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Two Peabody alums gain new conducting posts

Tim Smith
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun
Nice career moves for two young conductors trained at Peabody by Marin Alsop and the late Gustav Meier.

Two young conductors who studied at Baltimore's Peabody Institute made significant career steps in recent days.

Stephen Mulligan has been named assistant conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and music director of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra, starting with the 2017-2018 season.

And Michael Repper has been appointed music director of the New York Youth Symphony, likewise beginning in 2017-2018.

In his new post, Mulligan will be working closely with Atlanta Symphony music director Robert Spano, someone who "has been a tremendous influence as my mentor," the young conductor said in a statement.

Mulligan studied with Spano at the American Academy of Conducting in Aspen, Colo., and received the Aspen Conducting Prize.

Spano said he is "confident that Stephen will be instrumental in the artistic future of the [ASO] and will inspire our Youth Orchestra students to continue to achieve excellence."

Mulligan succeeds another successful Peabody alum, Joesph Young, the first person to have double duty as ASO assistant conductor and music director of the youth orchestra.

Meanwhile, Repper said in a statement that he was "honored and
humbled" by the New York Youth Symphony appointment and pledged "to preserve the highest artistic standards while imagining a new and exciting future for the orchestra's role in the community."

Melissa Eisenstat, board president of New York City-based orchestra and chair of the search committee, said that Repper "demonstrates the culture of artistic maturity and musical excellence
we strive to achieve here at NYYS."

Repper succeeds Joshua Gersen in the post, which was held in years past by such well-known conductors as Leonard Slatkin and Miguel Harth-Bedoya.

Mulligan and Repper studied at Peabody with Marin Alsop and the late Gustav Meier. Mulligan also studied with Markand Thakar at the conservatory. Both rising conductors, who are still in their 20s, have led concerts with orchestras around the U.S. and abroad.

Repper served two years as the Peabody Institute-Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Conducting Fellow. His local connections also include serving as music director of the Baltimore Basilica; assistant conductor of Concert Artists of Baltimore; and managing director of the Chamber Music Society of Maryland, which administers the long-running Music in the Great Hall concert series.

Mulligan — who studied violin as a youth with his father, Gregory Mulligan, longtime violinist in the Baltimore Symphony — co-founded the Baltimore-based Occasional Symphony, known for outside-the-box programming and performance venues. He has also served as assistant conductor and youth orchestra director for the Winston-Salem Symphony.

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