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 symphonic repertoire, opera, new music, and experimental collaborations. As Music Director of the Arkansas Symphony, the state orchestra has seen unprecedented artistic growth, attendance records, construction of a new concert hall, launches of several groundbreaking performance series, expansion of classical programming weeks, the return of fully staged opera to the metropolitan area, 6 consecutive years of financial surplus, and the founding of Arkansas’s first collaborative arts festival-Acansa. His already highly praised Brahms collaboration with the London Symphony and pianist Norman Krieger is scheduled for 2017 release on Decca Records. Elected a Rhodes Scholar, he was also winner of the Vienna Philharmonic’s Karajan Fellowship at the Salzburg Festival, and an American Conducting Fellow.
Recent and upcoming engagements with l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Sofia Philharmonic, Busan Philharmonic, National Radio Orchestra of Romania, Batumi Festival Orchestra, Voronezh Philharmonic, and major orchestras, operas, and festivals in Europe, USA, and Asia. Mann has been an assistant conductor for performances with the Cleveland Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Previously, the music director of the Oxford City Opera and Oxford Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra, he has also held conducting positions with the Indianapolis Symphony, San Diego Symphony, and Music in the Mountains Festival. As the Associate Conductor of San Diego Symphony, Mann performed hundreds of critically acclaimed performances including a Strauss/Debussy/Mozart program where the 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.” Mann’s Canadian debut with l’Orchestre symphonique de Québec, was dubbed by Le Soleil as a “Tour de Force,” and produced an immediate reengagement.
Other recent engagements include Georgian State Opera, National Symphony of Cyprus, Phoenix Symphony, Sarasota Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, Symphony in C, and the New Mexico, Tulsa, and Voronezh Philharmonic. Mann has worked with leading artists such as Joshua Bell, Sharon Isbin, Dmitri Alexeev, Midori, Marvin Hamlisch and given premiers of major composers including John Corigliano, Jennifer Higdon, Samuel Adler, Michael Torke, Lucas Richman, Christopher Theofanidis and many others. He maintains a lively schedule as a guest conductor having conducted multiple sell-outs at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fischer Hall and London’s Barbican Center.
Having assisted Franz Welser-Möst, Simon Rattle, Leonard Slatkin, Jaime Laredo, Mario Venzago, Bramwell Tovey, Pinchas Zukerman, he studied and taught at Oxford, where he 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. 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. Mann was both the “outstanding graduate (valedictorian)” the Herberger College of Fine Arts at Arizona State University, but also the Honors College’s 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award winner. He is the recipient of numerous awards including commendations from several cities, the states of California and Arkansas, and has been recognized for his extraordinary community engagement as winner of Arkansas’ “Communicator of the Year,” and PRSA “Diamond Award Winner” for enhancing the image of the entire state.