April 29, 2014
Oakland East Bay Symphony Music Director and Oakland Youth Orchestra Artistic Director Michael Morgan has announced the appointment of conductor, composer, and educator Omid Zoufonoun as new principal conductor of the Oakland Youth Orchestra. Zoufonoun takes the podium after Morgan and Bryan Nies have shared conducting duties for the orchestra’s just concluded 50th anniversary season.
“Omid Zoufonoun has long been a treasured member of the Oakland East Bay Symphony family,” Morgan said. “His gifts as composer are already known to our audience. What they have not seen is his great rapport with the youth orchestra students and the extraordinary musicianship that is on display when he conducts them. His imagination, humor, and gift for communication will serve the entire organization extremely well and I very much look forward to working with him in this new capacity.”
Omid Zoufonoun is a conductor, guitarist, educator, and award-winning composer. His compositions blend his Persian musical heritage, which he learned under the guidance of his father Ostad Mahmoud Zoufonoun, with western practices of counterpoint, harmony, and orchestration. Recent commissions include a Cello Sonata for the duet Martha & Monica, a guitar octet for the Guitar Foundation of America, a choral setting of four Rumi poems for the Pacific Mozart Ensemble, and a four-movement orchestral work for the Oakland Youth Orchestra.
The Youth Orchestra's 2014-2015 season will be announced mid-summer, and auditions will be held in early June.