Known for adventurous musicality and a captivating stage presence, Filipino-American conductor IAN PASSMORE enjoys a rich career as an orchestral leader and pedagogue. Hailed as “a rising young conductor” by Fanfare magazine, his unapologetically Romantic performances of the standard repertoire harken back to a bygone generation of conductors.
Following two seasons as the Omaha Symphony’s Assistant Conductor, in 2019 the orchestra named Mr. Passmore its Associate Conductor – a position never before created in its 100-year history. Ian has also led programs with the Buffalo and Louisiana philharmonics, the orchestras of Charlotte, Greensboro, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Lincoln, North Carolina, Oak Ridge and Winston-Salem, and Vietnam’s Hanoi Philharmonic Orchestra. As a highlight of his current season, Ian leads a program with the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra.
Ian holds three academic degrees: a Doctor of Music in Orchestral Conducting from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music; a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Delaware; a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Additional conducting studies were completed at UNC Chapel Hill. His principal conducting mentors were James Allen Anderson, David Effron, Arthur Fagen, Tonu Kalam and the late Robert Gutter. He is a member of the honors music society Pi Kappa Lambda.
Having embarked on his own conducting studies at a very early age, Ian’s career also prioritizes conducting pedagogy and music education. His educational contributions include frequent appearances as a guest conductor and adjudicator for student ensembles, as well as numerous speaking engagements. Recent conference presentations include the International Conductors Guild, South Dakota Bandmasters Association and Nebraska Music Educators Association. Prior to his Omaha appointment, he served as Associate Instructor of Orchestral Conducting at Indiana University, where he taught conducting, led the IU Conductors’ and All-Campus Orchestras, and guest conducted the IU Chamber, Concert, Symphony and Philharmonic orchestras. Ian’s private conducting students have been accepted to several distinguished conservatories and summer programs, among them Indiana University, Conservatoire de musique de Lyon, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music and Aspen Music Festival & School.
Ian and his wife, Dianna Fiore, reside in North Carolina, in a home ruled over by a trio of dogs - Beethoven, Charlie and Belle. When not on the podium, Ian can be found enjoying local restaurants and craft beers, cooking, traveling, road biking and CrossFit. He is the creator of the social media series “Symphonic Shorts,” which seeks to remove the walls of formality that often surround classical music, making it more accessible to everyone. Learn more at ianconducts.com.
The Atterberg Sixth [Symphony] had good champions. In more recent times Ari Rasilainen recorded a complete Atterberg cycle for CPO. Ian Passmore is a rising young conductor, and his Indiana University Symphony Orchestra is fully professional and beautifully engaged. It counts for a lot when a happy combination of microphones meets players this determined to create beauty. The bass is room-caressing, high strings satiny, and the performance aglow. That’s what stopped me dead in my tracks to write this review straight from YouTube. Passmore doesn’t press forward with unneeded aggression. This music simply unfolds. Have a listen.
Maestro Passmore titled his program, ‘Family Meeting: A Musical Time Machine.’ His selections did just that – march through time. The march through time, with works by Gabrieli, Max Reger and Elgar, was a clever way to demonstrated the progressions of musical forms with time, at the same time showing off Passmore’s capability to handle these transitions with ease. It also showed off the versatility and talent of the symphony players, who appeared to be having a good time doing it. It was surprising to see a Haydn symphony as a grand finale to a program laden with fireworks. Well it turned out that his Symphony No. 88 in G Major literally came to life with Maestro Passmore at the helm. A truly exciting rendition that earned a well-deserved standing ovation.
THE OAK RIDGER (Tennessee)
Ian Passmore proves himself to be a powerful Brahms conductor, with a fine intuitive sense of push-me-pull-you and a palpable enjoyment of the music’s dramatic ebb and flow, allowing climaxes plenty of space to expand and fall away. This impression is confirmed by a warm accompaniment to the Bruch Scottish Fantasy. And flexible rhythm is of course the name of the game in Bernstein’s On The Town, where Passmore exhibits the sort of intuitive ability to sashay which makes us American.
CHARLOTTE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (NC)
Pops: The Hot Sardines
CHARLOTTE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Mooresville Performing Arts Center (NC)
ST. LOUIS SYMPHONY YOUTH ORCHESTRA
Anheuser-Busch Performance Hall, University of Missouri-St. Louis
Korngold: Violin Concerto