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Our Conductor: John Masko

A native of Cumberland, Rhode Island, John Masko is music director of the Providence Medical Orchestra and assistant conductor of the Wellesley Symphony Orchestra. He recently concluded two-year tenures as assistant conductor of the San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra and the Diablo Symphony Orchestra in Walnut Creek, CA. While in San Francisco, he also worked with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra as an assistant and cover conductor, assisting guest conductors Osmo Vänskä and Krzysztof Urbanski. Formerly, he held positions as assistant conductor of the Metrowest Symphony Orchestra in Framingham, MA and the Yale Medical Symphony Orchestra in New Haven, CT.

John holds a master’s degree in conducting from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Dr. Eric Dudley. He has also studied conducting with Charles Peltz at New England Conservatory and participated in masterclasses with Sian Edwards, Paavo Järvi, Arkady Leytush, Jorma Panula, David Itkin, Benjamin Zander, Robert Gutter, and Neil Varon. In a masterclass setting, he has conducted the Philharmonic Orchestra of Bacau, Romania, the Iasi Philharmonic Choir of Iasi, Romania, and the Camerata Antonio Soler of El Escorial, Spain in performance. He was a finalist in the 2018 Boston Pops Leonard Bernstein Conducting Competition.

John regularly collaborates with composers in the premieres of their work – most recently conducting Peter Engelbert’s Vagaries in October 2017 and Matthew Boehler’s cantata Two Friends in May 2017; and with instrumental soloists – most recently violist Anna Heflin and violinists Esther Pak and Mercedes Cheung. While at Yale University, he music directed and conducted two fully-staged undergraduate operas– Die Fledermaus in the winter of 2014 and The Pirates of Penzance the previous year. This past summer, he assisted on a production of Peter Grimes at the Dartington Festival in Devon, England, music directed by former English National Opera director Sian Edwards.

John is also active as a music writer and critic. He served for the last two years as the San Francisco-based opera reviewer for Parterre Box, and won the 2016 Rubin Institute Audience Review Prize for music criticism.

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