Conductor John Mauceri commenced early piano studies with his Sicilian-born grandfather. A prolific student, he received many honors before entering Yale College, where Mauceri majored in music theory and composition. After a year at Yale's graduate school, Mauceri was appointed music director of the Yale Symphony Orchestra and remained on the faculty for 15 years, leading many premieres. In 1978, he developed a department of music theater at NewRead more York University, now rated as one of the finest of its type in the U.S.
Mauceri was invited to Tanglewood as a conducting fellow in 1971 and studied with Bruno Maderna, Colin Davis, Seiji Ozawa, Gunther Schuller, and Leonard Bernstein, whose assistant he became a year later and worked with until Bernstein's death. Mauceri's professional debut was at Wolf Trap Farm in 1973, where he conducted Gian Carlo Menotti's The Saint of Bleecker Street. Subsequent seasons saw him in charge of a vast number of new opera productions worldwide. In 1979, he became music director of the Washington Opera and between 1987 until 1993, he also served as music director of the Scottish Opera. Since 2000, he has been director of the Pittsburgh Opera. He is one of the most sought after opera conductors in the world and also writes and lectures widely on opera and musical theater. Of especial importance are Mauceri's studies of late nineteenth century performance practice, which have called into question many long-established traditions in the interpretation and staging of operas by Verdi, Wagner, and others.
Mauceri also guest conducts many of the world's leading orchestras and has an extraordinarily fruitful association with Broadway, where he has directed many productions. He has also received countless international awards for his work in musical theater and for his restorations and arrangements of classic film scores, which have been heard across the world. In 1991, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra was created for him by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, with an initial 15-CD recording contract on the Philips label. Mauceri has also made important recordings with London/Decca, including highly acclaimed stage works by Kurt Weill, a composer with whom he is strongly identified. Read less