1/18/2020 (7:30pm)
David Stewart Wiley
  • Biography
  • Reviews
  • Itinerary
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Peter Stafford Wilson

DAVID STEWART WILEY has led the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra since 1996, helping the ensemble achieve ever-higher levels of artistry, while bonding it with the community-at-large. Late in 2023, the RSO Board announced the extension of his contract for another four years, making him the longest-tenured Music Director in its 71-year history. David also enjoys an enviable guest conducting career, having appeared with the distinguished orchestras of Atlanta, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Hawaii, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Oregon, Saint Louis, San Francisco and Utah, as well as with those in dozens of countries in Asia, Africa and Europe. He has a multi-faceted and in-demand career as an orchestra builder, guest conductor, arranger, educator and chamber music collaborator, and inspires and engages both orchestras and audiences alike. David made his triple debut with the Boston Pops as conductor, composer and piano soloist in Boston’s historic Symphony Hall.

Under his direction, Virginia’s Roanoke Symphony Orchestra (RSO) has experienced continued artistic growth, program innovation and expansion, along with increased financial stability. David’s tenure with the RSO is a remarkable success story, with consistently stellar reviews, a diverse and impressive list of guest artists and composers and innovative commissions of new music. He is an engaged, active and recognized community partner, having been named Roanoke’s “Citizen of the Year” for his outstanding service and outreach. David was part of the leadership team that traveled to Denver as Roanoke received its unprecedented 7th “All-American City” award. Wiley actively partners with schools and numerous arts and civic organizations, and the RSO & Wiley received a Distinguished Music Educator Award from Yale University for their work with local schools. They produced its first live TV broadcast, and collaborates with WVTF public radio to broadcast many of its concerts. His energetic work bringing classical music to youth in greater-Roanoke’s minority communities has been steadfast, and he was honored by the NAACP as Citizen of the Year in the Arts. He and his wife Leah were honored at the MS Society’s “Dinner of Champions” for their leadership, and Maestro Wiley was honored during his 25th season by the governor and a joint bipartisan resolution in the Virginia house and senate.

As a solo pianist with diverse classical, pops and chamber music experience, David Stewart Wiley has performed with numerous orchestras in the United States including Boston, Honolulu, Indianapolis, Minnesota, Oregon, West Virginia and Wheeling, performing major concerti by Baroque to contemporary composers, often conducting from the piano. He has appeared in recital and chamber music appearances in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Russia and China. Numerous opera and ballet performances include the Aspen Opera Theater, IU Opera Theater and the Moscow Ballet.

As an experienced leader, David plans and facilitates an innovative experience with business executives and musicians together on stage titled “Conducting Change” which helps executives to model leadership skills in a fun and engaging atmosphere with a live orchestra. Corporations with successful experiences with this program include Allstate Insurance, Carilion Health Systems and member One Federal Credit Union.

Summer engagements include the Aspen Music Festival, Brevard Music Center, and the festivals of Garth Newel, Park City (Utah), Minnesota Orchestra Summerfest, Prince Albert (Hawaii), Sitka (Alaska) and Wintergreen (Virginia). From 1999 until 2006 Wiley was the Artistic Director & Conductor of the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival, where he founded and built the festival orchestra, created the student academy and led the festival to remarkable artistic growth in seven years, tripling the balanced budget.

David also serves as Artistic Director of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Music Festival, based in Floyd and Music Director & Conductor of Orchestra Long Island (OLI) in New York. As he has done for 20 years beginning in 2001 with the Long Island Philharmonic, he leads concerts for many thousands each year in venues from the Bronx to the Hamptons, in educational, pops, chamber, and classical and parks programs. Earlier in his career, he served as Assistant Conductor of The Minnesota Orchestra and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

Wiley’s CDs include an album of French Cello Concerti with Zuill Bailey & the Roanoke Symphony on Delos International, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 “Choral” with the RSO & Choruses, “American Piano Concertos” with Norman Krieger & the RSO on Artisie 4 which includes Wiley’s third piano concerto. He has released “Wiley & Friends: Classical Jazz, American Trumpet Concertos” with the Slovak Radio Symphony/Neebe, violin/piano duo CD “Preludes & Lullabies” with Akemi Takayama, Sempre Libera with soprano Adelaide Trombetta, a solo piano CD with all original compositions Full Circle, and Piano Bells. As a composer, he has written symphonic music for the film Lake Effects, which featured a soundtrack performed by the RSO, Wiley conducting, with original music by Boyle and Wiley.

David Stewart Wiley won the Aspen Conducting Prize, was Assistant Conductor for the Aspen Music Festival and was awarded a Conducting Fellowship at Tanglewood. Wiley holds both a Doctor and Master of Music in Conducting from Indiana University, a degree in Piano Performance with honors from the New England Conservatory of Music and a degree in Religion, summa cum laude, from Tufts University. He is a recipient of the Perry F. Kendig Prize for service to the arts, and is a Paul Harris Fellow from Rotary International.

David and Leah have two sons, both currently in college in the Commonwealth of Virginia.


Wiley draws verve, wit from RSO players in masterworks concert [headline]
The entire second half of the concert was taken up by Beethoven’s enduring Seventh Symphony. Wiley seemed to be channeling the spirit of Leonard Bernstein, whose centennial is being celebrated this year, and who was closely identified with this symphony throughout his career. Wiley drew the very best out of the symphony, and the performance was the highlight of the evening. There was a fierce intensity in the first movement; the second moved forward with relentless restlessness; the third was buoyant in the main sections, but in the trios came to thrilling climaxes; and the fourth showed a careful pacing of tempo, a rich range of dynamics and an incandescent energy that erupted closed to the end. The audience immediately rose to its feet, with loud cheers.


Symphony dazzles huge audience under the stars [headline]
The [Roanoke Symphony] orchestra, conducted by David Stewart Wiley, was joined by members of the RSO Chorus, and the Southwest Virginia Ballet, directed by Pedro Szalay. The program was eclectic, including classical, Latin, cartoon music, folk, jazz, film and patriotic music, along with Broadway tunes. In sum, it was a joyous celebration of instrumental music as well as dancing and singing. For an encore, Wiley donned a costume and led with a light sabre the main theme from John Williams’ Star Wars, much to the delight of everyone.


RSO goes big for holiday pops show {headline]
‘The more the merrier’ is a phrase often associated with holiday gatherings. The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops concert, featured more musicians than the organization could git onstage, with merriment to go around. Seven choirs, including the RSO’s own chorus, filled the stage behind the orchestra and a chunk of bleachers. Radford University Highlanders Pipes & Drums spent some time on stage. Soprano Adrienne Danrich sang multiple tunes. In all, 325 performers entertained a crowd of about 3,100, a number that RSO executive director David Crane said made it the biggest holiday concert in the commonwealth.


Roanoke’s Remarkable Symphony Under the Stars [headline]
The hillside amphitheater in Elmwood Park was packed by music-lovers as the sun went down, the temperature dropped, and the excitement rose as Maestro David Stewart Wiley took the baton and launched the RSO’s 71st year. In an age tarnished by so much disappointment with failed leadership, Wiley stands out as a bright success. The RSO board just announced they had extended his contract for another four years, making him the longest-tenured conductor in their seven-decade history. With money tight and inflation high, the free admission was a welcome gift for the community. Multiple ethnicities were seen in the audience as well as an age range from families with young children to the elderly in wheelchairs. One couple said their two-year old grandchild was having a ball, dancing and jumping to the music.


2/10/2024 (7:30pm)
2/11/2024 (7:30pm)


Shaftman Performance Hall

Dvorák: Carnival Overture
Telemann: Trumpet Concerto in D
Sammartini: Trumpet Concerto in E-flat
soloist: Ashley Hall
Mozart: Winter Sleigh Ride
J. Strauss, Jr.: Roses from the South
with Southwest Virginia Ballet

2/15/2024 (7pm)


The Wheatley School Auditorium (Old Westbury, NY)

Rossini: The Barber of Seville (overture)
Shostakovich: Waltz #2
Holst: The Planets (excerpts)

3/20/2024 (7pm)


Dr. John Hugo and David Stewart Wiley, conductors
Christ the King Presbyterian Church

with members of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra

3/23/2024 (7:30pm)


Performing Arts Theatre, Berglund Center

Gershwin: Shall We Dance (overture)
Gershwin: Lullaby for Strings
Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue
soloist: Natasha Paremski, pianist
Bernstein: West Side Story (selections)
Joel: Elegy: The Great Peconic

4/21/2024 (3pm)


Shaftman Performance Hall

Rossini: The Barber of Seville (overture)
Carulli: Guitar Concerto in e
soloist: Michael Havens
Mendelssohn: Symphony #4

4/28/2024 (3pm)

SYMPHONICITY (Virginia Beach, VA)

Sandler Center for the Performing Arts

Program of symphonic film classics with piano solo
David Stewart Wiley, conductor, composer, pianist

5/5/2024 (3pm)


Performing Arts Theatre, Berglund Center

Beethoven: Symphony #9
soloists: Adelaide Trombetta, soprano
Cecelia McKinley, contralto
Brian Thorsett, tenor
Kenneth Kellogg, bass
with Roanoke Symphony Orchestra Chorus
Blacksburg Master Chorale

5/20/2024 (7pm)


Uniondale High school Auditorium

Mendelssohn: The Hebrides Overture
Beethoven: Symphony #6

6/14/2024 (7:30pm)


Salem Civic Center

“Jeans ‘n Classics”: The Who

6/16/2024 (3pm)


Celebration Hall (Floyd)

Haydn: Concerto for 2 Horns
Mozart: Violin Concerto #5
soloist: Akemi Takayama

Shostakovich: Symphony #5 in d, Op. 47 (IV: Allegro non troppo)
Roanoke Symphony Orchestra

Orff: Carmina Burana (excerpt)
Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, Chorus and Ballet

Beethoven: Symphony #9 in d minor, Op. 125 (Finale)
Roanoke Symphony Orchestra & Chorus

“Conducting Change” - Corporate Leadership Training
Roanoke Symphony Orchestra