Maestro Miguel Harth-Bedoya to Debut as Third Baylor Symphony Conductor in the School of Music's History
Renowned conductor brings worldwide experience as he takes the baton of Baylor’s premiere symphony, campus orchestras
WACO, Texas (Oct. 3, 2022) – Renowned Maestro Miguel Harth-Bedoya will make his debut as only the third conductor in the long history of the Baylor University Symphony Orchestra and Campus Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, at Jones Concert Hall in the Glennis McCrary Music Building. This concert is free and open to the public.
Harth-Bedoya joined Baylor School of Music in Fall 2022 as The Mary Franks Thompson Professor of Orchestral Studies, succeeding Stephen Heyde, M.F.A., who retired in spring 2022 after leading the orchestral program since 1987. Harth-Bedoya, who brings over 30 years of experience conducting orchestras all over the United States and internationally, hopes his the orchestras’ first performance on Tuesday transports audience members to other levels and that the love for music and that of Baylor student musicians grows even more.
"Music is a universal and powerful language. You cannot touch music, but music can touch you. We should always have a purpose when playing music," Harth-Bedoya said.
Since 1946, the flagship Baylor Symphony Orchestra has had only two permanent conductors: founding director Daniel Sternberg, Heyde and now Harth-Bedoya. The exceptional quality of the orchestral program speaks volumes about the levels of commitment to Baylor and dedication to the musical arts.
"Miguel is following in the legacy of Maestro Stephen Heyde's long tenure as the conductor of the BSO,”said Gary Mortenson, D.M.A., dean of the School of Music. "His lifelong commitment to studying and conducting orchestral repertoire allows him to bring great wisdom and experience to the podium."
Baylor's academic reputation and values, coupled with their personal experience as Baylor parents, were significant factors for Harth-Bedoya and his wife in deciding to join the School of Music.
"We have been impressed with the human quality of Baylor's faculty," said Harth-Bedoya. "Being at Baylor is a gift for which I couldn't be more grateful."
Harth-Bedoya most recently held the title of director of orchestral studies at the University of Nebraska, Omaha, where he created a new undergraduate program in orchestral conducting as well as The Conducting Institute, a summer and winter orchestral conducting program in Fort Worth that includes a variety of online courses.
He also has amassed considerable experience at the helm of orchestras, including recently completing tenures as chief conductor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra — a post he held for seven seasons — and 20 seasons as music director of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, where he now holds the title of music director laureate and will conduct regularly. Previously, he has held music director positions with the Auckland Philharmonia in New Zealand and Eugene Symphony in Oregon.
Born and raised in Peru, Harth-Bedoya received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music and his Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School, both under the guidance of Otto-Werner Mueller. He also studied with Seiji Ozawa and Gustav Meier at Tanglewood.
"Maestro Harth-Bedoya is relentless in the pursuit of musical excellence and demands attention and dedication from the Baylor Symphony Orchestra," Mortenson said. "Miguel is continuing and honoring that legacy as the Baylor Symphony Orchestra continues to serve the music to the Glory of God."
The Baylor Symphony Orchestra is dedicated to the quality performance of the orchestral repertoire and to the professional and artistic growth of its members. In a typical semester, nearly 100 Baylor students, hailing from more than two dozen states and several foreign countries, perform in the ensemble. The BSO has an extensive performance schedule on and off campus, annually presenting four to six concerts of standard orchestral repertoire, a full opera production and other events such as concerto accompaniments, new music readings and choral/orchestral collaborations. The orchestra also presents a series of concerts each year to an audience of more than 6,000 Waco area schoolchildren, a tradition since 1946.
The Baylor Campus Orchestra is designed to provide an orchestral experience for Baylor students whose schedules will not permit them to commit to the time needed to perform with the BSO. The Campus Orchestra presents two to four performances on campus and in the Waco community each semester.
ABOUT THE BAYLOR UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MUSIC
Celebrating more than 100 years of musical excellence, the Baylor University School of Music provides transformational experiences that prepare students for careers in music. Students thrive in a Christian environment characterized by a nurturing resident faculty, an unwavering pursuit of musical excellence, a global perspective, dedication to service and devotion to faith. They investigate the rich musical and cultural heritage of the past, develop superior musical skills and knowledge in the present, and explore and create new modes of musical expression for the future. While preparing for future leadership roles, students join with School of Music faculty in enhancing the quality of community life, enriching the larger culture and making Baylor a place in which heart, mind and soul coalesce. The School is celebrating the centennial year of its founding throughout the 2021-2022 academic year. Baylor's School of Music is a member of the National Association of Schools of Music and the Texas Association of Music Schools. Degree programs include bachelor's and master's degrees in performance, music education and academic majors, as well as doctoral degrees in church music. Degrees leading to the Bachelor of Music Education conform to certification requirements of the Texas Education Agency. Visit baylor.edu/music to learn more.
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.