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William C. White is a conductor, composer, teacher, writer, and performer based in Portland, OR. He has written music for the concert stage, theater, cinema, and church, and his music has been performed throughout North America as well as in Asia and Europe. His major works include a symphony in three movements and several narrated works for young audiences. His music has been recorded on the MSR Classics and Cedille Record labels.
Mr. White served for four seasons (2011-15) as Assistant Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, working closely with music director Louis Langrée and an array of guest artists, including John Adams, Philip Glass, Jennifer Higdon, Itzhak Perlman, Robert Spano, Juanjo Mena, Juraj Valcuha, and James Conlon.
As part of his appointment with the CSO, he was also Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra, a tenure notable for its tours to Chicago and New York, both featuring all 20th- and 21st-century repertoire, and community-wide choral collaborations raising money for charity. During the 2015-16 season, Mr. White served as Interim Music Director of Portland, OR’s Metropolitan Youth Symphony, leading their season-end tour to Beijing.
Mr. White has long-standing associations with a number of musical organizations, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, where he has regularly given pre-concert lectures since 2008. For three seasons, he was Music Director of Cincinnati’s Seven Hills Sinfonietta, a period which saw remarkable growth for the organization as a whole.
Mr. White earned a masters degree in Conducting from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, studying with David Effron and Arthur Fagan. He received a BA in Music from the University of Chicago, where his principal teacher was the composer Easley Blackwood. In 2004, he began attending the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors (Hancock, ME) under the tutelage of Michael Jinbo, later serving as the school’s Conducting Associate (2009-2013) and Composer-in-Residence (2016).
Mr. White hails from Bethesda, MD, where he began his musical training as a violist. He maintains a significant career as a guest conductor and clinician, particularly of his own works. His orchestral arrangements, including “Happy” (Pharrell), “Dear Theodosia” (Hamilton), and “They Just Keep Moving the Line” (SMASH!) have been performed by orchestras throughout the United States. In 2016 he provided orchestrations for the national tour and Madison Square Garden runs of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”.
In 2015, Mr. White launched a YouTube series called “Ask a Maestro” where he answers questions about the world of classical music. Recordings of his works can be heard at his web site, www.willcwhite.com, where he also maintains a blog and publishing business.