Michael Avagliano has served as music director of the Central Jersey Symphony since 2008,and was recently appointed music director of the Summit Symphony. He is on the faculty of Drew University as conductor of the Drew Chamber Orchestra and violin professor. Mr. Avagliano is increasingly in demand as a guest conductor, making his European debut with the Pleven Philharmonic in Bulgaria. Recent appearances include the Plainfield Symphony, Opera Forza, the University of Oregon Symphony, the Northern Dutchess Symphony in New York, and the Metropolitan Orchestra of New Jersey. In September, he made his New York debut at Carnegie Hall with the YPHIL International Youth Philharmonic, bringing together young musicians from 80 countries around the world in celebration of United Nations week.
Under his leadership, the Central Jersey Symphony has drawn acclaim for a transformation in artistic achievement from audiences and critics alike. In the 2014 season, Mr. Avagliano conducted the orchestra’s first opera performances, collaborating with Light Opera of New Jersey for a fully staged production of Die Zauberflöte, and this season the two organizations will present Donizetti’s Don Pasquale. Also an active violinist and violist, Mr. Avagliano is a member of the critically acclaimed Madison String Quartet, performing on chamber series throughout the United States. Highlights of recent seasons include appearances at the Kenai Peninsula Festival in Alaska, the Ulster and Rhinebeck Chamber Series in New York, the Gabriel Chamber Ensemble series, and the Pennsylvania Consort. Mr. Avagliano has appeared with the New Jersey Symphony, the Singapore Symphony, the Strauss
Symphony of America, and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, and is an active performer in the New York area. Mr. Avagliano frequently works with several orchestras in the region, including the
Harrisburg and Allentown symphonies, and currently serves as concertmaster of the Garden State Philharmonic. Mr. Avagliano resides in New Jersey with his wife, violinist Evelyn Estava.
Music Director/Conductor Emeritus:
David Gilbert is acclaimed for his dynamic performances with orchestras throughout the United States, the Far East, and Europe. Born to a family of musicians, he received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from the Eastman School of Music, and won first prize in the 1970 Dimitri Mitropoulos International Conducting Competition. Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic from 1970 to 1979, he was Principal Conductor of the American Ballet Theatre from 1971 to 1975.
From 1980 to 1982, at China’s invitation, Gilbert served as principal guest conductor of the Beijing Central Philharmonic. The first American musician to hold a position of prominence in China, he was instrumental in rebuilding that nation’s major symphonic orchestra.
David Gilbert is a faculty member of the Manhattan School of Music, where he has conducted both symphony and opera, including several important New York premieres. CDs of Ned Rorem’s ”Miss Julie,” Benjamin Britten’s ”Albert Herring,” William Mayer’s ”A Death in the Family,” and Scott Eyerly’s ”The House of the Seven Gables” (world premiere performance) with the MSM Opera Department, David Gilbert conducting, have been released. His compositions for chamber ensemble, orchestra, and opera include his ”Concerto for Trombone, Brass and Orchestra,” ”Ballade Concertante for Tuba and Orchestra,” and ”Phoenix Madrigal” for flute and strings.
Mr. Gilbert is music director of the Bergen (NJ) Philharmonic and the Senior Concert Orchestra of New York. He resides in Nutley, New Jersey, with his wife and three children.