Hailed by the BBC as a “talent to watch out for, who conveys a mature command of his forces,” American conductor Philip Mann is quickly gaining a worldwide reputation as an “expressively graceful yet passionate” artist with a range spanning opera, symphonic repertoire, new music, and experimental collaborations. Now in his second season as Music Director of the the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, his first season shattered all previous attendance records as the orchestra reached new artistic heights. He previously held several posts in Europe and served as San Diego Symphony’s Associate Conductor, where he conducted hundreds of performances of Jacobs Subscription Masterworks, Symphony Exposed, family, young people’s concerts, Kinder Konzert, pops, and other special programs and projects.
Previously named an American Conducting Fellow, the San Diego Union Tribune raved, “Mann was masterful… a skilled musical architect, designing and executing a beautifully paced interpretation, which seemed to spring from somewhere deep within the music rather than superimposed upon it.” The winner of the Vienna Philharmonic’s Karajan Fellowship at the Salzburg Festival, he has relationships with orchestras and operas worldwide: a few of them being the Cleveland Orchestra, l’Orchestre symphonique de Québec, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Georgian State Opera, and the National Symphony of Cyprus. His Canadian debut with the OSQ was described by Le Soleil as a “Tour de Force,” and a recent Beethoven 9 as “Titanic.” Mann has worked with leading artists such as Joshua Bell, Sharon Isbin, Dmitri Alexeev, Marvin Hamlisch and given world premiers of major composers including John Corigliano, while major premiers of other composers like Jennifer Higdon, Michael Torke, Lucas Richman have cemented his commitment to living composers. He maintains a lively schedule as a guest conductor having conducted at New York’s Avery Fischer Hall and London’s Barbican Center. Active in symphonic, operatic, and new music repertories, he has served as music director of the Oxford City Opera and Oxford Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra.
Elected a Rhodes Scholar, Mann studied and taught at Oxford, and won the annual competition to become principal conductor of the Oxford University Philharmonia. Under his leadership, the Philharmonia’s performances and tours received international press and acclaim. Mann studied with Alan Hazeldine of London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Colin Metters at the Royal Academy of Music, and Marios Papadopolous of the Oxford Philomusica. He worked with Leonard Slatkin and the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center’s National Conducting Institute and Michael Tilson Thomas at the New World Symphony. Mentorship with Esa-Pekka Salonen and Jorma Panula followed at the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Conducting Masterclasses, and Robert Spano with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s international Mozart Requiem masterclass for the League of American Orchestras annual conference. He has also worked under Imre Pallo, David Effron, John Poole, and Thomas Baldner at Indiana University where he was appointed visiting lecturer in orchestral conducting, and worked as assistant conductor at the IU Opera Theater. Additional studies came under the Bolshoi Theater’s music director, Alexander Vedernikov at the Moscow State Conservatory, Gustav Meir, Kenneth Keisler, and with Pulitzer Prize winning composer Robert Ward. He is the recipient of numerous awards including commendations from several cities, and the state of California.