Robert Debbaut Resume

      Robert Debbaut has led orchestras and opera companies in the United States as well as in Central America, Asia and Europe. Critics have called Robert Debbaut "a world-class conductor" (Salt Lake Tribune) possessing "an incisiveness verging on the dance" (Kansas City Star) and as "a conductor with the force of emotions in his direction." (Prensa Libre Guatemala).
Robert Debbaut has guest conducted many orchestras during his twenty-five year career.

Among the many ensembles he has conducted are the Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Chicago Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, Dearborn Symphony, DePaul Opera Theatre, Filharmonia Sudecka (Poland), Hartford Symphony, Kharkiv Chamber Orchestra, Kharkiv Philharmonic, Pärnu Linnaorkester (Estonia), Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony of Guatemala, North Bohemian Philharmonic, Great Novgorod Chamber Orchestra, Salt Lake Symphony, Saint Petersburg Classic Orchestra, San Juan Symphony, Shanghai Conservatory Orchestra, Utah Mozart Festival Opera, Utah Opera, Utah Symphony and the Yaroslavl Symphony Orchestra. With the Civic Orchestra of Chicago he assisted in the musical preparation for concerts led by Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Cliff Colnot and Christoph Eschenbach and assisted Maestro Barenboim, Krzystoff Penderecki and David Zinman in rehearsals with the Chicago Symphony. For four seasons Dr. Debbaut was the first-call Cover Conductor for Milwaukee Symphony Music Director Andreas Delfs and Associate Conductor to Larry Rachleff with the Chicago Philharmonic.

Dr. Debbaut is also a composer. In January, 2007 he made a return engagement with the Great Novgorod Chamber Orchestra, conducting a program of American music that included the first performance of his latest composition “Great New City.” He returns to Novgorod in 2010 to conduct a program that includes the premieres of his “Country Dances” and “O. K.” for Solo Cello and Orchestra. His future plans also include return trips to the Czech Republic, Guatemala, Poland and Russia.

Dr. Debbaut has enjoyed a distinguished record of service in higher education. For eight years he served as Director of Orchestras at the University of Utah, where his orchestras were twice honored by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) for the programming of new American music and won Down Beat Magazine's annual student music award for "best classical orchestral performance" three times in four years. Debbaut’s orchestra was the only orchestra among the entrants in this blind contest to submit live and unedited performance tapes. The Utah Philharmonia received critical acclaim for its regional and national tours and was one of two North American orchestras invited to perform at the 27th annual Festival of Youth and Music in Vienna. In addition to his work in Utah, Dr. Debbaut served on the faculty at DePaul University, the Lawrence Conservatory, the University of Akron and the University of Minnesota and was Music Director of the Salt Lake Symphony, Founder and Conductor of Kansas City’s Conservatory Mozarteum Orchestra and Opera and the University of Utah/Kellogg’s Performing Arts Series for Children and served on the conducting staff of the Chicago Chamber Orchestra and Chicago Philharmonic.

Throughout his career Robert Debbaut has been privileged to accompany a roster of distinguished soloists and to conduct concerts and recordings of the music of living American composers, including David Amram, Michael Angell, Jan Bach, William Banfield, David Carlson, Tully Cathey, John Corigliano, John Vasconcelos Costa, Michael Horvit, Steve Reich, George Walker and Henry Wolking. Included among the many soloists with whom he has worked are William Barnewitz, horn, Robert Breault, tenor, Karen Brunssen, mezzo soprano, Gerald Elias, violin, Lorna Haywood, soprano, Leslie Howard, piano, Timothy Jones, bass-baritone, Manfred Kalcher, flute, Katinka Kleijn, cello, Sumin Lee, piano, Kurt Link, bass-baritone, Dino Mastroyiannis, piano, Wei Wei Mao, piano, Ralph Matson, violin, Krzystof Meisinger, guitar, Patrice Michaels, soprano, Kuniko Nagata, violin, Louis Nagel, piano, Johann Palier, guitar, Jeffrey Swann, piano, Nadezhda Tokareva, violin, Kip Wilborn, tenor, Roberta Zalkind, viola and the late William Warfield, baritone and narrator.

Robert Debbaut holds the degree Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting from the University of Michigan, as well as degrees from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory and Missouri State University. In addition he studied at the David Oistrakh Festival in Estonia (Prize and Diploma), the International Conducting Workshop in Prague, the Oregon Bach Festival and the Tanglewood Music Center where he was the first recipient of the Maurice Abravanel Award. His teachers and mentors include Daniel Barenboim, Neeme Järvi, Gustav Meier, Helmuth Rilling and the late Maurice Abravanel.

Updated:  June 6, 2010

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