Over the past 35 years, Raymond Harvey has made a significant impact as an American conductor of great skill and insight. Born in New York City, he studied piano and conducting, receiving Bachelor's and Master's degrees in choral conducting from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music; and then studied orchestral conducting at the Yale School of Music, earning Master's and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees.
This season marks Maestro Harvey's 15th anniversary as Music Director of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra. He previously held the top post at the Fresno Philharmonic (California), Springfield Symphony (Massachusetts), and El Paso Opera (Texas). His opera repertoire is extensive, including Carmen, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, La Bohème, Turandot, Aïda, La Traviata, The Tales of Hoffmann, and The Marriage of Figaro, to list only a few.
Maestro Harvey has appeared as guest conductor with many of America's leading orchestras, including those of Philadelphia, Atlanta, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Buffalo, Detroit, New Orleans and Minnesota, as well as the New York Philharmonic's Young People's Concerts and the Boston Pops. He has also had engagements with the Maggio Musicale Orchestra of Florence, Italy; the Pusan Symphony of South Korea; and the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica. In recent years he has led the Boise Philharmonic, the University of Michigan Orchestra, the National High School Honors Orchestra, and All-State Orchestras in California and Texas. He regularly performs as a pianist, both in chamber music and as pianist/conductor in works of Gershwin, Mozart, and Rachmaninoff.
Highly regarded as a teacher, Raymond Harvey devotes part of every summer to the Conductors Institute at Bard College, NY. This year he will also serve as an adjunct faculty conductor with the University of Houston's opera department.
Those who have seen Maestro Harvey in action have found themselves under his spell, whether it be through vibrant performances or scintillating lectures. The community is delighted that he makes his home in Kalamazoo.