Utah Symphony Appoints Matthew Straw as Assistant Conductor

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (April 13, 2023) – Following a nationwide search, Matthew Straw has been appointed as Assistant Conductor of the Utah Symphony beginning in the 2023-24 season. Straw’s appointment was made by Music Director Thierry Fischer (who will become Music Director Emeritus at the end of the 2022-23 season) following the recommendation of both an audition and interview panel comprised of Utah Symphony musicians and staff members. These individuals recognized Straw’s impressive skill and charisma on the podium as well as his ability to effectively communicate with the symphony—a key component in bringing his musical vision to life on stage.

Straw succeeds Benjamin Manis, who will complete a successful year-long tenue as Utah Symphony Associate Conductor at the end of the 2022-23 season and will continue to appear as a guest conductor in the 2023-24 season. In his role as Assistant Conductor, Straw will work closely with Creative Partner David Robertson and Music Director Emeritus Thierry Fischer; lead many of the symphony’s education performances for elementary and secondary school students; and will conduct select Deer Valley Music Festival®, Film Series, and Family concerts, along with other programs throughout the state of Utah. He will serve as the cover conductor for the orchestra’s Masterworks Series, among other artistic responsibilities

“From the first downbeat of my audition I was impressed by the quality of music-making and the spirit this orchestra brings to every note they play. I’m thrilled to join the team and bring meaningful music to communities across the state of Utah!” says Straw, who begins his new position in September 2023.

Season Sponsor for Utah Symphony | Utah Opera is the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation.

About Matthew Straw

Described as “powerful and elegant” by Neeme Järvi, Matthew Straw enjoys meaningful artistic collaborations on both sides of the Atlantic. In his new role with the Utah Symphony, Matthew will work with Creative Partner David Robertson and Music Director Emeritus Thierry Fischer, and will conduct the orchestra in more than 70 performances during the 2023-24 season.  A two-time winner of the Career Assistance Award from the Solti Foundation US, Matthew became the youngest awardee in the history of the foundation in 2022. In addition, he received the 2019 Helen F. Whitaker Conducting Fellowship at the Aspen Conducting Academy.

Matthew has worked with the Des Moines Metro Opera, New World Symphony, ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and Salzburg Festival, and has participated in masterclasses with Stéphane Denève, Cristian Măcelaru, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Neeme and Paavo Järvi, Michael Tilson-Thomas, and Robert Spano.

A current graduate student in conducting at the Eastman School of Music, Matthew holds degrees in music and philosophy from the Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music.