BIOGRAPHY

Scroll down to read about Maestro Oltman.

Internationally acclaimed conductor Dwight Oltman has enjoyed a remarkably diverse musical career as one of the world's most versatile conductors. 

 

A central figure in America's professional chamber orchestra movement, Oltman was Founding Music Director of the Ohio Chamber Orchestra in 1972 and conducted the orchestra for twenty years. Under his leadership, the Ohio Chamber Orchestra flourished as the third busiest orchestra in the state of Ohio after the Cleveland Orchestra and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and in the chamber orchestra field "on a comparable level with the Cleveland Orchestra's position among international orchestras." From 2000 to 2012 Oltman was Music Director and Principal Conductor of Ballet San Jose in California after serving for twenty-four years in the same capacity for Cleveland Ballet. Currently, Oltman is the artist-teacher in residence for the Smoky Mountain International Conducting Institute and Competition.

 

 

Working with Artistic Director Dennis Nahat and other leading choreographers such as Fleming Flindt, Agnes de Mille, and Donald McKayle, and accompanying legendary dancers including Rudolf Nureyev and Cynthia Gregory, Oltman gained a reputation as one of the premiere ballet conductors in the field.  Oltman conducted the Cleveland Ballet in many American cities, including New York and Chicago, and conducted a week of performances at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland.  Additionally, he has led performances with the Atlanta Ballet, Miami City BalletOakland Ballet and was chosen to conduct all performances at the 2002 USA International Ballet Competition.  His vast experience in the theater includes 14 operas and 36 musicals.   

 

A partial list of the orchestras he has conducted include the Buffalo Philharmonic, Canton Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Denver Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, Martinu Philharmonic (Czech Republic), Michigan Opera Theater Orchestra, Scottish Philharmonic Orchestra, Saint Cecilia Orchestra (Rome), San Jose Symphony, Shanghai Philharmonic, Symphony Nova Scotia, and the Volgograd Symphony Orchestra (Russia).  He has also been a guest conductor at the Eastern Music Festival (NC) and Colorado Music Festival.

 

Concurrent with his posts with the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, Cleveland Ballet, and Ballet San Jose, Dwight Oltman was on the faculty at the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music in greater Cleveland, Ohio.  Further evidence of Oltman’s versatility is the fact that for 39 years while serving as the Professor of Conducting, Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra, and Conductor of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, he was also Music Director of the famous Baldwin Wallace Bach Festival.  His leadership with the Bach Festival gave it international visibility as he brought distinguished Bach performers from Canada and Europe to perform at the festival along with America’s premiere artists.  One of his Bach highlights was an invitation to perform two concerts at the Kennedy Center’s “Festival of Festivals”.   Another memorable event was a performance of the St Matthew Passion, conducted by Professor Oltman, that was broadcast on 116 PBS stations across the USA and helped to establish his reputation as one of America’s leading Bach interpreters.  Oltman’s outstanding work with the orchestra and wind ensemble at Baldwin Wallace resulted in both groups receiving many invitations to perform at state, regional, and national music conferences. 

 

Oltman studied conducting with two of the 20th century’s legendary conductors and conducting pedagogues, Pierre Monteux and Max Rudolf, and composition with the leading composition teacher of the era - Nadia Boulanger in France.  That training provided the foundation for Oltman's performing and teaching.  Maestro Oltman’s students have been accepted into leading conservatories worldwide, music festivals including the Aspen Music Festival, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music and the National Repertory Institute and have conducted many of the world’s leading orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, Tokyo Philharmonic, Bratislava Symphony, Cleveland Pops Orchestra, Janacek Philharmonic, Kansas City Symphony and the Orquesta Reino de Aragon to name a few. 

 

Passionate about passing on the artistry of his great mentors to the next generation, Oltman has given lectures on the legacies of Monteux and Rudolf, most notably at a National Conference of the College Orchestra Directors Association held at Florida State University.  

 

His long list of honors includes being listed in Who’s Who in America, and a proclamation from Cleveland, Ohio’s Mayor Michel White, for “Dwight Oltman Day in Cleveland” as a “tribute of praise and gratitude for his twenty years of distinguished and dedicated service as Music Director of the Ohio Chamber Orchestra.”

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DWIGHT OLTMAN