“Scott Speck is a great communicator of classical music. He exudes his passion for music in every gesture and every word.”
– David Styers, American Symphony Orchestra League
“Speck is doing for our orchestra what Leonard Slatkin did for St. Louis: bringing live American music to the forefront of his programming. Not only does he have the courage to program the music, he also has the ability to induce the orchestra to play that music with conviction.”
“Scott Speck is a great artist and musician. He has a rare combination– even for a very high class conductor– of sensivtive interest in the interpretation of the soloist and his own extraordinary music creativity. I have never met such a responsive and sensitive conductor; he created the performance of my dreams.”
–Yuri Rozom, pianist, People’s Artist of Russia
Scott Speck has inspired worldwide acclaim as a conductor of symphony, opera and ballet performances. Currently he is Music Director of the West Michigan Symphony, the Mobile Symphony (AL), and the Joffrey Ballet (IL).
Scott Speck’s recent concerts with the Moscow RTV Symphony Orchestra in Tchaikovsky Hall garnered unanimous praise. His gala performances with Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Midori, Evelyn Glennie and Olga Kern have highlighted his recent and current seasons. He was recently named Music Director of the Joffrey Ballet; and he was invited to the White House as Music Director of the Washington Ballet.
In recent seasons Scott Speck has conducted numerous performances in London’s Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, the Paris Opera, Washington’s Kennedy Center, San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House, and the Los Angeles Music Center. He has led numerous performances with the symphony orchestras of Baltimore, Houston, Chicago (Sinfonietta), Paris, Moscow, Shanghai, Beijing, Vancouver, Romania, Slovakia, Buffalo, Columbus (OH), Honolulu, Louisville, New Orleans, Oregon, Rochester, Florida, and Virginia, among many others.
Previously he held positions as Conductor of the San Francisco Ballet; Music Advisor and Conductor of the Honolulu Symphony; and Associate Conductor of the Los Angeles Opera. During a recent tour of Asia he was named Principal Guest Conductor of the China Film Philharmonic in Beijing.
Scott Speck is the co-author of two of the world’s best-selling books on classical music for a popular audience, Classical Music for Dummies and Opera for Dummies. These books have received stellar reviews in both the national and international press and have garnered enthusiastic endorsements from major American orchestras. They have been translated into over fifteen languages and are available around the world. His third book in the series, Ballet for Dummies, was released in September 2003.
Scott Speck has been a regular commentator on National Public Radio, the BBC, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and Voice of Russia, broadcast throughout the world. His writing has been featured in numerous magazines and journals.
Born in Boston, Scott Speck is a Fulbright Scholar, a summa cum laude graduate of Yale University, and an Aspen Conducting Fellow. He is fluent in English, German and French, has a diploma in Italian, speaks Spanish and has a reading knowledge of Russian.
The West Michigan Symphony Orchestra is a professional orchestra made up of 60 core professional musicians.
2012-2013 WMS Musicians:
Jennifer Walvoord, Concertmaster
Gene Hahn, Associate Concertmaster
Jacie Robinson, Assistant Concertmaster
Adam Liebert, Assistant Principal First Violin
Mi Ryoung Kim
Carla Joy Strand
Amanda Dykhouse, Principal Second Violin
Mark Portolese, Associate Principal Second Violin
Britta Bujak Portenga
Leanne King, Co-Principal Viola
Leonid Sourine, Co-Principal Viola
Alicia Sawyers, Principal Cello
Igor Cetkovic, Associate Principal Cello
Dessislava Nenova, Assistant Principal Cello
Michael Crawford, Principal Bass
Michael Hovnanian, Associate Principal Bass
Jill Marie Brown, Principal Flute
Leslie Graham, Piccolo
Gabriel Renteria, Principal Oboe
Phil Popham, English Horn
Jonathan Holden, Principal Clarinet
Lisa Raschiatore, Bass Clarinet
Vincent Karamanov, Principal Bassoon
Erin Lano, Principal French Horn
Lisa Honeycutt, Associate Principal French Horn
Pamela Smitter Baker Principal Trumpet
Michael Robinson, Interim Principal Trombone
Dan Spencer, Principal Trombone (leave of absence)
Bryan Pokorney, Bass Trombone
Clinton McCanless, Principal Tuba
Andrew Spencer, Principal Timpani
Matthew Beck, Principal Percussion
Sylvia Norris, Principal
Kelly Estes, Principal