James Bagwell

associate conductor

Photo by Daniel Welch

James Bagwell maintains an active international schedule as a conductor of choral, operatic, and orchestral music. He was recently named associate conductor and academic director of The Orchestra Now (TŌN) and was appointed principal guest conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra in 2009. He has led both ensembles in concerts at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. He served as music director of The Collegiate Chorale from 2009–15. Highlights included conducting rarely-performed operas at Carnegie Hall, including Bellini’s Beatrice di Tenda, Rossini’s Möise et Pharaon, and Boito’s Mefistofele. He conducted the New York premiere of Philip Glass’ Toltec Symphony and Osvaldo Golijov’s Oceana at Carnegie Hall. His performance of Kurt Weill’s Knickerbocker Holiday at Alice Tully Hall was recorded live for Gaslight Records and is the only complete recording of the work. He has collaborated since 2011 with singer and composer Natalie Merchant, conducting orchestras across the country, including the San Francisco and Seattle Symphonies. Other recent performances include Glass’ Another Look at Harmony at the Park Avenue Armory and leading the Little Opera Theatre of New York’s production of Rossini’s Opportunity Makes the Thief.

Mr. Bagwell is a regular guest conductor for The Tulsa Symphony. In 2011 and 2012 he conducted the Amici New York Orchestra at the OK Mozart Festival, and in December 2014 made his second appearance with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. He frequently appears as guest conductor for orchestras around the country and abroad, including the Jerusalem Symphony, the Interlochen Music Festival, and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra.

A noted choral director, Mr. Bagwell has prepared The Concert Chorale of New York for performances with the New York Philharmonic over the past several years. In 2018, he prepared The Concert Chorale for performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and prepared two concerts for the Mostly Mozart Festival. Since 2003 he has been director of choruses for the Bard Music Festival, conducting and preparing choral works during the annual SummerScape festival.

Mr. Bagwell is Professor of Music at Bard College and Director of Performance Studies in the Bard College Conservatory of Music.

James Bagwell conducted The Orchestra Now on March 4 & 5, 2023; March 4 & 6, 2022; February 21, 2021; September 12, 2020; September 5, 2020; March 6 & 8, 2020; August 16, 2019; April 14, 2019; December 21, 2018; December 2, 2018; September 14, 2018; March 16 & 18, 2018; February 3 & 4, 2018; October 1 & 3, 2017; August 12, 2017; April 1 & 2, 2017; February 25 & 26, 2017; August 12, 2016; March 18, 2016; November 14 & 15, 2015; and October 11, 2015.

Bio: March 2023