Dr. Robert Hart Baker Cadenza Orchestra Conductor
Robert Hart Baker has been the conductor of the St. Louis Philharmonic since 1982, and has served as principal guest conductor with the Asheville Lyric Opera Company since 2004. He is Music Director Laureate of the Harrisburg Choral Society & Orchestra and the York Symphony Orchestra & Chorus in Pennsylvania, and is conductor laureate of the Asheville Symphony Orchestra. He was recently named Music Director & Conductor of the Belleville Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorale in Illinois, and National Arts Associate of the Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity.
His work with the York Symphony Association has earned two awards from the League of American Orchestras (Student Song Contest in 2003 and Saturday Morning Symphony in 2005). His DVD of the St. Louis Philharmonic Holiday Spectacular won the national Telly Award in 2004 for best classical local cable TV production. In addition to conducting Primo string ensemble and Cadenza orchestra as a musical staff member of SCCYO, he is currently on the faculty of Lindenwood University as Instructor of Oboe and Conducting. His performance as oboist of the Bach Concerto for Violin and Oboe with violin soloist Odin Rathnam and the York Symphony is on YouTube.
Dr. Baker holds a diploma in conducting from the Mozarteum Conservatory in Salzburg, where he studied with Herbert Von Karajan, and a BA cum laude from Harvard where he studied conducting privately with Leonard Bernstein for two years, and was conductor of the Bach Society Orchestra for two seasons. He received his doctorate in orchestral conducting from Yale in 1987, where he served as an assistant to Aaron Copland and studied privately with Otto-Werner Mueller and Arthur Weisberg.
Dr. Baker has twice won the ASCAP Award for Contemporary Music Programming, once during his tenure as Conductor with the New York Youth Symphony at Carnegie Hall, and once with the York Symphony. For eleven years, he served as the Music Director of the York Youth Symphony, and was named conductor laureate after successful debuts on tour to Carnegie Hall in New York and Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh. In 1999, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from York College of Pennsylvania. Robert was the founding Music Director of the Connecticut Philharmonic Orchestra at age 22, receiving critical acclaim for its debut in Boston Symphony Hall.