American conductor Anthony LaGruth has delighted audiences and critics alike with many exciting performances recognized for their innovative presentation of orchestral music. Roxanne Orgill of the Bergen Record (NJ) wrote, “Mr. LaGruth conducts with subtlety and a refined sense of style that is refreshing.” The Ellsworth American (Maine) noted his “…control, musicianship, and involvement with the music.” Michael Greenberg of the San Antonio Express-News said, “Maestro LaGruth brought crisp definition, dramatic sensitivity, and stylishly flexible tempos to the score.” A versatile musician, Mr. LaGruth has shown that he is equally at home leading orchestral, operatic, and choral ensembles, currently serving as the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Garden State Philharmonic (NJ) and the Lyric Opera of San Antonio (TX), as well as the Shrewsbury Chorale (NJ).
Mr. LaGruth has worked with some of the greatest composers of our age, including Hans Werner Henze, John Corigliano, and Pulitzer Prize winner Karel Husa, and has collaborated with a wide range of soloists including Philip Smith, Devy Ehrly, Christopher Collins Lee, and Neal Sedaka.
A proponent of American music, Mr. LaGruth is on the steering committee of the American Symphony Orchestra League’s new commissioning project, Ford Made in America. This program offers smaller orchestras throughout the country the opportunity to commission works by major American composers through “grass roots” consortiums. This project is scheduled to debut in 2005 with a work by Joan Tower.
Mr. LaGruth recently made his European debut in Romania leading concerts with several orchestras including the state philharmonics of Satu Mare, Botosani, and Raumnica Valcea. He also made his Lincoln Center debut leading a young artists concerto concert at Alice Tully Hall.
Noted by his colleagues for his rapport with audiences, Mr. LaGruth builds relationships with his listeners through many outreach programs and his very popular pre-concert discussions, Musically Speaking. Whether educating and entertaining students in a Music for Young People concert or chatting informally with audience members, Mr. LaGruth finds innovative ways to bridge the gap between new audiences and classical music.
An honors graduate of Ithaca College, Mr. LaGruth earned a master’s degree in orchestral conducting and a bachelor degree in composition. He also attended the world-renowned Pierre Monteux School for Conductors, where he was a conducting fellow under the tutelage of Charles Bruck and Michael Jinbo. Mr. LaGruth has enjoyed a close association with the Pierre Monteux School and has served on the staff of that institution. Mr. LaGruth is a member of the Board of Directors of the Conductors Guild, a national service organization for conductors.