"...so suspenseful it's like watching a close football game with the coach screaming from the sidelines..."—Bar Harbor Times
David Katz (playwright and actor) is an award-winning composer, conductor, writer, actor and arts entrepreneur. Originally from Danbury, Connecticut, Katz attended the Hartt School of Music of the University of Hartford, where he earned baccalaureate and masters degrees in composition and conducting, and was the first in the school's history to earn an artist diploma in conducting.
From 1984 to 1988, Katz studied with Maestro Charles Bruck at the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors and Orchestra Musicians in Hancock, Maine, and later founded and conducted there the Monteux Opera Festival, Opera Maine and the Chamber Orchestra of Maine. He formed Hat City Music Theater & Opera in his home city in 2002 and the Candlewood Symphony in 2004. He serves both as artistic director. Katz is also founder and chief judge of The American Prize, the national nonprofit competitions in the performing arts, which has awarded more than $40,000 to artists nationwide since 2010. Katz was honored by MUSICAL AMERICA in 2016 when he was selected as one of only thirty "Top Professionals of the Year" nationally for his work on that unique project.
In 2011 David Katz celebrated his 25th season as the founding music director of the Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra, the Midwest's unique orchestra and chorus of attorneys and judges, when he conducted more than 300 musicians in a gala performance of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana before a capacity crowd at Orchestra Hall / Symphony Center, home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The CBASO & Chorus returned to that venue in spring 2015 and will perform there again under Maestro Katz's baton in 2018.
In Chicago, Mr. Katz was Margaret Hillis’s assistant conductor with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra. Then, for twelve seasons, he was music director and artistic director of Michigan’s Adrian Symphony Orchestra, where he founded Opera!Lenawee and created the Friedrich Schorr Memorial Performance Prize in Voice international competition, which is now under the banner of The American Prize.
Honored by the Governor of Michigan for his service to the arts in the state, Katz has guest conducted all over the U.S., Canada and Mexico, including concerts with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Corpus Christi Symphony, the Mississippi Symphony, the Oregon Mozart Players, the Regina Symphony (Saskatchewan) and the Bellas Artes Chamber Orchestra (Mexico City), among scores of others. He has partnered such artists as Itzhak Perlman, William Warfield and Misha Dichter in concert, and collaborated with some of the greatest composers of the twentieth century, including Elliott Carter, William Schuman, Hans Werner Henze and Milton Babbitt.
As an actor, Katz’s experience includes major and supporting roles in both drama and opera, as well as many appearances with orchestra, narrating such works as Walton's Facade, Schoenberg's A Survivor from Warsaw and Pierrot Lunaire, Poulenc's Babar the Elephant, and Copland's Lincoln Portrait.
Honored by ASCAP and the National Federation of Music Clubs for his music, David Katz’s compositions include works premiered by members of the Chicago Symphony. His music may be found in the catalogs of G. Schirmer and Carl Fischer, among others. Katz’s first opera, Light of the Eye, for which he wrote both words and music, won Second Prize in the Brooklyn College opera competition and has been performed many times. In addition to a planned off-Broadway engagement for MUSE of FIRE, Katz has toured the play internationally since 2007.