This season marks David Harman’s twentieth year as Music Director and Conductor of the Penfield Symphony Orchestra. He continues to enjoy a busy and varied career as a symphony conductor, university professor, and music educator. Dr. Harman has conducted professional, civic, university, youth, and honor orchestras throughout the U.S. and abroad. Professional appearances include return engagements with The Louisville Orchestra, The Cincinnati Symphony, The Tucson Symphony, The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, The Lake Placid Sinfonietta, Opera Theater of Rochester, Cordancia, and a special appearance with the Orchestra of the Spring Festival of Contemporary Music in Ljubljana, Slovenia, under the sponsorship of Arts America. Harman also served as guest conductor of the Shanghai Conservatory Symphony (China), The Jamaica Orchestra for Youth (JOY) in Kingston, the Grand Cayman School Music Festival, the New York All-State String Orchestra, and the Metropolitan Student Orchestra of Santiago (OSEM), which is a major orchestra of the Foundation for Youth and Children Orchestras of Chile.
In 2005 he received the Richard H. Snook Award from the Monroe County School Music Association for his contributions to music education. The Rochester Chapter of the professional music fraternity Mu Phi Epsilon selected him as Musician of the Year for 2008. He has also served as the conductor of the Strong Medical Center Orchestra.
Dr. Harman conducted concerts for the Penfield Symphony Orchestra in 1998 and 1999 before becoming Music Director in 2000. For the past twenty-five years, Dr. Harman has been Professor of Music and Director of Orchestra Activities at the University of Rochester’s River Campus and is Music Director Emeritus of The Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Prior to returning to Rochester, he was a Professor at the University of Louisville (KY), conductor of the Louisville Civic Orchestra, and assistant conductor of the Louisville Orchestra. He frequently conducted the Opera Theater of Louisville, and served as executive secretary of the Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition. He held similar positions at the University of Connecticut and Colorado State University.
A native Californian, Dr. Harman earned B.A. and M.A. degrees from California State University at Sacramento. He studied in Paris as a French Government Scholar and at the Aspen Music School, and he earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Eastman School in 1974. Dr. Harman has also led an active solo career as a clarinetist with three solo recordings, numerous recital appearances in major concert halls in London and New York, and several national broadcasts recorded for French (ORTF), British (BBC), and American Public Radio (NPR, WQXR). He and his wife, Lori Foster, live in Rochester.