Thursday, August 16, 2012

World –Renowned Conductor Yorgos Kouritas Joins Saddleback College Music Faculty

Posted by CotoBlogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita,  CA – The Department of Music at Saddleback College just announced  new faculty member and symphony and wind ensemble conductor Yorgos Kouritas.  He will be teaching Music of the 20th Century, String Orchestra, Ensemble Techniques, Chamber Music, violin lessons, Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Orchestra.  The latter two are performance classes, and audiences will be able to attend two wind ensemble concerts in October and November, a symphony concert in October and A Feast of Lights in December.

Department of Music Chair Scott Farthing said of Kouritas’ recruiting:  “We are so excited to have Professor Kouritas join our music faculty at Saddleback College! He brings with him international performing experience and a wealth of musical gifts that will continue to build on our long history of excellent music-making.”

Mr. Kouritas has an extensive background in conducting which includes being the Assistant Conductor of the Boise Philharmonic and Director of the Boise Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. In March 2012, he made his debut with the Boise Philharmonic and it was enthusiastically received. During his tenure as the Assistant Conductor of the Symphony Orchestras at Eastman School of Music, he also held the position of Music Director and Conductor of the New Horizons Orchestra and Associate Conductor with the Brighton Symphony. He previously had the position of Cincinnati Symphony Conducting Assistant during the year 2006-07. During this time, he assisted Paavo Jarvi and all the guest conductors of the symphony. He also worked with James Conlon for the duration of the May festival of the Cincinnati Symphony. At the same time, he worked with Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra conducting them in rehearsals and concerts. Before joining CSO, he held the position of Assistant and Cover Conductor for the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, which included a production of Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte.

In the summer of 2010, he was chosen by Lorin Maazel to work with him as a conducting fellow for five weeks at the Castleton Festival in Virginia, and he received great reviews by the Washington Times and the Washington Post. He has been selected two times by Kurt Masur as an active participant for the annual master class with the Manhattan School of Music Symphony (April 2009 and November 2010). In May and June 2009, he interned with the New York Philharmonic’s Education Department and during his time there he also worked for the Development Department.

Mr. Kouritas has conducted various orchestras in concerts and master classes including Richmond Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Manhattan School of Music Symphony, Castleton Festival Orchestra, Lucca Festival Orchestra, Fingerlakes Symphony, Ossia Ensemble, Rochester Composer’s Sinfonietta and others. He has been the conductor of East Central Indiana Youth Orchestra and at the same time the Ball State Chamber Opera. In Europe, he has had many guest conducting opportunities, including the Pleven, Plovdiv and Bacau Philharmonics.

Born in Greece, Mr. Kouritas had violin lessons from an early age and studied the Russian pedagogue Rimma Sushanskaya at the Birmingham Conservatoire in England. He also studied the violin with Sherry Kloss , Piotr Milewski, Lynn Blakeslee and James Buswell. At the age of 13, he became the youngest member of the Edinburgh International Youth Orchestra. He served as concertmaster and member of many orchestras in the US and Europe. He studied conducting with Mark Gibson at Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and Neil Varon at Eastman School of Music. During his time in Cincinnati, he was the Director of the highly-praised production of Stravinsky’s Firebird (1945 version) collaborating with the school ballet.

Mr. Kouritas has participated in master classes with some of the most well-known conductors and teachers including Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, JoAnn Falletta, Alexander Mickelthwate, Gustav Meier, Alexis Hauser, Larry Livingston, Victor Yampolsky, Joseph Flummerfelt and Michael Jinbo at the Pierre Monteux School.  Last year he was a semi-finalist and this year he is a finalist for the American Prize in Conducting.

Saddleback College is located at 28000 Marguerite Parkway in Mission Viejo, just east of Interstate 5 at the Avery Parkway exit.  Free parking is available in Lot 12.  Take Avery Parkway to Marguerite Parkway turn left to the third traffic light, which is Saddleback’s Marguerite entrance. Turn right into the campus and take the second left to “Theatre Circle,” turning right into Lot 12.

Located in Mission Viejo, Saddleback College provides quality higher education and training to the greater south Orange County community.  Having served more than 500,000 students since 1968, Saddleback College offers more than 300 degree and certificate programs to help students reach their personal, career, and educational goals.  For more information, please visit  For Fine Arts events, visit

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