his twentieth year as Music Director of Oakland East Bay Symphony, Michael
Morgan was born in Washington, DC, where he attended public schools and began
conducting at the age of 12. While a student at Oberlin College Conservatory of
Music, he spent a summer at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, studying
with Gunther Schuller and Seiji Ozawa. It was during this summer that he first
worked with Leonard Bernstein.
His operatic debut was in 1982 at the
Vienna State Opera conducting Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio. In
1986, Sir Georg Solti chose him to become the Assistant Conductor of the
Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a position he held for five years under both Solti
and Daniel Barenboim. In 1986 he was invited by Leonard Bernstein to make his
debut with the New York Philharmonic. As a guest conductor he has appeared with
most of America's major orchestras as well as the New York City Opera, St.
Louis Opera Theater and Washington National Opera.
In addition to his
duties with Oakland East Bay Symphony, Maestro Morgan serves as Artistic
Director of Oakland Youth Orchestra, Music Director of Sacramento Philharmonic,
Artistic Director of Festival Opera in Walnut Creek, Artistic Advisor to the
Peoria Symphony in Illinois and teaches the graduate conducting course at the
San Francisco Conservatory of Music. As Stage Director he has led productions
of the Bernstein Mass at the Oakland East Bay Symphony and stagings of Mozart's
Don Giovanni and Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream and Gounod's
Faust at Festival Opera. As a chamber musician (piano) he has appeared on the
Chamber Music Alive series in Sacramento as well as the occasional appearance
in the Bay Area.
He was honored by the San Francisco Chapter of The
Recording Academy with the 2005 Governor's Award for Community Service. On the
opposite coast, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers
(ASCAP) chose Morgan as one of its five 2005 Concert Music Award recipients.
ASCAP further honored Oakland East Bay Symphony in 2006 with its Award for
Adventurous Programming. The San Francisco Foundation has honored him with one
of its Community Leadership Awards and he received an Honorary Doctorate from
Holy Names University.
He makes many appearances in the nation's
schools each year, particularly in the East Bay, and is highly regarded as a
champion of arts education and minority access to the arts. He serves on the
Board of the Purple Silk Music Education Foundation as well as the
International House at the University of California at Berkeley. He makes his
home in Oakland with his mother and sister.