvard Glee Club to The Westminster Choir to the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
As a ballet conductor, Daugherty has conducted for the greatest ballet stars in the world, including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rudolf Nureyev, Gelsey Kirkland, Suzanne Farrell, Patricia McBride, Natalia Makarova, Carla Fracci, Cynthia Harvey, Merrill Ashley, Amanda McKerrow, Marianna Tcherkassky, Lis Jeppesen, Cynthia Gregory, Alicia Alonso, Marcia Haydee, Merle Park, Susan Jaffe, Kyra Nichols, Eva Evdokemova, Patricia Ruanne, Janie Parker, Kevin MacKenzie, Richard Cragun, Galina Panova,, Anthony Dowell, Patrick Dupond, Valentina Kozlova, Leonid Kozlov, Sean Lavery, Adam Luders, Ib Andersen, Robert Hill, Li Cunxin, David Wall, John Meehan, Eleanor D'Antuono, Yoko Morishita, Ann Marie De Angelo, Gregory Huffman, Beatriz Rodriguez, Philip Jerry, Starr Danias, Danilo Radojevic, Jean Charles Gil, Patrice Bart, Peter Schaufuss, David Peregrine, Vladimir Gelvan, Jorge Donn, Alexander Godunov, Joyce Cuoco, Youri Vamos, Isaac Hernandez, Yuan Yuan Tan, Frances Chung, Jaime Garcia Castilla, Maria Kochetkova, Guennadi Nedvigin, Damian Smith, Megan Fairchild, Joaquin De Luz, Joan Boada, and many others. He was on the conducting staffs of American Ballet Theatre and the Bavarian State Opera Ballet, was music director of The Louisville Ballet, Ballet Chicago, Chicago City Ballet, and Eglevsky Ballet, and has guest conducted for scores of international companies.
As a director, writer, and producer of music-based television programs, Daugherty has created several major productions for the ABC Television Network project, including a primetime animation-and-live action production of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, which he created, co-wrote, conducted, and directed, and for which he won a Prime Time Emmy Award, as well as numerous other major awards.
He also collaborated with The Joy Luck Club author Amy Tan on a television series adaptation of her celebrated children's book Sagwa, The Chinese Siamese Cat. The Emmy Award-winning series debuted on PBS in the fall of 2001 as a daily-animated children's television series. Daugherty executive produced, and also wrote a large number of the animated tales.
Daugherty also received an Emmy nomination for Rhythm & Jam, his ABC television network specials which taught the basics of music to a teenage audience.
In 1990, Daugherty created, directed, and conducted the hit Broadway musical Bugs Bunny On Broadway, a live-orchestra-and-film stage production which sold-out its extended run at New York's Gershwin Theatre on Broadway, and has since played to critical acclaim and sold-out houses all over the world. The Bugs Bunny symphonic concert tradition continues when Daugherty and producing partner David Lik Wong launch a new version, “Bugs Bunny At The Symphony,” in 2010, with double World Premieres at the Sydney Opera House with the Sydney Symphony, and the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Daugherty is also the executive producer, conductor, and creator of the touring concert Rodgers & Hammerstein on Stage and Screen.
Daugherty was born and raised in Pendleton, Indiana, where he started piano studies at the age of 4 with Elizabeth Edmundson, which whom he studied until age 19. He received his training at Butler University’s Jordan College of Music, where he studied conducting with John Colbert, cello with Shirley Evans Tabachnick, Dennis McCafferty, and Anne McCaffety, and piano with Martin Marks and Frank Cooper; at Indiana University, where he was awarded a special work/study conducting program as Assistant to Thomas Briccetti and The Fort Wayne Philharmonic; and The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where he studied conducting with Kelly Hale, opera coaching with Italo Tajo, and where he conducted numerous Opera Studio productions. At the age of 19 he founded the Pendleton Festival Symphony, which made its summer home at Anderson’s Paramount Theatre for 7 years, and brought such major international artists as Metropolitan Opera stars Roberta Peters and Rosalind Elias, violinist Eugene Fodor, the Harvard Glee Club, and stars of American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, and The Joffrey Ballet to Madison County.
Daugherty recently received the biannual Indiana Governor's Arts Award from the state of his birth, in recognition for his artistic contributions not only in Indiana, but also throughout the rest of the America. In receiving the award, Daugherty joined an exclusive list of previous Hoosier honorees, including composers Cole Porter and Hoagy Carmichael, conductors Raymond Leppard and John Nelson, violinists Joshua Bell and Josef Gingold, cellist Janos Starker, architect Michael Graves, designer Bill Blass, and novelist Kurt Vonnegut Jr. In 2005, he was also named a Sagamore of the Wabash by the late Indiana Governor Frank O’Bannon, the highest award which can be bestowed upon a performing artist from the state governor. He was also named an Honorable Kentucky Colonel for his contributions to the arts of that state.
In 2006, Daugherty was also named a Library Laureate of the San Francisco Public Library for his contributions to children’s books, reading, and literature, joining a distinguished list of authors who have been awarded the title. This award was especially meaningful to Daugherty, since his great-great-great-grandfather was the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Daugherty has lived in San Francisco for the past 12 years.