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David Neely

Visiting Associate Professor of Music (Orchestral Conducting)

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Orchestral Conducting


David Neely is visiting associate professor of music in orchestral conducting at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

In 2012, Opera News wrote, “The happy news of David Neely’s appointment as Des Moines Metro Opera’s (DMMO) first-ever music director portends some exciting operatic growth at Des Moines in years to come.” Since then, Neely has elevated the company’s musical profile with acclaimed performances of a wide range of repertoire such as Turandot, Billy Budd, Manon, Falstaff, Elektra, Peter Grimes, Dead Man Walking, Macbeth, Don Giovanni, and La Fanciulla del West. DMMO's televised Jenůfa and Manon, produced by Iowa Public Television, received Emmy nominations, and Neely’s recent performance of Britten's epic masterwork Billy Budd was recently praised in the Chicago Tribune.

Internationally, Neely has led the Bochumer Symphoniker, Dortmunder Philharmoniker, the Symphonieorchester Vorarlberg, and performed in numerous European opera houses including Bonn, Halle, Dortmund, and St. Gallen. In the United States, Neely has recently appeared with the Portland Symphony Orchestra and Sarasota Opera, where he is a regular guest conductor. He has appeared for concerts and opera at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts, and Sarasota Opera, where he has led numerous productions including their American Classics series of twentieth-century operas. He has collaborated with such soloists as Joshua Roman, Bella Hristova, Benjamin Beilman, Rainer Honeck, Nicholas Daniel, Delfeayo Marsalis, Phillippe Cuper, Ben Lulich, and Ricardo Morales. Neely has conducted the German premiere of Mark Anthony Turnage's The Silver Tassie, the North American premiere of Robert Orledge's reconstruction of Debussy's The Fall of the House of Usher, and, recently, world premieres of Arthur Gottschalk's Four New Brothers, Billy Childs' Concerto for Horn and Strings, and Alexandre Rydin's Clarinet Concerto.

Neely headed orchestral activities and orchestral conducting at the University of Kansas for nine years, where he brought distinction and greater community visibility to the orchestra program. The KU Symphony Orchestra regularly performed with prominent international soloists, frequently appeared at the renowned Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, and was the resident orchestra of the Eutiner Festspiele in Germany in 2011. In 2016, The Kansas Federation of Music Clubs named Neely Kansas Artist-Educator of the Year.

Upcoming performances include Jake Heggie's It's a Wonderful Life and West Side Story at the Jacobs School, D'Albert's Tiefland with Sarasota Opera, Falstaff with Intermountain Opera in Bozeman, Montana, Rusalka and Flight in Des Moines, as well as concerts with the orchestras of the Jacobs School.

He earned a B.M. in Piano Performance and an M.M. in Orchestral Conducting from Indiana University, where his teachers were Zadel Skolovsky and Leonard Hokanson (piano), and Thomas Baldner and Bryan Balkwill (conducting). He received post-graduate study in orchestral conducting with Gerhard Samuel at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati.