Music Director Scott Seaton

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“…if fireworks could conduct, they'd be named Seaton. His movements ranged from as controlled and explosive as a prize fighter to as fluid and delicate as a ballet dancer.”

American conductor Scott Seaton has been praised for possessing "finesse, clarity, and precision” by the Luxembourg Times and has left audiences “breathless” according to Entertainment News Northwest. He is in his ninth season as Music Director of the North State Symphony in Northern California where he has garnered acclaim for his dynamic performances, innovative programming, and community and youth outreach. He is also entering his second season as Artistic Director of the Signature Symphony in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where they have already broken attendance records, increased collaborations throughout Tulsa, and have added performances and increased the reach of symphonic music. From 2012-2015, he led the Minot Symphony Orchestra to new artistic heights and forged exciting collaborations on the local and state levels. As an artistic leader, he has collaborated with such artists as Project Trio, Alessio Bax, Gabriela Martinez, Charlie Albright, and Sara Davis Buechner.

Since his international debut in 2007 with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Seaton has conducted orchestras spanning North America, South America, and Europe. Upcoming and recent engagements include the Evansville Philharmonic, Missoula Symphony, Kamloops Symphony, Spartanburg Philharmonic, Mercury Soul, Jackson Symphony Orchestra, Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, Pennsylvania Centre Orchestra, the South Jutland Symphony Orchestra (Denmark), Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Toronto Philharmonia Orchestra, Mansfield Symphony Orchestra, Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich, Whatcom Symphony Orchestra, Portland Columbia Symphony, and the Western Plains Opera. He has also appeared with the Brandenburger Symphoniker, Fort Worth Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, Memphis Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, Magdeburg Philharmonic, Bamberg Symphony, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Orquesta Filarmónica de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Cincinnati Symphony, Detroit Symphony, and the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra.

Seaton won the 2011 INTERAKTION competition and was given the opportunity to conduct an orchestra composed of all of Germany's top orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Konzerthaus Orchestra, German Symphony Orchestra, and the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin. As a semi-finalist in the 2012 Sir Georg Solti International Conducting Competition (Frankfurt, Germany), he placed in the top ten conductors from a pool of over 400 conductors from 73 countries that were initially considered. He was a finalist in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Sir Georg Solti Conducting Competition as well as a quarter-finalist in the Gustav Mahler International Conducting Competition.

Equally at home with the operatic repertoire, Seaton has served as Principal Conductor of the Bel Canto Singers bringing semi-staged productions to Redding, California. He was also the Assistant Conductor of Festival Opera (Walnut Creek, California) where he worked on several productions from Puccini’s Turandot to Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with conductor Michael Morgan.

An enthusiastic advocate of contemporary music, Seaton has conducted numerous premieres in the past several years. He has curated programs and championed music by living composers such as Libby Larsen, Mason Bates, Adam Schoenberg, David Hertzberg, Pierre Jalbert, and Maria Grenfell, to name a few. In 2007, he gave his Jordan Hall debut at the New England Conservatory with the New England Collective Chamber Orchestra performing works by emerging talents in the Boston area. Additionally, he appeared on New Music for the Sonically Curious, a series of performances in Boston devoted to works of composers in the New England area. He has worked with the New York City-based Mimesis, an ensemble dedicated to the music of living composers. He has also recorded several works with FiveOne in Cleveland.

Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, Seaton has earned degrees from the Université de Montréal, the New England Conservatory, and Vanderbilt University. He has also studied at Tanglewood and the National Conducting Institute sponsored by the National Symphony Orchestra. His mentors include Michael Morgan, Jean-François Rivest, Robin Fountain, Charles Peltz, and Carol Nies. Seaton has undertaken additional studies with Kurt Masur, David Zinman, Stefan Asbury, Gustav Meier, Marin Alsop, Jorma Panula, Larry Rachleff, Kenneth Kiesler, Alexander Mickelthwate, Peter Eötvös, Leonard Slatkin, and Zsolt Nagy, among others.

An avid cyclist and runner, Seaton did a solo coast-to-coast cycling expedition from Oregon to Massachusetts. As a marathoner, he has run races in Los Angeles, Calgary, Vancouver, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, and Fargo, to name a few. He qualified for and ran in the 2018 Boston Marathon. He and his wife, Julia, enjoy long walks on the beach and feeding neighborhood cats. They also enjoy traveling the world in search of the perfect cappuccino.

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July 2023