Introducing our 2017-18 Season Guest Conductors

Symphony NH welcomes five guest conductors to join us for the rest of our 2017-18 season.  

Copland & Barber in November: Lidiya Yankovskaya
Holiday Pops in December: Joseph R. Olefirowicz
All Beethoven in January: Roderick Cox
Mozart & Bach in March: Eric Garcia
Beethoven 9 in April: Sameer Patel


Lidiya Yankovskaya

Conducting Copland & Barber November 11th

Hailed as “superb,” “expert,” and “coax[ing] every possible expressive note from the instrumentalists,” Russian-born conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya serves as Music Director with Chicago Opera Theater and Artistic Director with Juventas New Music Ensemble/Boston New Music Festival and Refugee Orchestra Project (with whom she is currently in residency at National Sawdust in New York City). Lidiya Yankovskaya’s engagements this season include Stamford Symphony, Chicago Philharmonic, Wolftrap Opera, Flagstaff Symphony, American Lyric Theater, Opera Saratoga, a workshop of a new opera with The Metropolitan Opera/Lincoln Center, and as chorus master with Boston Symphony Orchestra & Boston Pops.

She is also a part of The Dallas Opera’s Hart Institute for Women Conductors and Marin Alsop’s Taki Concordia Fellowship and has previously served as assistant conductor to Maestro Lorin Maazel as a fellow at the Castleton Festival, where she regularly stepped in for Maazel in rehearsals and performances.  Previous positions include serving as conductor with Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, Music Director with Commonwealth Lyric Theater, and as Music Director with Harvard’s Lowell House Opera.


Joseph R. Olefirowicz

Conducting Holiday Pops December 9th and 10th

Joseph R. Olefirowicz was born in Methuen, Massachusetts in 1972. He studied Direction for the Musical Stage at Ithaca College.

Shortly after his 1995 debut with the Oswego Opera in New York, he began his crossover career as music director of Starlight Express in Bochum, Germany and was later appointed music director of commercial musical theatres in Stuttgart and Berlin: where he conducted the original productions of Miss Saigon, Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Disney's Beauty and the Beast (as guest). 

In 2003, he gave his European opera debut with Cherubini’s Lodoïska at the Nordhausen Opera in Germany. He later conducted a wide array of repertory and symphonic concerts during his tenure as First Kapellmeister, which included a wide span of opera, symphonic literature, operetta, oratorio, musical theatre, and ballet.

Olefirowicz is in his third season guest conductor at the Hannover State Opera in Germany and most recently conducted the celebrated 2017 new production of Bernstein’s West Side Story.

Symphonic work has taken him to podium appearances at the Munich Philharmonic, Berlin State Opera Unter den Linden, Leipzig Opera, and Springfield Symphony Hall (USA), among other venues. Mr. Olefirowicz has conducted the Munich Symphoniker, Springfield Symphony Orchestra (MA), Staatsorchester Braunschweig, Orchestra of the Musikalische Komödie Leipzig, Deutsches Filmorchester, and Loh-Orchester Sondershausen. Future debuts are planned in 2018 with the Niedersäschisches Staatsorchester Hannover and the Russian National Orchestra Moscow.

One of his longest collaborations is with the Vienna Volksopera where he is currently in his eleventh season as guest conductor. He returns to Vienna in 2018 for a new production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel and will revive his award-winning production of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd.

He has furthered his career on the podium, while remaining a sought-after concert organist and collaborative pianist. Locally, he is in his tenth season as Artistic Director of the First Music Concert Series in Nashua, New Hampshire, and concurrently serves as Minister of Music of The First Church (UCC) of Nashua, leading a large choral and music program recognized as “Best of NH” 2012 & 2017 by New Hampshire Magazine. Holiday Pops marks Mr. Olefirowicz’s debut on the podium of Symphony NH.


Roderick Cox

Conducting All Beethoven January 27th

Roderick Cox was named the Minnesota Orchestra’s Associate Conductor in September 2016, following a year as the ensemble’s Assistant Conductor. Previously, he served for two years as Assistant Conductor of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Roderick was awarded the Robert J. Harth Conducting Prize from the Aspen Music Festival in 2013, which led to national recognition and a return to the Festival as a Fellow. He has also held Fellowships with the Chicago Sinfonietta as part of the Project Inclusion programme and the Chautauqua Music Festival, where he was a David Effron Conducting Fellow.

Highlights of the 2016-17 season included a subscription concert debut with the Minnesota Orchestra and debut concerts with the Cleveland Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Santa Fe Symphony and the Chineke! Orchestra. Roderick also conducted a performance sponsored by Google and the Colour of Music Festival for the opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington D.C.

During the 2017-18 season, Roderick will continue as Associate Conductor at the Minnesota Orchestra, where he will conduct a second subscription concert week in October 2017. Further highlights of the season will include concerts with the Louisiana Philharmonic, Madrid Excelentia and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestras and a return to the Chineke! Orchestra in Birmingham and Ghent in September 2017. Debut subscription concerts will include the Omaha Symphony Orchestra in February 2018 and with the Grant Park Festival Symphony Orchestra in Chicago, USA in July 2018.

The League of American Orchestras selected Roderick as one of five conductors for the 2016 Bruno Walter National Conducting Preview, a prestigious showcase for young conductors in the United States. Roderick was also nominated by Marin Alsop to attend the Conductors Guild Conductor/Composer Training Workshop at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music for two consecutive years.


Eric Garcia

Conducting Mozart & Bach March 16th and 17th

Eric Garcia currently serves a Music Director of the Boise Philharmonic. Garcia previously served as Assistant Conductor of the Seattle Symphony, conducting subscription, education, pops, and community concerts. He served as producer for recordings on the Naxos label and conductor for Brandi Carlile’s acclaimed Columbia Records release: Live at Benaroya Hall with the Seattle Symphony. He has collaborated with such esteemed artists as Marvin Hamlisch, Herbie Hancock, Cirque de la Symphonie, Pink Martini, The Chieftains, Assad Brothers, and Indigo Girls.

Garcia has served as Associate Conductor of the Eastern Music Festival and cover conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He has served as guest conductor with Oklahoma City Ballet, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Octava Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Seattle, Philharmonia Northwest, Rainier Symphony, Northwest Festival Orchestra, Greensboro Ballet, Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra, Northwest Boychoir, Pacific Youth Choir, Seattle Chamber Singers and Vocalpoint Seattle. This season, Garcia makes his first appearance with Ballet Idaho.

An avid supporter of contemporary music, Garcia has collaborated with such esteemed composers as John Adams, Sergio Assad, George Crumb, Frank Ferko, David Lang, Lowell Lieberman, Nico Muhly, Eric Nathan, and Jay Alan Yim. In addition, Garcia has served as principal conductor at the Cortona Sessions for New Music in Cortona, Italy.

Garcia was a member of the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival and School, where he studied with James Conlon, Nicholas Kraemer, Murry Sidlin, Leonard Slatkin and David Zinman. At Aspen, he worked with the Susan and Ford Schumann Center for Composition Studies and the Aspen Opera Theatre Center. Garcia was also a recipient of the Bruno Walter Foundation Scholarship at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, where he studied with Marin Alsop.

His principal conducting teacher is Victor Yampolsky. Additional conducting teachers include Peter Bay, Dan Lewis, Gustav Meier, and Larry Rachleff. Garcia received a Doctorate of Music and Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from Northwestern University. He received a bachelor’s degree in Music Theory from the University of Texas at Austin.


Sameer Patel

Conducting Beethoven 9 April 7th

Internationally recognized for his versatile musicianship and passionate communication, Sameer Patel is one of America's most exciting young conductors. A recipient of 2016 and 2017 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Awards, Sameer is currently in his third season as the Associate Conductor of the San Diego Symphony, where he was promoted after serving only one season as Assistant Conductor. He is also the Associate Conductor of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, whose distinguished musicians come from many of North America’s finest orchestras.

In the 2017-2018 season, Sameer makes his highly anticipated subscription debut conducting two programs with the San Diego Symphony. He also leads operatic masterworks with the Sacramento Philharmonic and Opera, and conducts modern masterpieces of the 20th and 21st centuries with the La Jolla Symphony. Sameer’s work as a conductor has taken him across North America, South America, and Europe. Further recent and upcoming guest conducting engagements include appearances with the National Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, Fresno Philharmonic, Orchestra Sinfonica di Sanremo, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Toledo Symphony Orchestra, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic, Reading Symphony Orchestra, Leipziger Sinfonieorchester, Orchestra Giovanile Italiana, the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, and the Chicago Sinfonietta.

In the summer of 2016, Sameer was selected out of a field of more than 120 conductors to study at the renowned Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy with Daniele Gatti, Chief Conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Immediately following his participation in the masterclass, Sameer was selected by Maestro Gatti for further concerts in Europe, and he immediately returned to Italy to lead two acclaimed programs with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Sanremo. He was also a Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Scholar, an honor given to him by former New York Philharmonic Music Director Kurt Masur. As part of this award, Sameer traveled to Europe to study with and assist Maestro Masur with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. In 2013, Sameer was one of only six conductors selected by the League of American orchestras for the Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, an event that showcases emerging conductors to industry professionals and which led to subsequent, multiple engagements with that orchestra.

Prior to joining the San Diego Symphony, Sameer served as Associate Conductor of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. He has held prestigious conducting fellowships with the Boston Philharmonic and the Chicago Sinfonietta, and credits his time with these organizations for developing his passionate approach to engaging with musicians and audiences. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Sameer furthered his training with some of the greatest conductors of our time, including Gianandrea Noseda, Daniele Gatti, the late Kurt Masur, Bernard Haitink, David Zinman, and Neeme and Paavo Järvi.