The International Institute for Conductors is extremely proud of its alumni. Many find success as music directors and conductors of orchestras, bands, choirs and opera companies. Some build successful careers as teachers and conductors at colleges, universities or preparatory programs while others resume their musical studies to pursue advanced degrees at leading music schools around the world. We congratulate all of our students for their achievements and success, and we are pleased to take this opportunity to share some of their accomplishments, appointments, scholarship and milestones on this webpage as they share remembrances of their experience at the International Institute for Conductors with you. Please feel free to contact any of our alumni simply by clicking on his/her photo.

Yaniv Attar (Class of 2009) – Music Director, Whatcom Symphony Orchestra (WA); Winner, 2009/12 Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation Award NYC; Recipient, 2010 Solti Foundation USA Career Development Award; 1st Prize Winner 2010 Duna Szimfonikus Conducting Competition, Budapest.

By far one of the best workshops I have ever been to. The orchestra was terrific and so helpful to us as were the three amazing faculty. Lots of podium time plus two concerts made this experience one-of-a-kind. It contributed immensely to my development as a conductor and musician, and I would do it again in a heartbeat!
Jong-hun Bae Jong-hun Bae (Class of 2006) – Director of Orchestral Activities, Gordon College.

My time with both Maestro Gutter and Maestro Balan at the International Institute for Conductors was invaluable. It was life changing. Excellent faculty members, top-tier orchestra, various selections of repertoire, lots of podium time, and concerts. I am a better musician because of it.
Jessica Bejerano Jessica Bejarano (Class of 2008) – Orchestra Director, Alta Vista School, San Francisco.

For me, conducting is an art of passion, and it was refreshing and rewarding to study with maestros who reciprocated that passion AND who also had an organic interest in my professional development as a conductor.
Matthew Bertuzzi Matthew Bertuzzi (Class of 2010) – Assistant Conductor, Pioneer Valley (MA) Symphony Orchestra.

My time in Bacau at the International Institute for Conductors really helped me to hone my skills and prepare successfully for auditions.
Janine S. Bock Janine S. Bock (Class of 2016) – Artistic Director, Zanesville Memorial Concert Band (OH); Guest Conductor, Muskingum Symphonic Winds, ZMCB Honors Bands (OH; Conductor Cambridge Performing Arts Center and Pritchard Laughlin Civic Center pit orchestras.

“Music is universal.” The International Institute of Conductors is an experience that embodies this expression. Making music with the Vidin Philharmonic along with international soloists and teachers was amazing. Both Maestos Gutter and Gambetta were inspiring as teachers and helped me hone my conducting skills for not only the orchestral medium but my focus of conducting the wind band..
Linnaea Brophy Linnaea Brophy (Class of 2016) – DMA candidate in violin performance, SUNY at Stony Brook; winner 2016 Mastering the Concerto Outstanding Soloist award.

I had a wonderful experience as a soloist at the 2016 Mastering the Concerto course for soloists and conductors! During the course, I was given the unique opportunity to rehearse with a participant conductor and the Vidin Philharmonic every day for two weeks before the final performance on July 30th. This repeated collaboration allowed me to form a connection with the orchestra and the conductor as we mastered the repertoire, and it taught me how to communicate my musical interpretation more effectively to the other musicians.
Will Burkhart Will Burkhart (Class of 2011) – Music Director/Conductor, Oak Ridge Community Orchestra (TN); Principle Timpanist, Johnson City Symphony (TN).

By far the most rewarding and soundly structured workshop I have attended! There was not a dull moment in the program, nor was it over-bearing. This workshop finds the proper balance between work and play, technique and feeling, theory and application. You should go!
Bruno Campo Bruno Campo (Class of 2012) – Music Director, Municipal Youth Orchestra of El Sistema, Guatemala; Founder, Guatemala City Municipal School of Music and El Sistema de Orquestas de Guatemala.

I think the Institute is a great course for conductors. The place is beautiful, and the people have very open hearts. The most important thing is the intensive work we had and the excellent orchestra that was always there with a great attitude supporting us. Maestros Balan, Gutter and Gambetta have great 3 perspectives that really helped me to improve my conducting. The experience is just marvelous. For sure I would do it again.
Beverly Crain Beverly Crain (Class of 2007) – Founder/Artistic Director, Operarep of Southern California; Opera Director/Vocal Instructor, Azusa Pacific University.

The Institute expanded my range of conducting repertoire and technique, providing quality podium time and mentoring from highly-experienced and supportive faculty. The atmosphere was friendly and encouraging throughout the process, and I would recommend the International Institute for Conductors highly.
Conductor Andrew Crust Andrew Crust (Class of 2009) – Assistant Conductor, Portland Symphony Orchestra, Maine.

The Institute is wonderful for many reasons. The list of covered repertoire is immense; the podium and performance time are more than ample, and the three mentors are inspiring, each in different ways. This paired with the unique adventure of spending time in Romania makes the workshop a must!
Nancia D'Alimonte Nancia D’Alimonte (Class of 2004-05) – Music Director/Conductor, National Institutes of Health Philharmonia; Music Director/Conductor,
The George Washington University Symphony Orchestra; Education Consultant, Baltimore Symphony and National Philharmonic (MD).

The unique and invaluable lessons I learned attending both workshops are still with me today. Maestros Balan and Gutter truly made the effort to get to know each conductor as an individual. The orchestra is first rate, an extremely talented, caring and supportive group that only added to whole workshop experience.
Michael Galib Michael Galib (Class of 2010) – Music Director, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of South County, RI; Pianist, summer French School, Middlebury College, CT; First prize winner, 2004 International Trumpet Guild Composition Competition.

The amount of time spent on the podium was second to no other conducting workshop I’ve been to, and was a huge help in gaining comfort in front of the group. A big thanks and bravo to the orchestra for its warm reception, rapport with the conductors and the valuable input from all the instructors.
Robert Garza Robert Garza (Class of 2014) – Graduate student in music composition, the Julliard School, NY.

Conducting the Bacau Philharmonic was a tremendous experience that I will never forget. As a participant in the Conducting Concertos program I really enjoyed working personally with a wonderful pianist. Conducting 19th and 20th century repertoire in the large Romantic Orchestra in the second week was a pleasure as well. The players were extremely responsive and eager to play on all four concert nights.
Livia Gho Livia Gho (Class of 2014) – Music Director and Founder, Women’s Orchestra of Arizona; Artistic Director of Phoenix Women’s Chorus; Music Director of Scottsdale Congregational United Church of Christ.

The podium time and orchestral experience is unparalleled! The orchestral musicians were extremely supportive, and having three conducting mentors was a luxury. I would definitely consider returning in the future!
Lawrence Golan Lawrence Golan (Class of 1997) – Director of Orchestral Studies and Professor of Conducting, University of Denver Lamont School of Music; Music Director, Yakima Symphony Orchestra (WA); Prinicpal Conductor, Seoul Philharmonic (S. Korea).

I attended the 1997 Institute in Kiev. It was a great experience and one of my first workshops. It was a thrill to work with such a high-quality professional orchestra, which I had not done up to that time. I also found the faculty to be extremely helpful. Their often differing perspectives on various issues helped me to understand that there is not just one right way of doing things.
Raymond Gueguen Raymond Gueguen (Class of 2011-12) – Founder and first Director, l’École municipale de musique agréée de Chaumont (Haute-Marne).

Un immense merci aux Maestri Gutter, Gambetta et Balan pour leurs précieux conseils. Un grand merci à l’orchestre Mihail Jora pour son chaleureux accueil. Merci à tous pour ces rencontres de haut niveau.
Sinead Hayes Sinead Hayes (Class of 2005/07) – Music Director, Bury Choral Society, UK; Assoc. Conductor, Halle Harmony Youth Orchestra, UK; Assistant Music Director, Stockport Youth Orchestra, UK.

The combination of a supportive faculty, committed orchestra and plenty of uninterrupted podium time meant that this workshop was an important part of my development as a conductor. The experience gained on the podium in Bacau has been invaluable.
Robert Henley Robert Henley (Class of 2011-12) – Freelance conductor in Paris; Creator of the Classical Us and Into the Mozart Zone projects.

I look back with immense pleasure to my two visits to Bacau: the warm weather, the wonderful music-making, the dedicated faculty, and of course an orchestra that made me look very good indeed!
Kaili Ho pianist Kaili Ho (Class of 2017) – Joint Honours Bachelor of Music in piano performance, The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University and Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore.

Mastering the Concerto is a remarkably holistic program that you cannot find in other places. As a soloist l received exceptional instruction from my professor, and I obtained a lot of knowledge of how to interact with the conductor. It was an intense two weeks of rehearsal with the orchestra but in an extremely positive and cordial environment. An experience that l will never forget throughout my musical career and journey!
Alexander Kahn Alexander Kahn (Class of 2007) – Director of Orchestral Activities, Sonoma State University, CA,.

An excellent workshop. The combination of great teaching, a collegial environment and extensive podium time including concerts makes this workshop one of the best bargains out there.
Yorgos Kouritas Yorgos Kouritas (Class of 2007) – Director of Instrumental Studies, Saddleback College, Mission Viejo, CA; Music Director, Boise Philharmonic Youth Orhestra; Assistant Conductor, Boise Philharmonic, ID; 2012 American Prize in Conducting 2nd Place; 2010 Lorin Maazel Conducting Fellow.

I had a great time in Bacau and learned a lot during my two weeks there. The teachers were fabulous, and the orchestra was great to work with. It was a real conducting experience and I would love to come back one day!
Francis Ku Francis Ku (Class of 2016-17) – Graduate Assistant Conductor, University of Texas at Arlington; Winner, 2017 Advanced Conducting Academy Outstanding Conductor Award.

The Advanced Conducting Academy is one of the most intensive conducting workshops I have ever attended. Under the coaching by the three maestros, my fundamentals became much more solid, and I corrected lots of bad habits on stage. The orchestra was incredible. The time we spent on conducting techniques every day was extremely valuable. Highly recommended.
Heather Lanners Heahter Lanners (Class of 2016) – Assistant Professor of Piano at the Greenwood School of Music, Oklahoma State University; President-Elect; Oklahoma Music Teachers Association.

The 2016 Mastering the Concerto course was truly a unique learning experience. What an incredibly creative concept Robert Gutter and Charles Gambetta developed for young professionals. Meeting numerous times with orchestra and sextet allowed me to develop my interpretation and effectively communicate with the conductor. I was so fortunate to be there with my wonderful colleague Christopher Haygood and to interact with all of the soloists and conductors. Pianist Mattia Ometto was a terrific inspiration as well!
Jackson Leung Jackson Leung (Class of 2014) – Coordinator of Keyboard Studies and Chamber Orchestra Director, Wright State University (OH).

An excellent workshop with wonderful maestros and a phenomenal orchestra! The instructions I received were thought-provoking and exceedingly beneficial, enhancing my ability to communicate the music I feel so deeply. It feels like I have taken my conducting to a dry cleaner. The institute should be called “An institute of freeing the caged birds!
Jaemi Loeb Jaemi Loeb (Class of 2004) – Director of Instrumental Ensembles and Assistant Professor of Music at Centre College, Danville, KY; Music Director, Center Orchestra and Center Wind Ensemble.

This institute remains one of the best I’ve ever attended. Years later I still return to memories of what I learned on and off the podium from the brilliant faculty, the orchestra and my fellow students. With exceptionally well organized logistics and a nurturing learning environment, it really is something exceptional.
Steven Loy Steven Loy (Class of 2011) – Conductor, Slovenian ensemble MD7; Masters candidate in conducting, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA; recipient of the International Institute for Conductors 2011 Outstanding Student Conductor Award.

The Institute has so many things going for it, I don’t know where to begin. If I had to choose one, the congenial, supportive, family-like atmosphere is what separates it from others I attended. That friendly, respectful spirit is what made everything else possible, what opens one’s ears to perhaps career-changing suggestions from faculty and fellow participants, and what makes learning and developing one’s talent and ambition a pleasure.
Paul McShee Paul McShee (Class of 2011) – Graduate Assistant Conductor, University of Connecticut.

The International Institute for Conductors was a truly meaningful experience. The faculty really hone in on the issues and needs of each student allowing for a great experience. Additionally, Maestro Gambetta’s sessions on Laban Movement Studies provide an eye-opening perspective on the conductor’s movements. The extensive time on the podium and the supportive, collegial environment make this workshop one of the best out there.
Sixto Federico Montesinos Sixto Federico Montesinos (Class of 2010) – Graduate Assistant Conductor, University of Texas at Arlington.

My time in Bacau changed my life. The musicians in the orchestra and concerto soloists are extremely supportive and great to work with. The faculty was a pleasure to work with and cared about each and every one of the participants. I look forward to coming back in the future.
Patrick Murray Patrick Murray(Class of 2015) – Principal Assistant Conductor, Yale Camerata; Conductor, Marquand Chapel Choir; Founding Music Director, FAWN Chamber Creative (Toronto).

My Institute experience provided a formative bridge between orchestral and choral conducting that is often hard to find in choral conducting graduate programs. The faculty and students were incredibly supportive, and I appreciated the focus on each participant’s individual development. The Bacau Philharmonic Orchestra and Iasi Moldova Philharmonic Choir were musically responsive professionals and warmly welcoming people. This was one of my most enjoyable and instructive summer workshop experiences!
Elisabetta Nardulli Elisabetta Nardulli (Class of 2012) – Director, String Orchestra Symphonie, Conservatory Piccinni, Bari, Italy; recipient of the International Institute for Conductors 2012 Outstanding Student Conductor Award.

The International Institute for Conductors in Bacau gives students the maximum experience through the teaching methods of three great Maestri—Balan, Gutter and Gambetta—who complement each other perfectly. The organization of the course was impeccable. The level of the Philharmonic was excellent, and my fellow conductors were very helpful, interesting people; good musicians who have become dear friends.
Kira Omelchenko Kira Omelchenko (Class of 2017) – Winner 2017 Mastering the Concerto Outstanding Conductor Award; Director of Orchestra and String Studies, Florida Southern College.

The Mastering the Concerto Workshop was such a positive and impactful experience! The faculty were so encouraging and helped me think of my conducting from a new perspective. The sessions provided lots of hands-on experience with the orchestra and soloists. This is definitely a workshop I will never forget!
Xavier Pagès i Corella Xavier Pagès i Corella (Class of 2007) – Conductor, Cobla Sant Jordi, City of Barcelona; Assistant Conductor, National Youth Orchestra of Catalonia; Winner, 17th International Composition Competition, City of Tarragona.

My attendance at the International Institute for Conductors was a major turning point in my conducting career. I appreciate very much the coaching of the artist faculty and the positive attitude of the Bacau Philharmonic and staff towards the students.
Justin Pambianchi Justin Pambianchi (Class of 2013) – Graduate conductor, Master of Music candidate, Cleveland Institute of Music, Ohio.

The International Institute for Conductors is one of the greatest programs out there. Participants are mentored by three outstanding pedagogues and given the opportunity to work with a very good, supportive orchestra. In my two weeks in Bacau, I have seen a big change in my technique, and all of my colleagues at the Institute have improved tremendously. I am very happy and proud to say I attended this program and highly recommend it to anyone thinking of pursuing studies or pursuing a career in conducting!
Ian Passmore Ian Passmore (Class of 2010) – Associate Instructor of Orchestral Conducting, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

The workshop in Bacau was invaluable, as it was my first experience conducting a professional orchestra. The players and faculty were uniformly excellent, and I cannot think of another summer program that allows as much time in front of the orchestra. Highly recommended!
Maxwell Phillips Maxwell Phillips (Class of 2014) – Music Director, Mozart Society Orchestra and the Dunster House Opera; Conductor, Harvard Early Music Society.

The Institute was a valuable opportunity for growth in my conducting. Two weeks working with three helpful teachers and a very responsive orchestra allowed me to learn and experiment in an intense but always comfortable environment.
Joel Plaag Joel Plaag (Class of 2006/09) – Director of Choral Studies, Blinn College, Brenham, TX.

These three instructors do not merely teach conducting; they mentor. The orchestra was top-notch; always professional and always played at their best. This workshop has not only changed the way I approach conducting, but the way I teach it as well. The large amount of podium time, supportive environment and knowledgeable faculty make this workshop outstanding, and I highly recommend it to other conductors!
Glenn Quader Glenn Quader (Class of 2003) – Music Director, Piedmont Symphony Orchestra; Staff Conductor, Fairfax Symphony Orchestra (VA); Conductor, American Studio Orchestra.

The IIC workshop was the most valuable training I have ever participated in. The teachers were all exceptional and delivered everything one could hope for in building every aspect of an aspiring conductor. The information I gained is still at the forefront of my approach in all of my conducting today. If you want real world experience and critical feedback, then this is by far one of the best workshops to be a part of.
Tim Ribchester Tim Ribchester (Class of 2015) – Faculty Conductor & Vocal Coach, Mezzano Music Festival, Italy.

The Advanced Conducting Academy was by far the most useful, thorough, and enjoyable of the symphonic conducting workshops I’ve attended, both in the US and abroad. It offers substantial podium time and thus the chance to build a relationship with an established orchestra; insightful and sensitive teaching from a variety of faculty perspectives and a very supportive group of conductor colleagues who were all focused on learning and improving together. . Concerts are also a very important element as well as the chance to work with solo singers and instrumentalists of a high caliber.
Bernardo Santos Bernardo Santos (Class of 2017) – Winner, 2017 Mastering the Concerto Outstanding Soloist Award; Graduate student in piano pedagogy and researcher, University of Aveiro (Portugal); Graduate student in piano performance, Conservatori del Liceu, Barcelona.

Mastering the Concerto turned out to be very important for my artistic development. As a soloist it was the first time I had the opportunity to work with an orchestra for almost two weeks! So much work time is hardly given for any concert anywhere nowadays. The coaching given by the faculty proved to be inspiring and extremely wise. All this along with a very friendly environment makes Mastering the Concerto a unique event with no equal anywhere.
Thanapol Setabrahmana Thanapol Setabrahmana (Class of 2013) – Director of Bands, College of Music, Mahidol University, Thailand.

This masterclass is one of the best I have attended – best organizing, best repertoire list. Podium time is ideal. Receiving instruction and guidance from three different teachers is also very helpful. It was a great two weeks spent to hone the conducting skills and gain experience.
Dawn Sonntag Dawn Sonntag (Class of 2016) – Chair, Hiram College Music Department); Director, Chamber Singers & Western Reserve Women’s Choir.

As a composer this course gave me the opportunity to explore the perspective of orchestral musicians and allowed me to intensively study orchestral repertory in a way that is only possible from the podium. As a choral conductor it gave me important insights on what instrumentalists need to see when I am conducting choral-orchestral works. Students receive generous amounts of podium time, and I don’t think there is another program where students can get more one-on-one mentoring and feedback regarding gestural clarity and expressiveness. The opportunity to experience Romanian culture, food and hospitality for two weeks during this program as well makes this a unique and culturally valuable program that is second to none.
Larry Spell Larry Spell (Class of 2008-09, 11) – Music Director and Conductor, Wasatch Symphony Orchestra ( UT); Assistant Conductor, Salt Lake City Symphony.

The clear advantage of this program is the vast and diverse knowledge of the three faculty members. I was also impressed with the large amount of time you have in front of the orchestra. I highly recommend this workshop to conductors of all levels of experience.
Jeffrey Spenner Jeffrey Spenner (Class of 2008) – Assistant Conductor, Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra (MI); Founder/Music Director, Bay Area Summer Music Festival (MI); Music Director, Rockford Community Orchestra; Music Director, Borgess Resounding Spirit Choir (MI).

The International Institute for Conductors was a wonderful experience. The time in front of a professional orchestra conducting great pieces is truly invaluable, and that podium time really makes this the quality experience it is!

Adrian Tan Adrian Tan (Class of 2009) – Recipient of the International Institute for Conductors 2009 Outstanding Student Conductor Award; Music Director, Braddell Heights Symphony Orchestra, Singapore.

What distinguishes the Institute is the genuine interest the faculty takes in each participant. The musicians of the Bacau Philharmonic are highly professional and truly responsive. They give their all in every session. The supportive atmosphere, ample podium time and weeky orchestra concerts make this a worthwhile experience for any conductor who wants to spend some quality time working on his craft.
Ty Turley Trejo Ty Turley-Trejo (Class of 2015) –Music Director, Utah Philharmonic.

I had a magnificent experience in Bacau. I came away from it with noticeable skills and expanded application. The three maestros offered unique, comprehensive perspectives, which is highly advantageous at a conducting workshop. If you’re looking for unparalleled one-on-one instruction, lots of podium time, concerts, and networking with wonderful colleagues this is your ticket.
Patrick Valentino Patrick Valentino (Class of 2010) – Assistant Conductor, Neponset Valley (MA) Philharmonic; Founder & Director, Music from St. Margaret Mary’s Concert Series; Music Director, St. Margaret Mary Parish.

The Institute is unique in several ways. Each conductor chooses his/her repertoire from a wide and varied list that includes large works not often included in workshop repertoire. The faculty take different but complimentary approaches to aid the conductors. The orchestra is completely dedicated to the purpose of the workshop, which is to educate and enrich the participants.
Dan Whisler Daniel Whisler (Class of 2012) – Director of Orchestras, Youth Performing Arts School, Louisville, KY.

The Institute is a great environment whether one is looking to refine technique, build a repertoire list, prepare specific pieces for contests or auditions or just network with colleagues from around the globe. It truly is an international experience. The faculty members’ approaches are varied enough that conductors of any skill level could find tangible ways to improve. Put this workshop on your list!
Caleb Young Caleb Young (Class of 2010) – Graduate conducting student, Indiana University; Co-Music Director, Capstone Chamber Orchestra; Guest Conductor, Tuscaloosa Youth Symphony, the Capstone Brass Choir and the Alabama Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble.

The time I spent in Romania at the International Institute was life changing. This pilgrimage is a must!
Bryan Zaros Bryan Zaros (Class of 2014-15) – Conductor, Connecticut Men’s Chorus, Hartt School of Music (CT); Director of Choral Activities, Avon Old Farms School (CT).

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Institute. The podium time is unmatched; the repertoire list was extensive, and the opportunity to have the insights of three great conductors was invaluable. The Bacau Philharmonic was wonderful to work with, supportive during the learning process and very responsive in concert. Overall, the experience was very positive and rewarding and I would consider returning in the future.