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Utah Symphony Appoints Benjamin Manis as Associate Conductor

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (March 1, 2022) – Following a nationwide search, Benjamin Manis has been appointed Associate Conductor of the Utah Symphony beginning in the 2022-23 season. Utah Symphony Music Director Thierry Fischer made the appointment at the recommendation of an audition/interview panel of Utah Symphony musicians and staff members, who recognized Mr. Manis’ skill on the podium, charisma, chemistry with the orchestra, and passion for music education.

Manis succeeds Conner Gray Covington, who completed his four-year tenure as Utah Symphony Associate Conductor at the end of the 2020-21 season and continues to appear regularly as a guest conductor. In his role as Associate Conductor, Manis will lead many of the symphony’s education performances for elementary and secondary school students; Deer Valley Music Festival®, Film Series, and Family concerts; and other programs throughout the state of Utah. He will also serve as the cover conductor for the orchestra’s Masterworks Series, among other artistic responsibilities.

A graduate of the Colburn School and Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, Manis also spent three years at the Aspen Conducting Academy and returned as Assistant Conductor, leading two programs with the Aspen Chamber Symphony. He has been Resident Conductor at Houston Grand Opera since 2019.

“I’m thrilled to begin working with the fabulous musicians of the Utah Symphony and to join a wonderful organization bringing music to people all over the state of Utah!” says Manis, who begins his new position in September 2022. Prior to his official arrival in Utah, audiences will first have the opportunity to see him on the podium with the Utah Symphony this summer in four programs at the Deer Valley Music Festival® as well as community concerts across the Wasatch Front. Deer Valley Music Festival® programs and details are planned to be announced this week.

About Benjamin Manis

Benjamin Manis has been Resident Conductor at the Houston Grand Opera (HGO) since September 2019. He made his HGO debut with Verdi’s Rigoletto and this season conducts Carmen, Romèo et Juliette, and The Snowy Day.

Manis was winner of the 2019 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award, as well as the Richard S. Weinert Award from Concert Artists Guild. He has served as cover conductor for the St. Louis and Dallas Symphonies, working with conductors David Robertson and Stéphane Denève. After three years in the Aspen Conducting Academy, Manis returned to Aspen in the summer of 2021 as Assistant Conductor, where he conducted two programs with the Aspen Chamber Symphony.

Before moving to Houston, Manis studied cello and conducting at the Colburn School, where he led concerts in public schools across Los Angeles and performed Lutosławski’s Cello Concerto as soloist with conductor Robert Spano. In May of 2019, he completed his master’s degree at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.