Principal Guest Conductor
American conductor David Handel, has been Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra of Bolivia during 15 years. In April 2012 he was awarded a title of Honourary Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra of Bolivia for his contribution in its development. Handel has developed an extraordinary reputation as one of the most respected and innovative conductors in Latin America. His imaginative programming and distinctive community approach have brought record numbers of Bolivians to National Symphony concerts. Since the beginning of his tenure in Bolivia, audience attendance has grown twelve-fold, most of the new audience composed of young concert-goers.
Handel's energy and critical acclaim has made him one of the busiest conductors in Latin America and has led to his numerous invitations as guest conductor with many of the most important orchestras of the region.
First noticed by Kurt Masur, then Music Director of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, David Handel was invited to serve as his apprentice conductor at this historic institution.
Since then, he has led orchestras throughout the world, including programs for international radio and television broadcast. In 1993, David Handel was one of a few young conductors selected to conduct the New York Philharmonic in a preview of young conductors at Carnegie Hall.
As a guest conductor, David Handel has performed widely in the United States, Europe, Asia and in Latin America. He has led numerous first performances and world premiers and has to his credit a considerable list of television and compact disc recordings.
Twice a fellow of the prestigious Fulbright Program, David Handel is a laureate of the Chicago Artists International Program and has received numerous awards including two Rackham awards, the Marguerite Lapp Scholarship for Exceptional Musical Talent, two Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Illinois Arts Council awards, the Decoration of Illimani for outstanding community approach have the arts (Bolivia), the UNESCO/Pro-Santa Cruz National Prize in Culture (Bolivia) and a fellowship from the Leipzig Gewandhaus (Germany).
He has represented the United States in Latin America and Central Asia as a recipient of United States Information Agency awards and as a Cultural Ambassador through the United States State Department Cultural Specialist Program.
His principal instructors are Kurt Masur (1988 - 1989), Gustav Meier (1983 - 1991), Elizabeth Green (1982 - 1984) and Ruggiero Ricci (1982 - 1987).
Among David Handel's upcoming activities are releases of three Compact Disc recordings with the National Symphony Orchestra of Bolivia and the UNCuyo Symphony Orchestra of works by Erich Eisner, David Winkler and Antonin Dvorak. Two recordings on the Naxos label are planned with the National Symphony of Argentina and the UNCuyo Symphony Orchestra for release in 2008. 2008 marked the second year of the Guadalquivir Festival which he founded in the Andean town of Tarija, Bolivia, a Festival which brings together some of the finest orchestral musicians from throughout the Southern Cone region of South America. His future engagements as guest conductor include programs with the National Symphony Orchestra of Argentina, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ecuador, the San Juan Symphony Orchestra (Argentina), the Bahia Blanca Symphony Orchestra (Argentina), and the Amazon Philharmonic (Manaus, Brazil) at the famed Teatro Amazonas, the unity approach have in Erbil, Iraq, concerts in the United States, Poland and Bulgaria as well as return engagements with the National Symphony Orchestra of Malta and the Venezuela Symphony Orchestra.
Since May 2011 David Handel has been appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Moscow City Symphony - Russian Philharmonic.