September 1, 2010
The Joffrey Ballet


Speck to lead the Chicago Sinfonietta in accompanying each Joffrey performance in the 2010-2011 “Stars” season


CHICAGO – September 1, 2010 – The Joffrey Ballet is proud to announce that Scott Speck has been appointed as the Joffrey’s new Music Director.  Speck appeared on the podium during the Joffrey’s 2009-2010 season as Guest Conductor of the Chicago Sinfonietta for the productions of Othello last Fall and Cinderella last Winter.  His first performance in his new role as Music Director will be the upcoming All Stars program, taking place at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, October 13 – 24, 2010.


 “I have collaborated with Scott Speck for many years,” noted Ashley Wheater, Artistic Director of The Joffrey Ballet.  “I called on him last year to conduct the very complex score for Elliot Goldenthal’s Othello, and both dancers and orchestra were extremely grateful for his involvement.  He is an accomplished musician, scholar and conductor.  Even more importantly, he possesses a love for and an understanding of ballet.  Music is at the heart of ballet.  I am delighted that Scott will bring his great talents to the Joffrey.”


Born in Boston, Speck, 48, graduated summa cum laude from Yale University.  There he founded and directed the Berkeley Chamber Orchestra, which continues to perform to this day.  He was a Fulbright Scholar in Berlin, where he founded Concerto Grosso Berlin, an orchestra dedicated to the performances of Baroque and Classical music in a historically informed style.  He received his Master’s Degree with highest honors from the University of Southern California, served as a Conducting Fellow at the Aspen School of Music, and studied at the Tanglewood Music Center.  In addition to his position with The Joffrey Ballet, Speck is also the Music Director of the Mobile Symphony (AL), the West Michigan Symphony (MI), and the Washington Ballet (DC).


Previously he held positions as Conductor of the San Francisco Ballet, Music Advisor and Conductor of the Honolulu Symphony, and Associate Conductor of the Los Angeles Opera.  During a recent tour of Asia he was named Principal Guest Conductor of the China Film Philharmonic in Beijing.  In recent seasons Speck has conducted at London’s Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, the Paris Opera, Washington’s Kennedy Center, San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House, and the Los Angeles Music Center.  He has led numerous performances with the symphony orchestras of Baltimore, Houston, Paris, Moscow, Shanghai, Beijing, Vancouver, Romania, Slovakia, Buffalo, Columbus, Honolulu, Louisville, New Orleans, Rochester, Florida, Oregon and Virginia, among many others.


In addition, Speck is the co-author of some of the world’s best-selling books on classical music for a popular audience, Classical Music for Dummies, and Opera for Dummies.  These books have been translated into twenty languages and are available around the world.  His third book in the series, Ballet for Dummies, was released in September 2003.


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