Grammy Award winner Michael Repper became the Music Director of the Northern Neck Orchestra in 2016. He also is the Music Director of the Ashland Symphony Orchestra, Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra and the New York Youth Symphony and is the Principal Conductor of Sinfonía por el Perú, the elite youth orchestras and choruses representing one of South America’s most versatile social impact music programs.
Repper and the New York Youth Symphony received the Grammy Award in 2023 for their recording of music by American composers Florence Price, Valerie Coleman and Jessie Montgomery. The album achieved widespread critical acclaim and reached #1 on the Billboard Chart.
Recognizing his success at these ensembles, and his growing profile as a guest conductor internationally, Repper was awarded a Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award in 2020, 2021 and 2022.
With work spanning four continents, Repper has become one of the most sought-after young conductors in the world, earning an international reputation for engaging and exciting audiences of all spectrums and promoting new and diverse musical talents.
Repper has collaborated on large-scale productions of symphonic and theatrical works with the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Ravinia Festival, Peabody Institute of Music, and the New School of Music, among others. An avid pianist, he regularly performs as a soloist alongside his orchestras and choruses, and as an orchestral player as well. The Northern Neck Orchestra’s 2021 performance of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” featured Repper as solo pianist and conductor. He recently played in the Chicago Symphony for its performances of Bernstein’s Mass, which was broadcast on PBS “Great Performances.”
Alongside the standard repertoire, Repper is especially invested in programming new music and showcasing fresh talent. His ensembles have performed dozens of world premieres and pursued innovative commissions, as well as a variety of Carnegie Hall premieres from established and emerging composers. Repper was the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Conducting Fellow for two seasons, and he served as the BSO’s New Music Consultant.
A trusted ear, Mr. Repper is asked to assist and cover at orchestras nationwide, including the St. Louis Symphony, and for Naxos recordings with the Peabody Symphony Orchestra. His experience with choruses has been recognized with significant positions, including his tenure as the Music Director at the Baltimore Basilica, the first Catholic Cathedral in the United States. Internationally, Mr. Repper has performed with some of the most highly regarded ensembles and in the world’s greatest venues, including the São Paulo Symphony, and at the Palau de la Musica in Barcelona.
His discography also includes the aforementioned album of music with the New York Youth Symphony, alongside an album with the Grammy-Nominated Metropolis Ensemble and Grammy-Winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus (“Musical America”), and several with the Peabody Institute as an Assistant Conductor. With the New York Youth Symphony during the Coronavirus pandemic, he was one of the first to pioneer the practice of distanced orchestral performance videos, and he made two performance appearances on CNN, the final one with Platinum-Artist Billy Ray Cyrus.
Repper complements his work with professional orchestras with a firm commitment to education, and travels worldwide to work with ensembles of young musicians. As Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Society of Maryland, he ushered in a slate of innovative educational programming, such as the Reinecke Youth Chamber Music Scholarship and Fellowship Program. He conducts several masterclasses each year for orchestras from all over the United States on behalf of the New York Philharmonic, and conducts side-by-side and educational concerts with major orchestras, including the Baltimore Symphony and the Colorado Symphony.
Repper’s most influential conducting mentors are Marin Alsop and the late Gustav Meier. He believes that a conductor’s main role is to connect people and to use performance as a vehicle for positive change. He aims to promote a diverse and inclusive future for the arts, and to pay forward the passion for community that his mentors demonstrated to him.