Meet the Conductor

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Now in his 25th season with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Guy Victor Bordo has enjoyed a long and exciting relationship with the orchestra and the community. In the past 24 years, the RSO has built a strong reputation for innovative programming and attracted many fine musicians in the region. Because of the outstanding skill and musicianship of the orchestra members, Mr. Bordo has the freedom to explore the repertoire by programming challenging works, both classical and contemporary.

Mr. Bordo also holds the position of Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Studies at the University of Akron School of Music. In this role, he conducts the University of Akron Symphony Orchestra and teaches Advanced Conducting. In 2015, the UASO was featured in a series of Children’s Concerts sponsored by Akron’s Children’s Concert Society that included over 3500 children. The University Symphony Orchestra performs a wide range of repertoire with many featured faculty soloists, as well as residencies and performances with renowned composers Randy Newman and Marvin Hamlisch; pianists Michael Chertock and Spencer Myer; violinists Maria Bachmann, Ilya Kaler, Andrés Cárdenes; and cellist Andrés Díaz.

As Music Director of The University of Akron New Music Ensemble from 2013 to 2019, Mr. Bordo programmed a variety of compositions from contemporary composers. In those seven seasons, the NME premiered a number of works by UA faculty and students, as well as performing works by Stuart Greenbaum, John Cage, Lou Harrison, Libby Larsen, John Luther Adams, Edgard Varese, David Skidmore, Kevin Puts, and David Lang.

Having a strong interest in bringing new music to the Richmond audience, Mr. Bordo and the RSO have presented diverse compositions by many living composers. In 2019, the RSO commissioned and premiered a work by composer Alyssa Morris to an enthusiastic response from the audience and the orchestra. This season will feature the premiere of her Cello Concerto with soloist Andres Diaz in April. Another highlight was the October 2001 residency of the great American composer John Corigliano. The RSO, with soloist Maria Bachmann, performed his composition Chaconne from the film The Red Violin, for which he won an Academy Award.

At home with a wide variety of styles and concert formats, Mr. Bordo has conducted prominent soloists including Yakov Kasman, Ilya Kaler, Lorin Hollander, Andrés Cárdenes, Anton Nel, Andrés Díaz, William Wolfram, Michael Chertock, and Spencer Myer, as well as popular artists Aretha Franklin, Marvin Stamm, The Beach Boys, and Wynonna Judd. From 2006-2015 Mr. Bordo was Music Director/Conductor of Akron Baroque, a professional, self-governing orchestra with musicians from Akron, Canton and Cleveland.

Active as a guest conductor, Mr. Bordo made his European debut in 1994 with the Lithuanian National Opera Theatre in Vilnius, conducting Verdi’s La Traviata. He was invited to return in 1997 where he conducted the State Symphony Orchestra, the St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra, and the Kaunas Opera Theatre in a production of Verdi’s Rigoletto. Additional engagements include Light Opera Works in Chicago and orchestras in Lexington (KY), Cheyenne (WY), Waterloo/Cedar Falls (IA), Fort Collins (CO), the Westshore (MI) Symphony Orchestra, the Virginia Symphony, the Omaha Symphony, the Elmhurst Symphony (IL), the Cleveland Philharmonic, and the Akron Symphony Orchestra.

In 2017 Mr. Bordo appeared as guest conductor with the Peninsula Music Festival in Door County, WI in a program that included the music of Falla, Zoghbi, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Massenet. This season will include a return to guest conduct the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic in March.

Mr. Bordo earned a Doctorate in Orchestral Conducting as a student of Victor Yampolsky at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, as well as Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Music Education from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He has studied conducting with Gustav Meier at the Tanglewood Music Center; Carl St. Clair, Music Director of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra; and Elizabeth Green, author of The Modern Conductor.

Mr. Bordo takes great pride in the accomplishments and artistic quality of the Richmond Symphony Orchestra. He is particularly proud of the stability of the RSO and the great support from the community. The recent expansion of the audience, as well as the evolution of the repertoire performed by the RSO and the adventurous musical tastes of the audience are all a great asset to creating exciting concerts for the Richmond community.

To the RSO and Community: I have many heartfelt thanks I would like to share with you – To the outstanding Board of Directors for their great work and support, to Monica and the entire staff for their very professional and dedicated work. I want the musicians to know how much I appreciate their outstanding dedication and artistic integrity. And, to the community and to the many generous donors who have made it possible for the RSO to thrive all these years.

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